Ephesians 5 – Belief and Behavior
How does it make you feel to be used for someone else’s purpose to get ahead in this world….using church work as the tool? Our one and only desire as believers should be to help others find and follow Jesus like Jesus taught us. Do we lead people to church then use them for our glory. Do we invite people to sit with us and use them to get a pat on the back for bringing them? Do we use new people to do the work we don’t want to do anymore with the motivation to see someone do what you don’t want to do? Yikes!
Sometimes we push people into performing a work they are not trained to do, are not gifted to do so they do not feel comfortable doing it and are not led by God to do it…only led by our own personalities to please us. Yikes!
Sometimes we do things for the church like lead a Sunday School class “because no one else signed up to do it”. Is this the motivation we should have for ministry? Yikes. Maybe it would be better to wait and not fill a position with wrong motivation of heart? When we put a warm body in a position without training do we immediately criticize every move they make because it is not the way we would have done it? Yikes!
Do we sign on for “church work” because of how great it makes us feel? Are we discouraged easily when no one notices what we do for people? Yikes!
Could these motivations be MEnistry verses ministry? Paul boldly states that this motivation of heart and soul is a variation on idolatry! We worship what we do and what we can get out of it! Yikes!
Ephesians 5, The Message
5 You can be sure that using people or religion or things just for what you can get out of them—the usual variations on idolatry—will get you nowhere, and certainly nowhere near the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of God.
6-7 Don’t let yourselves get taken in by religious smooth talk. God gets furious with people who are full of religious sales talk but want nothing to do with him. Don’t even hang around people like that.
What?! Let’s rethink. What IS right thinking?
–Love God. Love Others…not for what they can do for you…just love others.
–Pray. Ask God what He wants you to be and do. BE first with God. Worship God. Then as a response serve God by serving others with no thought to what you hope to gain. Our gain is His glory! Not ours.
–If God asks you to train others, then do it. Here are the stages:
Do it with them watching. Do it with them. Do it while you watch and encourage. Let them do it while you move on to another work God has for you next.
–Andy Stanley said it best, “I take more joy in seeing others do what I did better than I did it than in doing it myself.” Yes!
–God is not “for sale”. We do not sell people on following God. God opens hearts. We are His people who demonstrate His love to others…like Christ. (See Phil 2 and John 13)
Run from idolizing religion. Run to God. Run to growing an intimate relationship with God then with others because of our relationship to God through Christ, our Lord.
He is God. We are not.
“Be still and know that I am God” –God
Be still and know.
Dear Heavenly Father,
There is a fine line between following You and performing religious acts that we cross at times. Religion or relationship. Worship of you or worship of what we do for you? How ludicrous to choose something else than You! We repent of crossing the line. Our desire is follow you, glorify You with our lives and to live in Your Kingdom. Help to be then do with your Kingdom thinking that guides our behavior. Transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen