Today I begin the journey through Matthew 6. Jesus continues teaching his disciples from the “Sermon on the Mount”. I’ve heard before that this is crucial teaching that he was sharing with his closest disciples. Not that any of his other teaching is less important, just that this was “face time” with the Song of God, teaching on the basic fundamentals of being a Christ follower. That’s why I am just taking little bits and really trying to see what God is saying into my life today, so far it’s been really refreshing and challenging.
So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full
As I was reading & studying this verse, I really began to think about the motive behind what we do as servants of Christ. Whether “professional”, 0r volunteer ministers. I know this is primarily about giving to the needy, but I wonder if it applies to every area of service – what we do in the name of Jesus Christ.
I’m a pastor & worship leader. I disciple people, lead people in worship, teach from God’s Word, create marketing plans, organize and plan out weekend services – and all the administrative and mundane tasks that go along with that. Why do I do this? Well, here’s a short list:
- I’ve known almost my whole life that this is what I was created for
- I love seeing people grow in their relationships with God and others
- I love seeing the church worship together
- I love seeing the Gospel represented in a way that reaches out in today’s culture
- I seem to be relatively good at what I do
The thing that is a little harder to nail down though is, what do I get out of it? Am I seeking some kind of reward? Would I do it if there was no “applause”, no encouragement, no worldly compensation? Another way of putting it is – is my greatest satisfaction knowing that God is pleased and his name is made great through my meager service?
I think this is an easy trap to fall into as a pastor or worship leader. We get our kudos every week when we “do our thing”. People come up and say things like:
- Oh the worship was HOT today!
- That song was amazing!
- That message was so relevant
- That talk was so creative
- That graphic you made was insane!
- I just love it when you…
Now don’t get me wrong – I hear my share of critique as well, and encouragement is a great way to get people to continue serving and growing. But does my joy come from hearing those things? Or does my joy come from knowing that God is pleased with my lifestyle, my relationship with him, and my relationship with others? Check this verse out:
Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done
Here’s the bottom line: I just really want my life to be about making the name of Jesus Christ big. I don’t want pride to be constantly rearing it’s ugly head in my life. I want the reward of spending a lifetime serving and an eternity with my God and savior to be enough.