I am a Servant

One of Many

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.  So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.” –  1 Corinthians 3:6-7, NASB

It’s too easy to define myself by what I do, and so dangerous. Either way, there’s a slippery slope. If I fail, then by defining myself by what I do, I’m a failure. If success is sprinkled on my path, then I’m successful–and that leads to arrogance.

Serving the Most High God is a privilege. He calls those whose hands are willing for His kingdom beloved. Beloved! The King of Kings calls His servants beloved. How utterly amazing is that? If I’d just stay right there, right in his loving embrace, then maybe I wouldn’t get myself in trouble.

Guess what? I don’t. Instead of hearing Him call me beloved, I busy myself with His work, which I’m supposed to, but in the doing, I’m defining. Look at this successful ministry. Look at the wonderful thing my child has done. Look at the fruit of my labor… Look at me.

The parable of the sower has three elements: the seed, the soil, and let’s not forget, the sower. But the thing is, many are called to sow. It’s not me all by my onesies doing the will of God. And the focus in that parable wasn’t ever on the sower, was it? Because the fruit of the Kingdom was the point.

I am one of many. Called, appointed, and equipped. And it’s a privilege to serve the Most High God. But it isn’t about me. It was never about me.

I have no lack

Treasure Or Thorns?

“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:18, NASB

Concluding this week with the whole idea of lacking nothing, I’m drawn back to where we began–to the concept of contentment in Christ. Why is that simple statement such a challenging practice.

Several years ago I was doing a study Jesus’s parables and I came to the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. I have such a distinct memory of this study because, while I’d known this parable most of my life, I’d missed some of Jesus’s explanation–specifically about the ‘thorns that choke (the seed) out.’

“And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke out the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” Matthew 13:22, NASB

This reveled something profound to my middle-class American heart, something that I am reminded of today as I reflect on the struggle for contentment: the more I have, the harder it is.

Jesus wisely told his followers to seek His kingdom above all things. He also said to set our hearts on heavenly treasure, because where we focus the delight of our heart will be where our heart flourishes, and where it will want to stay.

Concluding the week, I’m going to chew on that for a while.

Jesus, please keep reminding me that I lack nothing in you, and teach me to guard my heart so that I don’t make treasure out of rust and thorns, but rather set my delight in You.