Helen Phimister - Quality - Durban I Convention - 1998

Before leaving home, I was in a home and the lady of that home had brought some goods and she was very disappointed in those goods… She just passed this remark – that the quality just isn’t in those things now days. This immediately turned the searchlight into my heart. I began to think about the generation that I knew so well, that had gone on to their reward. I remember them as very quality people. They were solid and they were genuine right to the core – the older generation at home, who are almost ready to leave us – they are just quality, through and through. I just wondered, as God looked into my heart, into my life, I wondered if God was just saying, “The quality just isn’t in her today.” Maybe it’s possible, and many times that, maybe I’ve not stopped serving God. We can be serving God and the quality is not there. In the Ephesians’ church… it wasn’t that they were not still loving God, but the quality of their love was lost. In Malachi’s day, it wasn’t that they weren’t sacrificing, but the quality of their sacrifice was gone.

God loves quality
. He’s not interested in quantity, God loves quality. He’s longing, that as others in the generation that has gone from us, have preserved that quality, that we would preserve the quality in this kingdom, and of this kingdom of God.  Last Sunday night, we had that chapter that spoke about Timothy’s grandmother.  It says of her that she was a woman that had unfeigned faith - that’s quality!  In the next generation, his mother had the same quality.  There was nothing lost in the next generation.  It was still the same kind of faith… unfeigned, but the most beautiful thing of all… in the third generation, Paul said, “I am persuaded, it’s in thee also.”  There was nothing lost in the quality of that faith, down through the generation.  With Timothy it wasn’t just a mental belief, because his parents believed in this way, but still in his generation.  It was a way of life to him… It was part of his very being, the same quality of faith.

Unfeigned just means nothing put on…just genuine.  Sincere through and through.  Wonderful quality, and that’s what God longs will be preserved, in the kingdom of God - this quality.  I don’t think there’s any substitute for sincerity.  We can’t maybe be as capable as many… but oh, if we’re sincere… that’s quality.  We don’t want to live just to put anything on…. I don’t just like that word “professing.”  What we profess to be doesn’t prove anything but its what we’re conforming to that proves really what’s working in us. If we’re conforming to the image of Jesus, then that gives evidence that this thing is working in our lives – it’s not just put on. It’s not just a profession, but that we have the root of the matter in us.

On Wednesday night we heard about that chapter that we read together. It says of Israel, that they called themselves by the name of the Lord. They were Israelites, by name, but they weren’t Israelites at heart. In appearance they were still Israelites. But what a different testimony Jesus could give of Nathaniel, when he said, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile.” Through and through he was an Israelite. There was nothing put on, where as with those people it was just in name… it was just in appearance… but the quality was gone! If this creeps into the kingdom, that it’s all show and no heart, we can realize that this kingdom is going to suffer loss. May God help us to be sincere, that there would be nothing put on and that there would be no cover up, but just like the generations that have gone before us, that this real genuine quality of sincerity, is preserved in our generation to keep the kingdom strong. If we can preserve that quality, then there’s hope for the generation still to come.

We read about the Kings, that some of them did right in the sight of God, but not as David their father did. It wasn’t that they weren’t doing what was right, but there was just something lacking. There had been a little deterioration in their quality of service… not like David their father.  It just takes a little… just a little… to bring the kingdom a little down.  It says of David, that he was a man after God’s own heart.  That did all His will.  He was a man who was committed to God.  The quality of his service was wonderful.  He was totally committed.  One young boy in our meeting, one Sunday morning, said, “I’m realizing there’s a difference between a commitment and a contribution.”  He said, “ A life that’s committed to God… it’s forever and it’s everything.”  But… he said, “ If I give a contribution to something, I can give as much as I want and when I want.”  He said, “ I feel that that’s what I’m giving to God.  Just a contribution.”  Many times I feel the same.  Maybe we’re still doing that which is right in the sight of God, but not like those who have gone before us- totally committed.  That’s what’s going to keep this kingdom strong, preserving the quality, of the kingdom of God.