Quiet Faithfulness

Published on Sep 16th, 2015 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Quiet Faithfulness
Quiet Faithfulness
While preaching through the book of Acts the other day I was struck by the
fact that when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost he didn't just come
upon the 12 apostles but he also came upon the 120 that were in the
room with them.  I began to think about that and then my mind
wandered to trying to name the twelve apostles.  I didn't do too
well.  I did well with Peter, James, and John but from there I
struggled.  Then my mind wandered to so many others in the Bible who
are mentioned but we know so very little about...the seven thousand
that God would leave in Israel who never bowed or kissed a Baal; the
500 who saw the risen Lord at one time; the great number who were
working with Joshua to rebuild the walls; and the people who gave
faithfully so that Paul's needs could be met.  I began to think about
how we challenge our children to “dare to be a Daniel” but rarely
encourage them to be a Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  What I have
found as an adult is that there are very few Daniels.  Even as I look
at Scripture those few whom God did call to be special leaders were
often reluctant to lead or were simply living their lives and God
plucked them to be a leader.  Moses certainly was not eager.  David
was tending sheep.  Abraham grew up in a pagan household and was busy
making money.  Peter was fishing.  Paul was putting Christians in
prison.  God did make them all great leaders and used them mightily
in the kingdom of God but it does not seem to be something they
strove to achieve.  But think about all of those men and women who
are barely mentioned in the Bible.  Were they not also used in the
kingdom of God?  God preserved 7,000 men and women and kept them from
bowing to the Baals.  Wasn't there role important in the kingdom of
God?  What about the 120 who were filled with the Spirit alongside of
the disciples at Pentecost?  And finally, what about Bartholomew,
Thaddeus, or Simon (some of the other Apostles)?  My point is that we
should never be discouraged if the role God gives us in the kingdom
is not one of the “starring” roles.  Quiet faithfulness and
service is as much a work of God as the one who is called to lead a
charge for the kingdom.  

I recently heard from home that one of our family friends had recently
passed away.  He was 85 years old and had been ill for some time. 
Mr. Zehnal was a faithful servant in the church I grew up in.  As
long as I can remember he and his wife were involved in that church. 
As far as I remember he was never a Sunday School teacher (his wife
was a great one), never a Deacon, he never really spoke out in a
business meeting, he never was up front on stage, never sang in the
choir...he never did any of those things that people would notice. 
For years he was always the one counting the offerings.  He used to
tell me it gave him first crack at any old coins that came in.  What
Mr. Zehnal did, though, is talk to me.  Even as a young kid he would
get this little smile on his face when I would approach and we would
talk about golf or the Browns or some other sport.  He would tell of
a great golf shot he had that week or how his bowling ball was
hooking.  When I left that church and went to college and then on to
ministry he was always supportive and said many kind things about my
ministry to my dad.  I just got the impression that Mr. Zehnal liked
me.  He always had time for me and he never seemed rushed to get
away.  He quietly stood near the back of a group but was always very
approachable.  When I would come home to visit I always looked
forward to seeing him (even if he did give me a hard time about
putting on several pounds).  My dad once shared with me how Mr. and
Mrs. Zehnal were very quiet givers and supporters of many young
people.  When I heard of his passing I was struck by the fact that
Mr. Zehnal was used in the kingdom of God to minister but not in a
way that we would try to pass on to our children.  It is difficult
for us to spur our children on to good works by encouraging them to
be one of the quiet faithful ones who are never recognized by people
but are always seen by God.  It may be difficult for us because we
are not sure if we believe that role is important.  We think that
being faithful and kind are good things but they are not really
enough to make a difference.  We believe that we are not an important
part of the kingdom because we are not teaching a class or leading a
group.  No one notices when we are at every service and spend the
time to speak to those who are often overlooked.  But God notices and
if I did my math correctly he calls way more people to be the quiet
“nobodies” than he does to be the upfront leaders.  Mr. Zehnal's
absence from my home church will be noticed by me every time I go
home.  His attitude of acceptance was more of a stabilizing influence
in my life than I ever realized.  I thank God for using people in
quiet ways in his kingdom.

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