Dear friends of the ministry:
Greetings in the love of Christ. As you know from the last newsletter, my daughter in law Shirley passed away on January 9th. On the 29th I flew to Chiapas and an hour and a half after landing received a call from Mary Lou saying that my younger sister Florence had died. I took the next plane home, then drove 400 miles to officiate the funeral along with my brother Roger. By the time you receive this letter I will be back in Chiapas continuing the work of ministry there.
A few weeks ago I talked with a ministry friend who felt he had accomplished very little compared to others. He had never built a large church or grown a powerful congregation, he had never even had the finances to properly care for his family. Perhaps he even felt a little unworthy of his calling. In Luke 15 Jesus tells the story we all know about the Prodigal Son who squandered his inheritance on careless living while his older brother stayed home being the responsible one. Destitute and at the end of his rope, the dirty, hungry, miserable son left the pig pen saying, “I will go to my father and say I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But, in the eyes of his father (who is a picture of our Father in heaven), he was and always will be worthy.
Jesus saw a rich man and a poor woman giving their gifts at the Temple one day (Luke 21), and while others might think the rich man more honorable and important, in the eyes of Jesus this poor woman who gave two pennies was just as worthy. Jesus also tells us of two men going to pray at the Temple (Luke 18). The Pharisee boasted of his own righteousness, but the tax collector lowered his head and cried out for favor - “Be merciful to me, a sinner.” It was the tax collector who went down to his house justified, Jesus said. Worthy.
Never compare yourself to someone you deem more successful or somehow better than you; and never look at someone who struggles more than you to achieve their goals and life and think you are better than them. We each answer to our Master, and he is someone who so loves the entire world - counts the whole of creation worthy enough - to send his only begotten son that the world through him might be saved. And if God himself deems every soul worthy of his own shed blood, who are we to dismiss someone as unworthy? Do you know what worthy actually means? It means valuable; “of worth.” Whatever place you find yourself in life, you are of great worth and you are loved of God.
Rejoice in the love of the Lord,