Not in Vain

1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

This was one of the verses of the day on my phone today. The Lord often speaks to me through the verses of the day and this one was particularly fitting.

Today was my last night teaching the Jr. High Youth Group at Calvary Chapel of Phelan. I have been doing it for three years, and the entire time we have been going through it book by book, chapter by chapter, and verse by verse. I have grown so much and am thankful that the Lord brought me to a place and under a pastor where my gifts could have the opportunity to grow.

Looking back on it I know I have learned a lot and grew a lot, and even failed alot. Yet, I have realized that my calling was already being put into use without my knowing it. Part of my calling comes from Jeremiah 1:10 which states,

“See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant.”

Before Jeremiah would get to do some building and planting he would have to do more rooting and tearing. Notice that there are four words which describe demolition and two for construction.

For the first two years of teaching the Jr. High it was all rooting and tearing. I struggled every night for the kids to behave and be respectful and not talk out of turn. We have been trying to bring order into chaos. For two years we worked with them on just learning how to listen and not distract from the study. When I first started I didn’t like to discipline, but now I feel like a seasoned pro. Wanna get ready for parenting? Try Jr. High ministry. So, it was two years of breaking up fallow ground so to speak.

The third year has been the building and planting, which is much more enjoyable. The kids have learned respect and I hardly ever had to even discipline them anymore. They were finally able to learn without distraction. Thank You Lord for doing so much work in their lives, and thank you for growing me as much as You were growing them.

I felt it best to start a smooth transition which is why I decided tonight would be my last night. From here on out Ron and Mary, a wonderful couple of willing servants for Jesus, will be taking over that ministry. I will sit in and play more of a support role until I leave to Ecuador in June.

Coincidentally enough, my last message was Matthew Chapter 28. This wasn’t planned, it was just how it ended up. But I see the Lords hand in it since I was able to end with the great commission of making disciples of all the nations. It was a great end note to my ministry to the Lord there, since that is exactly what I plan to be doing for the rest of my life and is why I am leaving in the first place.

Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.   Go  therefore and  make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,   teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am  with you always, even to the end of the age.  Amen.”

I definitely had some mixed feelings. It was bitter sweet. Having to leave those kids that I love and have labored in, teaching them to be disciples of Jesus, breaks my heart. But it is the Lord’s love that I feel for them, I find comfort knowing that He will continue to love them and be with them. They are in the Lord’s care now and I can only pray that He would watch over them.

As I look to the future I set my face like a flint. I will not fear, even if it means much more rooting out and tearing down before I can build and plant again. But the Lord is the one who is sending me, its by His authority that I have been commissioned, and He promises to go with me. May it be so, Lord.

Isaiah 50:7-10 NKJV

“For the Lord God will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.  He is  near who justifies Me; Who will contend with Me? Let us stand together. Who  is  My adversary? Let him come near Me. Surely the Lord God will help Me; Who  is  he  who  will condemn Me? Indeed they will all grow old like a garment; The moth will eat them up. Who among you fears the Lord? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness And has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord And rely upon his God.”

© 2012, Matt Camphuis all rights reserved.

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