One of the realities that motivates me more than anything as I seek to teach, make disciples, counsel, coach, and live out the gospel is that those I invest in will surpass me for the purposes of Christ in this world. Here is an excellent article by Charles R. Swindoll that can be found in several books he’s written – this article is from his book Encourage Me. Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 1993. When you wonder whether history will be different because of your service for Christ, remember these words. You may have the next John Stott, R.C. Sproul, John Piper, Ann Graham Lotz, Kay Arthur, or Elizabeth Elliott in your Sunday school class, small group, or they may even be your neighbors! – Dr. David P. Craig
You are YOU. There is only one YOU. And YOU are important. Want to start feeling better? Really desire to dispel discouragement? I can say it all in three words” start being YOU.
Pull a sheet of scratch paper out of your memory bank and see how well you do with the following questions.
Who taught Martin Luther his theology and inspired his translation of the New Testament?
Who visited Dwight L. Moody at a shoe store and spoke to him about Christ?
Who worked alongside and encouraged Harry Ironside as his associate pastor?
Who was the wife of Charles Haddon Spurgeon?
Who was the elderly woman who prayed faithfully for Billy Graham for over twenty years?
Who financed William Carey’s ministry in India?
Who refreshed the apostle Paul in that Roman dungeon as he wrote his last letter to Timothy?
Who helped Charles Wesley to get underway as a composer of hymns?
Who found the Dead Sea Scrolls?
Who personally taught G. Campbell Morgan, the peerless expositor,” his techniques in the pulpit?
Who followed Hudson Taylor and gave the China Inland Mission its remarkable vision and direction?
Who discipled George Muller and snatched him as a young man from a sinful lifestyle?
Who were the parents of the godly and gifted prophet Daniel?
Okay, how did you do? Over fifty percent? Maybe twenty-five percent? Not quite that good? Before you excuse your inability to answer the questions by calling the quiz “trivia,” better stop and think. Had it not been for those unknown people—those “nobodies”—a huge chunk of church history would be missing. And a lot of lives would have been untouched.
What a necessary band of men and women…servants of the King…yet nameless in the kingdom! Men and women who, with silent heroism, yet faithful diligence, relinquish the limelight and live in the shade of public figures.
What was it Jim Elliot, the martyred messenger of the gospel to the Aucas, once called missionaries? Something like a bunch of nobodies trying to exalt Somebody. But don’t mistake anonymous for unnecessary. Otherwise, the whole Body gets crippled…even paralyzed…or, at best, terribly dizzy as the majority of the members within the Body become diseased with self-pity and discouragement. Face it, friend, the Head of the Body calls the shots. It is His prerogative to publicize some and hide others. Don’t ask me why He chooses who He chooses.
If it’s His desire to use you as a Melanchthon rather than a Luther…or a Kimball rather than a Moody…or an Onesiphores rather than a Paul…or a Hoste rather than a Taylor, relax!
Better than that, give God praise! You’re among that elite group mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12 as:
…some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary…so God has put the body together in such a way that extra honor and care are given to those parts that might otherwise seem less important (vv.22, 24, TLB).
If it weren’t for the heroic “nobodies,” we wouldn’t have top-notch officers to give a church its leadership. Or quality sound when everyone shows up to worship. Or janitors who clean when everyone is long gone. Or communities to provided dozens of services beyond the scenes. Of mission volunteers who staff offices as home or work in obscurity
overseas with only a handful of people.
Are you one? Listen to me! It’s the “nobodies” Somebody chooses so carefully. And when He has selected you for that role, He does not consider you a nobody.
“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do” (Hebrews 6:10).
About the Author: Dr. Charles R. Swindoll is senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church, chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary, and the Bible teacher on the internationally syndicated radio program Insight for Living. He has written more than thirty best-selling books, including STRENGTHENING YOUR GRIP, IMPROVING YOUR SERVE, THE CHRISTIAN LIFE, COME BEFORE WINTER, GROWING STRONG IN THE SEASONS OF LIFE, STRESS FRACTURES, HOPE AGAIN, LAUGH AGAIN, THE GRACE AWAKENING, the million-selling GREAT LIVES FROM GOD’S WORD series; and his newest offering SAYING IT WELL. Chuck and his wife, Cynthia, live in Frisco, Texas.