Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | November 24, 2015

November 24, 2015 “H.R.”

“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.’ (2nd Timothy 4:2)

“Pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) 

Good Morning Everyone!

This past Thursday evening, I was officially recognized by the denomination in which I have served for over forty years as being “H.R.”…that is, “Honorably Retired.” Though I have not as yet completed the work I have contracted to do with the church i now serve, from the denomination’s perspective, I am now considered to be retired.

Thinking back on my career,  I have never fully understood, nor will I ever in my lifetime, understand why the Lord chose me to be a messenger of the Gospel to people. I possess no great oratory skills. I have no particular charisma that would draw people to me…no eloquence. Though I strive to lead an exemplary life, I would not hold myself up as some paragon of virtue. But then again, as I read the word and consider others whom the Lord has called to His service as his messengers, they were not without their shortcomings either. It’s really not at all about me. God has his reasons for calling those he calls, and I am forever grateful for the privilege of proclaiming the Gospel and sharing Christ with people as a pastor. I have been called by the Almighty to stand before others as His ambassador. But that is just one aspect of my call. There is another equally important element of ministry which must always partner with the proclamation of the Gospel.  Here’s the way Leonard Ravenhill, an English Christian Evangelist and author stated it:

“To stand before men on behalf of God is one thing. To stand before God on behalf of men is something entirely different.” 

I am called, as Paul wrote to Timothy, to “preach the word…in season and out of season…to correct, rebuke, and encourage- with great patience and careful instruction.”  That is my call to stand before others as Christ’s ambassador and on His behalf. The other equally important aspect of that call is that I “pray continually”, as Paul instructed the Thessalonians….to “stand before God on behalf of others.”  In the old Frank Sinatra song, “Love and Marriage”, it is suggested that they “go together like a horse and carriage” and that “you can’t have one without the other.” Like love and marriage, standing before others on God’s behalf goes together with standing before God on the behalf of others…and that is called prayer!  Though I am now “H.R.”, I shall continue to do both as the Lord permits me to do. I serve at his pleasure. To God be the glory! Let’s Pray!

Eternal, Everlasting God; Through the ages You have called Your servants for Your divine purposes. Help us understand that servanthood involves aspects of equal importance …proclamation and prayer. Our desire is to serve you completely…on our feet as well as on our knees. Guide us as we strive to do Your perfect will, we pray, in Jesus’ Holy Name. Amen!



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