I have had the greatest privilege of all to serve the Lord over the past four decades! It all started as a late teenager when I was asked to teach Sunday School at a little Methodist church at Connell’s Point. I have enjoyed almost every minute of this service! Yes, there have been some hard and difficult times but serving the Lord has brought me much joy and satisfaction. I have no idea of whether I have made any difference to the lives of people. All that I do know is that God called me to serve and I have tried to do my best wherever that service has been. I must confess to you that at times I cringe when I look back at this service. Yet, despite my weaknesses and inability, God still opens doors to serve Him in the most unlikely of places.
I will be retiring from pastoral ministry sometime in the not too distant future. I am looking forward to the next season of service at a local church and in areas of need where my gifting is needed. I long to keep serving my Lord even though I know that I have my limitations and often become nervous at what He has for me to do. I am hoping and praying that I will not become distracted from serving the Lord by travel and other things that retired people do! I want to serve the Lord as if He were coming back tomorrow! And this is what this next parable is all about concerning the wise and faithful servant. I know how easy it is to become ill-disciplined and sidetracked when it comes to following and serving Jesus. But I need to be wise and I need to remain faithful in the remaining years of my life.
My desire is to spur each of you on in your service of the Lord. It is crucial that you involve yourself in ‘kingdom’ related ministries. You have been given gifts, talents and skills for the blessing of others. Your time here on earth is like an apprenticeship or internship as God prepares you for ministry in His glorious and magnificent eternal kingdom. How you serve here on earth, in the ‘here and now’, determines what service you will be doing in heaven. We all will have to give an account as we stand before God as to what we have done with all that He is given us. Can I therefore urge you to sign up for service in 2017 here in this church where God has placed you? You are here for a reason … that reason is to be a blessing to others as you bring glory to God!