Not What I Used To Be
7/9/2010

Not What I Used To Be
Thank God

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2Corinthians 4:16-18 (NKJV)

The more I read the Word of God, the more I am able to see the application of it in my life as God sovereignly sews each situation I experience together to form a perfect picture.  Such was the case last week as I had called a meeting for the Ushers who were serving in God's ministry within our church body.  

The first thing we spoke about in our meeting was the necessity of having the proper heart to serve - one wholly committed to doing everything as if they were doing if for God.

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, Colossians 3:23 (NKJV)

I think often many of us forget why we began to serve and we can become fatigued as we strive to do stuff out of our own abilities and resources.  I believe God allows us to see this by our coming to the end of our selves - both physically, and mentally.  We need to remember something when we are serving others - it isn't us doing the blessing, and it shouldn't be us receiving the praise either.  God is and always will be the manufacturer of "Good," we are just the distributors (John 15:5).  It would be like a garden hose taking the credit for the water - it is only the way the water is distributed, and not the source.  

All of the men at the meeting received what God was speaking to our hearts, and we each recommitted ourselves to remembering whom it was we were serving, and to having a proper attitude of joy as we served.  

As I was speaking to the men, and covering things on the agenda I couldn't help noticing one of our lead Usher's, Chuck, and how his countenance was down. Chuck is one of those guys who are a leader without seeking the title.  He knows what to do and he does it very well, and I have always enjoyed serving shoulder to shoulder with him in ministry.  

Even before I asked, I knew what he was struggling with, as he had just undergone a procedure to remove a large cancerous piece of skin from the side of his forehead.   This was one of several surgeries he had undergone in the past few years, and each time I had seen this same look.  I felt compassion for him because I had been through this same of procedure and I could relate to how he was feeling.   So I tried to encourage Chuck during the meeting and even joked about how we were being taken back home, one slice at a time.  Chuck smiled and nodded, but I could see he was really thinking hard about it.  

That's the way it is with every one of us - we are all sort of slip sliding away with regards to our bodies.  Maybe it's cancer, or maybe it's something else like diabetes or heart disease, but it is always something.  This is just the way it is, because our flesh is but a temporary dwelling - it isn't our permanent body, and this earth is not our permanent home (See John 15:19, 17:14; 1Peter 2:11-12).

Chuck called me the next day to share a scripture the Lord had laid upon His heart - a perfect scripture given by the Holy Spirit to speak God's truth concerning the issues Chuck was facing.  It was 2Corinthians 4:16-18, which says, "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

So, even though our flesh is dying, our spirit is alive and being renewed each and every day - this happens as we read and study the Word of God, and spend time praying (talking) to Him, and listening.

Q:    What does this mean to us in applicable terms as Christian men and women?

A:    It means we are here for just a short time, and we need to be about our fathers business.   

Hey Christian, God is coming back, and there is work to be done.  There are many who do not know of God's amazing grace, and of His gift of forgiveness for sins.  There are many of us who quite frankly are not functioning the same as we were when we were in our teens - and it's suppose to be this way.  We are older, with aches, and pains, and there are legitimate sufferings being encountered - I am not making light of this.  Even so, there is work God desires to do through each and EVERY one of us, regardless of what we are enduring - we just need to allow God to have His way with us.

I want to encourage you today to serve the Lord with a proper heart, and to give Him the best you have to offer - even if it might not be what it once was.  God will bless you and more importantly, others through you.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures contained within this devotional with regard to our attitudes and actions?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you allowing God to do a mighty work through your life?  Are you  willing to allow God to do a mighty work through your life?

APPLICATION: Take your eyes off of "Self" and "Temporary" and put them back on "Others" and "Eternal."  Now, ask God what it is today He would like to do on you, in you, and through you.  Be honest and willing to serve others in every capacity He chooses.

Father, Thank You for Your unfailing mercy and love.  Thank You for allowing me to be used in the many ways You have chosen.  Help me today to see the needs of others, and to continue to be willing to serve them as if I am serving You.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott


Dedicated to all those who serve the body


Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000