I’m not supposed to be writing this today, and it doesn’t really feel right that I am. It’s not that I don’t love to write, especially about God’s word. I do. It’s just that someone else should be writing to you today. Ever since I received the news of the sudden passing of our Student Pastor, Jacob Russell, I’ve found myself struggling to express the impact he had and continues to have on me and so many others. So, I am grateful for Paul’s words to Timothy that we read today.
Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.1 Timothy 1:17, ESV
I had the privilege of walking with Jacob for just a matter of months in this life, but in that time, I saw exactly what Paul was telling Timothy in these verses—a man who is worthy of double honor. I saw what it means to serve the Lord and His church well, and I found a brother with a shared passion for teaching others to read the Bible that they might know the Lord for themselves.
So, will you join me today in praying that the Lord would grant and sustain in me and you the same passion for His word that I saw in Jacob every day?
So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.1 Timothy 5:25, ESV
Let me be clear—my struggle to express Jacob’s impact isn’t because it is difficult to spot but because it’s impossible to miss. I’ve never served alongside someone who served so selflessly. I could list countless examples because I’m having a hard time remembering a day that I saw Jacob that he didn’t ask me what I needed—and not in a casual or cursory way but with genuine interest. And on particularly busy days, when he knew I would say I had things under control even though he knew he could help lighten the load, he would ask again insistently, “So when are we going to…?” Some good works are conspicuous—impossible to miss—but those less visible are just as powerful.
So, will you join me in praying that we would walk obediently in the good works God has prepared for us today?
The biggest part of my struggle has been knowing that my attempts to rightly honor my brother and friend would be insufficient. So, today, I trust that the words of our Lord are enough and that though many have wondered over the years what it looks like to receive double honor, I can confidently say that I’ve seen what it looks like to be “worthy of double honor.”