Our God is an excellent God! The Bible tells us that His work is perfect. When you pause to meditate on His excellence, it is not hard to conclude that the service that we give back to Him ought to be excellent as well.
Stop and think about the ministry that you have. Maybe you are a Sunday School teacher, a deacon, an usher, a janitor, a coach, a director, a choir member, a nursery helper or a sound tech. Regardless of your ministry for Christ, one thing is for certain is that He deserves our best. After all that Jesus has done for us, He deserves excellent service.
Best does not happen on accident. If you think of a co-worker that is the very best in their profession, you know they had to work very hard to get there. Sadly, some Christians will give 110% in service to their earthly employer and then give 65% in service to their heavenly Master—Jesus Christ. Every believer ought to desire to serve Jesus in the best way possible. Here are several thoughts that might encourage us in being our best as we work for Jesus.
- Our Attitude in the Work
Romans 1:1 “PAUL, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,” Before anything else, Paul remembered that He was a servant of Jesus Christ. If we give Jesus our best, we must remember we are His servants. We must remember to serve for His glory and not our own. The best servants are humble and willing to be instructed without taking offense. They are cooperative with other servants and avoid a critical spirit. They are willing to take initiative even when it is not their job. They are Christ-ward remembering they serve Jesus and by serving Him they serve others. They are eager to serve not waiting to be coaxed or prodded. They have a sort of wide-eyed intensity about their service to Jesus.
- Our Attention in the Work
If we have the attitude of a servant, it will impact the attention we give to the work Jesus has given us to do. It will not be half-hearted but we will be fully engaged. One person said, “Mediocrity is the enemy of excellence.” This is so true! What sets Chick-Fil-A apart from so many other quickness’s service restaurants is their determination to “Be America’s best quick-service restaurant.” We love their product, but the process behind it where it all starts. It an excellent process. From how the employees talk and dress to how the food is prepared and served, the process is excellent! From the moment you walk in the door you have a sense that every employee exists to serve you and it shows in the attention they give to their work. 1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us that, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” We must give our attention to give Jesus excellent service.
- Our Awareness in the Work
We must remember, if we plan to serve Jesus with all our focus and attention, the devil will plan to fight us. Ephesians 6:12–13 instructs us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Satan does not fight the mediocre servants, they are no threat to him. He will fight against those that strive to be the very best servants for Jesus. Those that engage in the work of the LORD. One of the ways that satan fights us is by tempting us to get focused on the problems we will face as we serve rather than staying focused on the Problem Solver. If we focus on people and problems, we will become discouraged in the work. Sometimes people will say unkind things. They may do something or make decisions that are disappointing. However, if our eyes are on Jesus, we will be able to continue to serve with excellence.
Regardless of where you serve Jesus, recommit to giving Him the best service you can give. Don’t forget to yield yourself daily to His Spirit so that you will be empowered in your service.
“There is an app for that.” While that certainly seems to be true, I have found some apps to be especially helpful. Here are some of them!
Here is one I use on a daily basis. This app enables me to have a plan for reading or listening through the Bible. I also love its ability to create church events on it for free. We are testing it our with our Acts series.
This is an app that I have been using for about a year. Essentially it is your public library at your fingertips—anytime, anywhere. This gives you access to TONS of digital content for free. I have been blessed to listen to many Christian audio books from great preachers and writers in the past and present.
This is an app that I have been watching for a couple of years and seems to be making great improvements. It is a soulwinning management app. Recently testing it for our church’s outreach.
Ever wish you could pull up a tract on your smartphone and use it to give the Gospel? Well, now you can. You can even keep a prospect list on it! It is a fantastic Gospel tool.
What you listen really influences you! Many times Christian radio does not sound so Christian. I have enjoyed listening to this internet radio station through their app. Give it a try! You will find the music to be Christ-centered and spiritually nourishing.
The work of the ministry calls for frequent sharpening. One of the ways I sharpen myself each year is by attending the Outreach Conference at Faith Baptist Church in Avon, Indiana. Here are some reasons I make this conference a priority.
