PositionBro. David Chancellor
1/16/2005 11:00 AM
Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
This mother was asking for the two sons. They were seeking position. Christ told them they didn’t know what they were asking. He asked them, "Are ye able?"
1 Timothy 3:1
This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
"…he desireth a good work…" This isn’t talking about a position, but about the work associated with it. Being a minister is about serving others and doing a good work. If someone seeks to be a minister because it is a position or title, he’s missed out on what God has in mind. Instead, they should desire to do something for God.
1 Corinthians 12:27-31
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
Every saved person is part of the body of Christ and has a purpose. There’s something for each one to do. Not everyone will have the same position. We should all seek the best place for us… the place that God has for us.
1 Corinthians 13:1-8
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
This is the "more excellent way." Paul was changing their focus from position, gifts, and self to how you can serve others. This shows us how to be a worker for God. Working for God doesn’t have to fit within formal constraints. It begins with an interest. It looks for a way to help and to give. It starts with a concern for others. It involves prayer and perseverance. People fail in the work of God because they want to be served rather than to server. It’s not about trying to earn anything with God; it’s about trying to give back. What motivates you to work for God? The results may be more than we initially visualize, but it begins with a desire to help. We need something that moves us to serve.
But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Positions and titles aren’t where happiness is found. Happiness is found in service. God has called us to a life of service. When people serve and care, that’s when things prosper. The businesses that succeed are those that see a need and set out to fill it in a profitable way. The business that will fail is the business whose people are focused on what position/title they’ll have. Churches fall into the same trap. People who focus on title at the expense of others aren’t there to serve. We should have a burning desire to help others. Focus on helping others prosper.
But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me. But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.
Paul wanted to send Timothy because he knew that he cared and would do well by the people. Paul wanted to come, too, but if he couldn’t go, he wanted to send someone that would really care. A desire to serve will seek an avenue in which to work, whether it’s acknowledged or not.
A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.
Some would read "gifts by access." If you are one to serve, you’ll be needed. You can be successful by taking the challenge that no one else wants and doing it well. What we give of ourselves makes our place. Seek a place to serve – both man and God. This is the goal: to lift up Jesus and to serve those around us. Desire a good work, not just a position.