1 Samuel 13-14, Psalm 81
Many people crave recognition. They want people to recognize their name and acknowledge their contributions to mankind, or if Christian there contributions to God. But that is often not the reality. Most of us will never achieve the notoriety of a Billy Graham. I have no idea what the name of the woman was who prayed Psalm 23 over me and started my decision to explore the things of God, but God knows her name. Pastor Lloyd often credits a Christian wrestler on his college team as the one who brought him to Christ. Pastor Lloyd can't recall his name, but God knows it. There is an old hymn called: Onward Christian Soldiers. It's lyrics are: Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before. Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng. Blend with ours your voices in our triumph song...But the cross of Jesus, constant will remain." In these lyrics, our voices and actions are often blended in the service of Christ. How freeing it is to realize it's not about ourselves, but all about Him.
In today's readings we read many things about our two main characters, Saul and Jonathon. One shows a lack of faith, the other, Jonathon, excels. But notice the unnamed minor character, the armorbearer, in 1 Samuel 14:6-7, "Then Jonathon said to the young man who bore his armor, "Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few." So his armorbearer said to him, "Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart." We read how the situation progressed in 14:13-14, "And Jonathon climbed up on his hands and knees with his armorbearer after him; and they fell before Jonathon. And as he came after him, his armorbearer killed them. That first slaughter which Jonathon and his armorbearer made was about twenty men within about half an acre of land." If one looks at the cliff they climbed today it is steep and sheer, it was not an easy endeavor. Interestingly, no one knows the name of the armorbearer who was full of faith, but God does.
At work, most of us have a boss, and when things go well, the boss gets all the credit. When things go poorly, for instance if you were the manager of a Major League Baseball team, the boss takes the fall. But our true CEO is not that person, but God. We, who are in Christ, do not need earthly recognition. All we want to ever hear are the words in Matthew 25:23, "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord'." We read in John 10:3, as Jesus makes the statement that He is the true shepherd, "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out." So the world, our bosses, our community may have no idea who we are, but if we faithfully serve the only One who matters, He will know us by name and reward us one day.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: