Who Gets the Credit?

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

2 Corinthians 4:5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

I listen to Pastor John Piper speak.  I read his books.  I love his passion and his enthusiastic enjoyment of God.  These are some meditations based on his April 13, 2008, sermon at his church. (www.desiringgod.org)

Nothing we do for Christ is for nothing.  Nothing we say in the name of Christ is wasted.  No Thing.  Even if you are “blown off” by that person.  Even if someone whom you have counseled with much prayer and God’s Word still makes a stupid decision.  Even if the neighbor doesn’t thank me for moving her trash can so the garbage man could pick up her garbage.  Even if my week in the nursery all the babies cry.  Even if only 2 people show up for Bible study.  Even if. . .Even if. . .

Why do seeming “failures” bother me so much, if it is really Jesus working in me and through me?  I must confess that it isn’t so much sadness over what they are missing in knowing and loving Jesus. It’s way more that I feel as though I have failed; that I will not have a good “track record.”  That I’m not good enough.  That big “I” which is smack in the middle of pride. . .

If I am truly proclaiming not myself, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with me as Jesus’ servant, then I am serving Jesus, and He gets the credit for the result.  If God truly has shone His light in my heart, then I should radiate Him; and the light is the glory of God, not me.  He gets the credit.  I am his servant.

This treasure, the gospel, the knowledge that Christ is my surpassing joy. . .God has put that treasure in this jar of clay!  I wouldn’t put a treasure in a breakable, unremarkable clay pot; I would put it in a velvet-lined, sturdy wooden box.  But God, because He is going to get the credit, He is going to get the glory, puts this treasure, the gospel, which is so much more precious than any other treasure — in me; in messed-up, sinful, inconsistent, me.  Me, who wants to be more disciplined, more compassionate, more bold, more passionate, more loving, more honest.

Lord, I want to be a faithful servant.  I want You to get the credit for anyone understanding and loving the incredible treasure that is knowing You and serving You.

I want to know what you think!

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