What Makes Us Effective for the Lord?

KALEO Teaching Notes from John 7

Introduction: Each of us has an assignment from the Lord, for 1 Corinthians 3:5 says, “The Lord has assigned to each his task.” In John 7, Jesus spoke three sentences that contain the secret to being effective as we go about these tasks.

1. Don’t Work on Your Own Timetable, But His – (Verse 6). When asked why He wasn’t going up to the Feast of Tabernacles with the others, Jesus said: My time is not yet here; for you anytime will do (John 7:6). My paraphrase: “The Father has an agenda for my life, and every moment is allocated. There are no wasted movements. My time is under divine management. I operate according to the Father’s schedule. On the other hand, since you don’t know the Father and aren’t committed to Him, your life has no divine agenda. You’re fulfilling no purpose whatsoever. So you can do whatever you’d like whenever you’d like. It makes no difference. It means nothing.” The lesson for us: The moment we commit ourselves to Jesus Christ, we discover a driving purpose in life, and God’s work for us is assigned in one-day increments, so we must redeem the time wisely.

2. Don’t Work for Your Own Honor, but His – (Verse 18). Jesus said: Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the One who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. How easy to serve the Lord for our own honor. This is the biggest battle I face, that everyone in Christian service faces. If we’re proud of being in a large place or flustered being in a small place, we’re fretting about our own honor. We must simply serve wherever we’re placed for the honor of Another. Our motive is not self-gratification, but Savior-glorification.

3. Don’t Work in Your Own Power, But His – (Verse 38). In John 7:38, Jesus said, Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. We can do nothing of eternal significance in our own strength, personality, or power. It’s only as we’re filled with the Holy Spirit that Christ works through us with His own power.

Conclusion: Recognize your time belongs to Him, and your times are in His hands. Don’t worry about your own honor or stature; just seek to honor the Lord. And relax from striving for effectiveness. Be filled with His Spirit, and trust Him to be effective through you.