Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bad Form

When we begin preparations for vacation Bible school each summer, one of the things our church Body enjoys is making posters together. Overhead transparencies are made with pictures of this year's clip art, posterboard is taped to the wall, and people of all ages trace and color the myriad of posters that will be used throughout the building.
In the poster-making frenzy a couple of weeks ago, two young men took it into their heads to "get fired." Apparently they were drafted for the job and considered themselves too manly for the task.
I was reminded of the prophet, Samuel, who began service in the tabernacle at a young age. He, too, was drafted for a work that was not his own. And yet, even as a newly weaned little boy, "Samuel was ministering before the LORD, as a boy wearing a linen ephod" (1 Samuel 2:18). He didn't minister to Eli, though he served under him. He didn't minister to the people, though they profited from his example and service. He didn't minister to his family, though they came to visit and brought gifts. Samuel's ministry was to God Himself, and no other. From such a young age, Samuel was aware of God's presence, God's worth, God's provision and position.
What is my form of service? It flows from the object of worship within myself. When God is that object, my service is for Him, to Him, and through Him. When that object is self, all I end up with is a bad poster no one wants and empty hands that lack purpose and direction.
May I, like Samuel, minister before the Lord today....

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Weight has always been an issue for me. Until recently, I joked about my five years of "body bliss" between the ages of 17-22. Then, relaxing into life, I became complacent about body stewardship and the numbers on the scale increased again. The last two years, God has been teaching me obedience and contentment as it relates to body care. And I have found that contentment is often unaddressed in the Christian environment--especially in America.

We eat the wrong food because we are discontent with the right foods. We amass more and more possessions because we are discontent with the ones we have. We fill the courts desiring more money, a different spouse, a sense of justice, discontent with the provision of God. If "the LORD is my portion," (Lamentations 3:24), why am I filling my bowl with so many other, useless things?

Even in the Church, our service is tainted by discontent. Some long to enlarge their boundaries, others desire a better gift. Some, in discontent and envy, refuse to serve at all. Yet "one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills" (1 Cor. 12:11). And should we wonder if Paul might have mistakenly attributed our specific giftings to God, he says later in the same passage, "But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired" (1 Cor. 11:18).

What is your gift or mode of service? If God has given it to you, specifically, to meet the needs of His Body, why are you discontent? What is that bowl in your figurative hands full of?

"Therefore I have hope in Him." (Lamentations 3:24)