Once when I was discouraged in ministry a friend of mine suggested that I start keeping a file of encouragement. I could put all of the thank-you notes and bits of paper given to me over the years to keep in one place. Then on the days I wanted to quit, I could look at how effective I had been. Here’s the depressing part, after almost 25 years in ministry I have about 7 scraps of paper. It doesn’t mean the Lord hasn’t used me in ministry. What it means is that those I have spent time with haven’t always said,”Thanks.”
This month is “Pastor Appreciation Month,” and the reality is that some of us will feel more celebrated than others. This is why I am going to “cape you” today. Before you get afraid, let me explain.
“Caping” is an experiential devotional that my friend Kami Gilmour sometimes brings to conferences just to bless those in ministry. Recently, I had the chance to work alongside her at the Kidmin conference where we put red capes on over 480 people. What does “caping” involve? There is a short time of reflection for the person being caped. Then as we put a red cape on you, we look you in the eye speak truth of who Jesus thinks you are over you.
I can’t be there with you to give you a cape but humor me and let me bless you for a moment. (Imagine I am putting a red superhero cape on your shoulders.):
You are enough because Christ is enough. You are a precious and beloved child of the Creator of the universe. You are the Creator’s created made in His image to be His reflection. You are on the greatest mission known to all mankind. That mission is to love God with your whole self, love others as you love yourself and share the good news of Jesus Christ with the world. However, sometimes we can get so focused on the mission we are on for the Lord we can forget the mission that He is on for us.
That mission is to love you with an everlasting, steadfast love. This love is the most powerful force in the whole world. Let me tell you what that love thinks of you.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. This means He has made you intentionally to be who you are, to do the good works planned for you long ago. He made you amazing both inside and out. You are entirely his workmanship and He thinks you are awesome. Through faith you are his child, the child of the King of all Kings. He chose you, and appointed you to go and bear fruit. Whatever you ask in the Father’s name, He loves you so much He will give it to you. He hears your voice. He knows you and loves you not in spite of who you are, but because you are His.
On those days when you feel inadequate and like you are not enough may you remember this. He cares. He tracks all of your sorrows and collects all of your tears. He is with you and can not leave you. He is the mighty warrior who saves you, He delights over you and your God rejoices over YOU by singing. There is nothing in this whole world that can separate you from His great love, nothing absolutely nothing at all. If your God is for you then who can be against you? He can never forget you, as a matter of fact your name is written on the palm of your God’s hands.
Never forget your Daddy is proud of you, not because of what you do for Him, (Although that matters too. Your faithfulness to Him is seen. Your obedience to show up on the days you would rather not, to follow His footsteps and do what others ignore, this matters. You listening to His voice and going where He goes, this matters.) Remember, you love because He loved you first. Not for what you do, but just because YOU ARE HIS. You are enough always, because He is enough.
Now take a moment and think about who you are in Christ. Take a piece of paper and write these words on it.
(then write who you are in Christ.)
Put that up in your office today. Remember, whether or not a person remembers to ever say thank you, even if that folder of yours remains very thin, the God of all the universe believes in you. It’s fun to reflect on what others think of us. However, what your God thinks of you is pretty amazing. All of that above blessing are not nice fluffy words, they are His thoughts about you. (Genesis 1:27 , Matthew 22:36-40, Psalm 139, Ephesians 2:10, Galatians 3:26, John 15:16, Psalm 56:8, Zephaniah 3:17, Romans 8:31-39, Isaiah 49:15-16) Take the time to look these up and reflect on them today.
Now pass it on! Share the following blessing with someone you know today!
You a precious, beloved child
of the one true King –
the creator of the universe.
Your origins are epic!
And God’s love is
the most powerful force
in the whole world –
more than all
superhero powers combined!
And his love is in you
and flows through you
as you live out the greatest mission
ever known to mankind:
to love God and to love others.
And on the days you
don’t feel like you’re enough,
remember that love never fails
and God’s love always covers you!