Measuring Greatness

Luke 1:50
“And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.”

An amazing thing happened after Mary found out that she was with child of the Holy Ghost. Mary went to visit her cousin Elisabeth, and when she entered the house of Elisabeth, the child leaped in Elisabeth’s womb, which caused her to speak out loud about Mary carrying the Son of God in her womb.

Mary responded to Elisabeth’s words through a song of praise. In Mary’s song of praise are some very wise words that can be helpful to every believer if they are followed. One of those statements is found in the verse above when she said that God’s mercy “is on them that fear him from generation to generation.” She was acknowledging the mercy of God, but she was also showing that this mercy is on those who serve the LORD for more than one generation.

It is often said that the average believer only serves the LORD for seven years. It is truly sad to see the turnover in many churches. If only these people would hold on and continue serving the LORD, they would see the blessings from being patient and the longevity of serving God.

Likewise, it is just as sad to see the turnover in the ministry. It is often said that the average pastor only stays in the same church for a few years. Many preachers either quit or transfer to another ministry looking for a bigger church. One thing I have observed throughout my years of evangelism is that the greatest ministries are not built in a couple of years, but they are built in decades. Just like God’s mercy is on them that fear Him from “generation to generation,” so His blessings are on those who serve Him for decades. Let me give you a couple of thoughts of encouragement to help you to continue serving the LORD for decades.

First, it takes patience to see the fruit of service. Too many people are looking for quick results in the ministry, but God’s greatest blessings will only be discovered in decades of service. Just like fruit must go through seasons before it can be harvested, so the effort of serving the LORD will only see a harvest of blessings if the believer will be patient for the harvest season. Stop being impatient with a little fruit here and there and just continue serving the LORD. If you must always have immediate results to continue to stick with what you are supposed to do, you will find yourself constantly changing because the LORD’s harvest of blessings come in decades of continually doing what you are supposed to do. Don’t be so quick to jump to something else; give your efforts time to produce fruit.

Second, the greatest ministries and lives are always revealed in decades. One of the greatest pleasures of my life after nearly three decades of evangelism is to see the fruit that has come from being faithful to what the LORD has called me to do. My friend, when you look at those ministries and the lives of believers whom you admire, you will notice that the one thing they all have in common is that they have been serving the LORD for decades.

The greatest blessings that come from serving the LORD will only be experienced through decades of faithfulness. Let me encourage you not to give up. Keep doing what you are supposed to do, and if you will stay faithful, God will reward your patience and faithfulness with blessed fruit.

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