Summary: Doing the ministry may be sometimes frustrating. WHY? Because many Christians do it without efficiency. Here are 4 basic principles on how we can be efficient in our work for the Lord
Being a servant is vital if we want to be used by God. The word servant is not something negative as what the world has somewhat implanted to our minds, but rather being a servant is actually the best state a Christian could ever become. Why? Let me share to you three reasons from The Purpose Driven Life book:
1) Jesus measured greatness in terms of service, not status. God’s idea of greatness is very much contrary to the world’s perspective. I believe that deep within our selves is the desire to rise above the rest, to be the best of the best. In the Lord’s work, if you want to be great, you need to be a servant. I call this SIGNIFICANCE.
If you want your life to have significance in this world, then be a servant. Our Lord Jesus Christ lived for 33 ½ years, 3 ½ of which He spent doing the work of the Lord, and His life changed the world. He said that He came not to be served but to serve. Being a servant gives our lives significance.
2) Without a servant’s heart, you will be tempted to misuse your shape for personal gain. God wants us to use our spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personalities, and experiences (SHAPE) to the maximum level. Being a servant doesn’t only gives us significance but also success in our ministry.
Success in the ministry doesn’t belong to some Christians, but we should all desire to be successful. God wants all of His children to be successful in the ministry. That’s why we should help each other and build each other up to be successful in the ministry. Remember, the ministry is cooperation, not a competition.
3) You shape reveals your ministry, but your servant’s heart will reveal your maturity. This is the goal of God in our lives, that we would be mature or perfect so that we would be equipped to do every good work (2 Tim. 3:16,17). A servant’s heart is vital in a Christian’s quest for spiritual maturity.
According to Ann Landers, “Maturity means dependability, keeping one’s word, coming through in a crisis. The immature are masters of alibi. They are disorganized. Their lives are a maze of broken promises, former friends, unfinished business, and good intentions that somehow never materialize.”
Brethren, being a servant and having a servant’s heart is important in our Christian lives if we want to find significance, success, and spirituality. But I would not be talking about servanthood or how to develop a servant’s heart this morning because I believe that your pastor had somehow preached on these matters. This morning I would like to speak about being efficient in our work or service for the Lord as His servants.
The individual who increases his efficiency as much as 10 percent often increases his income and his opportunities as much as 100 percent. Sun Beau, the great race horse, was worth ten times as much as other horses but he did not have to run ten times as fast, only a split second faster.
Brethren, I would like to challenge you this morning that in doing the ministry we must be efficient. It is my prayer and desire this morning that after hearing this message from the Word of God that we run a split second faster, that we would run the extra mile.
This morning we’ll be learning 4 lessons from Nehemiah, a man known for his leadership in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. How can we run a split second faster?
I. Nehemiah Carefully Sought the Creator (1:11; 2:4) Reliance
We all know that Nehemiah was the cupbearer of the Persian emperor Artaxerxes (1:11). One commentator said that the cupbearer’s position required a very trustworthy individual. The cupbearer tasted the king’s wine before he received it in order to guard against his being poisoned.
If we were to contextualize Nehemiah’s position, I guess we can compare it maybe to the PResdent’s adviser. Before he/she would make a decision or a public statement, she would first consult her advisers. Wouldn’t it be a great honor and privilege to be one of the advisers of the country’s most important person?
Nehemiah’s position was very crucial and very important. He was a man who was trusted by the emperor, a man with close acquaintance with the emperor, a man entrusted with the emperor’s life. Nehemiah’s position was no ordinary one but rather a prestigious one.
Being an Israelite in the land of the Babylonians with this kind of position, he could have been very proud of it. He might say, “Hey, we’re here in Babylon and yet in spite of that I’m still in this position. Any Babylonian could have gotten this position, but the king chose to trust me instead.”