Theme: Enjoying What the Lord Has Done Through Dean and Ann Husted
Series: Pillars of the Church
The leadership and the members of CrossRoads Church strive to make the Word of God their guide in determining what the Lord would have us do in worshiping Jesus Christ. The Bible says, the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:17) If a person does not make his choices or decisions based on the whole counsel of God's Word, then he will make decisions according the sinful nature, from a world's view or worse yet Satan's lies. Three of the influences I have just mentioned lead to destruction; to seek out and obey God’s Word leads to eternal life in Christ Jesus.
I would propose to you that when you honor a faithful servant of the Lord who sacrificially exercises his Spiritual gifts, you are honoring God who created that person, Christ who died for that person's redemption and the Holy Spirit whom enables that person to achieve God's will for them.
What does God's Word say about Christians who have Spiritual gifts? Are we to honor them? Is honoring them pleasing to God? How is God glorified through them?
All are called to honor the servants of the Lord
All are called to honor the servants of the Lord, whether they be public servants or Christians who exercise Spiritual gifts. Romans 13:7 says, “Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” Romans 12:10 tells us, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
To “honor” (time) means to ascribe his worth to a person and/or give recognition of another’s worth. (Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament) Honor is to be given by believers one to another instead of claiming it for self.” (Vines Dictionary of the New Testament) Matthew Henry tells us that Romans 13:7 “sums up the duty which we owe not only to magistrates, but to all superiors, parents, masters, all that are over us in the Lord, according to the fifth commandment.”
The truths we are to grasp from Romans 12:10 is that we are to have a heart of giving honor rather than taking honor. This is the attitude we are to have of those who exercise their Spiritual gifts sacrificially. (Bible Exposition Commentary; Matthew Henry Commentary)
Even the secular world understands the value of recognition of those who serve others. Corporations and small businesses have seen a tremendous increase of productivity and improved morale in the people who work for them when proper recognition is given to sacrificial service. They have seen the destruction that comes when recognition for sacrificial service is replaced with reward for productivity. Appreciation for sacrificial service builds up, rewards for productivity breed unhealthy competition then quality of service is replaced with quantity of mass production.
Have illumination of were their resources come from
Once the Body of Christ understands the value of honoring one another they must have illumination of were their resources come from.
The Apostle Paul set the heart pulse for the Body of Christ in regard to how we should feel about the children of God when he wrote, “But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning, God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14) The Body of Christ only gets to enjoy the value of having other Christians around to serve them because God in His mercy sent the Holy Spirit into a sinner’s life and called them to Christ.
The members of CrossRoads Church are very thankful to the Lord for sending His Holy Spirit into the life of Dean and Ann Husted to reveal their need of Christ and enabling them to begin a new life in and through Him.
It must be noted that Christians are under the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit of Christ. They are not perfected yet.
The Apostle Paul used the word “sanctifying” (hagiamós) referring to not only of the activity of the Holy Spirit in setting man apart unto salvation and transferring him into the ranks of the redeemed, but also enabling him to be holy. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament; Zodhiates) In Philippians 1:6 the Apostle Paul tells of his confidence in the church of Jesus Christ, “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Please note the words “in you” and catch the truth that God will continue to do His work through the Body of Christ. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary)
If you are not a born again Christian, please understand Christians are sinners saved by grace, they are being transformed by the Holy Spirit more and more into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Peter 1:5-9) This is why at CrossRoads Church we point all who claim to know Christ to the exhortation of 2 Peter 1:5-8, “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Therefore, we can honor Christ by honoring those who are increasingly being transformed into the image of Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote, “[Christ] we proclaim, warning everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28 NAS)
When the Lord gave me the opportunity to oversee the spiritual teaching at Living Word Baptist, we went through serious teachings from different Bible studies that really convicted of sin and pointed people to the lifestyle that is pleasing to the Lord. Every week as we went through Bible studies that had a workbook and textbook, Dean would pick out that key sentence or paragraph in that weeks lesson that brought to heart the truth of the lesson. Those Bible studies were Holy Spirit anointed and it takes sensitivity to the Holy Spirit to determine the key truths of those powerful teachings. It was such a blessing to me to hear Dean point out those truths and then give an application of how we should apply those truths.
To this day in Wednesday night Bible studies both Dean and Ann have illumination of the life changing truths of Scripture and walk in agreement with what God’s Word says is the way of righteous living. We look forward to their input every week.
