Ecclesiasticus 3:23 “Be not curious in unnecessary matters: for more things are shewed unto thee than men understand.”
‘Matters’ is a lofty word. Pompous people like to throw this word around because it’s fancy sounding. Pastors down here like to use it a lot. With internet, we have a hundred times the matter content that we would ever need, or want to know. We’ll never understand most of it. I like the other way the word ‘matters’ is used, as in asking the question ‘what is important?
It is so easy to get destracted by stupid things that don’t matter. It matters what you believe and what you think about day and night. That is what shapes our lives, and our futures. Our relationship with the Lord matters, so that’s what we should think about. His Word, and obeying Him and following Him matters. Others matter, that’s why we work around the clock to help them.
As I said, I was writing some books. But they consumed me, I was thinking about them more than the Lord, even though they were about ministry. Ministry isn’t the Lord though. The Lord by definition is the Master. What should consume us is the Lord and the people we serve. Three things go hand in hand in the ministry and are inseparable.
- Love for the Lord
- Love for the people
- Love for His Word
Monks sometimes become hermits, thinking and believing on the Lord all the time, not being destracted by people. Some people spend so much time in the Word that they neglect prayer and people. (That happened to me in seminary) Some people spend so much time with the people they serve, and are so dedicated to them, that they forget God and His Word. All of these extremes are completely missing the point. We are here for others. Ministry is a three legged stool. You need all three legs to be able to sit comfortably. Love for God is one. Love for His Word is another and Love for others is the third leg. It’s awkward, unbalanced and dangerous without all three. Plus it’s just plain weird.
I know of people in ministry that stay in ministry because they are afraid to leave it. They love the people they serve. It’s their identity. They have come see it as a career or an investment. But the Lord becomes second, and that’s bad. Think about the Lord Jesus, day and night and how to serve Him and the flock best and He will take care of the rest! Believe on Him (count on Him) in everything and He will take care of your kids, your marriage, your income, your health and even your ministry (which is all His anyway, not yours). It sounds difficult, and it will be at first, but there is so much freedom in it. More than worth it! Jesus will do a much better job taking care of everything than you can ever dream of. He’ll let you tag along, thinking you are doing something but it really is the Lord’s deal. The only thing we have to do, is to be obedient and heart from Him. The Lord is helping you behind the scenes even now, in ways you are not even aware of.
It’s important that you to believe on Jesus and to meditate on Him day and night. You’re meditating on something all the time anyway, might as meditate on something worthwhile, like the Lord and His Word. How do you know if you really believe on Jesus, and meditate on Him? First off, it’s a process. You know you are getting there by what you do and what you say (how you speak) and the boldness that accompanies it. How clearly you hear from God. How brave you are defending His flock. More importantly, how brave are you at resisting temptations in your own life, even when no one is watching? Your prorities will become more streamlined as well.
Boldness and singleness of mind is not just being a loud, self-righteous, opinionated buffoon. Boldness is an unwavering certainty in what you do, and what you say. Your words (or as I say, thought capsules) and actions really matter, because what you are talking about and doing you are convinced really matters.
Friendships, jobs, relationships, and your testimony matters as well. Pay attention to everything that matters. Pastor Allen Rigg from Calvary Chapel SOLAchurch said on Sunday that the 3 steps (the key) to job security, lasting relationships, friends in church, being included in conversations etc (in other words, not being a loud, opinionated buffoon) are:
- Listen more
- Speak less
- Don’t get mad
- The key to hearing more, is to place importance on what the person is saying. What they says matters, not what you want to say, nor what you are thinking about at that moment.
- The key to speaking less is to speak about only things that matter, with conviction with the few words you do say.
- The key to not getting mad is to not put importance on your own feelings. The feelings of others matters, not yours. If you put others first, you won’t get sucked into arguments, offend, get offended nor embarrassed. People will like you more too, as a side benefit.
Listen to what is being said. Speak in response about what truly matters, with boldness and certainty. This only comes with really believing, and constantly meditating on the truth that only comes with Jesus and His Word. Any attacks are water off of a duck’s back. As I said last week, your love for God, love for His flock, and love for His Word are all intertwined. You can’t love one without loving the others. This will be you balance, and your stability. If what you say doesn’t matter, why say it? Focus! Time’s running out for many.
Titus 3:3 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
Ministry matters. God matters. The Word matters. How we treat everyone we are in contact with matters. The people that are under our responsibility matter. The main thing is where we will all spend eternity, and who we take with us. That is what really matters.
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy.
Dean and Winnie Peters
Joyfully serving the ‘least of these’ in Nicaragua for the glory of God