Ian Thomas, born in England in 1914, died in Estes Park, Colorado, in 2007 at age 94. Thomas was a Christian evangelical writer, Bible teacher, and founder of the Torchbearer Bible Schools. He served as a Major in the British Expeditionary Forces in World War II but took up his prior calling of ministry after the war.

In his first book published in 1964, The Saving Life of Christ, Thomas shares out of his own personal experience of trying to work “for” Christ in his early years as a believer.  In fact, his seven years of doing so virtually wore him out physically; and he confessed to God he could do it no longer.  Listen to his description of what he discovered: “Then, one night in November, that year, just at midnight, I got down on my knees before God, and I just wept in sheer despair.  I said, ‘With all my heart I have wanted to serve Thee.  I have tried my uttermost and I am a hopeless failure.’  That night things happened.  The Lord seemed to make plain to me that night, through my tears of bitterness:  ‘You see, for seven years, with utmost sincerity, you have been trying to live for Me, on My behalf, the life that I have been waiting for seven years to live through you.’ ”  Thomas later reflected:  “I got up the next morning to an entirely different Christian life, but I want to emphasize this:  I had not received one iota more than I had already had for seven years!”

Using Philippians 2:13 as a text, (For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do his good pleasure.) Thomas wrote, “The One who calls you is the One who does that to which He calls you.  He did not save you so you could live for Him, He saved you so he could live in you.”  (My emphasis added) {The Saving Life of Christ; 1989 (reprint), Zondervan, p. 1}

Are you serving, ministering in the church? Are you worn out?  Frustrated?  Are you attempting to do it in your own power or are you truly resting in His?  Consider not “working for Jesus” but “working with Jesus”.  It will be much more exciting, much more rewarding, and a lot less tiring!  Let’s not wait seven years to make this tremendous discovery.  As with Thomas, we have all we need right now!

Pastor Bob

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