A Church Janitor and Billy Graham Walk Into Heaven …

And they both get the same reward.

What?  That cannot be true.  Billy Graham won millions to the Lord!  What did the janitor do?  Mop the floor?

Exactly.  We have such a performance, self-centered view of the Gifts of God.  We think that the flashy, public gifts of preaching, teaching, and prophesying some how are better, more important and that people who have them are “successful”.  We want them because we want the public attention that goes with them, we want the obvious “success” we think they represent.  We want the public ministry.

The janitor on the other hand is “unseen” and very few think about what the janitor does week by week.  His gifts of service are not seen as “successful”.  But in God’s book, that is far from the true.

God is concerned about the motives of our heart (Psalms 40:6-8, Psalms 60:30-31, Micah 6:6-8).  God is not pleased by showy, outward actions, but by the inner attitudes of our heart.  If we, with a heart of love and thankfulness, obey God, we will receive a greater reward than the praise of man.

So the janitor, if he does all that God asks of him and all God asks of him is to mop the floors, will be rewarded.  If he mops the floors with thankfulness, realizing all that God has done for him and does it because of love for God (and his fellow man) and does it in obedience to God,  he will have the same reward as Billy Graham, because both obeyed God and did what was asked of them.

The opposite is true.  God never expects the janitor to do Billy Graham’s job.  And God will be upset with Billy Graham if he, instead of preaching the gospel, becomes the church janitor.

Obedience more than sacrifice.  And those who do it for public praise have already received all they are going to get.  But those who do something in private (where only God sees) will receive eternal reward.  Let me demonstrate this with a twist on a Bible Verse:

“And when you [exercise your gifts], do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to [exercise them] standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you [exercise your gifts], go into your room, close the door and [exercise them] to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. – Matt 6:5-6

So the next time You/I feel like saying “Ah, I wish I had <insert showy public gift>”, maybe we should, instead, stop and thank God for the gifts that he has given us, and in obedience exercise them, giving thanks for all He has done for us,  realizing that we will be called “good and faithful” for doing so.  Or put another way, if your gift is not public, then you don’t have to worry about losing your reward because men don’t see what you are doing.  (Maybe Janitor isn’t such a bad job after all 🙂

P.S.  If your gift is “public”, make sure that you realize the responsibility that you have (James 3:1-2) and you keep your ego in check because as Jason Upton says in his song Dying Star :

You’ve got your best man on the front side
You always show your best side
And evil’s always on the other side
You say this is your strategy
But son I hope you take it from me
You look just like your enemy
You’re full of pride
We better trash our idols if we want to be
In the army of the Lord
And the greatest idol is you and me,
We better get on the threshing floor
When will we learn that God’s strategy
Is giving glory to the Lord?
We better trash our idols if we want to be
In the army of the Lord
Star how beautiful you shine
You shine more beautiful than mine
You shine from sea to shining sea
World-wide is your strategy
But shinning star I hope you see
If the whole wide world is staring straight at you
They can’t see me…

To purchase Jason Upton’s album Dying Star, click here.

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