Read: Job 18, 19, 20; John 3
John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.” (John 3:27)
Jesus and the disciples were in the Judean wilderness baptizing those who believed and repented in the Jordan River. The disciples of John the Baptist found out what was going on, and to put it simply, they were jealous for John because Jesus ministry was growing while John’s following was decreasing. They told him how people were going over to Jesus to hear him teach and be baptized by his disciples including many who had been a part of John’s ministry.
John understood something that many ministers, including me, struggle to believe. It was not John’s responsibility to build a ministry baptizing lots of people and gather a large following of people. The people who listened to his preaching and responded being baptized and following him as a teacher or rabbi were given to John by God. No one receives anything except that it is given to him/her by God.
If I’m honest, I’m sometimes jealous of pastors and ministries that have a larger church or following than me. Many times I have to push back thoughts like, “I could do what they are doing.” Sometimes I feel guilty that I’m not working hard enough or am a failure.
Yet how often as people visit the church do I tell them, “We will pray with you that God shows you the place He has prepared for you” because we “are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (1 Cor. 12:27). I believe God determines our place within the body, including our place within a local church.
And so I need to simply remember today that it is Jesus who adds to His Church; He is the builder and not me. If I or anyone other than Jesus tries to do the building, then it may be a great project, but it is not the Church being built. I simply need to remain faithful to do the work He has called me to.
Yes to Yield
LORD Jesus, thank you for the opportunity You have given to me to serve Your church as a pastor. Forgive me when I fall into the trap of comparing myself and the local church with other pastors and churches. Holy Spirit give me wisdom to do the work you have called me to do and empower me to do it in Your strength and not with human energy. May I be faithful to You LORD serving the local community as well as to the people who join with us as “members together” at Life Church.