Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The most important thing in life

I've been pondering all the hats I wear in life a lot lately. I know I know, it sounds so melodramatic ;)

But seriously. We all have responsibilities to juggle and roles to fill. We all have choices to make with where to put forth our efforts and focus...

I'm sure there are things you love and are passionate about too.


Of course I love Jesus. He is my everything. 

Of course I love my family. I want to be the best wife and mother possible.

Of course I love my church family. I want to serve and give and love everyone. 

Of course I love this world. I want to reach the lost, give to the needy, make a difference.

Of course I love being a photographer. I want to capture beautiful memories and bring tears of joy to my clients.

Of course of course of course.

But only one thing is THE most important.

And that, my dear friends, is my relationship with Jesus.

Now, let me take this a step further. 

I think sometimes I (and maybe it's just me, who knows) put my life in two categories. Box One- my relationship with Jesus. Box Two- ministry/helping others. I know I need to spend time with God in prayer, reading His Word, listening for His voice, learning lessons only He can teach me in the stillness and quiet. And I know I want to serve others, make a difference in this world, use my gifts and resources to help those in need. I guess I've always thought, "I spend time with Jesus and get filled up, and I then I do ministry."

But today I got to thinking. Maybe there's no such thing as two boxes. Maybe they are in one box.

What if, just what if, my ministry IS my relationship with Jesus?

Scripture says my good deeds are like filthy rags. The only thing I can boast about is His righteousness alone.

I think as a pastor's wife and mother, I can get caught up in making sure I am always doing what God called me to do. I want to use my gifts to serve the church and our community. I love playing piano and leading worship. I love praying with others. I love having people over for dinner. I love being a listening ear when someone is struggling. I love giving money to those in need. I love being a helping hand. I love being a mom. I love raising my children. I love making our house a home and taking care of the upkeep to bless my family. I love giving my husband back massages and praying for him. I love speaking truth and life over my family and encouraging them in their relationship with Jesus.

But what if, what if, all of that is good, but not the most important ministry I can do?

What if the most important ministry I can do is grow closer to Jesus and let Him do a deep and true work in my heart? What if the most important ministry I can do is let Jesus mold and shape me into His image day after day after day? What if the most important ministry I can do is let Jesus live in me and then let Him shine out of me?

Food for thought.

So when I wake up in the morning with disheveled hair and groggy eyes, bring the kids downstairs for breakfast and brew my cup of coffee, instead of thinking of all the important things I need to do with my day and my life, I will head straight for my Bible. I will sit down on the couch, look out my window with the morning sun streaming through, and I will say, "Jesus, what would You like to speak to me about today? What good work are You doing my my heart?"

When I intend to conquer a pile of laundry and dirty dishes with zero energy and enthusiasm, I will ask, "Jesus, what are You trying to teach me in this moment? What good work are You doing in my heart?"

When I am working through an issue with my husband and we are disagreeing on a solution, I will ask, "Jesus, what lesson do You have for me in this? What good work are You doing in my heart?"

When I am faced with an unforeseen trial and I feel the waves crushing my hope and faith, I will ask, "Jesus, what are You showing me in this time? What good work are You doing in my heart?"

When I can't please everyone and I'm left feeling inadequate, I will ask, "Jesus, who do You say that I am? What good work are You doing in my heart?"

And maybe, just maybe, those who are watching my life will see my heart before the Lord. Maybe they will see that I know I haven't "arrived" and that I am humbly seeking a tender heart before Him. Maybe they will see that each day I realize even more my desperate need for His grace. Maybe my life will speak louder than my words.

And maybe that is why it is my most important ministry.


Romans 12:1-3

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

If you are looking for an example of humility, look at the cross. - Thomas Aquinas

Nothing sets a person so much out of the devil's reach as humility. - Jonathan Edwards

Humility is the most difficult of all virtues to achieve; nothing dies harder than the desire to think well of oneself. - T. S. Eliot

Moses spent forty years thinking he was somebody; then he spent forty years on the back side of the desert realizing he was nobody; finally, he spent the last forty years learning what God can do with a nobody. - D. L. Moody

Humble people don't think less of themselves... they just think about themselves less. -Norman Vincent Peale

Humility is nothing but the truth. Humility is a synonym for honesty, not hypocrisy. It is not an artificial pretense about myself, but an accurate assessment of myself. - John Stott

There is no room for God in a person who is full of himself. - Israel Baal Shem Tov

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