Tag Archive for serving God

Reflecting Back

What is it like to follow God?

When we respond to His call and follow Him, we are saying “Yes!” to His invitation of love. We are fully embracing a love that never quits, that gladly sacrifices itself completely for those it holds dear.

If you’ve loved a spouse or raised children, you’ve had a taste of what love requires. But look at the life of Jesus, or the Apostle Paul, and you’ll get a fuller idea of what it means to follow God and live His all-giving love.

It’s demanding. Often draining. Sometimes frustrating…and overwhelming.

It lays bare your every weakness, every vulnerability, every failure.

It is a tornado that catches you up and spins you helplessly around. It seems to threaten all you hold dear.

It’s heart-wrenching. At times it dangles you over the brink of despair.

But following God unites you with Him. And in that union, your life becomes infinitely more than it ever could have been. Now you walk as a full-fledged citizen in realms higher and holier than you know you deserve.

When you look back over the years, you see part of what God has accomplished through your stumbling obedience. It’s stunning, and humbling. His grace, operating through your imperfect faith, has made you fellow workers with a God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20, NIV).

Brothers and sisters, when Almighty God comes to you making lavish demands and lavish promises, follow Him, even at the risk of utter failure. Your failure might become the most important thing you have ever done.

To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:21, NASB)

Listen and sing:
Hymn: You Are Good
Printed Music & Lyrics

Only for the Lord

If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. (Romans 14:8, NASB)

Though I have never been a pastor, I know God called me to full-time Christian service. He has led, prepared, and commissioned me. He has given me a burning desire to communicate His truth in a way that is fresh and penetrating, yet practical.

As a result, I’ve spent my entire adult life employed by Christian organizations. I consider that a great privilege and joy. But that doesn’t mean all has been sweetness and light. My bosses have been thoroughly human. My jobs have been filled with stress, frustration, and unending setbacks. I have been unappreciated and treated unfairly. Often I have felt my employers were not worthy of the dedication I was giving. Many times I have feared that in the end, my efforts would prove meaningless.

Because of all this, I have reminded myself of the following over and over again throughout my working life:

I do not work for my bosses.
I do not work for the company.
I do not even work for the church.
I work for the Lord.

Do my bosses seem unfair and misguided? I do not work for them. I work for the Lord. Does my pay seem far less than I deserve? I work for the Lord. He provides abundantly for me, and I owe Him everything. Does my work seem trivial and meaningless? The Lord of the universe has called me to do it, and He feels it’s important. My work is a personal “Thank You!” to Him. I trust that He will bless it as a seed and make it fruitful.

During my frustrations I can lift myself and my job to Him. I can release them to Him knowing He has put me here. It is His work, and He is here with me. Such prayer helps me look in a different direction. It turns my heart away from my selfish interests and toward His purpose and glory. Doing the work then becomes a prayer in itself, a way of acting out my trust and love for Him.

No matter what your present job, use it to serve your Lord joyfully. Bring your work to Him, and do it for Him. He is a wonderful employer!

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.
(Colossians 3:23, NASB) 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: I’ll Sing of You
Printed Music & Lyrics