Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Are You The Servant Or The Source?

For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us—a sphere which especially includes you. For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ; not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere, to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment. But “he who [boasts], let him [boast] in the Lord.” For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.”— 2 Corinthians 10:12-18

Have you ever done anything for anyone in the name of Jesus? Maybe served on a mission form your church – or with another organization. Or maybe you just did something that was kind to a stranger. How did that make you feel? Good? Fulfilled maybe.  There is a snare that we can fall victim to if we are not careful.  Imagining that somehow it was us and not God that was the source of the good deed.  The difference is very subtle. There are plenty random acts of kindness taking place every day by people who have not been born again.  The difference between the “sheep” and the “goats” is not good works. It is not the works of people but the power of the Spirit.  I will not pretend to understand the deep things of God. Meaning that I don’t fully understand what is taking place spiritually when a Christian is serving in obedience to the leading of the Spirit. I do know that there is something supernatural taking place when what we do is done in the name of Jesus. Is every good deed done by a Christian motivated by the Spirit of God? No. We are physically no different than lost people in the physical sense. But we are markedly different from lost people in the spiritual sense. 

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands.” – Ephesians 2:8-11

As we walk and do in obedience to the Spirit of God according to the will of God, we fulfill the purpose of God.  It is not the good we do that makes us right before God and effective witnesses for Christ, it is faith and obedience that results in good works that have been ordained by God.  And if that is the case, how in the world could we ever be so bold as to take credit for the good we do. It is a temptation and a slippery slope.  People praise me for what they see as the wonderful things that I do in serving others.  It is at that point that I have a choice – do I bask in their praise and take undo credit or recognize that what they see is God at work in the life of a mere mortal and give God the credit.  I now all too well that I have feet of clay. I must be on my guard that I don’t rob God of His glory in those moments. I encourage you to do the same.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

Believe it – walk in it. Let your light shine and give God the glory.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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