Enduring For The Gold

Meeting someone whose demeanor and instruction creates a thirst for greater godliness is one of the special blessings in life. Pastor Ivan French was such a man. He was our pastor through seminary training as my dear hubby worked successfully for his Master’s in Theology degree. Pastor French spoke at various conferences with each church we pastored. I developed a longing to just sit at his feet and absorb the wealth of his biblical knowledge. I know without a doubt, the humble attitude that governed this man was exactly what drew me to him, and the expository teaching was what kept me at his feet.

Today, I am thankful to say, I have a pastor who fills those shoes remarkably well. His name is Stephen Davey. You can find him teaching through Wisdom International. His teaching through the Bible (The Wisdom Journey) has made its way to the Book of Proverbs. This little 10-minute daily teaching has been a huge boost for launching a new year.

Yet there are others I could say have been great, humble men providing an immense tutelage toward my spiritual growth. These include Charles Swindoll, Tony Evans, and David Jeremiah. But the greatest in my life has been my husband, Rodney Phillips. The last 13 years have been some of the greatest as he stepped out of the role of a pastor to earn a doctor in education, while teaching, AND preaching. I have been privileged to sit through so many of his classes. And now at the start of a new year, I have the honor of attending a class he is teaching at a church here in the town we live. I took this class (for credit) almost 13 years ago. How refreshing it is to once again be reminded of Bible study methods as we begin a new year.

BUT a word of warning: no matter how wonderful, pointed, precise, or deep the teachings from the Word of God are by these humble servants of the Lord, it still boils down to one thing! Will I discipline myself to follow through in the areas that God takes me no matter what I experience?

The Bible says that problems and trials help us develop PATIENCE (Romans 5:3-5). With great and precious promises, we make every effort to strive for patient endurance, as a God honoring perseverance (2 Peter 1:1-11). We have received gifts to use for His glory, to not dawdle but to persevere even through tribulation helping God’s people soar (Romans 12:1-13).

The Bible teaches our race is one of agony and some agonizingly steep paths to climb. Feelings of isolation can easily overtake us. But endure we must. 2023 is a race of endurance.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

James 1:2-4, NLT

Let’s lock arms and endure for the gold (crown) 😉  

“I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.”

Revelation 3:11
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