Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Without A Word

Preachers struggle mightily in one particular area that has often weakened the effectiveness of their ministry and their local work - patience. While they may have worked it out in study, outlined the sermon, and delievered it with great compassion and thorough prayer - those attending worship services are hearing the message once. Forgetting this, many preachers wonder why they are not seeing the changes in the lives of those who worship. Discouraged, they often begin to believe they are not succeeding in their efforts to change lives for the good of man and to the glory of God.
I am learning, (and it had been a difficult lesson), to understand that the word of God is working in hearts. I may want it to get worked out today, but the time table is out of my control. I still need constant reminders that I am doing the Lord's work, and that this is enough. Every visit, Bible study, kind word, Christian service, funeral, phone call, sermon, article, et cetera has influence. We just need to do the work and be patient with others. God is certaintly long-suffering with us (2 Pet. 3:15).
I recently visited with somebody who has surprised a lot of people lately. He has started worshipping. He is talking about God, the Bible, and the church. This after most of his family thought that it would never happen. Too many years have passed with no interest in these things. But God has been working the whole time. He has been working through this man's Christian wife and children. He has been working through the faithfulness of other family members and Christians. He has been working through the moments of this man's frailties. He has been working through the ever present love of His providence, provisions, and promises. Some of His greatest work has been simple, Christian activity, so that this man may gain the victory without a word. Whether we understand it or not, I am finding out that this is the way many people prefer to be won.
"Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives" (1 Peter. 3:1).


  1. You are right. It is hard to preach something and expect someone to pick up on it right away and do what is right. Patience is a virtue that is hard to come by in the fast-paced world we live in today. While we always hope that time will be on our side we really never now. It should always be a top goal to make sure we put God and his works first in our lives for as he is the writer of the Book of Life.

  2. I hope this rings true in my family. This is an encouraging entry.

  3. Patience is hard to practice. You work harder than anyone that I know in spreading the gospel. You plant the seeds of the Word in the hearts of many daily. We have to remember that God gives the increase. And, pray that God will grant those that are lost the time that they need to come to know the truth.

    I enjoy the articles and it encourages me to read them. Keep up the great work!