Friday, November 26, 2010

Who's ministry is this?

His alone

When we say my ministry, we mean God's ministry right?

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
I have observed, and even participated in ministries where the focus is Christ first, but statistics run parallel or a very close second. In this practice, the focus - at least for me - seems to have too much emphasis on bringing others into the church, therefore establishing what, a larger tithes base?
I'm sorry for sounding cynical with this message it's just that I know I'm not alone in this thinking. When can we expect to put God first again, instead of ourselves?
It should never be about how many attended, it should be about how many received the message, and believed. It should not be a ministry where we must always see results for our words, and deeds. It should be a ministry that believes through faith what we are doing will have a lasting effect on those we share the gospel with.
It should never be a ministry that has such a need to be rewarded in seeing the fruits of their labor, even Christ Himself said we would do greater things than He. But He was not concerned with how He would be received , He was only concerned in completing the task that the Father handed Him to do, and do it it He did at the cost of His mortal existence.
It is a time to rethink the way a church, and/or ministry operates. In the secular world as well as the non-secular, there seems to be growing a resentment towards organized religion. Perhaps this resentment comes from all the bad publicity concerning the treatment of those who attend services, and activities sponsored by ministries. Surely the incidents are few, yet they make great news reports.
It is time to identify the cause of these self-promotions in the various ministries we are members of, and do our best to rethink how we should proceed.
The benefit of doing this may not be realized in our own lifetime, it does however need to be done. Think of others, at all times ahead of ourselves, we must do what benefits the body of Christ, and we must render ourselves incapable of accomplishing anything truly meaningful without the help of our LORD.
This is a call to arms, to re-equip ourselves as workers for Him, and not the other way around.
Just as I feel the time for His second coming is near, I also feel we have abandoned the true purpose in spreading the gospel. Why did He come? He came because the Father sent Him. Why did He send Him; he was sent to save us from ourselves, to deliver us from the enslavement of sin, yet so quickly we forget.
We remember 9/11 I'm sure, but do we remember what events took place after that horrid day?
Do you recall the compassion, can you recall the courtesies we afforded one another? For many days on end, and day after day I experienced - at least in my corner of the planet - kindness that had not been seen since I was a child. I was reminded, if only so briefly of how days will be when everyone confesses Jesus is Lord. Do you remember those days from September, and after?
Pastors wonder why they are losing congregation members, politicians wonder why their constituents are unhappy, we would be better advised to worry what God thinks in these matters.
There are some countries/continents experiencing a revival of large proportion, I pray they are being fed the truth, and not being deceived with thoughts that are carnal in nature as we are experiencing here in the states. Do you recall the scriptures referencing the seven lampstands (Rev.1-3)?
I believe we, the United States of America, are in possession of one of those lampstands, but we are in grave danger of it's light failing. We have diluted, tainted, and cheapened the true message of the Bible, it is now time to reverse that process. We can not afford to let our light. our fire, be extiguished. G.B.U.

We are merely co-workers

1 Corinthians 3:1-9 (NIV)

The Church and Its Leaders  1 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?
 5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
We must stand guard over our behavior daily, minute by minute, and hour by hour. Satan does not rest, and neither should we when it comes to our faith, our morals, and what we share with each other in our interpretations of scripture.
All we say, all we do, should mimic those of Christ. We will each of us be scrutinized, first by man, and later by God Himself. Each of our words, and actions will be compared to the truth that is written in the Bible. The Bible itself is just one tool in building our relationship with God. The other tools are not the same for each of us, this is why we have so many interpretations of the truth that is listed as a whole in the Bible, and that is another truth, we can't take just bytes of the Bible to explain our actions to others just as we can't take one piece of scripture to explain the entire gospel.
Summarization of the Bible is not a cut, and dry neat package. Each of us upon accepting the Lord as our Savior, is challenged in numerous ways, one is to to and deliver the message of the gospel to others.
Unfortunately this is not possible without reading, and understanding the message first, and I mean the entire message, the entire Bible, not bits, and pieces. We must also understand that when we deliver the message, the task we were asked to do has been accomplished. We are not to judge others, rebuke yes, judge no. we are not to lead sinful lives, and then tell others to be without sin, or we are hypocrites, and we are not to worship idols, too numerous to list all, but money, gaming, and even computer habits could be considered worship if it separates us from God.
Let us remember what the Lord said "It is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick". We can all become sick from time to time, and if we find ourselves in that state of health, let us remove ourselves from direct contact with others so as not to make them ill as well.
Again God bless us all, and may we do His will not our own.

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