Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Food for thought - 2

Today's food for thought...

The "layman" need never think of his humbler task as being inferior to that of his minister. Let every man abide in the calling wherein he is called and his work will be as sacred as the work of the ministry. It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it. The motive is everything. Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act. All he does is good and acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For such a man, living itself will be sacramental and the whole world a sanctuary. His entire life will be a priestly ministration. As he performs his never so simple task he will hear the voice of the seraphim saying, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory."
Tozer, A. W. (Aiden Wilson) (2011-03-24). The Pursuit of God (p. 71). Kindle Edition.

"The "layman" need never think of his humbler task as being inferior to that of his minister."

Have you ever thought that someone was more special to God just because they were a missionary or pastor?  I have.  I remember when I was growing up, someone I knew became a missionary.  I made the comment about how special they were because of this.  The response, "I am no more special than anyone else.  I am just an ordinary person."  More than twenty-three years ago, I married a Pastor's daughter.  Now I am a Minister and Missionary myself.  Those who are in ministry are not loved more by God.  We are all loved by God and are special to him.  We are all ordinary people who serve an extraordinary God.

"Let every man abide in the calling wherein he is called and his work will be as sacred as the work of the ministry."

We all get our pay checks in different ways.  As a missionary, my salary comes through our missions agency - Assemblies of God World Missions.  Before that, I had always been paid by a corporation.  My Dad taught me, that no matter who we work for, no matter who signs the check that pays us, that God is our source.  If our job situation changes, God continues to be our source.  No matter who we work for, we are responsible to serve God with everything we have.  God will open doors of opportunity for you to speak into the lives of those you work with.

"It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it.  The motive is everything."

Why do I do what I do?  What is my motive?  Do I do it for myself or for someone else?  It is the best if I do what I do because I want to honor and please the Lord.  Colossians 3:22-25 (NLT) says, "22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord.  23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.  24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.  25 But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites."  God has no favorites.  No one person is more special to God.  Work for the Lord in everything you do.  Remember how Joseph was promoted when he worked at Potiphar's house and while in prison, but was eventually promoted to second in command in Egypt - because God was with Him.  When I do my best work for the Lord and honor God in my words and actions, God will take care of me.

"Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act. All he does is good and acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."

A.W. Tozer is not saying that even if we sin, it is good and acceptable.  It is that we will want to keep from sin to not break the good relationship we have with our God.  When our hearts are right with God, we will not want to do anything but please God.  The Bible talks about our works being a demonstration of our faith.  The Apostle Paul asked in Romans 6:1-2 (NLT), "1 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?  2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?"   Let us not live in sin.  Rather, let us make it our goal to glorify God in how we live.  Whatever God has for us to do is not a common thing, let us do it with all of our heart!

"For such a man, living itself will be sacramental and the whole world a sanctuary. His entire life will be a priestly ministration. As he performs his never so simple task he will hear the voice of the seraphim saying, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.""

I love hearing our Pastor tell about his Dad.  He was a mechanic who told his customers about Jesus while he worked on their cars.  He had an impact on many people, because he believed that his sanctuary was his garage.  No matter where we are, we need to walk in our call as Christians. We need to let our light shine, making the darkness run.  We need to be salt in our world, making those around us thirsty for more of God.  As we yield ourselves completely to God, people around us will take notice and listen to what we have to say.  That is glorifying the Lord.

Rather than putting full-time ministers on a pedestal and holding them to a higher standard, maybe it is time that all Christians start living like ministers.  After all, is that not what we are?  When I was a layman, I tried to live like that, which has made the transition to Minister and Missionary easier.  What would you need to change to live like a minister of the gospel?  Are you willing to make that change?  Just think of the great impact you could have on the people in your life if you took that step of faith.  What is your motive for doing what you do?

2 comments:

mark fossen said...

Thanks for those thoughts Phil! May He help us understand the height and breadth and length and depth, and be filled with the fullness of God. To God be all glory! For He alone is worthy!

Pastor Jeff Arp said...

A great word packed with truth. So many times when God is answering our prayer the way or timing we want Him to, the enemy will whisper, "See, God doesn't love you as much as the person whose prayer is getting answered." To the degree that we let that lie penetrate is the degree to which we believe God does have favorites. I loved the ministry philosophy of your pastor's father - his garage was his sanctuary! Amen!

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