September 5, 2016
It’s No Small Thing
"Does it seem a small thing to you that the God of Israel has chosen you … to minister to them?" (Numbers 16:9, NET Bible)
Friend to Friend
A friend sent this text: “I thought of you when I read Numbers 16:9 today!”
“Does it seem a small thing to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the people of Israel to be near Him as you serve in the Lord's tabernacle and to stand before the people to minister to them?” (Numbers 16:9, NET Bible)
She texted again: “God chose you to serve Him in this tabernacle of flesh, to stand, talk, and to sing before people to minister to them.”
I thanked her and shook my head. No, it’s not a small thing at all. It is an honor: one that I don’t deserve, but for the healing, life-changing, grace of Jesus.
She probably thought of me because I serve on stage, in a visible position. I get it. But I have to tell you this, even though she thought of me, I thought of you.
And you should too.
Why? Because every person who places her faith in Jesus becomes a part of His plan: to know Him intimately and impact others for His glory. No microphone required. No Bible degree needed. You don’t have to be a pastor, ministry director, Sunday school teacher, elder, or deacon.
Several gems rise to the surface of this Scripture as I look it over. As a member of the body of Christ, God’s chosen, I must…
MAKE IT PERSONAL
This verse is a question. Does it seem a small thing to you…?
In other words, do you realize how awesome it is that you get to do something to express your love for God? Do you understand what a privilege it is to know and serve the One who knows and loves you best… the One who redeems broken lives from the pit and crowns them with love and compassion… the One who forgives, heals, holds, restores, guides, and helps? (I’m jumping up and down here!)
I know my answer. I may forget it sometimes in my selfishness, but today I know my answer. You?
On to the next gem…
BE NEAR HIM
“…the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the people of Israel to be near Him…”
It’s easy to feel isolated, rejected, unwanted, and unappreciated. Right? Most of us do at times. This reminds me that our Creator loves His creation. And He wants us near Him. (In spite of the fact that He fully knows who we are, the ways we’ve failed, the rules we’ve broken, the habits that trip us up, and the stubborn heart-places that are yet to be refined.)
This invitation to His presence is personal. Gem. Gem. Gem.
And there’s more…
SERVE HIM and STAND BEFORE THE PEOPLE to MINISTER to THEM
“…as you serve in the Lord's tabernacle …”
Where? At church. Ahem. Yep. It pretty much says that.
To be clear, the church is the body of Christ. The church is people. Us. But we often meet in places as groups that need each of us to step up and pitch in. Before you and I can breathe our excuses…
I’m too busy
I’m not good with kids
They already have piano players
I don’t know the Bible well enough
I really don’t want to
We are all called to serve one another. No easy pass here.
(Of course we also serve God at home as we chase tireless toddlers, prepare meals, wash dishes, and clean endless piles of laundry. And we serve Him at work as we go about our jobs with excellence, as we behave with a dignity and joy that makes others wonder about our God, and as we honor our bosses, counterparts, and subordinates.)
My final observation? The order of it all: Him. Him. Them.
Seek God (Him). Serve God (Him). Serve others (them).
Does that seem a small thing?
Experiencing the power and pleasure of God while seeking and serving Him in His tabernacle is surely no small thing. When we minister to those people who bless, but also stretch, stress, and strain us, we do so in Jesus’ name, for HIS glory. Not for our own.
It’s time to stop dismissing, doubting, or avoiding opportunities to serve.
Dive in. Sign up. Fill a need.
Shake a few hands, vacuum a carpet, push a wheelchair, welcome first time guests who feel out of place and need a friendly smile, pray with the burdened, change a diaper, take a meal, speak truth, make coffee, teach, love, lead, serve.
Use what you’ve been given BY God FOR God.
Be the body of Christ and share His beautiful grace by serving His people.
Service is beautiful. And you have been chosen.
Lord, let that be me. I recognize that it is no small thing to seek you, serve you and minister to others. Please rid my heart of my agenda and replace it with Yours so that You might be honored and that Your name might be lifted high in and through my life.
In Jesus’s Name I pray,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read what Jesus said in Mark 10:45. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Read 1 Peter 4:10. “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
Read Colossians 3:23-24. “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.”
Consider how God has uniquely gifted you and pray about what steps to take next.
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Originally published Monday, 05 September 2016.