Jump Start # 2865
1 Timothy 5:25 “Likewise also deeds that are good are quite evident, and those which are otherwise cannot be concealed.”
His name is Mack and he’s old. He’s in his 90’s. Most have never heard of him. But in a small circle around the Tennessee-Georgia border, Mack has been a mainstay for so many congregations. Mack has preached most of his life and most of his life has been right in this small area. As churches were between preachers, Mack would fill in. Sometimes it was for a few weeks. Sometimes it was for months. And, in a few cases, it was for years Through all this time, Mack worked a secular job. One wouldn’t find Mack’s name on very many meeting lists. He wasn’t called to speak in lectureships. Quietly, he did what he could. In a time when many congregations were wavering and being influenced to side with a more progressive spirit, Mack helped many congregations stay true to the Biblical pattern revealed in the Scriptures.
I’ve never met Mack. My son has. He won the heart of my son. A quiet, courageous soldier of Christ who never stood in the bright lights of fame, he did what the Lord wanted him to do. He preached the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Our verse reminds us of those like Mack. Men and women of God who quietly do what they can do. The Scriptures are filled with such unknown and unnamed heroes. The captive servant girl who was the means for Naaman to get cured of his leprosy. Had she not spoken out, he probably would have died a leper. There was that poor widow who gave all that she had in the temple. Jesus saw. He always sees. Her name is not given to us. There is that woman with the issue of blood who has such incredible faith. If I can only touch the hem of his garment I will be cured. Her name is known only to God. There was the boy who gave his snack to Andrew, who took it to the Lord. The Lord multiplied that small amount of food and fed thousands. The name of that boy is not known to us. There was the Centurion who came to Jesus because a servant was injured. Jesus was ready to come. The Roman said that he was not worthy to have Jesus in his home. Just say the word—such incredible faith. Again, his name is known only to God.
Sometimes the drive to be famous causes some to cross the line of what is appropriate and right. Pride can fill the heart and seeking to attract a following and a crowd can lead us to forgetting our place and our purpose. Men like Mack remind us we are but instruments of God. The glory always goes to God. As a passionate student of Restoration history, this is so true. There are a few names that most have heard of. And, in some regions, there are lesser known names, but those are so very, very few. All across this country there were men and women who drew a line with the Lord and restored the N.T. way. Their names and what they did are all but forgotten, expect by Heaven.
My advice to younger preachers is to just wear yourself out in the service of God and His people. When asked, go. Always do your best. Put others first. Listen. Be concerned. Do what you can, wherever you can. Don’t be too good to go to the small struggling congregations. Don’t seek to make a name. Don’t allow pride to change you and turn you into an ear tickling preacher. Stand among the mighty number of God’s people who were honored to be known by the Lord and to be used in His kingdom. Men and women decades ago, centuries ago, who loved the Lord and served Him with all that they could. That’s our example. Don’t worry about numbers, how many likes, and who knows you. Just do your job.
God bless those like Mack who loved the Lord and gave their all to further God’s kingdom. May all of us learn from his example, which he learned from the Lord’s example, of simply being a servant. It doesn’t matter whether one crisscrosses the country or stays in the same county all his life, just serve the Lord, leave an example and help others.
Thank you, Mack. Your quiet, consistent and faithful work has made a difference. Your kind is needed dearly today. May the footprints that you left help others realize what is truly important.