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 in a praise service several years ago at the Arabic Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

The church was celebrating Christmas with members of their sister Arabic church in Nashville. After a wonderful potluck meal, which I must say, our Arab-American congregants have embraced wholeheartedly, we moved into the sanctuary for a time of praise and worship. The service was led by Pastor Nathan Awad, who leads the Nashville church.

After a 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 tried to remember how long Raouf had with those men. Then I realized it was three years—just like our Lord. It was God who brought them into my husband’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 work 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 NIV

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—including the one who would eventually betray him.

Jesus 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

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