As I look back over my life, I can't help but notice how some of the most incredible gems & nuggets seem like they came to me almost accidentally. It feels as though I happened upon them. I know that is not the case, but I get a little nervous when I reflect on how some very powerful and life-changing things/events/moments that have come into my life could have just as easily been missed. In the same vein, I wonder how many hidden gems I have missed, all the while waiting for that 'magical moment' of ministry, opportunity, or promotion to come my way. And I will never even know on this side of eternity.
I am somewhat of a hoarder. OK, scratch that. I am an OCD hoarder. I should probably be on medication for it. I have a box of toys from when I was 7-12 years old, another box of comic books from my years as a teenager, more books than I know what to do with (don't even ask, you can't have them), and too many other items tucked away than I care to write about. Add to that the fact that I am VERY nostalgic, and you may feel the need to reach out to my wife, so she can have a shoulder to cry on. I'd like to share with you one of those valuable nuggets from one of these rare moments in my life.
20 years ago, I stumbled across what became to me a hidden gem, a life-changer. Just a simple piece of paper. It made such an impression upon me that I have a copy of it taped inside the front cover of one of my oldest Bibles. There has been a story attached to it, one that I did not hear until many years after I found it. Whether the story is true or not I do not know. The saying goes that a man who was serving as a missionary was captured and sentenced to death. The night before he was martyred he took a pen and paper and wrote out a statement. Regardless of the validity of the story, it is by far one of the most powerful things I have ever read, and I'd like to share it with you:
The Commitment of the Fruit Bearing Servant of Jesus Christ
I'm a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The dye has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer and labor by power.
My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won't give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, witness till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me - my banner will be clear. I am a fruit bearing servant of Jesus Christ!