June 1, 2017

June 1, 2017

JOB 1-4

Focus Verse: Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.
Job 2:13

 

This has become my favorite Bible verse this year.

 

Stop me if you’ve heard this already (just kidding, you can’t stop me because I’ve already written this…though I suppose you could stop reading, but don’t do that!) but here is the best definition of ministry that I’ve ever heard: MINISTRY RESPONDS TO NEED. My goal is that by the end of this devotional you’ll have that little phrase etched into your heart.

 

The reason this has become one of my favorite Bible verses is because I think that this is the perfect picture of ministry in action. Job’s friends have heard of all the awful things that have happened to him and they’ve come to console him. Once they get there though, they see that his pain is so great that there are no words that could comfort him. So what do they do? They sit with him for seven days and seven nights.

 

You see, ministry responds to need. It doesn’t counsel. It doesn’t give advice. It doesn’t pray for someone. Sure, if that’s the need then by all means, you should do that. The problem that we have today is that we assume that ministry is there to provide answers for people. Sometimes people don’t need answers. People need relationship. They don’t need you to necessarily do anything, they just need you.

 

I’ve learned this the hard way. When I was young, I was really into apologetics. I love arguing with people about theology and faith issues. But over time, I found that there is one apologetic that wins every time…there’s simply no argument against it…and that apologetic is love.

 

The same is true of ministry. Job’s friends were doing an awesome job ministering to him…until they opened their mouths.

 

So what need do you see around you? You have to pay attention! You can’t minister to a need if you don’t first see what that need is. And then once you see it and are ready to respond, make sure that you’re really ready to respond. Ministry isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. You have to take the slow approach with it. You have to be willing to spend seven days and seven nights doing nothing but sitting with someone. You have to listen and NOT be thinking about how you’re going to respond. And sometimes, you have to be honest with the person and tell them that you don’t have the answers they’re seeking, but you know Who does.

 

Ministry responds to need.

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