|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Great thoughts from great Christians”
Our Bible verse for today: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Great in God’s eyes”
All this month we’re considering what I’ve been calling, “Great thoughts from great Christians”. Unfortunately, often when we think of Christians we consider to be or have been “great” we only think of well-known high-profile figures like the Apostle Paul, or Saint Augustine, or C.S. Lewis, or Billy Graham. And without question, those people were great. But greatness in God’s eyes isn’t limited just to those who are well-known and who have big ministries. In fact, I would argue there are and have been millions upon millions of ordinary men and women who are considered “great” by God simply because they lived simple lives of faithfulness in ordinary circumstances.
I’ve told you the story before about my old friend Dick DeGrow. When I knew him, Dick was in his 70s. He was a retired pastor who was a member of the first church I was the pastor of. At that time Dick served as a deacon, an adult Sunday school teacher, and as the church custodian.
One day, while I was in my office writing a sermon, Dick arrived to begin his custodial duties. He knocked on my door, stuck his head in, and with a warm friendly smile he asked, “How’s my pastor this morning. Is there anything I can do for you?” I looked at him for a short moment and then I asked, “Dick, you’re a retired pastor. Why do you serve as the church custodian? You’re in your 70s, you don’t need the money, and there are other people who could do this.” He smiled at me again and then he said, “Pastor, I would rather clean toilets in the house of the Lord than to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.” “Then with another smile he said, “You have a good day.” And then he shuffled off to go clean those toilets.
Many of you will recognize Dick’s words to me that day as a paraphrase of Psalm 84:10, “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” I’ve never forgotten that encounter with Dick, nor have I ever forgotten the great example he set for me and for everyone else with his simple quiet life of service to the Lord.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Dick was great in the eyes of the Lord. And his comment about cleaning the toilets in the church? It was a great thought by a great Christian.
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