Tuesday, September 18, 2007
The apostle Paul writes: “I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.”
I have a confession to make: sometimes I don’t like my job. I know, I know…Pastors aren’t supposed to say things like that, but it’s true.
I have another confession to make: when I don’t like my job, I complain. I get in a funk and I think: “Man, this stinks. I wish I didn’t have to do this. This isn’t what I came here for. I wish I could do something I really love, like acting or writing or directing.”
But, when I read Paul’s words in Ephesians 3:17 it’s as if God is saying to me: “What on earth are you complaining about? I called you, set you apart to perform a very special job for me. Like Peter, I’ve commissioned you to ‘feed my sheep’ and that special commission is not something to which you are entitled, nor is it something I give to everyone. The fact that you are a pastor today is a gift of my grace to you. You are a pastor today because of my favor, not my disfavor. And, by the way, spending all your energy shepherding my flock is a privilege, an honor. How many other people have the chance to do what you’re doing? So, don’t complain, my child; instead, give thanks that I bestowed this grace upon you.”
If I allow those words to seep into my soul, it can change my heart, giving me a much-needed reality check. They remind me of my place in the grand scheme of things. They remind me that I am a servant, not the lord. They remind me that I serve the author of good news. And they remind me that, for me, it’s good news to hear Jesus saying to me, “Feed my lambs.” And it’s even better to hear that, along with his commission, he’ll provide the power, the ability to actually do what he’s asked me to do. Really, what is there to complain about? How could I not, then, take heart, have courage, give thanks and expect in hope?
To read the next nugget in the series, click here.