Monday, February 5, 2018

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

If I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. —Philippians 2:17

{CHAMBERS}  “Are you willing to sacrifice yourself for the work of another believer—to pour out your life sacrificially for the ministry and faith of others? Or do you say, “I am not willing to be poured out right now, and I don’t want God to tell me how to serve Him. I want to choose the place of my own sacrifice. And I want to have certain people watching me and saying, ‘Well done.’ ” It is one thing to follow God’s way of service if you are regarded as a hero, but quite another thing if the road marked out for you by God requires becoming a “doormat” under other people’s feet. God’s purpose may be to teach you to say, “I know how to be abased…” (Philippians 4:12). Are you ready to be sacrificed like that? Are you ready to be less than a mere drop in the bucket— to be so totally insignificant that no one remembers you even if they think of those you served? Are you willing to give and be poured out until you are used up and exhausted— not seeking to be ministered to, but to minister? Some saints cannot do menial work while maintaining a saintly attitude, because they feel such service is beneath their dignity.”

{ELGIN} Strange as this may sound, but I feel that I am being most effective in serving God and others when I am not recognized for the work I do.  If I need to be recognized then I am having a pride problem.  I often say “If you want to give me credit for anything ..then give me credit for saying yes to God.”  When Paul was responding about the people who were saying “I am of Paul or I am of Apollos” (or it might be I am a Baptist or I am a Methodist or I am a “fill in the blank”)  Paul said (1 Corinthians 3:5-9)  What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” If we are serving God then how can we take credit for what is accomplished.  God is the Source … it’s God who calls .. it’s God who equips … it’s God who sends …. it’s God who brings the eternal benefit.  We are merely the messengers …. Field hands.

On the other hand, don’t let that truth become a reason for you to NOT serve.  Looking at your life in comparison to others, you may ask, “What can I bring to the table? What can I do?” The answer is, trust God, submit to His Spirit, go where He says go and do what He says do, knowing that God brings the increase not you.  It’s obedience that God prefers over sacrifice. (1 Samuel 15:22) “But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (Hosea 6:6) “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” As I am typing this, Martie, my wife, read a quote from the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles after winning the Super Bowl, “I give all the glory to Jesus Christ.”  It does not matter if you are a missionary or a football coach or ride on the back of a garbage truck.  As Christians we know that it is God who deserves the credit for any good that comes from our lives. Don't let your ego tell you otherwise.

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