Before the holiday, I was posting about Second Corinthians. The Apostle Paul was explaining to the church that they needed to be prepared for their future performance review before the judgment seat of Christ.
That’s how Paul described the fear of the Lord. It’s living under the knowledge that we have to give an account to Him someday. That’s also why the apostle went into such detail describing his ministry.
We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.
2 Corinthians 5:12
The word, commend, in the above verse actually means to introduce. Paul was afraid that his epistle was beginning to sound like a letter of introduction to a church that didn’t know him.
That wasn’t his goal. The word opportunity is a Greek word that means a starting point. Paul is giving them the basis for understanding true ministry.
The starting point is what’s in the heart. That’s how you judge a ministry’s value.
Sometimes you ask someone about their ministry and immediately they start talking about all that they’re doing. They take pride in the outside – what is seen. That’s not the heart of a true ministry.
The more important issue is what God has done in the heart and life of the minister. It’s about why I’m doing what I’m doing. That’s where ministry for the Lord begins.
If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
2 Corinthians 5:13-15
This speaks volumes to me about the mindset of a church leader. Paul makes it clear that it is Christ’s love that compels him – keeps him on track – to do God’s will. That’s important. It keeps us free from wrong attitudes.
Notice that it’s not the need that compels him. Too many people are need-driven. They see all the people who need salvation, help, or counsel. They end up burned out because they’re not in tune with what God wants them to do.
Also, it’s not about the work that needs to be done for God. There are those with the attitude, “If I see something that needs to be done, I just do it.” That’s great in the short term, but you can’t sustain it.
That’s why in many churches 10% of the people are doing 90% of the work. I can’t do both my job and yours and be effective at either. We all need to be fulfilling our calling. We all need to be compelled by the love of Christ.
The bottom line is that we live for Christ. We don’t live to fulfill the needs of the people. We don’t live for the work of the ministry.
WE LIVE FOR CHRIST!!!
Question: How do you see this at work in your ministry?
© 2020 Nick Zaccardi