My Letter From Jesus

Posted: January 3, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Two weeks ago I was cleaning and organizing my office.  I threw out five garbage bags full of stuff!  Along the way I found a lot of things including a lot of old correspondence (some good…some not so good).  I also found a letter I had written to myself on behalf of Jesus.  It was almost ten years ago and I was going through one of the lowest times and moments in my life and ministry (we lost half of the church in one year’s time).  I tried to imagine what Jesus might say to me in the midst of it.  It was good for me to read it again.  Maybe you’re in ministry and going through a dark time.  If so, maybe this will help.  This was what I imagined his letter to me would say:

Dear Sam,

I want to remind you of a few things that are important for your ministry.  What you do every day is done for no one else but me.  All of your actions, all of your words, all of your thoughts are to be for me.  I will be the one who receives them and I will be the one who will reward you for them.  When you minister or serve anyone in my name, know that you are doing it for me.  I am not unaware of the vulnerability that comes from this sacrifice.  If you will remember, I lived my life in the same way.  I did everything for the sake of the Father and only the Father.  Everyone I reached out to, everyone I ministered to, everyone I served I did so because the Father wanted me to and I did it out of obedience to him and for his sake.  I poured myself out for others for my Father.  In the same way, you are going to pour out yourself for my sake.

Do you remember when I told my disciples that “no servant is greater than his master?”  Well, I want to remind you:  No servant is greater than his master.  I am your master.  I did not have control over how others responded to my obedience to the Father.  You won’t either.  Some people rejected me that should have accepted me.  Many people gossiped about me and tried to destroy my ministry and credibility with lies and slanderous conversations.  I had friends that were close to me betray  me.  I had whole crowds reject me and grow hostile that they wanted to kill me.  I had people in authority everywhere looking for ways to stop me.  I had family members ridicule me and call me down even in front of others.  I endured pain and suffering in such loneliness.  I assumed my closest friends would stand by  me and in the times I needed them most they were either sleeping or running away from me.  And one of my last obedient acts on earth for the Father got me killed by people I loved.

The point is this:  I did all of those things for my Father and my Father alone.  I fought against the temptation to do those things so that people would love me.  I fought against the temptation to do it so that I would be considered a “successful” minister.  I would have taken my eyes off of the Father the moment I tried to minister so that I would be well liked and thought of highly among my peers.  Ministering to get notes of encouragement and calls of praise is different than ministering out of obedience to God.  My only criteria for success and failure was faithfulness to the calling of the Father in my life.  The same is true for you.

The reality is that the Father called me to work, serve, and minister among broken people.  He called me to obey him by going to people who were full of sin and depravity; people who were manipulative, people who were small-minded; people who were only interested in what was in it for themselves, people who were looking for people to blame, people who gossiped, and people who didn’t appreciated what I had done for them enough to even say “thank you.”  I entered their life to serve and they left me without seeming to think twice about it.  These were the kind of people that my Father called me to work, minister, and serve among.  People who are like you.  And they are also the kind of people that I am calling you to work, serve, and minister among.

You have no control over how they will respond to your obedience.  You will have people reject you, gossip about you, twist all of your intentions, and call your obedience a work of Satan.  When you feel the pain of that, I want you to remember that I know exactly what you are feeling.  And not only that, but because you are doing this for me, I hurt too.  Keep your eyes on me and allow me to deal with them in regards to how they responded to my ministry through you.  This is not about you, and the moment you make it about you, you will take your eyes off of me.  You will no longer be obedient to what I am calling you to and you will be driven to be right, to be praised, and to be successful in ways that I am not calling you too.

I love you.  And I am committed to you to the end and throughout eternity.  I will be your sufficiency.  I alone will be your sufficiency.  And the church in which you lead, I will be the sufficiency for it as well.  Your sufficiency will not be in attendance or contributions.  If there is not a single person who responds to your obedience in a way that I desire, what is that to you?  You are only doing this for me.  I am not evaluating your faithfulness and obedience in such measures.  I am calling you to do what I want you to do and be who I want you to be.  Your call is to be faithful – and that is it.  How others respond to your faithfulness will be between them and me.  I love you.  And if you will give me your life, your marriage, your children, and your ministry, I will protect them and not allow them to be crushed.

I am your Savior and Lord.  I am reminding you of these things because I love you more than you can understand.  I see all that you are doing in obedience to me.  And when you hurt, I want you to bring me into that hurt with you and know that as I enter, it will not be the first time I have felt it and that for your sake, I have conquered it.  This is my gift to you.  Keep going my faithful servant.  Do not be afraid to love others in my  name.  Enter into the vulnerability and pain of sacrificial love.  I will enter with you and sustain you when you feel like collapsing.  What you do is not in vain and there is nothing to be afraid of.  I have all authority in heaven and on earth.  If it feels like you are forgetting what I have called you to, read this letter again and know that I long to talk with you about these things.

Your strength and Peace – Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ and Son of the Living God

Today, January 3, 2012 marks my 15th anniversary of being in ministry in this place.

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Comments
  1. Stephanie Reynolds says:

    Wow, that is an amazing letter! So cool that you found it on your 15th anniversary…HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

  2. Michelle says:

    WOW is right, after the things we discussed today, I was thinking Bounderies Bounderies Bounderies and as I read your letter tears fell down my face thinking that what I was and had been doing before were somewhat acceptable. Now I know how I am suppose to act, regardless of what my flesh, my mind is telling me. I will be as Jesus was and walk among those who mock and gossip and betrayed. I will treat with them with the same respect as Jesus would want me too.

  3. Kneip says:

    Thanks for sharing it, Sam! Many of us see Jesus shining through SO much of what you do.

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