Exodus 4:2 “And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.”
What a simple lesson, but overlooked by so many! How many times have I been asked: “Pastor, what does God expect of me?” God expects the same from us as He did of Moses – to be faithful with whatever He has given us. What do you have in your hand? Jesus’ parable of the talents reveals God’s plan for blessing His children. Those who prove themselves faithful with that which God has placed in their care will be entrusted with more. Conversely, those who are not faithful with that which God has placed in their care will not receive more. In fact, they risk loosing that which they have (Matthew 25:29).
I learned this lesson myself when starting Mason Road Assembly of God. My children were visiting relatives in the North and my wife was in a coma at Cy Fair Hospital. After sitting by her bed every morning, I would drive back to Katy and spend the rest of the day knocking on doors and inviting people to come to church. Then, I would drive back to the hospital to spend the evening with my wife. The folks at the Katy Area Youth Center allowed us the use of their facility (an old roller skating rink). I was so excited that first Sunday: so many had promised to come. I set the chairs out, I set up the pulpit and sound system: everything was ready! And NO ONE came! So, in the depths of disappointment, I began putting everything away. The Spirit of God spoke to my heart: “What are you doing?” “No one came”, I complained, “I’m going home”. “It’s my responsibility to add to the Church”, The Spirit seemed to say. “And it’s your responsibility to lead the worship.”
So I did.
The worship really ministered to me – even though I was the only one there! So, with the worship service over, I began to pack everything away. Again, the Spirit of God spoke to my heart: “What are you doing?” “Aw, come on!” I cried. “No one is here, and I already know what the message is.” “I’ll do what I’m supposed to do”, promised the Spirit. “You do what I’ve called you to do: preach The Word.”
So I did.
If anyone would have walked by that Sunday morning, they would have thought for sure that there was a crazy-man loose in the skating rink. But, I did what God had called me to do: preach the Word.
I would like to report that the next Sunday we had a full house. But, no one showed up. So for a whole month, I spent every weekday inviting people to church. Then every Sunday I sang and preached to an empty room, as the Father was teaching me to be faithful with whatever He has given me and leave the rest to Him. On the fifth Sunday, one person came. And every Sunday after that, God added one family each week until the skating rink wasn’t big enough and we eventually took-over the whole shopping center. Mason Road Assembly of God is one of over 40 churches God has allowed us to pioneer.
What do you have in your hand?
Last months’ issue of Forbes magazine listed Sonia Gandhi as the 6th most powerful woman in the world. The daughter-in-law of the late Indira Gandhi, Sonia heads the Congress party in India. Sonia’s office contacted our senior pastor in North India and asked us to build orphanages and schools. We have been promised a free hand in raising these children (mostly girls) – no government intervention. We are free to instruct them in the Word of God and to raise them in a Christian environment.
What a wonderful opportunity! What an awesome responsibility!
This is well beyond the capabilities of Set Free Ministries, well beyond the capabilities of any single ministry. To be even partially successful, we will need the help of all our Christian brothers and sisters in the greater Houston area. Once the schools are built, we will need our young people to invest their summers. We will need our college students to invest a couple of semesters. The financial needs are un-comprehendible. Thankfully, the Heavenly Father doesn’t expect any of us to undertake this challenge alone. Like with Moses, He simply asks, “What is that in your hand?”
What DO you have in your hand?