What I Said to Rick Segal


When Rick Segal was transitioning to his new post as Vice President for Advancement at Bethlehem College & Seminary, he made an appointment to see me. He brought a list of 44 questions he wanted to discuss. He entered my office, and after we prayed, I said, “Before we tackle your 44 questions, I would like to look at a few Scriptures together – Scriptures that establish the backdrop and framework through which I approach my role as chairman of the board.

These are the texts we read together:

From of old, no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him. – Isaiah 64:4

So, we expect him to be the chief worker, and we wait for him.

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. – 1 Corinthians 15:10

We will work hard, but the decisive worker is God.

He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. – Psalm 121:3 I lay down and slept; I woke again for the Lord sustained me. – Psalm 3:5

We will (we must) look away from the work from time to time, but God never looks away, and it is he who will establish our feet. He does not sleep.

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. – Psalm 127:1

We will, in fact, waste our energy, if God does not work. So, we will ask him to work.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. – 1 Corinthians 15:58

In the Lord, our labors will not be wasted.

The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind live and breath and everything – Acts 17:24

Everything we have will come from him. And…we embrace the doctrine of creation.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. – Romans 8:1

The most important factor is being in Christ, and even if the institution eventually closes, we will not be condemned, if we are in Christ.

For who sees anything different in you? What did you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? – 1 Corinthians 4:7

If the institution succeeds, it will be God who gave it. We have no room to boast, except in him.

You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do do not have, because you do not ask. – James 4:2

So we will ask.

Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my mediation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts. – Psalm 119:98-100

The key to being wiser than our enemies, our teachers, or the aged is the Scriptures. We will immerse ourselves in and tether ourselves to the Scriptures.




This post originally appeared on Pastor Sam’s Blog on the website of Bethlehem Baptist Church (formerly hopinGod.org) on June 20, 2014.