Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.

Colossians 3:23-24 (ESV)

Disclaimer: I have developed personal opinions about many aspects of ministry. One of them is “Be wary of confessional preaching—things can get out of hand quickly!” The same applies to writing, but someone might find this helpful. 

When asked to describe “my calling” to ministry, I have often said that I sensed an overwhelming burden to spend the rest of my days sharing the love and grace of Jesus Christ to those who are hurting. That statement is still true. I would also say that for most of the past thirty years, I have attempted to do that with little or no consideration for the acknowledgment or appreciation that could be considered “appropriate” for such effort. Having never been one bent on personal financial gain, the enemy is aware that is not a weak point open for exploitation, but I must confess that there have been moments when the absence of an acknowledgement as simple as a “thank you” has led to more frustration than it should.

And I find great comfort in Scripture to support my angst! Was it not Jesus in Luke 17 who said (after having only one of the ten lepers He had just healed return to thank Him), “Where are the other nine?” Was it not also Jesus who shared the parable of the man who provided a great banquet, only to have all those invited give excuses for not attending—such that he chose instead to open the banquet to strangers who would never have been invited to such a feast. His last word was that NONE of those invited would EVER taste of the delicacies from his table. Who could blame him? 

But that was Jesus—not you and certainly not me.

If I believe Paul’s words in the verse above, nothing EVER done for the sake of Jesus is worthy of payment—or thanks. If we are genuine in our desire to serve Him, the capability of someone to render any form of gratitude is beyond irrelevant. No, there should not exist any expectation for anything other than Jesus to be praised if my heart’s desire was truly to do it all for Him!