Regarding our Spiritual gifts, the Apostle Paul wrote, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one, the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
When mankind and Christians begin to enjoy success in anything they put their hands to, there is that tendency to begin to put their trust in their accomplishments rather than on the Lord. This is a constant struggle not only in the secular work place but in the work of the Lord as well. Remembering what God’s Word says enables the Body of Christ to overcome the world’s view that says “I can make my own way.” Overcome the pride of the flesh that says, “Look at me and see what I have accomplished.”
We so appreciate what the Lord has done for the Body of Christ through Dean and Ann as they exercised their Spiritual gifts for the common good of everyone. Their faithfulness to the Lord and us are epistles or rather letters of love from the Lord, reminding us that He is still at work among us. (2 Corinthians 3:2-4)
Examine the lives of Christians with the Word of God
We serve a Lord who shows us His amazing grace by the manifestation of His Holy Spirit working in and through the lives of repentant sinners who are a work in progress. Taking time to examine the lives of Christians with the Word of God and not the world’s few enables you see the hand of the Lord in peoples lives.
Exodus 36:1 says, “…every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded.” The Bible says, “Then Moses summoned …every skilled person to whom the Lord has given ability and who was willing to come and do the work.
Theologically the tabernacle as a dwelling-place of God on earth is of immense importance, for if built as the Lord directs it can contain symbols of heavenly truths. However, every key worker in this Body of Christ knows that this church building is not the house of God, for the dwelling place of God is in the spiritual hearts of those who are born again through faith in Jesus Christ. (Ezekiel 36:26-27; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19) We also know the exhortation of Hebrews 10:25, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Everyone who knows the whole counsel of God’s Word can see that we are in the last days of Christ’s return and there is that New Testament call to get together for public worship so the Body of Christ can be edified by the sacrificial exercising of Spiritual gifts. One good place to do that is in a church building. As the Body of Christ congregates in a building such as this there is that opportunity of ministering to each other in many different ways. Bible teachers can teach the Word of God, music ministers lead us in the singing of the praises of God and praise to the Lord. A church building like this has been used often for people to gather in times of grieving over the lost of a loved one. To celebrate special occasions and a place of refuge in times when there was no other place to stay. A place where people can congregate and see paintings, pictures and other symbols that remind them of heavenly things.
If a church building is built under the prayerful guidance of the Word of God and Holy Spirit revelation, the symbols in the building can encourage Christians to obey the exhortation of Colossians 3:1-2, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
It is our privilege to have Dean in our church who is certainly a man whom God has given skill and ability for the remodeling of CrossRoads Church. Dean worked steady and with confidence. He took time to prayerfully seek the wisdom of God for certain problems and what would look best in reflecting how the Lord works through this Body of Christ. Dean did not just bulldoze along doing only as he pleased, but sought two ladies in the church, Linda Malcolm and Georgia Moser, who also have gifts from the Lord. They sought the Lord in prayer as well and there were times the same thought came to all three of their minds. The remodeling of this church was directed as the Lord spoke to the hearts of people who sacrificially worked hard to make those plans come about.
The leadership of this Body of Christ summoned these three fine workers for the Lord not only because they had skill and ability, but because they had a willing heart to come and do the work on this place designed for public worship. The Lord moved upon the hearts of many others in this church to come and willingly move things and clean out rooms to help make ready for the remolding project.
Not only did this Body of Christ see the Lord raise up Dean, Linda, Georgia and other workers, but the Lord moved His hand to raise the funds needed to do all this work debt free.
In Exodus we read, “Then Moses summoned …every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning.” (Exodus 36:2-3) The people gave because the Lord was moving upon their hearts and people responded so joyfully and obediently that they had to be asked to stop giving because there was more than enough to get the Tabernacle built. (Exodus 36:4-5)
The vision of remodeling CrossRoads Church began years ago when our driveway was in great need of replacing. In the men’s prayer meeting, the men had been seeking the Lord for the finances to get the driveway replaced for over a year. Then one day we received a $1,000.00 from a lady who was driving by the church, a lady who I know has not been in this church in a least the last 20 years. She told Bonnie, “I was driving by the church and was compelled to give you this donation.” It was not long after that the Lord had laid upon the heart of the leadership to redirect some funds that were already in the church so we could start making plans to get some things updated in the church. As soon as we took that step of obedience, the Lord laid upon the heart of another lady who does not attend church here, who had only been in this church a few times to give $5,000.00. Not long after that we were able to sell the old Living Word Baptist Church building at auction. Many said we would be doing good to get $8,000.00 to $12,000.00. The Lord intervened and saw our need and the building sold for over $30,000.00.
