From I C N U
This week I was challenged with four simple letters: I C N U.
The challenge was this: who in your circle of influence are you taking the time to tell “I C N U” (I see in you) the potential of what God wants to do or accomplish? We each should be intentionally looking at those that God sends into our lives and be willing to tap on their shoulder and say “I see in you” your kingdom potential and want to help you take a step toward that. “I see in you” the gifts that God has blessed you with and want to help you put those gifts into practice. “I see in you” what God has placed in you and want to see you fully exercise your gifts for His glory and the advancement of His kingdom.
Four simple letters: I C N U. Who in your life needs to hear this from you today?
This concept is actually something I’ve been reflecting upon for the past few weeks. The weekend of February 18th, I had the privilege of preaching at the Fort Scott First Church of God in Fort Scott, KS. I’ve been to the Fort Scott Church before for a Western Region Conference meeting, but I had not had the opportunity to worship with our brothers and sisters there before this last month.
One of the discoveries I made during my weekend trip to Fort Scott was the fact that the Fort Scott congregation had produced several sons who had played an important role in my own life and ministry. They have produced three sons who had spoken those important words, I see in you, to me at different times in my own journey.
Randy Jenkins, David Beerbower, and Clarence Thornton all are sons of the Fort Scott First Church of God and all three of these dear brothers have spoken into my life over the years. Randy was probably the first pastors to tap me on the shoulder as a teenager and offer the idea that perhaps there was something that God wanted me to do in His kingdom. He gave me opportunities to serve and lead and invested in me. David graciously gave me the opportunity to give my first sermon under his ministry at the Mt. Pleasant Church of God outside of Assumption, IL. David has been a consistent encourager to me over the past twenty-five years and been a tremendous prayer support to me as well. Clarence was the interim pastor at my home congregation, East Harrison Street Church of God in Charleston, IL. During his brief ministry there, he called me into his office and explained that he understood I was headed to seminary and that he wanted to encourage me and my ministry. He took the time to share how he developed his messages and gave me the opportunity to speak at a service soon after that. He invested in me and encouraged me, even when I was young and inexperienced.
Each of these dear brothers, in one way or another, said those four letters over my life: I C N U. I see in you. I see what God is doing, the potential that He’s placed upon your life and I want to encourage you and help you respond in obedience. I’m so grateful for these men who took the time to encourage me, challenge me and give me opportunities to serve and develop as a very immature and inexperienced young man. Their willingness to encourage me helped me to respond to what God was stirring in my life. They helped me follow in obedience.
I’ve thought a lot about these brothers this week as I was challenged with the letters: I C N U. I’m so grateful for how they served me, encouraged me and spoke into my life.
Who will we encourage to today? Who will we give the opportunity to lead or serve even if they’re not fully ready for the challenge? To whom do we need to say “I see the Lord at work in you and I want to affirm and encourage that work?” Are you watching how God is at work in those around you and are you willing to acknowledge and encourage that work by four simple letters: I C N U?