November 23, 2005


I don’t want the power to cast out demons and perform miracles. I am just thankful to God that my name is written permanently in heaven, and that I know God! I thank God that his Son Jesus revealed him unto me.

Luke 10:15-28 – And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. [16] He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. [17] And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. [18] And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. [19] Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. [20] Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. [21] In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. [22] All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. [23] And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: [24] For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. [25] And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? [26] He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? [27] And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. [28] And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

I thank God that through his Son I have been taught and humbled by his law that I cannot do this and go to heaven, and that I am a child of God only by faith in Christ Jesus. And I thank God he has used that same law, his word, to continue to show me he does not want my expertise and self-confidence, just my awareness that he does the work by the power of his word.

Galatians 3:24-26 – Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. [25] But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. [26] For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

I thank God I will not be brought down to hell because I became a babe in Christ by being born from above by his Spirit by his grace.

Matthew 11:23-30 – And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. [24] But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. [25] At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. [26] Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. [27] All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. [28] Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

My thanksgiving is directed to God for the eternal first rest he gave me in Christ Jesus, but I am also thankful that his Spirit afterwards directed me into the second rest as he taught me of the characteristics of Christ, and continued to reveal more of my inadequacies and flaws in my own self-centered interests. I thank God he has proven to me that truly his yoke of service is an easy yoke, and that his burden is light. I praise him for teaching me that his yoke is only as difficult as my lack of faith in his ability, and my burden is only heavy if I try to carry it by faith in my own ingenuity.

The word translated “yoke” is “zeugos,” which is a double yoke, with two yoked together to plow the field and produce the crop. Christ has his neck in the same yoke he told me to take upon me by my own free will. I deeply regret it took me so long to realize he alone has the power and I just walk along in my yoke-hole in the direction his word teaches me to go. In the first ten years of my ministry at this church, I was full of plans, misdirected zeal, programs, and confidence in my own ability to carry them out. My thanksgiving extends to God that he has taught me to have confidence in his written word, and the leadership of his Spirit in it.

After God called me, the fever and zeal of my early ministry did more harm than good, but that is simply part of the call to preach because we are full of the flesh and, one of two things happens in a minister’s life, he either passes through that phase of spiritual growth, and loses his confidence in himself, or becomes more and more engrained in what he convinces himself is the will of God for his life by not studying the methodology the bible is willing to unveil to him. I thank God for his word that got me through it. Peter had that problem of confidence in his fleshly abilities, as did all the disciples.

Matthew 26:35 – Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

Luke 22:31-34 – And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: [32] But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. [33] And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. [34] And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

All God-called preachers either get converted from their own personal adequacy by realizing they are, by nature, inadequate for the task to which they have been called, or they take their frustrations out on those whom they teach, because they have the same inadequacies.

I thank God he taught me I am an unprofitable servant.

Luke 17:10 – So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

The word translated unprofitable is “achreios,” and its root meaning is “not needed.” God did not need me and my new innovative ideas. I just needed to follow his ideas found in his word! Nothing else is needed.