October 15, 2019
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 15 October 2019
Richard Greenham served as pastor from 1570-90 in the small village of Dry Drayton, which was five miles north of Cambridge, England. His proximity to Cambridge made it easy for travelers to visit with him. Greenham was renowned for his godliness, biblical proficiency, practical counsel, and diligent work. Nevertheless, he believed that his ministry was ineffective. Although those beyond his own congregation were blessed through his ministry, Greenham’s own people demonstrated little spiritual maturity. Among the Puritans, a rhyme developed with regard to his ministry: “Greenham has pastures green, but flocks full lean.” When he resigned from his pastorate, Greenham told his successor, “I perceive no good wrought by my ministry on any but one family.”
Nevertheless, there was much effectiveness to Greenham’s ministry. At the time in which Greenham ministered in rural England, there was much spiritual sowing to be accomplished; however, the time for spiritual reaping was still in the future. Part of the sowing was training the next generation of English ministers. Although there was no provision during Greenham’s time for the practical training of ministers, there were many travelers who were mentored by Greenham as they visited his home. Consequently, “literally thousands of English lay people were, by the 1620s, in some sense the flock of Richard Greenham” (Parker and Carlson, Practical Divinity [Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 1998] 21-22). God did bless the teaching ministry of Greenham, yet his legacy was evident in the next generation.
Would you be willing to serve in a manner comparable to that of Greenham? Greenham stayed in Dry Drayton for 20 years, and instructed those whom God brought to him. He did many good works, yet the fruits of his labor were primarily in the next generation. Greenham humbled himself to pursue the will of the Lord, which is not always so easy. The pursuit of God’s will necessitates that one must be disciplined, humble, repentant, and unwavering in commitment to his Word.
Pursuing the will of God always brings good; however, the good fruits of our labors may take time to appear. Furthermore, the individual responsible for the good may not always receive the recognition and thankfulness for their labors; nevertheless, God will receive the glory and honor for the good. Pursuing God’s will be good when peace, purity, and righteousness appear. God’s people can always be assured that God will produce a good result when they submit themselves to his will (Rom 8:28).
Are you pursuing God’s will? Do you feel the desire to quit because such pursuit seems too difficult and ineffective? James 4:7 reads, “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Those who heed the divine appeals of God’s Word will find the stamina to do God’s will and will receive honor from the Lord for a job well done as a good and faithful steward (Jas 4:10; cf. Matt 25:21).
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.