1 Chronicles 5-9 (NLT link)
Discover His heart: He carefully planned for the security and care of His Temple
I have had the privilege of meeting some of the most outstanding pastors, missionaries and evangelists of our time. Life has just afforded me that honor, and I’m grateful to have met them and to have sat under their ministries. If you asked who I considered being the most faithful man or woman in the work of the church in my lifetime, it would be difficult to choose. It could be a missionary hero like Mark Buntain who changed the future of so many in Calcutta, the great evangelist David Wilkerson whose ministry rocked the drug culture of our nation, Reinhard Bonnke and his powerful evangelism of Africa or it could be a church custodian I knew by the name of Bob.
@ 1 Chronicles 9
“In all, there were 212 gatekeepers in those days…David and Samuel the seer had appointed their ancestors because they were reliable men.” (22) In the verses that follow we learn the role of the gatekeepers who opened the Temple doors in the morning, protected and cared for the Temple furnishings and utensils, oversaw the entrance and all those who entered, took care of the money, made sure supplies were available for the priests, provided the showbread for the offerings and finally closed the doors of the Temple at night. We may call them gatekeepers, custodians or even janitors, but all those who follow after them in this role serve the house of the Lord with faithfulness.
Bob was the custodian at my church when I was growing up. He opened the church early Sunday mornings long before Sunday School began and stayed to lock up until the very last souls left the building late that evening, which usually included my mom, my sister and me. Mom was a prayer warrior. Every time we came to church for any event on any given day we walked into a spotless building, every chair in place, paper goods always provided in the restrooms, the communion set ready to go…Bob was reliable, Bob was amazing. We always knew where he was by the jingle of his keys and the song he was humming. Bob smiled through the messes his fellow parishioners made and smiled even when we stayed late at night. Bob served his church for many, many years and is one of the most faithful men in the work of the church that I have ever known.
Our churches are filled with workers just like Bob who receive few accolades for their faithful service – janitors, ushers, nursery workers, Sunday school teachers, offering counters, sound men and pew fillers. Oh, the list is endless. Most are volunteers, some receive some small remuneration; but, trust me, it’s not enough. However, Someone sees everything they do and is keeping a record of it. God was concerned enough about His Temple that He gave detailed instructions about its security, care and maintenance, and we can be sure that He sees every moment spent on something that is so close to His heart.
Someday when God divvies out all the eternal rewards, Bob is going to get a boatload, as well as all of God’s many other faithful gatekeepers. In the meantime, we would bless the Lord by praying for these faithful servants and by sending notes of thanks and sharing kind words of gratitude to the many Bobs in our churches who serve us so very faithfully. “Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” (Proverbs 16:24)
Moving Forward: My prayer today is special blessings for the gatekeeper and servants at my church, followed up by words of thanks.
Tomorrow @ Psalm 96-98