Stinking Trash and Flies - June 9, 2018
James Collins

“If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” John 12:26 

Richard Dean Marshall has been teaching a Sunday-School Class for over 50 years. Every Sunday, he is faithfully there. Sure, he has slowed down in recent years. But Dean just keeps on serving the Lord. He is a great mentor to me. I am proud to be his pastor. People like Dean, who quietly serve behind the scenes, are an inspiration.

Recently, I was blessed to meet another man who has been serving the Lord Jesus Christ for over seventy-five years. Each month, all of the pastors in my denomination get together for lunch. Last fall, we were having the lunch over in Altamont. That day was particularly warm. So we were outside. I was standing outside with several other Southern Baptist Preachers. We were standing by a trash can. There must have been a stinky diaper in that trash can. It smelled pretty bad. There were all these flies buzzing around us. It sounds like the start of a joke. There were five preachers standing by a stinky trashcan… I’m not sure exactly what meaning there was to the fact that four or five preachers were standing there with the stinky trash and flies. But that’s where we were. I assure you there was nothing spiritual about the stinky trash and the flies.

I am reminded of a different story. Once there was a preacher who had a verse of scripture for everything people said. Someone would say in conversation, “Preacher, it looks like it’s going to rain.” He would say, “Matthew 5:45 says that it rains on the just and the unjust.” He had a verse for everything somebody said. Everybody got sick and tired of that preacher always quoting Bible Verses at them all the time. One Sunday the preacher got up in the pulpit. He was preaching away. All of a sudden, a big fly went into his mouth. He swallowed it. Then he choked on it. He was standing up in front of the church and he was coughing and spitting. One of his church members yelled out, “Hey preacher! What Verse of Scripture do you have for that?” The preacher was choking. He was spitting. But finally he yelled, “Matthew 25:35, I was a stranger and you took me in!”

Where was I? Oh yeah! I was standing outside with four or five preachers. We were standing by a trash can. We were standing there smelling that trash. We were standing there worrying about swallowing a fly. One of the other pastors walked over and introduced me to a man who was 97 years old. The man who was 97 years old has been teaching Sunday-School for over 75 years. What an incredible testimony!

I am sure that the man who has been teaching Sunday-School for over 75 years, or Dean Marshall, who has been teaching Sunday-School for over 50 years didn’t start out with the goal of serving that long in mind. They were just faithful and available when they were called to serve. They do not serve for their honor and glory. But they serve for His honor and glory. Their names may never be on the cover of a book. But their names are written in the Lamb’s Book.

The point is: You may think that the service that you do for the Lord goes unnoticed. But God knows. All things done for God matter. If you teach a Sunday-School Class, it matters. If you work with kids, it matters. If you help with VBS, it matters. If you pray for others, it matters. If you sing in the choir, it matters. If you work in the nursery, it matters. Even if you take out the stinky trash, it matters. Every deed that we do in the name of Jesus, He blesses.

Are you serving the Lord? What can you do for God? Step out in faith and serve Him. You will be abundantly blessed.

James Collins serves as the Pastor of Fort Scott’s First Southern Baptist Church.

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