The fatal slip happens so easily. We move from loving ministry because we love the Lord Jesus, to thinking that the Lord Jesus loves us because we love ministry, his people, his church.
And before you know it, we are in the forsaken place where we teach grace to others, but preach and practice works to ourselves. We feel spiritually low after we’ve spoken badly, or made a poor decision – or just not done enough.
It’s a forsaken place, because once you start to think you must do enough, you are on infinite and eternally doomed treadmill – because you can never do enough, but you keep telling yourself to try.
If you thought like that, would you ever rest?
What would happen to your soul when you retire?
What would happen to you if you failed?
Worse – what would happen to you if you succeeded?
Just remember that God does not need you in ministry. He loves you, he loves his people, and he loves you both so much that he shares with you the joy of helping each other become like Jesus.
But, when you face your diary and there are no speaking invitations, no writing deadlines, no key people to contact, no significant meetings, no major projects broken down into incremental steps for the next two years, and the panic over the lack of ministry that gives us value begins to rise – that he loves you every bit as much as he ever did.
You are not loved for your usefulness or significance.
“The LORD did not set his heart on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! Rather, it was simply that the LORD loves you, and he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors.”
You are loved.