May Blog, 5.25.23
This week, Briarwood church (which founded this work to businesspeople forty-two years ago) unexpectedly lost its senior pastor in a tragic accident. Moments like this bring many questions, and cause us to consider again our purpose. We grieve the loss of our pastor. We also consider anew the work that he was and we are called to. Pastor Harry Reeder repeated many times – “Be faithful to the message, stay on mission, and in ministry.” This was not a call to fellow pastors, but to ordinary members of the church. Every person — farmers, auto repairmen, insurance salesmen, programmers and airline pilots – has a specific call on their life which exceeds their work and shapes their work to a greater purpose. Paul explained that call to his protégé, Timothy:
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
2 Timothy 2:1-2
Wherever we work, we are to be witnesses. Paul says to Timothy, “The things which you have heard from me….” Those “things” are the news of Jesus and His resurrection, which has been faithfully handed down from the first apostles. A follower of Jesus is first of all a bearer of news. Paul shared with Timothy what he had heard and seen. Christianity is not merely a philosophy about an internal state of being – it is a message about events which have happened that change the entire course of human history and our destiny.
We are to share the news with many people. Paul told Timothy to share what he heard “in the presence of many witnesses.” Paul shared with many people, and Timothy observed that. A life of following Jesus means we will testify frequently to what we have seen and heard.
We are to entrust this news to faithful people. The mark of a faithful person is that “they teach others also”. Paul instructs Timothy to share with many, but to particularly pour into those who faithfully share what they learn with others. This intentional strategy is what causes the collective work of discipleship to be far more fruitful than what any one person accomplishes. We are called to be an army of faithful workers who spread the good news about Jesus.
The power to be a witness like this comes from God. Paul tells Timothy to be “strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” This is the key to sharing with many and being a faithful laborer – we do not merely testify to events that happened in the past, but we experience the power of God as we trust Him in the work He has called us to.
Wherever you work today, you have the opportunity to connect with God’s greater mission for you. The good news of the forgiveness of sin is a message that everyone needs to know. God has forgiven sin through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus, so that everyone who believes will not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
At YBL, we thank God for this good news, and we honor Pastor Harry Reeder, who faithfully called many witnesses to testify of the grace that is in Christ Jesus. May we also be faithful!