Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Working for Jesus vs. Ministering to Him

Visit Jeanette! 
Welcome to Wednesday, my favorite people! I am so excited to introduce you to the sweet and hilarious, Jeanette Levellie! Jeanette is...
A spunky pastor’s wife of over thirty years, Jeanette's debut humorous inspirational book, Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top, released in April of 2012, and has already become an Amazon bestseller in the humor category.
Jeanette’s bi-weekly humor/inspirational column, God is Bigger, has been a popular feature in the Paris Beacon News since 2001. She’s published stories in Guideposts  and  Love is a Verb with Gary Chapman anthologies; articles in Vista, God’s World Today, The Christian Communicator, Birds & Blooms, Country, and Country Extra magazines; devotionals in The Upper Room, Daily Hope, Light from the Word, & Glimpses of God, greeting card verses for Celebration Greetings, and poems for La Leche League International calendars.  

Jeanette, thank you so much for being here. I absolutely loved this! Take it away!

When I became a Christian at age eight, I went to school the next day and told my friends in a singsong voice, “I’m going to hea-ven and you’re no-ot!”

I don’t recommend this method of sharing your faith. Although my heart was right—I wanted to serve the Lord—my methods were a bit primitive. Pre-believers need more than a taunting song from a freckle-faced kid hanging upside down on the monkey bars to see their need for a Savior.

Since that early faux paus, I’ve honed my “sharing the gospel” skills. I’ve also discovered that attitude is everything if I want to not only please the Lord, but also enjoy my relationship with Him. I made that discovery when a close friend nearly landed in jail.

Several years ago, our friend, Roger* was arrested and falsely accused of a crime. After weeks of earnest prayer and Roger’s savings moving from his savings account to the lawyer’s wallet, the judge lessened the sentence from jail time to community service. I was so grateful, I wept as I praised the Lord. Then I thought, 

“I want to do something to show my gratitude.”

I decided to take my lunch break once a week to visit a nearby nursing home. I brought yarn to one of the patients who crocheted, ice cream bars to the nurses’ aides, and smiles to those who’d lost theirs. Although I often grieved when I left, knowing I was returning to my healthy life, visiting these unfortunate people was a joy. I never associated the word “work” in relation to these visits. I was ministering to the Lord by loving a few of His lambs. It was a tangible way I could say “thank you” to Jesus for rescuing Roger.

It’s too easy for us to slip into categorizing some of the things we do—teaching Bible classes, leading worship, sharing our testimony—as “working for the Lord” rather than “ministering to Jesus.” We tend to label our activities as “spiritual” or “secular.” But that’s not how the Master thinks. He says, “If you’ve done something for another human being, you’ve done it for Me” (Matthew 25).

If we’re interested in making our lives count for Jesus, we’ll be conscious that every floor we mop, every tip we give a waitress, and every song we sing, ministers to the Lord. Well, with one exception. That tacky little one I sang as I hung from the monkey bars is long gone!


Does it help you to think in terms of ministering to Jesus as opposed to working for Him? Is there a difference? Why or why not?




9 comments:

  1. Ooh I really like that distinction--ministering for God rather than just, well, working for him. I work for a homeless ministry and definitely see that distinction at play in the way staff and volunteers see their every day life as a ministry. It's not just a job. It's not just work. It's ministry and it's a way of life. Love it! Thanks for the wonderful guest post. :)

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    1. Thanks, Melissa! It's great that your co-workers see their jobs as ministry to Jesus, because, well... it is!

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  2. At the sharp end, I think that 'pray without ceasing' means that one's life becomes a de facto prayer.

    And that prayer becomes the ministerial work of a lifetime, in a seamlessness that mirrors that of Jesus' robe.

    (Is 'seamlessness' a word?)

    God can work through anything, anyone, anytime...He's God, after all, and we're His tools.

    But, as Arthur C. Clarke once wrote, the best tool is one that knows what it's doing.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2014/01/date-while-youre-married.html

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    1. Thanks, Andrew, for these wise words. And yes, I believe seamlessness is a word. If not, you just made it one!

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  3. Thanks for having me today, Jessica! I appreciate the opportunity to share with your readers. And I definitely need the number of your hair stylist and website designer! Both have me a wee bit jelly...
    Grace and chuckles,
    Jen

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    1. I'm so glad you're here!
      Ha! You are too sweet, Jeanette!

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    2. I'm so glad you're here!
      Ha! You are too sweet, Jeanette!

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  4. What a great topic! I've been reading a lot lately about our disconnect between the sacred and the secular, and how as Christians we should see it as just "life." Thanks for adding to my "thought pile!"

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  5. I agree with the last commenter. So many Christians strive to disconnect from the world -- and often because they believe they'll be tarnished, corrupted, or thought by others to be "not Christian enough." But if we disconnect, how can we possibly understand effective ways of infusing the love and grace of God into their lives?

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