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Do you desire God’s honor above your own?

My first ministry after seminary was back home in Rochester, NY. I was one of two chaplains at the Monroe County Jail. Every Saturday evening we would hold a worship service in the auditorium at the jail for the inmates. One of the deputies was responsible to keep a log book at the desk outside of the auditorium. In that log book he would record the name of the church group that conducted the worship service, the number of inmates who attended the service, and the name of the chaplain who was in charge of the service. Every week I would check the log book to find out the number of inmates who attended the service. And I would send that information along with other statistics to the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry headquarters down in Washington. Well, one time when I checked the log book, I noticed that the deputy forgot to record my name as the chaplain in charge of the worship service. At first I didn’t think much of it. But in subsequent weeks and months, it started to bother me if the deputy forgot to enter my name in the log book and give me credit for being the chaplain on duty. Well, I remember one particular Monday morning that I opened the log book, and I noticed that my name was not recorded in the book. And my immediate thought was, “Hey! I was in charge of that worship service! How come my name doesn’t appear in that entry?” That very moment the Spirit of God convicted me of my pride. I felt so guilty and so ashamed. I confessed my sin to God and I prayed, “Lord, what does it matter if my name is in that book or not? Who cares? Your Word is being preached in the services, inmates are getting saved, and your name is being exalted. And that’s all that matters.”

And, indeed, that’s all that matters. And that’s all that mattered to Barak.

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