It is interesting how things transpire most of the time. We try our best to do what God wants. This is done either with a grateful heart or with a needy desire. We either want to earn His favor or we just want to be counted as faithful. I was thinking about the difference between the two and I was caughtby the similarities. How often do we start with the right motive but land in the same place as with wrong motives. Soren Kierkegaard says that becoming nothing in this world is the condition of becoming something in the other world. Without beating this quote too much, I think it is clear to see the truth here. The last shall be first…kinda…I guess. That isn’t what got me thinking though…here goes.
Luke 10:20 – Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
His boys just got back from their life changing, mountain top, short-term missions trip and were amazed at all that had been accomplished. Then Jesus then throws a ‘nevertheless’ at them. Punch in the gut. God has blessed some of the things that I have offered as sacrifice to Him. Some with the right motive…some without. It was always His work and it as always His blessing. I am not suggesting a fatalistic approach to ministry where we do whatever we want and let God figure it out, however, I am suggesting that God can do more with our bad attitude then we think.
Either way, we have a tendency to get excited about things happening. People start following Jesus, people give up long held addictions through grace, marriages are restored…we tend to get excited about these things; and rightfully so, when God works it is great. The problem comes when we think that is the end. When we see someone who turns from their sin and turns to Jesus we get excited knowing what has happened. We get excited that we were ‘there’ when it happened. What Jesus is saying here is almost selfish on first sighting. He says that we always need to remember that having OUR names written in heaven is IT.
He is not discrediting the effort, the heart or even the end result; He is saying that we need to be thankful that our face mask is on. (Remember that my Hollis people?) No matter which John you follow (W or C) if you have a saving faith in Jesus you have a face mask on. Think to a plane…what do they say? If the plane should lose cabin pressure, put YOUR mask on before helping others. Bottom line…you are useless if you pass out! Jesus says to be thankful that grace has been extended to you and that you have your mask on.
Whether you lead a youth ministry, lead gathered worship, or lead your family or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Do this by understanding your mask as the greatest gift you have and the greatest blessing you will see.
Becoming nothing in this world is the condition of becoming something in the other world – S.K.