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Summary: The application to this is if we put Jesus first in our lives and if we continue to strive for Him, continue to draw ourselves close to Him, He will improve us and make us more like Him everyday.

Lost Our First Love

ME

I love Jesus and I love being a minister of Christ. I honestly believe being a minister is the most important thing I could do on the face of the earth. I love to preach and teach God’s word and I’m glad He led me here to MVC. Honestly though, He chose a tremendously flawed person when He chose me. And he chose not particularly bright person

I probably never told you this but all through high school I never read a single book, I cheated off other people’s work and for the book reports I had to do I basically took the summary of the book usually found on the back page of the book and rewrote that as my report. I was in special ed classes for a while and went to speech therapy when I was in grade school because I had a stuttering problem.

And going to church is something that I just did not want to do. When I first started going to Sunday school classes after Maria and I were married I hated to read, because I was a bad reader. At the time I could read a paragraph and when I was done I couldn’t tell you what is just read. And I was scared to death that someone might ask me to pray.

The Bible was confusing to me. I always knew about God and Jesus because as many of you know I went to the Lutheran church when I was young and because of that I did know of God and of Jesus. I knew some Bible stories, but they weren’t anymore than that, just stories.

I remember going to confirmation classes as a Lutheran and the preacher telling us to never read the book of Revelation by yourself. That if we did he needed to be there to guide us through it. That scared me, but what scared me worse was him telling the group I was confirmed with that at least one of us would not make it and would go to hell. I thought at the time that would be me.

So why God chose me to be a preacher? Well — because I know the Bible a whole lot better now than at any other point in my life I think I know why. Listen to this Scripture —

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 1 Cor. 1:26-30

Those verses are what tells me why God chose me and they give me hope and I need that hope. Why? Well for a few reasons. One, because I know now that God can do anything in anyone, even me, if Jesus is first in their life.

And as long as I continue with Him first in my life, even though what I may be doing is not normative in this world, and may seem foolish to the world, it’s ok, because Jesus is my leader and what may seem foolish in this world will turn out for my righteousness, holiness and redemption.

I also like these verses and they give me hope because sometimes ministry is foolish, at least from the world’s prospective. Not only that but ministry is hard, it is very tough when at times, it seems, that no matter what you do there are more failures than wins. Fortunately because of God’s work in people’s lives I know their are wins that I may never hear about.

But ministry is tough, not necessarily physically, but it is an emotional roller coaster. In the same day, sometimes in the course of just a few hours you can hear of the death of a friend, and then someone making the choice to commit their life to Christ.

You can hear from someone who just found out they have terminal cancer and then someone else who calls you and is excited because they just discovered something new in Scripture. As a minister you have to forget the sadness from one person to rejoice with another and right back to sadness for another person.

On top of these things someone is always upset at you because you didn’t look at them when they saw you at Wal-Mart, even though you never saw them. Or you looked at someone wrong when they saw you just after you found out bad news from another person. And the only reason you had that look on your face is because you are sad and emotional from what you just heard.

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