For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; (I Corinthians 1:26 NASB)
We all want to be significant, and we are all important in the eyes of our Creator. The problem is that we often seek our worth through the eyes of man. God uses ordinary people with hearts inclined toward His.
One Sunday I was asked to speak at a small church near my home in Virginia. A man greeted me upon arrival at the Church who then let me into the building. In small churches, you often have a pastor who does the preaching and the teaching and then an elder or deacon who does everything else. I sat down at the back of the church to review my notes for my sermon. The man busily went about making the coffee and setting out the snacks. He then took a small broom and a dustpan and proceeded to sweep-up between the rows of chairs setup for the service. As I watched this man, a question came into my mind. Lord, who is more valuable today for this service, him or me? As I pondered this thought, the answer became clear to me. Neither, we had equal value just a different function. I asked the Lord a second question. Lord, who is most pleasing to you? The answer to the second question came quicker than the first. The one who does their part of the service with the greatest amount of love in their heart for God.
Sometimes we confuse value and function. We do not get value from what we do; we bring value to our work. Each individual has intrinsic value before God. Billy Graham and Pat Roberson have a greater function in the Body of Christ than I do. Therefore, in some areas they have greater privilege. Jesus gave Peter, James, and John greater access to Himself, not because he valued them more, but that they would have a more significant role in the Kingdom of God. He loved all his disciples equally.
We often make the mistake of trying to win the Lord’s approval by how we preform before man. People pleasers never end up as God pleasers. This is an exercise in futility. We don’t need to strive for what we already have. What does impress the Lord? It’s not the height or even the breath of our task, but the depth of our love, that motivates us to serve that catches the eye of the Father. It is not how we serve but why that gets His attention. Is it done out of a motivation of love? Those who serve around a church in roles that do not bring a lot of public applause just may be God’s heroes. Remember there are not many wise, mighty, or noble. The next time you walk past one setting up chairs in you Church without taking notice, you may have missed an opportunity to interact with one of God’s chosen servants. That day when I spoke in that Church the most honored servant may not have been the one in the pulpit but the one sweeping the floor.
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing