“The Ministry: What should my motivation be?”
In order to represent Christ well as His ambassadors, we must follow His example in action, in word, and in attitude.
Sometimes, the respect and admiration we show to paid ministers, church staff, missionaries, and a few others distracts those just beginning to explore the ministry aspect of God’s call. It’s way too easy to get caught up in the persona of ministry and miss the attitude of ministry that Jesus demonstrated. This is a problem because, when you minister like Jesus did, you will, most often, get the same kind of response He got, persecution, abuse, and betrayal, not the pats on the back and encouraging words you might hope for.
Jesus’ majesty, grace, and mercy were lost on most people of His time, especially those who had known Him the longest, yet He continued in His ministry, setting an example of humility. He could have set Himself up to be worshipped during His lifetime, and it would not have been arrogance for Him to do so. After all, it is not arrogance to enjoy what you rightly deserve, and Jesus is God. However, He not only forfeited His rights as God, but made the extra effort to lower Himself even further to the position of servant and subjected Himself to a humiliating death.
Be careful that you never allow yourself to be motivated by the response of man, but instead focus on imitating Christ in humility, being content to be received as He was, and pleasing your Heavenly Father (Galatians 1:10). As your church staff and others in ministry will tell you, the adoration and affections of people are fickle and fleeting, while the joy that comes from knowing that you have been obedient to God in any given matter or task is both satisfying and eternal.
Respond to the following in your journal:
As Christ’s ambassador, are you reflecting His attitude to those around you? To those who know you best?
What is God teaching you about ministry?
How were you encouraged through Bible study today? How were you challenged?