Every day, millions of well-fed individuals sit down to enjoy another hearty meal. How many of them consider the retailer, distributor, packer, processor, or shipper back through the food chain links that connect the plate to the farmer's field? Beyond the farmer do they consider the One who gave the increase?
God has designed many places of responsibility, then He placed men in those roles. As men, we can have a distorted view of the office and the man in the office. Which should receive the greater respect? Which brings the honor to the other? Does it make a difference how we answer these questions?
There are numerous reasons why the office is of greater importance than the man serving in the office. While we tend to consider ministerial callings, many of the principles in focus would apply to fathers in the home and men in other areas of responsibility.
"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;" (Col 1:10).
We all enjoy some fruit in our diets and what it does for us in the way of nutrition. God also enjoys and receives honor and glory from His children who produce abundant spiritual fruit of good quality.
Anabaptists in the Reformation were often called "the radicals." They took an active stand to call the church back to the Bible. They went forth witnessing and preaching to everyone they could. When called into question about their faith, they valiantly shared the Word knowing it probably would mean torture and death. They were hated, persecuted, and killed for this active faith in God. Many would not back off or compromise their faith because of personal danger. They were men of "conquest" for the kingdom even though sometimes it may have looked like defeat.
Tonight, I am missing the evening service. There are sick children at our house. My wife could have stayed home with them and I could have gone; but she stayed home this morning while I went to church.
Sick children are not fun. The flu bugs make their presence known in different ways and none of them really enjoyable. The care given to sick children is usually far less pleasant than the care given to "well" children. Sick children do fewer cute and endearing things. In fact, most times they don't do any at all. Sick children cry more and laugh less.
Voluntary service is a relatively new concept in the history of man. In many cultures, it is still more or less unknown. It is an aspect of living known only to cultures operating outside the bounds of survival mode.