Friday, July 29, 2016

The Joys of Ministry

Chuckle: A mother learned by raising boys: "The spin cycle on the washing machine doesn't make earthworms dizzy. It will, however, make cats dizzy, and cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy."
Quote: "There is no such thing as the pursuit of happiness, there is only the discovery of joy." --Joyce Grenfell

"Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage -- with great patience and careful instruction" (2 Timothy 4:2 NIV).
Serving God as a minister/pastor/preacher is an awesome and humbling calling. During my years of vocational ministry, I have experienced many joys and a few heartaches along the way. But it is the joys that I remember most vividly, and each time I remember a specific joyful experience it produces even more joy. 
After attending a morning worship service sometime back, Dotse and I were walking through our church parking lot toward our car. A middle-aged couple, whom we did not immediately recognize, approached us, extended their hands and said, "You married us 23 years ago and we want you to meet our daughter and her fiancé who will be getting married soon. Joy!
At a funeral I attended, I saw a young man leading the music and singing with a beautiful solo voice. I recognized him as someone I had baptized when he was a young boy. He has grown into a talented young man with a heart for reaching and ministering to people in the name of Jesus through music. Joy!
While serving as pastor, I was driving down a country road and came upon a young man mending fence along the roadway. I stopped and we struck up a conversation and talked about the Lord and his spiritual condition. To make a longer story short, I had the privilege of baptizing him and watching him grow in his faith over the years and become the spiritual leader of his family. Today, he serves as pastor of a local church. Joy!
I share these three representative joy producing experiences not to bring undue credit to myself but to remind each of us of the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus Christ and the power of His Holy Spirit. No other joy equals that of touching the lives of others in a positive way in the name of Jesus and seeing the Holy Spirit draw them into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Such joys are certainly not exclusively for pastors. Every Christian is called to be a minister and can experience the joy that comes from leading someone to faith in Jesus Christ or ministering to other spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of those around us. Are you experiencing such joy?
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV).
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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