“But I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ “And the Lord replied: ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. (Acts 26:15, HCSB)
If he wanted to fight the Lord on this, Paul had a pretty good argument. You see, he had never even met Jesus – he makes that clear elsewhere in his writings – so how could he be persecuting Jesus? Paul had been too young when Jesus was persecuted. Instead, Paul persecuted the church – regular people like Peter and James and John, but not Jesus.
Jesus says otherwise. So, really, this was Paul’s first theology lesson: The church is so closely connected to Jesus that our actions toward it are equivalent to actions toward Jesus. In fact, didn’t Jesus say that when we minister to his brothers we minister to him…and when we fail to minister them we fail to minister to him (see Mat. 25)?
So let’s bring this truth home to our world. In a positive sense, when we serve in children’s ministry, we’re not just helping kids or parents, but serving the Lord himself. When we give in the offering, we’re not just helping pay the bills, but giving to the Lord himself. On the other side of the coin, if we gossip or hold unforgiveness, or sow seeds of discord, the Lord might say we’re doing that to him.
Keep serving the Lord through serving the church!