And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about ... the world was not worthy of them ... These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect (Hebrews 11:32-40 TNIV).
As last week ended, two very quiet and unassuming people in our church family — one a woman, the other a man — passed quietly from this life and into the arms of Jesus. Neither would garner headlines in the paper. Neither would be listed as key leaders in our church. Both lived quiet lives of unassuming service outside the limelight. Both did more good things than can be counted. Both of these served folks others didn't see or simply neglected. Neither wanted to be well known for what they did; both just wanted others to be served. One provided scholarships for students who couldn't afford a Christian education and the other made dresses for little girls in children's homes — and yes, they did hundreds of other things in addition to these, so I share these as just a sample.
Both of these fine, sweet, people are part of what I call the "unmentioned essentials" of God's Kingdom. They fulfilled the apostle Paul's charge to the Thessalonians:
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands (1 Thessalonians 4:11).
They will be missed because of who they are and because of what they have quietly done.
All too often, we give our attention to celebrity. Even in our churches, we honor the person who is up front or who can speak loudest or can display some entertaining skill in a public forum. Yet if we scratch beneath the surface, we know the folks that win great victories or accomplish great things or win great battles for God are often these "unmentioned essentials" — the quiet, faithful, resolute, steadfast "git 'er done" folks behind the scenes.
So I am thankful today.
I am thankful that the Holy Spirit mentioned the "unmentioned essentials" in the Faith Hall of Fame — yes indeed, "the world was not worthy of them" (Hebrews 11:32-40, see Scripture above).
I am thankful for getting to know more about two precious, but private, people who served God's Kingdom in ways that only the Lord knows.
I am thankful for the people over the ages who toiled in obscurity, suffered without notoriety, served without fanfare, sacrificed without notice, and advanced the cause of Christ without needing a headline, a billboard, or a platform.
I pray that more of us will be like them. I hope more of us will thank such folks when we find them. And I know that God will reward them in glory in ways we did not while they lived quietly among us.
Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on."
"Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them" (Revelation 14:13).
Who are some of these quiet servants of God that have crossed your path? I'd love to hear a story or two about the people who have impacted your life for Jesus!
Why do you think we tend to ignore and neglect these kinds of servants and get so caught up in the hype and bluster of celebrities — especially since Jesus taught us who the real heroes are?
I'd love for you to share your ideas on my blog: