Thursday, January 8, 2009

How to Recognize the Right Approach

After using the illustration of people who are invited to a feast, Jesus concluded with His explanation of WHY He was correct:

Lu 14:11 "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Notice what  Jesus said : "Whoever" exalts himself will be humbled. Jesus did not say, "Whoever exalts himself, unless he is right," or "Whoever exalts himself unless God told him to do it," or "Whoever exalts himself except those with decades of experience in leadership positions." Jesus taught that ANY Christian who exalts himself into a possition of leadership is going to get humbled.

So, how do you humble yourself? How do you know if you are humble? How do you not know that you aren't so proud that you think you're humble, when you're not? Despite all the jokes about "Humility and How I Obtained It," the Bible really does gives ways to become humble, and ways to tell whether or not you are humble.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Right Approach

Lu 14:10 But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, 'Friend, go up higher.' Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you.

We have seen that people who will only take positions of leadership usually fail in their Christian service. But Christians who are willing to take low positions succeed because any advancement they make comes from God, not themselves. Are you willing to go to your pastor and volunteer to do any task that needs to be done? What if the task is setting up chairs, mopping floors, cleaning rest rooms, washing dishes after church meals, or tending to the church grounds?

One large Baptist church that we were members of always had plenty of nominees for deacons, but the pastor had to plead nearly every Sunday for nursery workers. Everyone who ran for deacon could not possibly have been called to do so, but everyone who volunteered to work in the nursery had genuine opportunities to serve God. In another large Baptist church, some men who were not elected as deacons were so upset that they were put on the school board as a "consolation prize," where they hindered the work of our Christian school. In other churches, people would fight and scheme to be put in charge of an adult Sunday School class, while refusing to teach a children's class; and although it may have happened elsewhere, I know of no instance in which such a person did a good job teaching the adult class. In yet another church, we had a successful teen-age Sunday School class, because inexperienced young Christians were bringing their friends; meanwhile, older, more experienced Christians seized the leadership, and ran off 3/4 of the attendance in one year.

Do you want to serve God to get results, or do you want to serve God to glorify yourself? If you want results, seek out opportunities to SERVE, not opportunities to rule.