About the Narrator

Dean Lee retired from the US Coast Guard in 2016 after serving 36 years on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf Coasts. He now works in prison ministry, focusing almost exclusively on heroin addicts in Richmond, VA. Vice Admiral Lee is a senior fellow at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA, and also is a motivational speaker for government and private industry.

This episode narrated by VADM William D. Lee, USCG (Ret.)

It is a privilege to be called into service.

Today’s Scripture reading comes from 1 Timothy 1:12, quoting from the NASB:

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service.”

Do you have the reputation of being the “go-to guy?” Weighty responsibility and promise can accompany this reputation. What qualified you for such acclaim? What achievement or characteristic elevates someone over another? If you have started formulating a mental checklist of “go-to guy” virtues, stop right here and consider the qualifications Paul designates believers should strive for as they advance the kingdom of God: Love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith.

One complication with being the reputed point man can be our temptation to take credit for what God enables us to do. In other words, our good reputation could serve as a thief of the Lord’s glory. How God has gifted us as administrators, leaders, or teachers are gifts that can be mishandled in that we use them to divert exaltation from the Gifter.

Faithfulness to Christ Jesus is the desired end state. What Christ has entrusted to us, He wants us to offer back to Him in faithful service to others. In the Old Testament, the Lord gifted certain people with skills and technical knowledge to build artifacts for the temple. God led them to construct things for His own glory, not for the builders’ glory. In that sense, God’s calling us into service can be a fragile honor, something to be handled with great care. It has been said, “a little knowledge can puff one up.” Paul observed that some strayed and ended in fruitlessness. The goal and privilege of believers is to serve Christ again, and again, and again. The applause we want to hear comes from the Lord saying, “Well done good and faithful servant.” I am keeping you in service.

It is a privilege to be called into service and to be given skills by Him to shape programs that will draw people to Him. Our goal is not to amass a personal reputation as the qualified “go-to person,” but rather to point others to Him for the glory He is due. As God calls us into service, He does not call us because of our unique skill set or qualifications; rather, He deems us faithful and trustworthy as a condition for service.

Points to Ponder

Over the next week, here are 2 points to ponder during your personal time of reflection or with a small group or mentor.

  1. First, are your acts of service done with a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith?
  2. Second, having performed a job “well done,” would your closest associates, if asked, cite your skills or both your skills and faith in God for the work you do?

Monthly Evaluation

It’s time for a quick monthly evaluation. Click here to download the monthly reflection sheet. Use the reflection sheet to help gauge your habit of integrating faith and profession, and to help get you into the habit of keeping a written record of those times when the Holy Spirit speaks to you.