Sunday, June 8, 2008


Case File: Your Name Here
Forensic Report: Fingerprint Analysis

The popularity of crime dramas on TV has intensified incredibly in the last decade. So much so, that CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has 2 spin-offs; the first being CSI: Miami and in 2004 CSI: NY premiered. We can't get enough forensic science for our insatiable diet and CBS has been happy to feed us an ample supply. Even if you don't routinely watch a crime drama on TV, it is safe to say you are familiar with forensic science. At the very least, fingerprints in particular. Locating and recovering fingerprints is an interesting task. Can you imagine how many fingerprints we leave on things in a day? It would be amazing if we could see how many we leave and where we leave them, but you need special electronic, chemical and physical processes to find them. So, although they seem invisible, we know they are there.

Today I'd like to share a valuable life lesson I learned about serving God that has come up in recent conversations with several of my friends. They feel ineffective in ministry because they don't feel what they do is significant. They want better results. - Yep. Hand to brow and I'm shakin' my head!

Admittedly, I giggled at their concern because I know these ladies and I assure you, they ARE effective for Christ! They have a love for people so evident it draws you to them like a moth to a porch light. They welcome you in and you feel loved almost instantly. Can you calculate the impact their fingerprint of love has on people? How do you chart making someone feel special to you? Our society conditions us to believe we need tangible results or there are none. It just isn't so.

It's reasonable to think we need tangible results given how our society functions. We live in a culture that thrives on numbers, projections and charts! (Oh My!) Often ministry requires a business structure. It is vital in monitoring the efficacy of one course or another and can be very helpful. But again, how do you chart love? As individuals, we are commissioned with the sole purpose of bringing people into relationship with Jesus Christ by loving them. Isn't that ministry too?

One common fallacy I often hear about ministry is an 'off-the-clock' mentality. I giggle, often it seems, because as Christians our work isn't limited to a special group gathering for a targeted audience and we certainly don't clock out at 5:00! I believe it is time to stop limiting our perspective. Ministry begins in our capacity to love ourselves and EVERY person we come into contact with. Ministry opportunities occur within our families, with our neighbors, the cashier at the store and with co-workers . . . ANY ONE you have contact with is changed by what you say or do. Sit and absorb that for a sec. When we take inventory of our works for the Lord should we only factor in what is accomplished during 'organized ministry hours'?

Dear friends, you are impacting the Kingdom. No matter how ineffective or limited you think you are in ministry, you have a full time ministry opportunity all day, every day. Your actions are changing people and they in turn change others. The significance rests in how you treat them. Do you love them? Will they in turn be loving to others? Don't be discouraged because you don't see results. I went through years of efforts wondering if it was worth it. God would often give me a glimpse to encourage me. In faith I stood firmly on God's word.

1 Cor 15:58 NLT So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord's work, for you know nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

Loving people is the Lord's work. It is a priority and the mandate of the Lord for a reason! Loving people with the same sacrificial love Jesus had for us will not go unnoticed. Love changes lives. This directive is a full time job and we are always on duty. Your love can impact the Kingdom in ways you will never discover until that day we stand before Him. Just think about how many people you come into contact with every day and in turn, how many they do. The magnitude of our influence on others is enormous when you imagine the love you give shapes love shared.

It's worth repeating. . . the love you give, shapes love shared. It's a bit like fingerprints. How often do you think you'll stand out from the crowd if you share love in the capacity that Jesus did? Do you think people will want to know why you are different? Keep in mind loving others is a ministry commissioned by Jesus Christ himself. Is it worthwhile? He answered that with the cross. I liken our Christian influence to fingerprint impressions. Sometimes you can't see it but you know it's there. What kind you leave behind is up to you.

Just ask Jesus. His fingerprint is on you. - Will your fingerprint be on them?
Blessings and chin up! - LaVella

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you on this. Yes, it's not the results that matter, it's how we live our lives for Christ that reveals Him to others.