Stalwart Character

“Will we see you at Connect Group tonight?” John asked.

“Only if I see you at the Nursing Home Service this afternoon!”

(Later at Connect Group, John started giving me a hard time.)

“John,” I said, “I didn’t see you at the Nursing Home Service, so I picked out your room. It’s a single because your wife won’t need to move in for a few decades.”

(John decided that was a good time to start the Bible Study.)

* * * * * * *

The fourth Sunday is exhausting. I get up between four and five for devotions and to write my post. (Sorry, I overslept this week.)

We load up the drums and head to the Civic Center at 8:30 a.m. After unloading, we set up the drums and two keyboards. We practice for an hour making sure the sound is working correctly.

After a 5 minute break, we meet and pray for the service. We play and sing our hearts out in the worship. After the service, we tear it all down, pack the keyboards up for storage, load up the drums, and take them home.

Back at the house, we have less than an hour to unload the drums and grab a bite to eat before heading to Sunnybrook Nursing Home. We play and sing hymns there. After Bev shares a few verses we talk to the residents and pray for them. I usually play several more hymns for the residents who like to sing.

A few hours later we are heading to Connect Group for Bible Study. Why do we show up week after week and do all that work? Our parents taught us to have a stalwart character.

“Stalwart – loyal, reliable, hardworking. Synonyms: faithful, committed, devoted, dedicated, dependable, steady, constant, trusty, solid, steadfast, unwavering.”

When God chose the first king of Israel, He picked a man from a family known for their stalwart character.

1 Samuel 9:1, 2, “There was a man from the tribe of Benjamin named Kish. He was the son of Abiel, grandson of Zeror, great-grandson of Becorath, great-great grandson of Aphiah – a Benjamite of stalwart character. He had a son, Saul, a most handsome young man. There was none finer – he literally stood head and shoulders above the crowd!” The Message

But having character is not enough. God needed a man willing to work at any job.

1 Samuel 10:7, “…Whatever job you’re given to do, do it. God is with you.” The Message

Then God revealed Himself to Saul.

1 Samuel 10:9, “…At that very moment God transformed him – made him a new person! And all the confirming signs took place the same day.” The Message

The confirming signs:

  1. At Rachel’s tomb, you will learn your father’s donkeys are found, 10:2. (God is all-knowing.)
  2. At the Oak of Tabor, you will be given two loaves of bread, 10:3. (God will meet your needs. Saul admitted they were out of bread in 1 Samuel 9:7.)
  3. At Gibeah, you will meet a group of prophets. The Spirit of God will come on you and you will prophesy and you’ll be transformed, 10:5. (God will work through you. You don’t accomplish things, God’s Spirit enables you to do them.)

When God’s Spirit came upon him, He transformed Saul.

1 Samuel 10:24, “Samuel then addressed the people, ‘Take a good look at whom God has chosen: the best! No one like him in the whole country!’ ” The Message

The people thought he was the best because he was tall, young, and handsome. He became the best because God’s Spirit transformed him. He needed to have a good character and be hardworking but it was God’s Spirit that did the work.

The number one rule of ministry is…

SHOW UP!

We don’t do the work. God’s Spirit does it. We just make ourselves available for Him to use.

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