Summary: God gets the glory as you serve others, and again when they thank Him for his provision and care through your service. Double win.

2 Corinthians 9:12 says “…this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.”

Our ministry is rendered unto God and not to people. Plainly stated, we serve God not man. But our labors in the Lord DO meet the needs of other human beings. Yet it does not end there. There is an easily overlooked “spiritual bonus,” resulting from our efforts.

Consider this: People, whose needs are met by you, might tell God thanks for what you did. God not only gains glory as (1) you selflessly serve Him, but He receives (2) offerings of thanks from those whose needs were met. Here’s the basic rundown: First, you serve God. Second, your service meets someone’s need. Third, God received heartfelt worship through thanks from the one whose needs were met.

I know this sounds elemental and basic. Yet, it brings me joy to consider that someone might report thanks to our Dad for what you have done. There is an amazing double bonus: (1) God gets your sacrifice and (2) someone’s thanks. Today, render your service not for the applause of men. Rather bless others and they might tell our Father thanks that He helped them. Double win.

Summary: Paul had experiences of being in need and of having plenty. He convinced himself of his future ability to “do all things” based on the track record of a faithful God.

In Philippians 4:12-13 we read “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Paul can proclaim future “do-ability” through previous experience. Paul had previous experiences of being in need and previous experiences of having plenty. Therefore, Paul convinced himself of his future ability to “do all things,” based out of the previous track record of a faithful God.

There is a learning that must be experienced before confidently stating that you “can do all future things” through Christ who gives you strength. One must experience the secret of contentment when things looked bleak. One must master the secret of contentment when blessings abounded. Paul had spiritual muscle-memory that allowed him to confidently face unknown future.

God provided mission-success when I had an abundance of well-qualified volunteers and when I felt woefully understaffed. Therefore, the future seems brighter, because of my rearview mirror. Look back today.

Summary: Ministry is a series of opportunities. Approaching today’s tasks “as unto the King” will determine future opportunity.

Luke 16:10 tells us “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much.”

Ministry is a series of opportunities. Everyday we have Kingdom tasks before us. How we approach today’s tasks is a telltale indicator for whether you should be trusted tomorrow.

Here’s an inescapable truth: If today you apply excellence in seemingly insignificant tasks, you will likely apply excellence in clearly significant tasks. If you work with a slack hand today, chances are, you will work with a slack hand tomorrow. This verse is not a means of “how to climb the ministry ladder” with your human bosses. God is the one who sees and provides greater Kingdom opportunities. God quietly observes your faithful or haphazard execution. It is the Lord who recognizes your secret motivation, your love for people and your love for the Kingdom.

Your approach today will determine future opportunity. Polish today’s tiny tasks and see what your tomorrow brings. Which of today’s duties demands your special attention? Which task today could be approached “as unto the King?”

Summary: You are God’s child. Know who you are, whose you are, and the guarantee of your future.

John 13:1-4 tells us “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”

Jesus knew who He was. Jesus knew His position. Jesus knew His purpose. Jesus knew the guarantee of His future.

What about you? Whose are you? Do you know unto whom you belong? Do you know your specific and sanctioned station of ministry and calling? Do you understand the solid footing upon which you stand? Do you grasp that nothing will remove your name from the Lamb’s Book of Life? It was out of a firm understanding of these things that Jesus took that next step: taking up the towel. It was His clear understanding that allowed Him to do what seemed unthinkable: wash dirty feet.

Start today by reviewing the fact that you are God’s child. Begin by rethinking what you have been asked to do. Center yourself by knowing where you will ultimately end up. Taking today’s next step will be easier.

Summary: Work takes … work! Ministry is hard. Reach out to a fellow laborer and remind yourselves that you are in this together.

1 Corinthians 3:9 reads “For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.”

We are in ministry. Therefore, we are workers for this Kingdom. We are not merely spectators. We have stepped into the call. This is our vocation, but this is also our volition. This is our work and we are in willful agreement. We GET to do this. We are workers in God’s field and we are working for a great harvest. We are HIS workers.

But don’t be fooled. Work takes…well…work! Ministry is hard. Sometimes we feel worn and isolated. We can feel alone and confused. You, however, are not alone as a ministry laborer. You are a part of a great heritage of men and women who have pushed, pulled and plowed for the Lord. We are in this together.

I wouldn’t want to do it alone and I wouldn’t want you to think that you are doing it alone. We are FELLOW workers. We are a part of a secret and sacred club of those who know both the joys and toils of serving the Kingdom. We are here to build into the lives of others and yet isolation tells us we are laboring alone. Can you reach out to a fellow laborer today and remind yourselves that you are in this together?

Summary: Today you will reinforce your reputation in one way or another. How might you reinforce the reality that God is Love through a singular action today?

