On this 6th Week of Lent going into Easter we would like to highlight the concept of giving more than receiving. We’re not talking about money we’re talking about giving of yourself and in the areas where it matters.
It is quite easy in our culture and world to become very self centered and self serving. Even in ministry. Having an appearance of serving God when all you’re just thinking about is yourself. How will you know this is really at the root of your heart? It’s all in your thought life and your subsequent actions. “What about me?” “Why am I not the one with the big ministry?” “I sing better than so and so” “I’m a better preacher” “How long am I going to have to wait to receive the blessing that has been prophesied over me?”
Perhaps you’ve hindered instead of helping others when you’ve realized they had great potential or anointing in an area where you hoped you would succeed in ministry. Only you and God know the truth about what’s really going on inside your head and heart. Sometimes God will bring these people to you to see what you will do. To reveal your own heart to you. It’s a test. Are you going to help build His kingdom or will you only help if you’re the star? Your success in ministry could be tied to you helping someone else.
Maybe you’ve given of yourself to ministry so much and you feel that you are not receiving all that you have given out. God’s word says to you (Acts 20:35 NKJV) “remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
During this season of lent remember that Christ gave his LIFE for you. He suffered, he was rejected to the point of death to receive his reward that came after he rescued souls from hell and resurrected to heaven. The rewards of his sacrifice was not seen until afterwards and that sacrifice is still paying dividends to this day as your family members and friends come into a relationship with God! Yes, it paid off big time in the end!
Don’t allow jealousy, envy or covetousness to enter your heart because you see others prospering or flourishing in their ministry. They may appear to be cutting in line ahead of you but that’s OK your reward is coming! God is never late. Rejoice when they succeed knowing that you are one step closer to seeing your own rewards! If God puts them in your path, help them! You’re helping God by helping them. Always remember that you’re building His Kingdom and not your own. You may be the one doing the cutting in line next and rest assured, you’re going to need someone to extend their hand to help you. It is truly loving your neighbor as you love yourself.
You may say “well, our reward will be in heaven” and that is true! But let’s not forget the prayer of David (Psalm 27:13) “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living” This means that God will give you some kind of reward right here on earth! You’re going to see something that says that all of your commitment and dedication in doing God’s work is paying off. Believe that and don’t lose heart. Keep going! Keep doing the right thing! Keep doing good! Keep helping others! Even if no one sees or knows what you are doing, God knows and some amazing blessing will come your way through your perseverance. (James 1:2-4 NKJV) “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” Be patient.
Think about Abraham, he saw some of God’s promises during his lifetime and others came afterwards. The birth of Isaac seemed to be a far fetched promise but, even though his shaky faith caused him to have Ishmael with Sarah’s handmaiden Hagar, God still fulfilled his promise to Abraham. And there were so many other promises that didn’t come to fruition until after his death. Some things he saw and others he didn’t. Likewise you are going to see some of your blessings now as well.
Reflect on Christ during this lenten season and think of the rewards that you will receive because of your faithfulness.
Here is a prayer for you…
Almighty God, thank you for the reminder of Jesus’ walk to the cross. I can imagine that everyone standing around watching Jesus walk to the cross thought he had failed, it seemed that he couldn’t even rescue himself from this death, he was indeed walking into the greatest victory and reward. My salvation! And, the salvation of all who will believe and receive the gift that he has so lovingly bestowed upon us – eternal life. Thank you that he never wavered but stayed focus and finished the race as so many great patriarchs that followed him did as well. God help me, by your grace, to also finish well and to not give up hope. I would have given up if I did not believe that I would have seen your goodness in the land of the living. Even so, I know that an even greater reward awaits me in heaven. Lord bring salvation to my family and friends and continue to guide me to be used for your glory. I give up my own pride and I ask that you uproot jealousy, covetousness and envy. Cause me to be reminded always that I am here to build your kingdom and not my own. I am here to serve and to help those that you have put into my path. Expand my heart so that I will give more than I receive, in Jesus name, Amen.
If you’ve read this and you don’t understand what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, read this.
Next week we’ll have our final prayer for Easter. See you then.