A letter from Tracy: Divine Devotion
Nothing replaces our intimate relationship with our divine creator, God. Morning by morning, his mercies are new every day. In September, I’ll have been in ministry for 40 years. As I read in Jeremiah 9:24, “But the one who boasts should boast in this: that he understands and knows me – that I am the Lord, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things. This is the Lord’s declaration.” I would love to tell of all the grand things I have done and the greatness I have achieved, but I can only boast about my relationship with God through divine rest, response, and reward.
Divine rest is the principal work God gives us to do. As we rest in His sufficiency and abide in Him, we grow in our relationship with God. Our divine relationship with God grows when we spend time with him daily in fellowship, confession, repentance, worship, learning, love, and devotion. We have intimacy with our Father, who loves us so much and calls out our name every day when we wake up. He knows every hair on our head and every thought we have – good and bad – and loves us. He listens to every word we think and speak. Because it is a relationship, we are not the only ones talking. God is speaking to us, too. He gives us opportunities to listen to what he says about our lives and what he has for us daily.
Our divine response is to obey what he tells us to do in the direction he gives us from his word and his Spirit. I heard the call of the Lord over 45 years ago, and I have done what he has called me to do. He calls us to make disciples and be a part of his Kingdom of disciple-making ministry that comes through his Church. CSM is not a church, but we believe we are here to affirm the local churches in their disciple-making ministries. I am ordained and called as a pastor to serve pastors in their vision of transformation. CSM’s ministry platform is “connecting resources with needs,” but those resources in our warehouse help me come alongside pastors, encouraging and strengthening them.
One way I hope I have responded well in my 40 years of ministry is in the stewardship of people, seeing people become new members of the Kingdom of God. I’ve served in church planting in Chicago and Birmingham, in church mobilization in Birmingham, and for the last 13 years, equipping the saints through CSM. At CSM, I’ve gotten to do the work of biblical justice to make things right for the poor, orphans, widows, marginalized, oppressed, aliens, and prisoners. I’ve been involved in the work of righteousness as pastors equip leaders for ministry.
As we grow in relationship and response, we will receive divine rewards. The hope of the gospel is that, as God’s children, we live in the Kingdom of God right here, right now. One simple reward we can all receive is an abundant and good life now. Another reward is answers to prayer as He gives us what we need to carry on this ministry at CSM. Another right now reward is bearing fruit, which lasts into eternity. Some of the rewards are future rewards for when we enter the Kingdom of God in its fullness, as He sees how we’ve stewarded His assets while in the Kingdom of God here on earth. The fruit that God produces is good and pleasing. Our relationship, response, and rewards come when we listen to the Lord and rest in His goodness. Thank you for partnering with CSM for generational change and transformation.
Previous letters from 2023: