Does God Award Scholarships?

We are shamelessly making a lot of noise about two of our grandchildren being awarded academic college scholarships. One of our friends is spending his summer in the Middle-East to study, teach and listen. He will calculate from what he observes what his senior years in college should look like to finish this season of preparation for responding to his call.

I would enjoy sitting with those three at a coffee shop and listen to their conversation about music, math and ministry. I can’t completely describe my pride in their accomplishments and my pleasure in them. While all the celebrating is going on, I’ve been stalked by a phrase in Philippians 1:

“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it…” (Philippians 1:6).

I wonder what “good work” in me is God working on today? Is there an age we reach when God says, “May as well stick a fork in him, he is as done as he’s ever going to get.” The intent of the “work” begun is to equip for the next season of ministry and to make the relationship more intimate or mutually enriching.

The dog and I made a run to the dump to get rid of yard waste. I decided again: I don’t want to end up being evaluated as waste or a waster of seasons. Knowing we’re not done until we go to Jesus or He comes to us, what does God use to “finish” us? Unique to each of us. Some maybes:

• Events. Because of my work, weddings, counseling, baptisms sometimes imprint a growth opportunity. A wedding reception was filled with interactions with people from across the country. Diverse in so many ways, their observations, experiences and opinions filled me.
• God’s direct message. I like to hear preaching because I assume God is going to say something directly to me through one of his spokespersons. Sometimes a verse or paragraph from the Bible in my daily reading. Queen of Sheba told Solomon what she saw in his home, how he ran his businesses and affirmed his employees. Good for managers and employers. (1 Kings 10:1-13).
• Insights. They may come from a billboard, sports page or a thought triggered in my mind or soul.
• Conversations. A friend evaluated our relationship of 40 years ago. Her words raised my self-evaluation and led me to ask, “If that is true, then why not…?” Mark Lowery said to Tanya Goodman Sykes (who ended their conversation to go onstage to sing): “Stay on pitch, be present, stay in the pocket, express your passion and be persistent.”
• Confrontations and affirmations.
• Open doors and brick walls.

Any of that resonate with you?
Not completed.
©2017 D. Dean Benton dean@deanbenton.org

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