- Solid Preaching—As pastors, we need to hear preaching. I have enjoyed hearing men like R.B. Oullette, Mark Monte, Kurt Skelly, Doug Jackson and Cary Schmidt. God has used these men to challenge me to keep growing spiritually.
- Meaningful Fellowship—I enjoy reconnecting with pastors that I don’t get to see throughout the year. Whether it is sharing ideas or just talking about the ministry, I am encouraged by the fellowship we have together.
- Genuine Motivation—Sometimes you get the sense that conferences are hosted in order to show off rather than to give sincere help. This conference is born out a genuine desire to just be a blessing. I have observed this over and over again.
- Encouragement for My Wife—Some conferences focus so much on the pastor that they forget the pastor’s wife. Every year my wife has been encouraged and leaves refreshed and charged.
- Helpful Workshops—Practical workshops give an opportunity for pastors and ministry leaders to sharpen themselves on multiple subjects. The workshops are about a half hour in length so that you can get more information in a short amount of time. No doubt you will leave with useful material.
Would you take the time to participate in the Outreach Conference March 6-7, 2017? You will be glad you did!
This past Monday, our church was able begin phase one of our Auditorium Enhancement project. For over a year we have been praying about and raising funds. It is so exciting to see a fresh, new look taking shape. I would like to praise the Lord in several specific ways in regards to this project.
- Jesus is the Motivation
It may seem obvious, but I want to praise the Lord that Jesus is the reason and the motivation behind this project. Jesus is the reason we exist as a church, He is the one whom we serve and the one whom we desire to magnify in every venture we undertake.
- Believers with a Heart for God
Praise the Lord for believers who have had a heart for God and a willingness to sacrifice, giving of their time and finances. I am thankful for those who have prayed. I am grateful for the spirit of unity that the Holy Spirit has given to God’s people.
- Wisdom from God
Many have co-labored on this project to this point with a heart to be guided by God’s wisdom. Praise God for wisdom for each step of the way! God’s wisdom allows all of us to carry out His will and to exercise our gifts in a skillful manner.
May God continue to guide and use Grace Baptist Church to impact Kettering and our world for Jesus Christ.
Can you think back to the day you accepted Jesus as your personal Savior from sin? Can you remember the person God used to point you to Christ? Maybe it was your mom or dad, your pastor, a faithful soul winner at your door or maybe it was an unknown person who left a tract in a public place. Whoever it was, they cared for you!
Today, you and I will have opportunities to connect with people. People who are doomed to spend eternity in the fires of hell. Would you care enough to give the truth to them? Would you care enough to tell them of what Jesus did for you? Would you care enough to invite them to attend church with you?
Would you be someone who cares?
John 5:7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
I always enjoy spending time with my wife. She is my best friend, cheerleader and soulmate. This was our second annual couples retreat at Grace Baptist Church. I would like to share several blessings of having and attending couples retreat.
- Growing Together—Couples retreat is an awesome opportunity for God to work on a couple together. My wife and I hear the same Bible truth together and are given opportunity to respond to that truth together. It seems that God gives a focused openness to each other and an excitement about putting into practice what has been received.
- Gaining Wisdom—We do well to listen and accept the advice of those who have walked with God for many years. We were privileged to have Dr. Bob Taylor and his wife Joan as our speakers. God used the wisdom they have gained from fifty plus years of marriage to give Biblical insight. I appreciated men in the older generation being willing to share all that God has taught them over the years.
- Encouraging Others—It is exciting to see God’s people edified. In a day when Biblical marriage is under attack, what a blessing it is when marriages are strengthened! I praise God for the work He did in mine and what I heard testified that He was doing in other’s.
In addition to these blessings, I want to give a two fold encouragement.
- If you have not yet attended a couples retreat, plan to attend one! You will be blessed. Begin now to plan and save to be able to attend.
- If you are a pastor and do not have an annual couples retreat, prayerfully consider beginning one. Strong families make up strong churches. Time investing in the marriages in your church will never be wasted time.