Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March 30, 2011 … God-Centered Teamwork

Passage of the Day: 1st Corinthians 3: 8 – 9 - 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.

My Journal for Today: Here in this country/culture, individuality is valued highly; but measured by our love of team sports, so is “teamwork.” However, even in the venues of team sports, we seem to laud the “superhero” above the team. Our cultural values just seem to want to find the ONE who can win even more than the team. The internet tells me that no one knows the author of the quote: “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team.’ “ And I think we Christians would find truth in that quote; but we still try to be “Lone Rangers” in the Christian world; and we put TV preachers who become stars up on a pedestal above the Pastors of small churches where there is a tremendously successful teamwork going on to bring Christ to a dying world and to team-disciple those who are growing in the faith.

Really, all worship and ministry as a Christian in God’s kingdom is a team venture; and teamwork, as highlighted in today’s passage, requires humility, sharing, and Kingdom unity. Sometimes, however, the efforts involved in church teamwork may seem uneven or even unfair from a human or worldly point-of-view (see Jesus’ parable of the workers in the vineyard in Matt. 20: 1 – 16 - linked here). However, we all work and share in God’s master plan in HIS garden … for HIS glory.

Certainly it is all too easy to let feelings of unfairness or selfish desire for recognition from the world (i.e., for personal affirmation) get in the way of unity within the Body of Christ. And it is only when we can lay ego aside and COMPLETELY trust God that our work within His Body, His kingdom work, can be magnified in power by His Spirit for the Father’s glory. Yes, some plant the seeds in His field, as today’s verse and Jesus’ parable registers, are planted by a chosen and anointed few;… and others water those seeds; … and yet others may be there to reap the harvest for God in due season. But the harvested crop is the collective result of ALL of God’s humble workers, unified of purpose, to allow God to bring the harvest in His time, for His glory.

Maybe you have had the privilege and the joy of being the God-designated harvester who was there, at the right time of brokenness in someone’s life; and you helped lead that lost soul into God’s family of believers. I have had that privilege a few times; but it certainly has not happened for me as it has for a Billy Graham, who has led thousands, yea millions, into the kingdom of God. But for every Billy Graham, or other high profile evangelist, preaching the Gospel at Christian crusades and calling out many “to come” in faith, there have been mega-thousands of silent field workers on God’s team who shared testimonies with those lost souls; and probably even more mega-thousands who prayed for those lost ones before that decision was made at that crusade which led that lost soul down an isle into the family of God. But in all of that, God was the agent of that lost one’s salvation; and it took a team of field workers to plant the seed, to care for the soil, to water the growing faith of that lost seedling, and then someone on God’s team was used to bring in the harvest of that soul for the eternal kingdom of God.

And when the harvest is in … the angels celebrate and God smiles … and His smiles are not just because of the harvest workers … but because of all those who planted the seeds, patiently watered or nourished the field, and then for the ones He had there to bring in the harvest. Prayerfully, we are all planting seeds, tending the fields, and are available to bring in the harvest if that be God’s plan!

Yes it’s true; in doing God’s field work, there is no “I” on God’s “team” of field workers.

My Prayer Today: I play on Your team, Lord! Thank You for choosing me. Amen

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