“He who calls you is faithful, he will surely do it” (1 Thess 5:24).
It is very special to have “found” the Gospel of Jesus Christ when I was without purpose and no hope of every finding it on my own. I grew up in a home where the things of God were given only intellectual assent and never personally applied or taken serious. It was like knowing it was indeed true but pretending to live like it wasn’t.
This past weekend, my wife and I were officially welcomed into the life and ministry of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Chatham, Ontario. It was a wonderful weekend not only because our new church family showered us with their love and promise of their prayers and partnership. It was special because of God’s faithfulness in rescuing sinners from the plight of their sinfulness through his saving grace. That was me and, if you know him personally, that was you. If you don’t, run to him, he is waiting!
My personal journey of faith is an illustration of God being true to his Word. I was reminded this weekend of how God places people in our lives at just the right time to share with us his message. I have a cousin who was faithful to share with me my desperate need for Jesus Christ. What she did not know was that I was battling an inner war of purpose, “What am I here for?” and “There has to be more to life than this!” Her insistence that I needed to make a personal decision for Jesus was right on. I tried to shift the blame on my parents and others for my unbelief. She was having no of it! “You, Bill, need to make a decision for Jesus!”
In August 1977, the Holy Spirit won the wrestling match as I repented of my sins and invited Jesus Christ to come into my life. God was faithful! The process of spiritual life commenced.
A few years later I was in Bible College, the last place I thought I would ever be. The kid from the “other side of the tracks” was preparing to serve God full-time! There would be hi-lites and very low moments. Also, seasons of blessing and seasons of wanting to throw it all away. One such moment occurred that brought us to the lowest point in our ministry career. When that was at its worst our Pastor was their to literally pick up the pieces. His godly influence and his presence was used by God to preserve our life of service in the gospel ministry.
I share this with you to let you know that our service for God is the result of the investment that many people who God places in our path at key times. God faithfully places people in our path that gently push us on to the next phase in our life for him. It isn’t about us in the sense that it is not for us but for God’s glory. God faithfully calls us, shapes our character and places us where he wills.
For His Glory,
Pastor Bill Finch
May God bless you in your new ministry opportunity in Chatham. Glad to have you back in Ontario. I’m sorry I could not attend your Induction Service. I enjoyed reading this blog post because it brought back many memories of conversations and activities in the past. I am praying for you. Marvin
Thank you, sir! I appreciate the kind words!