People who sacrifice can make a difference
As I rose from my knees after praying, I noticed the various certificates I had on my wall. My first response was, “Boy, did I do good to get all of those.” Then it dawned upon me I was able to have those certificates not because of what I had done but what others had done for me.
Among those certificates are two diplomas. One is from a college and one from a seminary. I thought about classes, papers written, and tests taken, and my initial response was that it was a lot of hard work. Then it dawned on me that I would not have been able to get those diplomas unless Missouri Baptists, individuals who make up the body of Christ all over the state of Missouri, had not sacrificed in their prayers and giving to make those institutions possible.
Through those institutions, the men and women who were there to minister helped me become better equipped to fulfill the calling that God had placed on my life as a minister of the Gospel. These Missouri saints were the right people at the right time at the right place just for me. Missouri Baptists gave sacrificially so those who ministered to me could have a way to support their families and to live out the call that God had placed on their lives.
While Missouri Baptists gave and prayed there was a whole army of givers and prayers throughout the nation that were contributing to the unique ministry God had given me. These were and are Southern Baptists, and they prayed and gave from every state in the Union to help me.
I remember some of those men and women of God who had a great impact on my life and ministry. One I remember is Dr. Muncy; another is Dr. Coble. While I was just a face in the classroom, they made a great impact on my life. I am sure that you can remember people who have had a great impact on your life.
As I looked at those certificates I saw the ones for ordination and license to the Gospel Ministry. I think about the churches, not buildings but people, who had such a great impact on my life—men like Edwin Hunter, my pastor and mentor for many years, and Ernie Towler, director of missions, who cut me no slack in my early ministry, but was a great mentor and someone whom I sensed cared about me and my ministry very much.
Other folks who gave and sacrificed are my parents and grandparents. What wonderful examples they were for me growing up. What encouragers they have proven to be over the years.
So when you look at a diploma or some other certificate, remember those who cared enough for you to pray and give sacrificially.
May God richly bless you in your life’s calling. (George Roach is ministerial services specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention.)