Editor’s note: Many churches celebrate October as Pastor Appreciation Month. If yours is among them, consider incorporating the devotion below into your plans. It is slightly adapted from the free ministry message that accompanies the Thanking God for Your Servant Heart product line.

In addition, CTA has a number of other appropriate, value-priced gifts you may want to consider using to acknowledge the work of your pastor and the entire church staff all year round. Think about how these could fit into a year-round plan of encouragement. 

As we serve our Savior, some tasks bring a sense of simple satisfaction:

  • We finish the article for this month’s newsletter or blog—and feel confident it will encourage readers’ relationship with Jesus.
  • We look up from the table—and see every envelope for the special mailing crisp, neatly stacked, and ready for the Post Office.
  • We leave the nursing home—and know that our weekly visits cheer the disabled youth as well as the elderly residents there.

Some tasks, though, have no end date, no comfortable resolution:

  • That sermon or devotion that fell flat.
  • That conversation about Christ with the unchurched neighbor that went nowhere—again.
  • That preschooler (or seventh grader!) who can’t seem to focus, no matter how many bells and whistles we build into the lesson.

The dictionary defines ambiguity as “doubtfulness, uncertainty.” Ministry often carries a dose of ambiguity, doesn’t it? (Sometimes, a large dose!) Have we accomplished something? Or not? Have we made a difference? Or not?

The truth is that often we don’t know. Often, we can’t know—not now.

But one day, we will know. One day, we will hear our Master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” That verdict on our lives and on our service is certain, as certain as the promise of our Lord Jesus.

He’s the One who has placed within us a heart set on serving. He’s the One whose love flows through us into the lives of those around us. He’s the One who first served us and whose perfection covers all our inadequacies.

Sometimes, the results of our labors here on earth are obvious—and glorious. More often, results are ambiguous. Occasionally, we work and work, invest and invest, plan and hope, only to come up empty handed, or seemingly so. In the final analysis, though, our own verdict on what we’ve accomplished doesn’t matter much.

Regardless of what we see (or think we see), God’s Word works. Through it, he accomplishes what he sets out to do. He calls us to serve faithfully and to take hope in the Savior’s settled verdict on our service: Well done!

Lord Jesus, thank you for giving me a servant heart, a heart like your own. Teach me to entrust to you the results of my service . . .


© 2013 CTA, Inc. No duplication of this article is allowed without the express written consent of CTA, PO Box 1205, Fenton, MO 63026-1205. www.CTAinc.com. 
If you would like to reprint this devotion and distribute it, complete and submit the form here. 




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