Friday, April 27, 2007

Front Page Material

The fundraising training last weekend split into two segments. Friday night we looked at the Biblical basis for raising support while Saturday we discovered practical ways to go about the process. For the sake of efficiency and focus, we cleanly divided the two parts although, in reality, one without the other does the whole process an injustice. Unfortunately, the set-up of last weekend is indicative of how I often go about my life.

I naturally bend towards work and not love. I do not think I stand alone in this propensity which gives rise to famous songs like "Cats in the Cradle." Accordingly, I find a lot of purpose in having "official" (sorry for the vague adjective) ministry work to do. A past post of mine spoke of how I have struggled spiritually in the absence of these tasks this year.

So here I was last night plowing along through some work on my fundraising stuff when I realized I had not prayed before I began. Thinking back, I realized I had not talked to God before sitting down to work the night before either. I had gotten so excited and so wrapped up in the pursuit of completion that I had completely neglected the Lord. A form of idolatry exists in here somewhere. I said something not nice to myself, realizing I had defaulted on a commitment to not lose sight of God amidst this newfound work. An old ugly had risen its head once again.

One of the reasons Paul amazes me is that he did so much. He worked so tirelessly, yet his Biblical writings evidence that he rarely lost personal touch with his God.

Galatians 2:20 says, "The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Very few verses protrude like this one.

Galatains exists as a rather theological book. Paul writes it to address a theological problem in the church, to define again what the Gospel means. It is very heady. Yet in the midst of all the headiness, the last eight words of this verse reveal Paul's heart.

Paul worked. He traveled, he spoke, he prayed, he attended meetings, he ran churches. He did all kinds of things. I imagine him a busy man, like most of us today (or at least like most of us like to think we are). Yet Gal 2:20 shows that the good work God put before him to do never superceded Paul's relationship with the triune God. In all things, he remembered God loved him.

I need to remember that God loves me, that I am servant but also son. Last night, I slapped this verse on the front of the pamphlet I was creating to give to potential donors. It might move them to support me or it might be completely irrelevant to my goals or it might simply be an overlooked detail. Regardless, it will serve it's purpose because I will have to look at it every time I go to work.

Jesus loves me.

Jesus gave himself for me.

These truths have always been more important than the work. In fact, only from their foundations can any work come. Here's to remembering this front-page material.

"We love because he first loved us." -1 John 4:19

No comments: