Be like Jesus and have a great commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Jesus does not need you, but he delights in equipping saints to do the work of the ministry. Jesus does not need your support, but he delights in watching men and women provide for him out of their means.
Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means (Luke 8:1-3).
Jesus is the faithful son. With all of his heart he loves his Heavenly Father and is passionately interested in keeping his secret will — that divine covenant to which they both agreed in eternity past. He is also eager to keep his Father’s revealed will — the Moral, Ceremonial, and Civil Law presented to Moses atop Mt. Sinai. Yes, Jesus is the faithful Son who perfectly loves and obeys his Father. He does so with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Jesus is the compassionate neighbor. His vertical affection for the Father results in his horizontal affection for his neighbors. Like a Good Shepherd, Jesus cares for his own. These he guides, feeds, protects, soothes, and disciplines. In addition, Jesus is like the Good Samaritan, he does good to many broken and battered men who despise and belittle him.
Jesus is the relentless evangelist. Persistently, without long pauses, Jesus seeks to save the lost. He is an exemplary fisherman who must fill his boat with fish. He is an ambitious farmer who indiscriminately casts seed about and cannot wait until harvest time. Jesus is the traveling revivalist who hits the road. Yes, Jesus is the perfect worshiper and neighbor. He is one with a great commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.
Jesus is the sovereign Lord who loves male support. In Luke 8, he equips male saints to serve and support him. Twelve ordinary fellows are called by him to watch and learn. They are diverse in their backgrounds; they are politicians, fishermen, collectors, and accountants. They are proficient in sin; they have enormous spiritual issues with which to deal. They have no formal training. However, Jesus has great plans for his male disciples. As the sovereign king of his church, Jesus delights as he watches these ordinary men provide for him out of their means.
In addition, Jesus is the sovereign Lord who loves female support. Now, to the Romans this is laughable, and to the Jews this is offensive. However, Jesus knows best and he defies customary logic and religious traditions. It is his desire to work in, with, and through these ladies. As the sovereign king of his church, Jesus delights as he watches these ordinary women provide for him out of their means.
Do you see what Jesus is doing today? He continues to be one with a great commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. He continues to love all his enemies with common grace, while especially loving and seeking out his own whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. From heaven above and through his Spirit, he continues to be the faithful son, the compassionate neighbor, and the relentless evangelist.
Then, are you involved in what Jesus is doing today? He continues to desire, use, and delight in male and female support. Have you forgotten the joy of serving Christ? Have you forgotten what Christ might accomplish through your service and support?
- You can bring glory to his name in the manner that you live your life and maintain your holy testimony.
- You can be used by Christ to bring people out of darkness and into God’s glorious light.
- You can assist in altering a family’s spiritual trajectory. Generations can be affected through your work of discipleship.
- Someone who is lonely can find uplifting relationships as you invite and include them in your church fellowship.
- A suicidal neighbor can find hope and satisfaction as you love them with words and deeds.
- Impoverished individuals can have their temporal needs met through the abundance Christ has given you.
- You can be involved in helping someone be rid of an addiction.
- You, through your influence, work, love, and vote, can change a culture.
Oh, do not get big-headed. Do not overthink your value. Christ does not need you. He can work immediately and independently of human assistance. Contrary to the famous quote, you are not the only hands God has to work with. Hear me again; God does not need your help. However, as the sovereign king of his church, he delights in working in, with, and through his disciples. He loves to see men and women provide for him out of their means.
So what excuses will you make?
- I am not ordained.
- I am not a church officer.
- I am too old.
- I am too young.
- I am too new
- I am too uneducated.
- I am not in good health.
- I am not consistent enough in my walk of faith.
- I am not an extrovert.
- I am not a gifted communicator.
- I do not have time.
- I am not appreciated by my church leaders.
- I am not a man.
Stop waiting and start working. Join the Jesus’ movement and be a groupie in his traveling crusade. You, who are in Christ, have the Holy Spirit. You have been custom made by God, and you have natural talents and developed skills. In addition, you have all been granted spiritual gifts. You have been placed by God in various circles of influence. You all have pastors and programs to utilize. In the United States and other free countries, you still have religious freedom. Most of you have mobility. Almost all of you have technology. And then there is the certain amount of financial power given to you by the Lord. Yes, you all have different backgrounds. Yes, you all have different amounts of training. Yes, you all have different sin issues. And yes, you are not all men. But go to work. Be like Jesus and have a great commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Jesus does not need you, but he delights in equipping saints to do the work of the ministry. Jesus does not need your support, but he delights in watching men and women provide for him out of their means.
Joseph A. Franks IV is a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and is Pastor of Palmetto Hills Presbyterian Church in Simpsonville, South Carolina. This article first appeared on his blog, and is used with permission.