Editor’s note: Many churches observe Pastor Appreciation Month in October. Many are careful to include the entire church staff as they express their appreciation. As you plan ways to thank your pastor(s) and staff, we hope this free devotion will help shape your thinking. It comes from one of CTA’s devotion books for Christian Workers, Thanking God for Your Servant Heart.
As you begin, read 1 Corinthians 1:26-28.
An alien power intent on conquering Earth. There’s no telling how many stories, television series, and movies have sprung from this kernel of an idea.
Usually the conquest begins with fleets of alien craft knifing their way through space toward our planet. Or with a death star looming large above the horizon. Or with a microbe designed to infect us all with an incurable disease.
Conquering the Earth takes lots of power, many resources, or clever technologies!
What about a plan that uses none of these? What about a plan that rejects wisdom, power, cleverness, or status? What about a plan that starts by taking ordinary people and transforming them, using only the influence of sacrificial love?
No sci fi editor would buy a story like that. No philosopher would either. Most politicians, dictators, and generals on the planet would laugh aloud at the thought.
In 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul acknowledges this. He reminds us that God calls a few people whom the world considers wise, but very few. God chooses some powerful people, but not many. God touches the hearts of some folks born into privilege, but they are not the majority.
Instead, God chooses and uses the foolish, the weak, the lowly, and the despised. In a word, us! Ordinary people like you and me. We are the ones who get to serve in the name of the One who serves. He died to make our service possible. He rose again to make it inevitable. Seeing his gracious, glorious service for us, how can we keep ourselves from serving, too?
It’s no small task, conquering the world. If we focus on the world, the enormity of the task would wear us to a nub. But Jesus reassures us, accompanies us, and promises to sustain us. He fixes our attention on one heart at a time, one person at a time, one family at a time. Whom will you serve today?
Lord Jesus, I’m not wise or powerful or influential, and I don’t claim to be. But you have claimed me as your friend. As I serve today . . .
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