Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Privilege of Ministering

So he told them, "Every student of the Scriptures who becomes a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like someone who brings out new and old treasures from the storeroom. (Matthew 13:52 cev)

Earlier this week, the doorbell rang. Since both my son and I expected packages, we raced to the door to see what the UPS man had left on the front porch. "Yes!" I snatched up the package with my name on it.

I carried it into the kitchen, laid it on the countertop, and ripped it open. After I pushed the paper wrapping aside, I pulled out the textbook and study guide for my latest college class. I clutched the book to my chest, and said, "I can't wait to get started on this."

Both my son and daughter looked at me like I'd grown a gigantic third eyeball. One of them said, "Oh, Mom. You are such a geek."

"I know!" I laughed. "And that's one good thing about getting older. I don't care."

I yearn to learn. I admit it. When I attended high school, I actually liked the challenge. Of course, I never made such a confession then. It wasn't 'cool' to like school. Right?

But now I realize what a privilege it is, not only to read, research, and learn, but to read, research, learn, AND write! Prior to 1456, when the first Bible was produced on a printing press, all manuscripts of the Bible were laboriouly copied by hand. These days, you probably have a dusty copy of the Bible some place in your home. We have an entire shelf in our bookcase dedicated to all the different versions of the Bible. I have such great admiration for those who wrote my textbooks and study guides - much more so now that I know the amount of hard work that can go into writing a 400 word devotional or a 1200 word article!

When I'm doing research, I have the entire internet at my disposal. I can read any version I want, and listen to it being read to me if I desire. I can find numerous Bible commentaries, and countless sites with Biblical teaching.

I heard the other day that even the shyest person among us will impact at least 10,000 people over the course of his or her lifetime. And then to think that God might use some of my writing to bless others overwhelms me at times. The counter on this site clicked over the 10,000 mark the other day, and I have to admit, my stomach fluttered at the idea that that many people had viewed the site. I prayed, "Lord, direct people by the power of Holy Spirit who need encouragement to my site today."

It's not about numbers. Or fame. But ministry. I encourage everyone who writes for the Master to remember our purpose - to lift up the Name of Jesus, and draw ourselves and others to Him. And to pause to thank God for the privilege of being a scribe for Him. May we all write beautiful words of prose and poetry, stories and teaching. What a privilege!

In Matthew 13:52, scribes are described as bringing out new and old treasures. The Amplified Bible interprets this as "the fresh as well as the familiar." How can we find the fresh insights the Lord gives us unless we are familiar with His Word? Let's be students always - learning from our Master. Then we can minister in the capacity He wants us to - whether it's teaching, singing, caregiving, praying, preaching, or writing.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the Word of God, and that Your mercies are new every morning. Help me to faithful to minister Your Word. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

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