God has blessed Mars Hill with an incredible team of men and women who love Jesus – the risen, reigning, and returning King. Together, we passionately pursue Him as we work to see the Great Commission fulfilled. Together, we study the Scriptures. We embrace and celebrate the mystery of faith and the magnificence of our AWESOME God. And we long for our Savior’s return, when we will know fully as we are fully known.
The Holy Spirit has breathed unique wisdom, discernment and gifts for service into each member of our staff. That said, we are delighted to commence a new series of devotionals, in which each member of our staff will be sharing insights from their inimitable journey with our Father.
We hope that God’s redemptive work in our lives will resonate with what He’s doing in yours.
Today’s Devotional is from team member, Brenda Bowman.
Brenda serves Mars Hill with Partner Relations and Special Projects.
About 20 years ago, in the middle of a sermon, the Lord impressed me with a verse that made me think, “That is what I want my life to be about….that is my motto.” That verse is 1 Samuel 12:24 (NASB):
“Only fear the Lord
and serve Him in truth with all your heart;
for consider what great things He has done for you.”
The verse begins with the fear of the Lord. I desire to respect, trust, depend on, take seriously, and honor the Lord. These are just some of the things that define fearing the Lord for me.
Serving Him in truth with my heart is the most ambiguous part of this verse to me. I am still discovering what this means and what it should look like in my life. Some of it is manifest in my physical life, such as serving Him in my work and serving Him in the body of Christ. But I think there are even deeper levels that I am unearthing; levels that have to do with being and living IN truth. There is a constant war within me to be truthful….with myself, with Him, with others. I want to fudge in hopes that I will come off in a better light. I will even try to fool myself!
The easiest part of this verse, and the part that helps get me back on track is the last part…considering – remembering what great things He has done for me!
That really is a key for me in working on the first two parts of the verse. Remembering His great sacrifice for me on the cross is the most obvious and most monumentally humbling thing I can bring to mind. But there are also the many prayers He has answered, with “yeses and nos.” I can also list many times that He has been merciful so that I did not receive as severe a consequence as I deserved or gracious so that I got some blessing that I definitely didn’t warrant.
A milestone year for me was 1992. That was the year that my friend, Debbie, and I spent New Year’s Day together, strategizing, praying, and setting goals for the year ahead. All of my goal sheets, so carefully filled out, went on to a clipboard where they could be viewed, consulted, and checked on.
As the days rolled by, the clipboard was assigned to a pile. Within weeks, the pile grew and was relocated. Eventually, the pile migrated to the floor and ended up under the bed. The memory of said clipboard and its contents had also migrated to the far reaches of my brain. However, I was to discover that the Lord is faithful to complete what He starts in me and sometime around the 4th quarter of the year the Lord brought me face to face with a truth about one of the things I had prayed for… which lead me to go in search of the clipboard.
I had prayed, rather light-heartedly on that January 1, that the Lord would help me get out of debt. At the time, I did not even really know how much debt I had. By the middle of the year, it had become more apparent to me how strapped I was because I was not able to support a missionary that I wanted to support. I was crushed!
There is much more to the story than I can share in this devotional, but after the Lord showed me the truth about my financial life and thoroughly convicted me to the point of repentance, He then graciously gave me a way to correct the situation. I will add that His grace included allowing my expensive car to be stolen so that He could lead me to an affordable economy car that was a huge blessing!
To conclude, by the time I found the clipboard, to my humble and utter amazement, the Lord had brought about in my life EVERY one of my goals! From the insurmountable to the “humanly” attainable, HE made it all happen!
So when I am feeling discouraged or out of control or aimless, I “consider all the great things HE has done for me” and my respect for Him grows and my desire for truth and service along with it.