When I was reading Philippians 1 this week, it struck me that Paul saw ministry as a grace he received.
He said, “you are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.” (1:7)
For him, to spread the gospel to the Gentiles was a grace received from God. To do ministry in his own prison, that was grace from God too. And by the Philippians supporting him financially, they were participating in God’s grace of ministry.
How often do we see ministry as a gift from God? We usually see it as service. As something we do for God.
But when we see it that way, it’s easy to start becoming proud. “Look at what I’m doing for God!”
But ministry is a grace we receive from God. We don’t deserve to be used by God. We’re sinners. We fail. We make mistakes. And yet God in his grace says, “Won’t you join me in my work.”
He didn’t have to use us. He didn’t have to give us spiritual gifts so we could serve. But in his grace, he lets us join him in his work.
How about you? Do you stand in wonder that God lets you join in his kingdom work? Or do you somehow think it’s something to brag about?