Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Faith Of Our Fathers"1 (Lyrics)
Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations. (NKJV)
On this day nineteen years ago, the very first PresbyCan Daily Devotional was published on the fledgling, experimental PCCWeb site. But recently, I have been remembering events that God prepared which stretch back much farther than that.
Back in the early 1970s, straight out of seminary, I was posted to a two-point charge on the Trans-Canada Highway in Saskatchewan. As I was considering ways to do mission in our community, one of my ideas was to put an answering machine on a telephone line and record a brief devotional message that people could call in to hear. SaskTel said that if this outreach proved to be too popular, the line-up of calls could tie up the whole telephone exchange, so they insisted on multiple lines and call-switching equipment at business-class rates. The package was more than I could pay or ask my congregations to pay, so I abandoned the idea — or so I thought.
My next charge was in Trenton, Ontario. During my time there, area ministers were asked to come in to the local radio station and record three-minute devotionals to be aired at 8:00 a.m. each weekday. During that time, I wrote and recorded about thirty devotionals. I kept the scripts.
When Michael Farris invited me to start the PresbyCan Daily Devotional (see also "Death Of A Vision"), I used those thirty scripts to get going, soon to be joined by 70 other writers. Near the end of the second year, I realized that instead of 80 visitors to our website each day, we could minister to a greater audience if we sent the devotionals out by e-mail — but how?
Back in the mid-1960s, I had learned how to program the university computer to process some statistics that would have taken me 120 hours to do manually. When the first desktop computers came out, I bought one and learned how to program it. It was just a small jump to learning how to program the PresbyCan Daily Devotional server. I soon figured out how to send out e-mails automatically every day, and over 200 people signed up immediately. Now, with a volunteer staff of five, we minister daily to almost 6,000 people around the world through e-mail, with over 9,000 hits every day on our recently rewritten website, as well as 600 readers on Facebook.
When I look back on these desires and decisions of mine, I realize that God was preparing me for this ministry long before I (or anyone else) had even dreamt of there being an Internet on which a Christian computer programmer could present devotionals to a world-wide audience! It boggles the mind even trying to think about God's foreknowledge — from before we were born! How could we ever doubt His care and loving kindness, seeing how He prepares us for unique ministries through our unique experiences? What a wonder and privilege it is to have the opportunity to exercise the gifts and inspiration that God has prepared for us, for His glory! And that's not all that He has prepared for us: heaven awaits — the best is yet to come!
1 Corinthians 2:9b – No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. (NLT)
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You care for us so much, and go to so much trouble in fashioning the circumstances of our lives to fit us for specialized ministries that we can fulfill in Your plan. Reveal to each of us exactly what it is that You are preparing for us. In Jesus' name, we pray.