Lutheran Church Extension Fund
Your efforts are beyond acceptable; they're PERFECT!

Your efforts are beyond acceptable; they're PERFECT!

Reading time: two minutes.

Two thousand confirmation class sessions and I’m hard pressed to remember ever thinking, “Wow! That went really well!” I supposed it happened once in a while. It’s just hard to imagine.

But those times spent with God’s children were not just acceptable to God, they were presented to the Lord of heaven in perfect condition.

Jesus made sure of that.

Your work in Christ, presented in faith, is scrubbed clean, polished, purified, sanctified, and made holy.

Don’t ever let your moments of discouragement make you forget.

Self-criticism and negative thinking are a natural reaction in ministry work. Everything we do is smudged with our grimy fingerprints.

No sermon ever feels finished when we preach it. Every Bible class could use more preparation. Words we share during hospital visits and counseling sessions stick in our mouths like peanut butter.

But the finished work of Christ and the holy Word of God take our incomplete and feeble efforts and make them holy, a pleasing fragrance at the throne of God.

Before I married Carol, I asked my professional wood-carver friend Ric to help me make her a gift. He found me a piece of wood, loaned me some tools, helped me design a simple carving, and coached me up with the best advice he could give.

It turned out pretty crumby. I was embarrassed to show him.

Ric took hold of it, and in a few swift strokes of his carving knives, cleaned it up and turned it into a beautiful work of art.

(Carol still has it. Tucked away safe. In a box. Down the basement.)

My point is, Jesus takes your humble ministry offerings, puts his Master’s touch on every one of them, and beauty happens!

Remember, Jesus is at work in your every deed of faith and service.

“By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings” Hebrews 11:4.

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” Hebrews 13:15.

“You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” 1 Peter 2:5.

Nicely done. Keep up the good works!

Thanks for reading.