Wednesday, May 24, 2017

2017 Devotional Word #20: MINISTRY

I grew up on the Southeastern coast of Florida. As a teenager, my favorite thing to do was spend time at the beach. Here was a normal weekend conversation at my house...

Me: "Hey dad, can I go to the beach?"
Dad: "Sure, once you do your chores. You need to mow and trim the grass and don't forget to weed all the front beds!" 
Me: (out loud) "Ok, no problem." (in my head) "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!"

I spent a lot of time growing up on my knees picking weeds out of our flower beds. I think my parents planting weeds in there just to torment me. To this day, I still hate pulling weeds from the ground!

This week's devotional word is MINISTRY. Ministry, simply put, is serving! 

Often I wonder if Christians today look at ministry the same way as weeding. On the outside we may seem ok with doing it, but on the inside screaming "nooooooooooo!" Every follower of Jesus is a minister, not just the "paid clergy" or pastoral leadership of churches. 

Here's the rub... God has called each of us to love and serve people. Ministry is putting the needs of others before your own. It's loving when you don't feel like it and even giving when it hurts. We struggle when we try and serve others in our own power. This type of serving is empty and unfulfilling.

True ministry is dying to self yet living life as a new creation of God. It's His Spirit and power at work in your life as you help others be reconciled to God. Check out this passage from the Bible... 
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
~ 2 Corinthians 5:17-20

Ministry is washing feet in a 21st century kind of way. It is the living out of your faith in Jesus in real and practical ways knowing that it brings honor and glory to God. Pray for the Lord to open your eyes and hearts to the needs around you. 

Go and serve others in the name of Jesus. Love the least of these physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Do it with great joy and blessing understanding that God calls you to be His hands and feet used in powerful ways. 

That's true MINISTRY!

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