Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thinking.

I've been thinking. Too much, you would probably say in response, and you might be right. But it hasn't stopped yet, though sometimes I dearly wish it would. Stop, that is. Thinking. Too much. Already.

Anyway, blogging is a great forum for thinking out loud so as I think, I type...

I've been thinking about my confident assertion that everything--yes, everything!--can be done in the name of the Lord and for His honor and His glory. Along the same lines, I've also pondered John Piper's list of challenges to women, particularly the part about being totally committed to ministry (#7) and the part about making choices in terms of advancing the cause of Christ (#11).

As I put two and two together, or in this case 7 and 11, I see that the whole of my life can be and ought to be thought of in terms of ministry. "Wait a minute," you might think. "What about entertainment? Reading a good book? Taking a nap? Going on a bicycle ride?" (I've never asked that last question, but let's just say I know some people who might.)

I would submit to you that it all can be ministry, and that it all ought to be so. Jesus is not only concerned with the bits and pieces of my life, or yours. He wants, and demands, the whole. All done in His name and for His glory. All of it a spiritual act of worship. All of my life offered to Him in glad surrender. A living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God.

What, no fun? Yes, our fun too. What can be more fun that having fun that is holy and acceptable to God? Ministry can be hard, but there is joy and to separate the two represents a misunderstanding of ministry.

But I digress. Back to thinking. Too much.

I think of how I go about making my To Do list. How do I decide what I am to do this day? Some things are non negotiable and simply must be done. What about the negotiables? How do I decide what tasks get priority?

Often, the parameters I employ have much to do with what I want to do, what I feel like doing, what I feel confident doing, what will be easy and comfortable and, yes, fun. Rarely do I consider ministry. Rarely do I ask the question, How can I best advance the gospel today? Or, how can (fill in the blank) be done to the glory of God?

Sure, I think of ministry in conventional terms. When I am cramming preparing for Bible study on a Monday morning, I desperately pray for opportunity to speak of the glory of God in Christ, to declare the gospel, and to advance the kingdom of my Lord and Savior.

But other areas of my life? I do not. As I go on a field trip or attend a meeting or buy groceries, I give little thought to things eternal, to those around me dying without the hope of Christ. What does myselfishness with the gospel say about me? About my faith?

I've said it here in this forum many times, but I so need to hear it again: My sovereign God has granted me a sphere of influence, a circle of friends and acquaintances, a realm of opportunity, not for me to do as I feel like, but to boldy proclaim Jesus Christ as the living Hope. What kind of influence do I have? For good or evil? Or ambivalent? Do I resent the sphere He has granted me? Knowing He is the one true King and Lord of all, how can I wish for another place?

Oh, God, grant me eyes to see in terms of eternity! Let my life---the whole, not the part--be lived for the glory of Christ to the fullest, here in this place of ministry, this area of influence You have granted me for such a time as this...

6 comments:

  1. Wow...deep stuff! Very thought provoking. I admit, I don't think of ministry much outside of the conventional definition. We should be challenged...Jesus was anything but conventional & had no boundaries in His ministry.

    May we go through our days looking for those divine appointments.

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  2. Quick confession: To tell you how much I've been thinking, I just looked up and THE ENTIRE HOUSE is pitch black dark, not a light on anywhere! And I didn't even realize it!

    *laughing at myself*

    Lisa

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  3. Okay, would you please quit thinking because it is too convicting for the rest of us! :-)

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  4. That is some good thought provoking stuff. I loved how you closed your post with these words
    "Oh, God, grant me eyes to see in terms of eternity! Let my life---the whole, not the part--be lived for the glory of Christ to the fullest, here in this place of ministry, this area of influence You have granted me for such a time as this..."
    That is my prayer and desire!

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  5. This thinking is contagious...of course I blamed it on you! :-) Give me your wisdom and thoughts on my blog when you get a chance!

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  6. great stuff. i'm going to link to this post in my blog today. i really need to read john piper. i hear all these great quotes and phrases by him.

    gail in idaho

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