“Since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:24)
“And the things you’ve heard me say in the presence of many witnesses these things pass on to faithful women and men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2)
“Therefore I urge you to imitate me” (I Corinthians 4:16)
As the new school year begins and the ‘to do’ list grows, I find it really helpful to ask, "Why am I doing all this? What is the central focus of all this?" The true answer easily escapes us. Our first impulse is to say our friends. If we start here we are doomed to frustration and disappointment.
The reason we do this is first and foremost Christ. Ministry is about Christ, before who we serve. The call is from Jesus. Our choosing is from Jesus. Ministry done is unto Jesus. The power is from Jesus. The glory is to Jesus. The motive is Jesus.
The great news about this is that I will never fail when my ministry is “the ministry of the costly extravagant gift.” Meaning that ministry is the alabaster jar of costly perfume poured out on Jesus from an overflowing heart of gratitude and passionate love. When I start here I always succeed because I have blessed Jesus.
Now my numbers might not look good. I might not have enough money or leaders. I might see little fruit. I might be criticized and abandoned. Kids, leaders, committee, parents may frustrate me. But I am not doing this for them. I am living for an Audience of One.
Paul said, “I care very little if I am judged by you or any human court; indeed I do not even judge myself…it is the Lord who judges me.” (I Corinthians 4:3-4) My feelings and self esteem are not based on someone else’s opinion or my own (which is the least reliable) but on what God thinks of me, on how God evaluates and sees me. As a result we hear our heavenly Father say, “You are my beloved son/daughter in whom I am well pleased and take great delight.” (Mark 1:11)
This frees us to be unconditional in our relationships and especially with our friends. When I focus on Jesus I can focus on kids, and in my overwhelming ‘to do’ list it helps to think of one kid. Yes, just one kid. I can’t make a difference in dozens or hundreds of kids but I can go deep with one. I can pour myself out on one. I can spend a lot of time with one. I can impart Jesus in an abundant way to one.
So, as we travel on in this year remind yourself this is all about Jesus. He is our starting point, our middle point, and our finishing point. Then listen to Jesus intently tell who the one kid is. My kid’s name is Big D. Who is yours?!
With Eyes on Jesus,