The longer you’re in pastoral ministry, the more you move from being an astronaut to an archaeologist. When you’re young, you’re excitedly launching to worlds unknown. You have all of the major decisions of life and ministry before you, and you can spend your time assessing your potential and considering opportunities. It’s a time of exploration and discovery. It’s a time to go where you’ve never been before and do what you’ve never done. It’s a time to begin to use your training and gain experience.
Jesus’ point is we should not only receive a child as Jesus, but we should receive all that are on Jesus’ team. Anyone doing something for, or on behalf of, Jesus were to be recognized as allies. I could just mention a church or two in OC and you could think of reasons why they are not good. You probably already did. A denomination, a pastor could lead you to the same conclusions. We are more concerned about ourselves and how we do things and what we believe than what Jesus thinks about these churches, denominations, and pastors.
Are you busy mixing or do you drink grace straight? Are you always in a spiritual hurry or is your soul free to rest and raise a glass? Is it possible that free grace in Christ causes people to love like Christ?
Nine years ago I slapped together a little web site so I could share a couple of articles with my parents. The Lord took that site and has done something amazing so that today tens of thousands of people read it every day. Not only that, but I have been able to write books and I have been able to travel all around to teach and preach and so much more. You might think that I would be just thrilled with all that has happened and certainly I should be. And yet I came to see that this really was not the case. Instead I was growing resentful, I was envious of what I didn’t have and of what God hadn’t given me. I came to see that I had made friends with Envy.