How To Deal with the "Loss" of a Beloved Servant

Some of us who have worked closely with Pastor Clay and Megan at OGC over these last seven years gathered at my place last night for a farewell celebration. It was a sweet time of fellowship, feasting, and remembering.

The Anchored Youth gang did their version of a send-off last Wednesday night. There was food, sharing, card-writing, gift-giving, game-playing, and prayer (you can’t see him, but Pastor Clay sits underneath all these hands laid upon him).

Tomorrow, Lord willing, we will gather as a church for worship and fellowship for our final service with the Nettles, followed by a luncheon in the fellowship hall. Please remember that, in addition to our regular general fund offering, we will receive offerings toward a special love gift in appreciation of Clay and Megan and all they have meant to us at OGC in their time with us. A designated envelope will be in your worship bulletin to use for that purpose.

I opted to delay my return to preaching through the Gospel of John until next Sunday, July 4, as I felt the Lord nudge me toward helping us all deal with the real loss of such beloved servants. My text for tomorrow is 2 Tim. 4:9-18.

9 Do your best to come to me soon. 10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. 12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. 16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

The apostle Paul describes at least five significant challenges/losses in the text and tells how he managed to make it through them all the while staying focused on his mission. I have ten specific applications to make to our loss that I trust will help us to follow him as he followed Jesus.

Will you pray with me that the Lord will visit us tomorrow powerfully with His Spirit to accomplish His purposes and that the day, sweet and sad though it will be, will linger in our memory for years to come as one of the most memorable in our history?

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