Some afterthoughts from last night’s sermon: How did you end up in the ministry you now serve? This isn’t a question aimed at a specific people group, because all believers are serving in one ministry or another. If you’re a mother, that’s a ministry. The same goes for husbands, workers, children, pastors, elders, deacons, teachers, etc. So who put you in the ministry?
The Apostle Paul speaks about his role in the ministry as having come not through himself — he didn’t decide “I can be just as good an apostle as Peter or Thomas. I’ve got a better education, I read poets & philosophers… I’m going to do it!” No, Paul affirms in 1 Timothy 1:11 that it was God who entrusted him with the gospel. He goes on to say in 1 Timothy 1:12 “I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service…”
Paul understands his ministry not as something he hasto do, but assomething he gets to do by the grace of God. Having to do something versus getting to do something makes a tremendous difference. My kids have to eat their veggies. They get to eat dessert. Very often, it’s the same with Christians who lose sight of what Paul sees — that these opportunities to serve the Lord Jesus Christ are gifts bestowed through grace, not the fine print accompanying salvation.
It’s easy an easy trap to fall into:
If you’re a Christian mother, you may well ask yourself if you really have to be cleaning up another mess right now, or waking up yet another time in the middle of the night. But shifting the perspective leaves room for bitterness and resentment, both which play a large role in the modern tendency to forsake the ministry of motherhood for a foray into the work world (something husbands often feel they have to do). How much greater is the home where raising children is something we get to do by the grace of God(Psalm 127:3)?
Christians husbands all too regularly are guilty of the same “Do I really have to?” when it comes to parenting and couple it with a similar attitude with respect to investing into the marriage relationship. Football season is upon us, and being a guy who used to wonder why I “had” to talk with my wife when the game was on, let me encourage husbands to wake up, realize that the ministry they tend to in marriage is a gift by the grace of God and acknowledge that they get to serve their wives because while the Direct TV has given you access to game upon game, God’s Grace has entrusted you with one woman. And who are we to choose the 12th man over God?