Thursday, April 30, 2009

Are you in Ministry?

Are you struggling?

If not, have you struggled in the past?

Having been in ministry for 20 years now, I know that if you are too, you answered yes to one or both of those questions. My devotion this morning addressed this. And as I read it, I felt the need to share it. It was a good reminder to me of where to keep my focus and even a comfort. I hope it is to you too. And if you are not in ministry, I hope it will remind you to pray for your ministry leaders.....they need it!

I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church. Colossians 1:24

Ministry is costly. When the heavenly Father waned to save His creation for sin, He dould find no other way except the sacrifice of His Son (Rom 5:8). Scripture gives a stark picture of the price our Savior paid to obtain our salvation: "He is despised and rejected by men, / A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" (Isa. 53:3). If Christ is your model for ministry, you cannot avoid going to the cross for the sake of others. Salvation comes with a great price, and if we are going to "take up our cross" and follow Jesus, then we must be prepared to go with Him to the place of suffering if that's what it takes to bring salvation to those around us.

If our goal is to bring others to Crhist we must be willing, as He was, to risk rejection. People may disappoint us, misundertand our motives, even despise and persecute us. Our Savior did not let suffering prevent Him from being used by God to bring salvation to those He loved. Love for His Father provided all the motivation that was necessary.

Are you presently experiencing hardship because of the ministry to which God has called you? Have you begun to wonder if the price you are paying is too great? Take a moment to reflect on the price God was willing to pay in order to bring salvation to you. Are you glad He was willing to do what was necessary? Will you not join Him in whatever is necessary to bring salvation to those around you?

I am so thankful Christ was willing to do what was necessary so that I could have salvation and hope. And I am more commited than ever to join Him in whatever is necessary for the ministry He has called us to.

That is a scary statement, really. Whatever is necessary could really be difficult and has been at times, times I don't necessarily want to repeat.

But I know without a doubt that God has called my husband and me to this ministry. How can I not be willing to do what He was willing to do for me? How can I not extend grace, when He extended it to me? How can I not forget past sins of those who hurt me, when He does not hold my past sins against me?

Ministry is costly.........but oh so rewarding!



Mocha with Linda said...

Amen, my friend!

TCKK said...

So true!

Smilingsal said...

Forgiving others--now that's HARD!

Sara@i.Sass said...

For me: Accepting the grace is hard.
forgiving used to be.
I'm still learning.
Great post Sara.

Anonymous said...

This was great! I grew up in a ministry family. Because I saw my parents handle the difficult times with such grace, I always saw ministry as an incredible opportunity and honor rather than a burden. I have friends whose parents did not handle struggles well and my friends are bitter about ministry to this day. I know it wasn't easy, but I admire the way my parents have handled the tough times.

Anonymous said...

The last paragraph really stuck with me. Thank you!

Jules from "The Roost" said...

After all Christ has done for me how could I not! :) great post Sara

Sit A Spell said...

Thanks for sharing your QT with us.
I saw you at the roost, an old friend of mine, and wanted to say HI.

Beverlydru said...

I hope all who profess Jesus as Lord are in ministry. I say Yes, I'm in full-time minsitry! (I'm called to the marketplace.) Our leaders would have it so much better if people realize we ARE the church. Great post. I do pray for you, precious friend.

Darla said...

i'm well aquainted with being misunderstood...but it's so true that he has already endured anything we could experience. great devotional.

Jamie said...

So good! Thanks for sharing.