DAY THREE: JESUS’ EXAMPLE IN MINISTRY
- Whether carrying out the ministry of the “clergy” or “laymen,” all believers
are called to the ministry of Jesus Christ, their faith enabling them to be used
- Though the daily tasks that each of us carry out may differ, we are all ambassadors, sent to point others to Jesus Christ and the reconciliation that He made possible.
If we are to be Christ’s ambassadors and represent Him well in
whatever daily tasks God has given us as individuals, we must follow the example
He lived for all of us, in action, in word and in attitude.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the persona of ministry and miss the
attitude of ministry that Jesus demonstrated. Sometimes, the respect and
admiration we express to those whom we formally recognize as ministers, our
church staff, missionaries, and a few others, can be distracting to those just
beginning to explore the ministry aspect of God’s call.
Often the ministry of Jesus Christ will not earn you pats on the back and
encouraging words. In fact, most often, you will meet the same type of response
Jesus did. His life was not all clamoring throngs and grateful hearts. Most
often, it consisted of persecution, abuse, and betrayal. His majesty, grace, and
mercy were lost on most people of His time, especially those who had known Him
the longest. Yet, He continued in His ministry, setting an example of humility.
He could have set Himself up to be worshipped during His lifetime, and it would
not have been arrogance for Him to do so. After all, it is not arrogance to
enjoy what you rightly deserve, and Jesus is God. Yet, He not only forfeited His
rights as God, but made the extra effort to lower Himself even further to the
position of servant and a humiliating death.
Be careful that you never allow yourself to be motivated by the response of
man, but instead focus on imitating Christ in humility, being content to be
received as He was, and pleasing your Heavenly Father (Galatians 1:10 ). As your church staff and
others in ministry will tell you, the adoration and affections of people are
fickle and fleeting, while the joy that comes from knowing that you have been
obedient to God in any given matter or task is satisfying and eternal.
Take a few moments and write your thoughts, concerns, and questions in your
journal. Allow the following thought suggestions to guide you.
Reread Philippians 2:1-11 . What
words, phrases, or ideas stand out to you? Why?
As Christ’s ambassador, are you reflecting His attitude to those around you?
To those who know you best?
To this point, what have you envisioned a life of ministry to be like? How
did you expect others to respond to you? Has that changed?
What is God teaching you about ministry?