John 13:34-35 says “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

I am a student of people. People give clues about their emotional state or what they value. I notice when people who always wear contact lenses show up to a meeting wearing glasses; did they have a rough morning? I notice when normally gregarious people choose a more reserved posture. It registers to me when someone consistently and quietly removes dirty dishes from others. I notice the small things. Everyone is constantly communicating, though words may not ever be used.

Jesus says that love is a dead give-away that you are His follower. A constant aura of love and self-sacrifice is rare. Love provides an unmistakable clue. Reputation is earned through time + consistency of any behavior.

You have a reputation. You have earned it. Today you will reinforce your reputation one way or another. Is there a tangible way you can share love today? How might you reinforce the reality that God is Love through a singular action today?

Summary: God is all knowing. He sees all. He remembers all His children’s works. Who can you remind of the wonderful truth that God is keeping track of all their love and labor?

In Hebrews 6:10 we read “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”

God sees, God knows and God is waiting with reward for you. He is NOT unjust! God does not forget. While you have likely forgotten some of your own times of faithfulness and labor, the Lord has not.

God is all knowing (omniscient). God is all powerful (omnipotent). God is everywhere (omnipresent). We are omni-nothing. God is omni-everything. He sees all. He remembers all His children’s works. Worship Him that He does NOT forget our labors.

We as humans, however, do forget. We have all overlooked a volunteer’s labor and their contribution. Sometimes and somehow our best volunteers’ efforts have sadly gone unnoticed by us. But God, being good, does not forget our work for the Kingdom. None of our efforts in the Lord are unaccounted for and missed.

Who should you pour into today, knowing God will never forget how you seek to help the saints? In addition, who should you call today to thank for their labors in the Lord? Someone may need reminded that God has been noticing and keeping track of all their love and labor.

Summary: We are called to be builders of people. Who are you building up in the Lord?

Romans 15:2 tells us “We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.”

Paul calls us “builders.” We are following in the footsteps of the Great Carpenter, Jesus Christ. We do not carve stones. We likely don’t use a hammer, a chisel and a saw in our ministry labors. We are builders nonetheless. We are called to lead others into what is right and thus they are built. We are called to be builders of people, not buildings.

The Lord Jesus is the “general contractor,” overseeing the hopeful development of His children. You are a “sub-contractor,” given a small portion of the work. Do you know your part of the work? Your job is not a program director. Your job is not a keeper of the schedule. Your job is not a curator of creative curriculum. Your job is to build people and help them to do what is right.

As you enlist someone into the work, they, through your tender care, are built up. Often, it is through someone participating in the work of the ministry that results in them growing in the Lord.

Who are you leading to do what is right? Who are you building up in the Lord? Ask God for spiritual bricks and mortar today. What small step could you take, today, to lay an important brick in someone else’s spiritual house?

Summary: The Bible implores us to love with actions. Pray about what action-based act of love God might allow you to do today.

First John 3:18 says “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” It is impossible NOT to communicate, but we CAN communicate poorly.

We have all heard it said that actions speak louder than words. Even the same words with a variation of body language can change the meaning of the message. Words are cheap, right? I can and have said many things. Yet good intentions and quick words are no comparison, however, for actions and deeds.

Actions take an entirely different level of commitment and hold far greater gravitas. Your actions are communicating. The question is what are they communicating?

Love, they say, is a verb. Love does. Love is an action word. What actions might you take today to express love and sacrifice for another? Picking up the phone is an action. Sending a heart-felt and handwritten card is an action. Surprising someone with a gift, albeit small, at his or her front door is an action. Talk is cheap. Actions simply cost us more.

Pray about what you can do to express love to one key person or volunteer today. What action-based act of love might God allow you to do today? Ask Him to open your eyes. Ponder what direct action you might take today to express love as an action.

Summary: Regardless of the task before you today, approach all that you do from the home base of love.

1 Corinthians 16:14 says “Let all that you do be done in love.”

There is work to be done. We have tasks today, big and small, which are mission critical. Ministry is not all thought and feeling. Far be it. Ministry is not sitting and reading the Bible for eight hours a day. Those on the front lines of ministry know this is an active, not passive endeavor.

Most missions have a home base. In battle, a home base is the safe place from where we start. Home base is where we fall back. Home base is where we collect our thoughts, recalibrate our tools and remember our why. The home base from which our tasks are derived is love. Our home base is neither achievement nor activity-for-activity-sake. Our ambition is not building an “earthly-ministry-business plan.” It all starts with love.

As your hand hits the plow today, center yourself in Kingdom-love. Today, you may oil the gears of ministry; do it from love. You might do 14 never-to-be seen tasks; do it from love. You may find yourself doing a Kingdom task that seems more Kingdom-mundane that Kingdom-critical. Approach all that your hand touches from a home base of love.