Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chief servant

Tomorrow, Lord willing I'll go back to Joy in the Morning, but today am sharing something else that has been on my mind lately:
I've been thinking about service to Christ. When you come down to it, isn't that what all of our work is? We've been reminded from the pulpit a few times recently of how much of what we do for the Lord is done in secret. Maybe you've felt like me before, that it's only the 'big stuff' that really matters, but I've realized that's not true. Does anyone but the Lord know if we spend time praying, really reading our Bibles, faithfully do our best at our work, how we choose to spend all our free time, whether we take an opportunity to give an encouraging word.....and the list could go on.
I realize more and more that pleasing Him is what is important, and there's great comfort and encouragement in knowing He sees all things. 
"I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience.."
Revelation 2:2

Below I shared something from Elisabeth Elliot that I recently read on seeking the approval of the Lord through our work rather than man's, and a couple quotes that came to mind on the same subject.

If I were trying to win human approval I should never be Christ's servant."
It is to the One in charge that we owe an account of what we do, not to spectators. When a servant renders service it is merely what is expected. There is nothing out of the ordinary about it.

A couple I know had only been married a week or two when the wife went out shopping. The husband wondered what he might do for her when she was gone that might please ans surprise her and show her how much he loved her. A brilliant plan came to mind, he got down on his hands and knees and scrubbed the kitchen floor. It was a demeaning task in his opinion and he felt exceedingly humble while performing it. How amazed Ann would be! He waited in eager anticipation for her to return, thinking how blessed it is to give.

She drove in the driveway, breezed into the kitchen, set her bags on the counter, and glanced at the floor.
"Oh - the floor's clean. Thank you, honey!" was all she said, and went about putting things away.

The man told me he went into a three day funk.He was hurt; he was insulted, he was not properly appreciated; and the blessing of giving drained out in an instant because he had not received the kind of thanks he expected.

Ann had no idea what the trouble was. What she did not know was that her husband had never heard of a man's doing such a thing  for his wife, especially voluntarily, having thought of it by himself. What he did not know was that in his wife's family no woman ever did the job. Her father considered it a man's job and did it as a matter of course.

The young husband took the lesson to heart. He now believes it would be wise for every Christian to post as his motto the lesson Jesus taught:

"When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do."
 Luke 17:10
Elisabeth Elliot

"It is natural for us to think if we could do some great exploit, or carry through some great piece of self denial, we should be high in the kingdom. But it is not so. It is doing something that nobody sees but the Master Himself, and no one knows but He."

"He was teaching us not to mind the honor that cometh from man, to be content with the Father's approval. Do we seek to please the Lord thus, not asking, 'What does man think?' but, 'What does my Father in Heaven think?' Is His approval enough for you, though all men should ignore you, or even despise you?"
Andrew Bonar

Sharing with Titus 2sDays.

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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1