Remember grace. Sometimes we think God is the one who is poor and needy and we are the ones who do things for Him. We get things turned around as though we are great and mighty and He is needy. But that isn’t right, is it? No, we are the ones who have nothing to give, no ability to do well. We are the ones who are weak and broken and unworthy. He reaches down to us in His glory and lifts us up. Because we start out with nothing, we have nothing to give Him except what He gives to us. Any strength, any wisdom, any time, any financial resources, any skill, anything we have has already come from Him.
Think of Christian service as simply an opportunity to be with Him as He works. He does not need you, He wants you. He does not need your effort, or time, or money, or skill—but He allows you to use those things and participate in the work He is doing.
So, instead of running around in frustration or fear, wondering where the money or time will come from, believers should be able to trust that the Lord will provide whatever is needed for the work. If He doesn’t provide it, either you didn’t need it or maybe it wasn’t something He wanted done.
One final thought—the Christian servant leaves the results to the Master. You can present the gospel, but you can’t save anyone. You can raise a child, but you cannot make him a good person. You can plan and build, but you can’t assure success. The Scripture says that “unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” The Lord does His work.
That means that the results are in His hands. You are not responsible for the results. That means that the project you work on will sometimes turn out much different than you expect. Sometimes it will look like failure. And sometimes even failure is part of His plan.
You see, there is one requirement for a servant of the Lord. Paul said it simply, “It is required of a steward that he be found faithful.” When Jesus told the parable of the servants, they were judged by one thing—whether they were faithful. All the Lord wants is a servant who will be faithful.
Yet, even that is not something you or I can do on our own. We are not faithful people. We wander. So our prayer should be that He would make us faithful.
Understanding grace is the key to understanding Christian service. Everything is about Him. Everything is from Him. All that is expected of us is that we look to Him. He sees us in our need and reaches out to us in His power and majesty. That’s grace!