Paul, the Apostle, wrote in Colossians 1:24-27, that his purpose was to become the "servant" to the Body of Christ, to deliver God's message in full, to announce the secret hidden for long ages and through many generations, and to make known how rich and glorious is His will among all nations.
As I read this yesterday, I must admit, the part that says..."I became it's servant by virtue of the task assigned to me by God for your benefit"...laid heavily on my soul. Paul, like his Master, Jesus, came to serve. The divine purpose of God manifested in Jesus became manifested in Paul.
My husband and I have been in the ministry for a long time. We started out very ignorantly, with high dreams and visions, based on large ministries that we followed (and still do), at that time. We had no real training to speak of, just a desire, born of God, to serve Him. To say our ministry has been a roaring success, would not be true. We have fought many battles over the years to stay true to the correct preaching of God's Word.
The challenge of being a "servant to the Body of Christ" is difficult. We have seen such foolishness in our experience. I remember a scene in "Gladiator", where the new Caesar is being advised to become like a certain fish that lays on the bottom of the sea, allowing its enemies to take bits and pieces, until it is given the opportune time to strike back. Now this Caesar was evil, and his purpose for being that wary was only for his good, but, what spoke to me is the way many Christians come to churches with the intent of "taking bits and pieces" for their good.
The understanding of serving has been smothered in the layers of self-indulgence. Pastors all over this nation deal with those that see the Body of Christ as a department store, and what I mean by that, is "what can be done for me", "what can I receive", or "what needs of mine can be met". We see the very few that have the divine purpose manifested in them...servanthood.
What is even more troubling is the lack of desire by many Christians to study God's Word. They are very happy when a pastor or minister receives a revelation that thrills them for the moment. But, the desire to receive of God's revelation for their divine purpose in the Body of Christ is sorely lacking.
How many opportunities did Paul have to become offended at the actions and words of others? Study what he suffered for the Gospel, and you will find out those many instances. Paul, had a divine purpose in his heart. That purpose was birthed by the Holy Spirit of God, and revealed to Paul in such a manner that it was burned into his soul. It changed him forever.
I pray for the church...God's people. I pray for their eyes to be enlightened. I pray for myself and my husband, that we will not be overwhelmed by the lack of commitment that we witness. I pray that God's people will love God, the way that God loves them. Me, included!
I pray, also, that "servanthood" would become more desirable, that each one of us, as Christians, would follow our Master and the example He so lovingly set before us. I know my own heart is struggling right now with issues that challenge that very principal. As I gaze at pictures of the manger, I cannot help but remember that Jesus came to serve. He was the Love-Servant of God. He served to win the hearts of men. He took His Father's purpose from the manger to the cross.
Paul took His Master's purpose to the Church. Where will we take it?
Loving Him and you,