1 Thessalonians 1:7- Who am I Ministering to?
1 Thessalonians 1:7 "so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia." (ESV)
I shared awhile back a situation where I was ministered to by a man who never knew he was ministering to me. And if he had known, because he was afflicted, he probably wouldn't have understood how much that ministry meant to me when I began taking those first tentative steps toward the Lord.
This man was always at church when the doors opened.........He sat in the same place during every service and would worship God with an intensity and love that always spoke volumes to me about what a deep and abiding relationship with the Lord is all about.
That ministry today still means a great deal to me because it speaks to me in much the same way that the scripture above spoke to me when I read it tonight. We just can never know all who we minister to and what that ministry means to them because sometimes we are never aware we're ministering at all to anyone.
I really think about that a lot.............and I ask the Lord to quicken my spirit every time He sees me drifting off course. And I've found that the deeper my relationship is with Him the more that I'm aware that my ministry goes well beyond the limits I may place on it....not because I offer anything to it but because Jesus is the focus, not me.
One of my favorite scriptures is John 3:30 when John the Baptist says.........."He must increase, but I must decrease." (ESV), because I can tuck it into my memory and retrieve it every time I feel I need to.........which is often. This scripture says it all to me about how I need to walk in the ways of the Lord so that I can be used as a vessel by Him to do His Work, which is vastly more important than anything else I might do in my life.
Another thing that I dwell on a great deal is that there seems to be a direct but inverse relationship between how well I think I'm doing in my walk with Jesus and how I may be actually doing. In other words, when I usually feel that I'm on the beam..........I usually am not. When I really feel that there's too much of me in whatever ministry or task I'm doing or that I'm getting too much attention, I usually am in a much better place.
I genuinely feel that the more sensitive to these concerns that I am helps me to make sure that I'm in the place that the Lord wants me to be in........and not doing things to satisfy what *I* want.
I never will know in this life about all those who are watching me............but whoever they may be, I want to minister to them with an example of how to live a life with Jesus Christ at the center.
Love in Jesus,
"But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired." (1 Corinthians 12:18 NASB)
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."
This devotional was originally posted on CCI-Devo - Daily Group Devotionals on December 7, 2003 in post #421. It was written by Jim Ross, a former United Pentecostal Church member, who attends Christian Challenge International, the sponsor of the devotional group. The devotional is the copyright of Jim Ross and is reprinted on this site by permission.
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August 23, 1997
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