Several years ago, a women’s pastor who sometimes spoke at our camp Ladies’ Retreats was in the area and stopped by my home for a brief visit. When I asked her how she was doing she glowed, explaining that she had just returned from a quiet retreat where she had fasted and prayed, “and,” she said, “just really ministered to the Lord.”
Ministered to the Lord…
I got stuck right there. I had never heard anyone say that before. Of course, God ministers to us and we minister to others on His behalf, but to minister to a God who already has everything and doesn’t need anything captured my attention…
This week Ella came to me asking, “Mom, was Lazarus good?”
I knew she had just finished her devotions but, not knowing what she was searching out, I let her question settle while saying a prayer for His guidance.
“He was a sinner, just like us,” I ventured.
She was quiet a moment. “But,” she continued, “he was Jesus’s friend. Jesus cried when Lazarus died.”
“Yes, he was Jesus’ friend. When Jesus traveled to his town, he and his sisters gave Him a place to stay. They provided His meals… I’m sure they laughed together. They sat at His feet and He taught them.”
I smiled. There it was, on the tip of my tongue. “They ministered to the Lord.”
None of us are good. The Bible tells us that the heart of man is desperately wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9) Yet, Jesus took our punishment for our sin and gave us His righteousness in order to make us friends of God. This is the gift of God (Ephesians 2), not a result of anything we can ever do, but God’s grace extended to us. His Holy Spirit lives with those who are saved. He our counselor, our comforter, our Friend. When we choose to sin~to live like we’re still spiritually dead~he is grieved like Jesus was when Lazarus died, but we bless Him when we choose to walk by His Spirit, seeking His will for our lives, and ABIDING in Him (John 15).
John tells us we love God because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19) He is our friend and, like Lazarus, we can minister to Him!
We minister to Him when we remember His greatness,
“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” Psalm 103
when we seek Him,
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1
when we sing to Him,
“Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth!” Psalm 96:1
when we praise Him,
“Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing to his name, for it is pleasant!” Psalm 135:3
when we talk with Him,
“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.” Jeremiah 29:12 (Read here for context.)
when we obey Him,
“Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.'” John 14:23
when we serve others…
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
We can minister to the Lord. Today, many of you will be meeting with your local church assembly. You will hear God’s Word, have opportunity to encourage and help your brothers and sisters, praise God through song… let it not just be an act of going through the motions and checking it off of your to-do list. Be aware of the attitude you put on. Make it your goal to minister to the Lord! You also will be blessed when you do.