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From its inception in 1867, it was clear that the foundation of the now General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina was destined for greatness, designed for opportunities, and determined to succeed…
Privilege, delight, and favor are words that codify the benefits believers enjoy when embracing Christian service. The honor of serving God develops from an individual understanding of God’s intimate knowledge of you. The Lord knows well all our activities, thoughts, intents and even our proclivities which reveal our lesser selves.
Despite our falling short, the King of Kings maintains our employ as stewards of the manifold grace of God. Beloved, it is an honor to serve The Lord.
The honor of serving God is illustrated in Acts 5 when Peter and the apostles continued preaching the name of Jesus, despite having been beaten and placed in prison. The suffering actually increased their passion for servitude as they counted it an honor to have endured for the cause of Christ. I argue this was vocalized through action, not words according to Acts 5:41; So they departed from the presence of the
council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. The apostles operated out of a sense of honor as they proclaimed the salvific message of Christ Jesus (the Anointed Savior). They embraced the responsibility of preaching and teaching the Gospel, regardless of costs or ramifications. Many of the early disciples suffered and some to the extent of becoming martyrs. They committed themselves to duty-bound labor of love and thereby gave us witness to embrace the Honor of Responsibility.
Just as Peter and the disciples, how do we wholeheartedly accept the mantle of the Honor of Responsibility? First, it begins with revisiting your personal salvation experience. This an evaluation of the heart, not what happened that day at church or wherever you may have been. It is an internal memorial, reminding you of the moment that led you to repent and surrender your life to Christ. Second, set aside time to spend with God where you inquire of your calling. By calling, I am referring to the unique person God made you to be. This is not a question of what you do, rather, it is a statement of who you are. Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 16:18; “you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Rocks were used as building material to erect structures. A Rock doesn’t have to act like a rock, it simply has to be a rock. Thirdly, allow, yield and completely give yourself over to the leading of the Holy Spirit, so He may direct your path in the Divine will of God. Allow God to drive, and you ride in the back of the chariot.
I beseech you to take on the Honor of Responsibility. I encourage you to remain steadfast and endure trials as a good soldier. Trials of life will be great and the difficulties will surely challenge your faith. When challenging times arise, rehearse the words of Ephesians 6:13; Therefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Rev. Dr. Tony W. Barr, Sr.