I was reading a daily message I receive and don’t know if it was a “light bulb” moment or a little conviction or a combination of the two!
My wife and I have fall into the “black sheep” category in our families. To be honest, we are the only ones in all of our siblings to have 1) gotten married, 2) THEN had children and 3) tried to raise them to be followers of Christ. We chose for my wife to stay at home as we raised children which in some instances alienated us from friends and others and limited the “things” we could do or buy! We have been a part of several small, church start-ups where you set up and tear down every week. I cannot count the times when I looked up from whatever task I was doing at the time to see a scant few working and many others WATCHING them work! Oh how I relate to Martha (Luke 10:38-42) … wait, that’s not a good thing!!! The 90-10 rule is true in that 10% of the people in churches do 90% of the work!!! Just as he was with Martha, the Lord has always been so kind and gentle with me in these regards, even when I have been absolutely fuming about them. The following is the message I was reading from Pastor Andy Anderson.
“I love the parable of the lost son in Scripture, for it tells a story of repentance and forgiveness, a story that every one of us has felt through our lives, for we are the prodigal at one point or another. We hear the story and can’t help but feel the very grace of God as He forgives and receives us once again from our wayward ways. But there is another part of the story that is equally important. You see, Scripture is learning, not only about the grace and love of God, but about ourselves. Who we are, how we act, and this story reveals not only the son who was lost, but the son who never left. He is the one I want to write about today, for many of us, are also this son, this one who has lived for Christ, and served Him through serving others, yet it seems like all the attention is toward the sinner, the wayward. Let me pick it up in Luke 15: “Then he became angry and didn’t want to go in. So his father came out and pleaded with him. But he replied to his father, ‘Look, I have been slaving many years for you, and I have never disobeyed your orders, yet you never gave me a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came who has devoured your assets with prostitutes, you slaughtered the fattened calf for him.’ ‘Son,’ he said to him, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.’ Luke 15: 28-31 Too often we get weary and think we are the only ones doing anything within the local churches. And if you feel like that today, let me encourage you that if you feel like your service has gone unnoticed, it is not. You are working for the Master, and He notices all. If we continue to realize that what we do, is not labor for glory here on earth, but for the ultimate goal of rejoicing in Him, the labor becomes a ministry. It no longer seems unrewarded. Take heart when you labor for the things of Christ, for our Heavenly Father, sees all that you are doing, an if you listen, you will hear the soft tender words, ‘Well done, they faithful servant. Enter into my rest.’”
Father, thank you for being so kind and gentle and PATIENT with me when I am at my worst. Thank you God that You see my labors and for reminding me that my ultimate joy will come in receiving Your crown for me … which will be so much better than a King Ranch F-150!!!