Today’s Scripture: Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. James 4:17
Dr. James A. Scudder came to my hometown of Glenwood, Arkansas, to teach a prophecy conference. I attended every service. After the service one night, he invited me to come to Illinois and attend Dayspring Bible College, a ministry of the Quentin Road Bible Baptist Church. He could tell I was hesitant. He suggested I move up and simply attend the church for a year, and then decide if I wanted to go to Bible college. I said, “Sure, but if you guys aren’t real, I’m out of there!”
I still cringe that I said this directly to Dr. Scudder, but he is a gracious man who understood what I was facing at the time. Thank God, he was kind enough to be patient with me. He knew I had been burned by past religious experiences.
I arrived in Illinois in August of 1991 after attending the Family Camp the church sponsored in Minnesota. I settled in and found a job working for a land surveyor. I attended church at Quentin Road every time the doors were open. I felt strongly that God wanted me to attend the Bible college. Just before Christmas that first year, as I sat at a drafting table creating a survey plat, I prayed, “Lord please make your will for my future very clear to me.”
My boss, Jim, knocked on the door and asked if could come to his office. He said, “Neal, you’re one of the best workers I have, but you’re also my newest hire. It’s coming up on Christmas, and I’ve got to let you go because our work is slowing down.”
My heart leaped with joy. I leaned over the desk and shook my boss’s hand vigorously. I told him that this was an answer to my prayer. While I had enjoyed working in the surveyor’s office, I knew God had other plans. I immediately signed up for Dayspring and found another job that allowed me to attend college every morning.
The next summer, Dr. Scudder asked if I’d like to be the church janitor. That took me a moment to digest. I still thought I was somebody, and my pride resisted the idea of being a janitor. Then I encountered this verse, and my world flipped upside down: James 4:17, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” I circled the verse in my Bible and accepted the job.
By this time, Julie and I started dating. As I scrubbed behind toilets at midnight, I often referred to the note she had given me, the one I had taped to my cleaning cart that said, “Faithfulness in small things is a big thing.”
The lessons I learned as the janitor would help me in the future. Are you at a point in your life where you feel God has maybe given you a job you are hesitant to accept? Take a moment to remember faithfulness in any task is all that is required for enrolling in God’s service.
Devotional by Pastor Neal Dearyan