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As I look back at 2017, the year has been a good one. A full-time ministry position at a church in Florida, being selected to lead a major transition for a convention, accepting a lead preaching position at a mega church in Oklahoma, and being hired at a Christian University are all great accomplishments. And NONE of them were mine.
I am proud of my friends and what they have done, but some people wonder if I might be jealous. Am I jealous? I thought about it, and decided that it is probably best to leave the green eye monster out of this.
Even though our accomplishments may not be big when compared to others, we had a pretty good year for the Lord here in Greenwood SC.
Our church is in a good place, and we are moving forward to become even better as the new year approaches! We have many positive opportunities on the horizon, and I am excited to see where we will be this time next year! The Lord is good for us too, not just the popular churches.
Here is my point. There was only 1 Apostle Peter, none of us can be him. There was only 1 Apostle Paul, none of us can be him either. Somebody has to be the guy who speaks at Pentecost, but there also has to be those who work with the people on a less popular level. There are other Apostles who did something great, and the Lord was good for them too!
Check out Matthew 10:2-4: " The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;  Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;  Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him."
I wonder if Andrew felt slighted when he was never mentioned beyond the first chapter of Acts. After all, he is the one who brought his brother Peter to Jesus. He is forever known as the brother of Peter, but what about his accomplishments? Does God care about him too?
Andrew does get some credit since he was the one who brought people to Jesus, but poor Thaddaeus is like Rodney Dangerfield, he does not get any respect.
In the NFL draft, there is a name for the last person who was picked, he is called Mr. Irrelevant. This is not exactly a ringing endorsement for a player hoping to make the team in August. When looking at the Apostles, my heart goes out to their version of Mr. Irrelevant, Matthias. He was the one chosen to replace Judas, and he got upstaged by a former Pharisee turned Apostle named Paul! It was Matthias' time to shine and he never got a chance to be recognized after the lots were cast.
Mr. Irrelevant may not get respect, but at least he was chosen to be part of the NFL.
Can you imagine how the guy after the last guy picked felt on Draft Day? His dreams of becoming an NFL player may not be realized, or his path just got that much harder if he decided to keep trying. At least the last guy drafted had a better chance of making the team. The lesser known Apostles may not get the publicity, but they were still working for the Lord!
Preachers of lesser known churches may not get the publicity that the nationally known churches get, but the Lord still needs them, and the people who attend their churches can benefit from having them around. Never forget that it does not matter how you compare to others in a similar position as you. What matters is how you challenge yourself to become the best at what you do for the One who has given you the ability to do it!