|Serving the Work of the Lord|
Any Christian ministry, whether part time, full time, or volunteer, can be taxing. I know. I was the owner of a small business for 25 years. I have been a full time pastor for 11 years, and in my experience, full time ministry is much more demanding than owning and operating a small business.
This presents us with the very real possibility of losing sight of Christ even while we are engaged in “serving him.” This was the experience of the church at Ephesus. “‘I know your works,” Jesus warned, “your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:2–4).
Notice Jesus commends them for their works. They are working hard. They are pushing themselves. They are doing the work of the Lord.
But Jesus has a criticism. The have abandoned their first love. In the hustle and bustle of active ministry they have lost the tender intimacy of their relationship with God the Father. They have become man-centered rather than God-centered. They cannot find time for Bible study and prayer. They do not meditate on God’s Word throughout the day. What is the cause? Idolatry! They are serving the work of the Lord not the Lord of the work.
This is a very real temptation for both myself and every Christian reading this blog. Jesus gives us the solution. It is simple. “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent” (Revelation 2:5).