I was going to start this post with the definition of multiplication, but since I don’t understand it, I’ll spare you. (I never was very good at math). However, the topic of multiplication was mentioned at the end of a recent praise service at the Arabic Baptist Church in Murfreesboro. Let me back up a bit…
The church celebrated a delayed Christmas gathering with members of our sister Arabic church on Nolensville Road in Nashville. After a wonderful pot luck meal, which I must say, our Arab congregants have embraced wholeheartedly; we moved into the sanctuary for a time of praise and worship. This was led by Pastor Nathan Awad, who leads the Nashville church.
After our time of worship, Pastor Maged went up front and said: “You know, our churches are simply different parts of the same Body, and I pray we will always enjoy fellowship together, for we were each started because of the obedience of one man, Raouf Ghattas. Because He followed the Lord, he multiplied himself. Nathan and I are the result of his work. May we all desire to multiply ourselves for the Lord.”
I smiled as I listened to this analogy…watching both young men lead us to the Throne of Grace in worship, Word and wisdom. I thought…how long did Raouf have with these men? Then I remembered — 3 years — just like our Lord. He did not even know them before that! It was God who brought them into Raouf’s life, and Raouf who saw the potential and worked with it. He invested his time, but most important his love, wisdom and encouragement.
As I thought on this, others came to mind who perhaps were not as eager to invest in others. How many times do we hold on to a ministry or position — afraid that someone might take it from us, we may no longer be in the spotlight, or they might do things differently? I don’t know what made Raouf different other than he followed the example of His Lord. Everywhere we moved around the Middle East and North Africa, Raouf was always “working himself out of a job”. We never knew when the door would close, so Raouf immediately began investing in those the Lord was preparing to carry the vision forward.
Even Jesus knew time was short and said: As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work (John 9:4). Could the disciples do the work as well as the Son of God? Of course not, but He chose them and invested in them anyway — even in the one who would betray Him.
He worked Himself out of a job — and left it for us to continue. What am I holding onto today that is keeping someone else from having the blessing of seeing God work in their life? What about you?
Grace and Peace