The Lord had called Dean, a man skilled and had the ability to carry out all the work of remodeling CrossRoads Church. He sacrificially at no charge did most of the physical labor that was done on inside of this structure. He was humble enough to seek advice and make the vision given to Linda Malcolm and Georgia Moser to come to pass. Because of his gentle humble spirit and his willingness to work when summoned by the proper leadership he was able to complete the work not having to wonder were the money was going to come from, the Lord had already provided.
People who have show the love of Christ in practical ways
When a church has men like Dean who with humble hearts willingly and sacrificially exercise there gift unto the Lord and His people, great things happen. However, what good is it to have a beautiful church building without people who have the gift to show the love of Christ in practical ways.
This is why the Holy Spirit of Christ gives the Body of Christ the gift of help or offering service. Romans 12:5-6 says “Just as each of us has one body with many [parts] and those [parts] do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” Romans goes on to say, “…If it is serving, let him serve.” (Romans 12:7) 1 Corinthians 12:27-28 says, Now you are the body of Christ, an each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed …those having [the] gift to help others.”
Christians who have the gift of helping or serving are surrendered to these exhortations found in the Bible, “Therefore, as God's chosen people …clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.” “Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Colossians 3:12-14) If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:1-4)
The Body of Christ at CrossRoads are very thankful, we have been blessed time and time again with Christ expressing His love to us through the sacrificial love Ann has shown us. Although she recognizes that the sins of people get them into trouble with the Lord, she has never withheld the hand of the love of Christ to those whom the Lord has sent her to. She has overseen ministries that directly minister to people who are deep in sin. She serves with no selfish ambition or vain conceit and she knows the joy of looking out for the interest of others.
She has served her children, great and grand children to the point of exhaustion. She has proven faithful to serve the Lord joyfully even in the midst of facing trials whether it be afflictions on her or her family. She has not been shaken in her affliction of cancer or heart problems and has chosen to serve others while standing face to face with the unknown. Recently she has prepared meals for those who are afflicted with cancer while waiting to hear about her own health trials. She has shown support to what the Lord is doing in and through the church she attends when it would be easier to pick up the phone and just say “I do not feel well.”
In her latest affliction she has said, “I am back home to serve the Lord and get busy in my church serving them and Him with all the strength He gives me.”
All who know Ann and are aware of her full surrender to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ know that her trials and victories she has enjoyed with the Lord had proved her genuine. (1 Peter 1:7) Her faithfulness to exercise her Holy Spirit given gifts for the common good of others during time of many blessings and in great trials has earned her the right to be recognized as a Biblical deaconess, a recognition that is enjoyed by few women who serve in churches throughout America. She has the full trust of her pastor, Biblical eldership and deacons of CrossRoads church, and we thank the Lord for her.
Ann, like most who serve in the church, has not seen the full reward that will someday come because of serving those the Lord has sent her to. As matter of fact have chosen not to respond to God’s call upon their lives to come to Christ. Although, like many who serve Jesus Christ, she is broken hearted over those who refuse to respond to Christ. She holds no bitterness, only a prayerful hope that the Holy Spirit is going to bring to life that which has been planted through her love expressed to those she ministers to and for Christ.
The leadership of CrossRoads Church is determined to look to God’s Word and discover the Lord’s direction in our endeavor to worship Jesus Christ is spirit and truth. It is our desire to honor those who sacrificially exercise their Holy Spirit given gifts for the common good of mankind and for the Body of Christ. This is the reason we have started a new ministry “Pillars of the Church.”
As we honor faithful servants of the Lord, even though they have not fully matured in the Lord, we honor God who has called them to Christ, we honor Jesus who redeemed them by giving His life on the Cross and we can enjoy the leading of the Holy Spirit whom has enabled the Lord’s servants to be a blessing to us.
Over the last couple of years, many have expressed their appreciation of the hard work done by Dean in the remodeling of CrossRoads Church and Dean has mentioned on several occasions that he could not have done it without the help of others, the financial support of those who responded to God’s promptings and the prayers of those who choose to have Christian fellowship in this church. This Body of Christ is thankful to have Dean, a man who God has given skill and ability to remodel this building which is dedicated to enabling Christians to congregate for public worship.
This Body of Christ has been ministered to powerfully by the Lord as He lives in and works through Ann by the Holy Spirit of Christ. Her servant-hood heart, dedication to Biblical truth, respect shown to spiritual leadership and sacrificial service to Christians and non-Christians alike has earned her Biblical recognition, “deaconess.” Even to this day she is ready, even in the midst of health trials to serve with the strength given her by God so Christ may be glorified in the lives of those she comes in contact with.
Dean and Ann come forward Present Picture Pray for them