“When he had greeted them, he [the apostle Paul]told in detail those things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord…;” Acts 21:19-20 bracketed words added.
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” 1 Cor. 4:7
“I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images.” Isaiah 42:8
Ministry isn’t just about pastors behind pulpits and missionaries abroad, etc. It’s about all those serving others in Christ’s name. I have made countless mistakes as I minister to others in Christ’s name, but none greater than these: when I have failed to love the Lord and to love others in His name, when I have ministered to others in my flesh rather than led by His Spirit and with His Word, and this one. When I have pridefully taken credit for helping someone in Christ’s name rather than humbly acknowledged I am nothing more than an “earthen vessel” saved by God’s grace and that anything good I do in the life of another in my ministry work is ONLY and SOLELY because of God’s love, God’s power, God’s grace, God’s mercy, God’s compassion, God’s provision, and God’s glory.
The Lord gets ALL glory, and I am privileged beyond measure He would use me to pour His Spirit and Word through to others.
In the 1st scripture above, the apostle Paul humbly related to the congregation elders what THE LORD did through his ministry work. What is the result of Paul not taking credit for his work? Those who heard GLORIFIED GOD – not Paul! He was nothing more than an “earthen vessel” so as in the 2nd scripture the power belongs to God! In the 3rd, God makes clear His glory belongs to nobody other than Himself!
The more I humble myself and give the Lord the glory for all He does through me and my ministry work, the more thankful I am that He is Lord of all and I am His blessed servant and child.
A reminder for us all – to give the Lord the glory due His most precious name!