I would like to say something about honor and gratitude.
There is a young woman (Tonya Bruton) who has many times in the last 19 months taken the time to mention my name on FaceBook for my part in the startling freedom she has received and maintained in Christ.
Anyone who knows me knows that I do not live for the adulation, compliments, honor....of others.
I'm VERY aware of what I was like before Jesus saved me and I am VERY grateful for this. I try in every arena of my life to honor Him and show my gratitude.
THAT'S why I was able to be a part of Tonya's freedom. THAT'S why I was motivated to hear her story, cry with her, cheer her on, quietly introduce ideas she didn't want to hear, walk her through them in her courageous battle to grab hold of the freedom Jesus has for her and rejoice with her in the victories Jesus won for her.
Honor and gratitude.
In the story of Jonah we see that Jonah needed something and God provided it.
"And the LORD God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So JONAH WAS VERY GRATEFUL for the plant." (Jonah 4:6)
It was right for Jonah to be grateful...not to the plant....but to GOD for His provision.
Whenever someone honors a person who has blessed them they are, likewise, honoring God for setting it all up for them.
"Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor." (Romans 13:7)
Whenever Tonya expressed gratitude for something I did in her life or anyone does that for something someone else did for them....what they are really doing is being thankful to God for His provision of the right person with the right skills (which GOD provided) at the right time.
The moment I met Tonya I knew God connected us and that something good was going to happen.
I was and am grateful He chose me to do that.
Years ago I prayed for God to choose me to do tasks on His behalf and this ongoing relationship Laurie and I have with Tonya and her husband Joshua and their beautiful children are the evidence that He has answered that prayer.
Every time Tonya Foulks Bruton has honored me on FaceBook or in public on a radio show or face-to-face my response has been the same. I have thanked her for saying what she has said and for allowing me to be a part of of her life and her restoration.
"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2)
The truth is that this command from God through Paul has, like many that concern other people do, two sides.
We must be ready to serve but if the other person does not allow us to serve them nothing God has for them through us will ever matter or have any effect on them.
I am grateful to God that Tonya allowed me to serve her and remain a part of her life.
I honor her this day by saying so.
May we all have the humility, like she has, to look around us and take note of those God has supplied to our lives to work HIS glory in and through us.
May we all have the humility to express our gratitude and honor them in how we do that.
I’ve written this to awaken in our hearts the godly ideals of gratitude and honor that many leaders in the Body of Christ never express out of fear that those under their care will think they are fishing for compliments.
Accordingly, I have not written this to cause anyone to thank me for anything. Like I said earlier, I am not in this for the adulation, compliments, honor....of others.
I simply sensed the Lord would have me write this at this time.