Thursday, February 1, 2018

Ministry May Not Be What You Think It Is. Are You Fulfilling Your Ministry?

Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel… —1 Corinthians 1:17

{CHAMBERS} “Paul states here that the call of God is to preach the gospel. But remember what Paul means by “the gospel,” namely, the reality of redemption in our Lord Jesus Christ. We are inclined to make sanctification the goal of our preaching. Paul refers to personal experiences only by way of illustration, never as the end of the matter. We are not commissioned to preach salvation or sanctification— we are commissioned to lift up Jesus Christ (see John 12:32). […] Jesus Christ labored in redemption to redeem the whole world and to place it perfectly whole and restored before the throne of God. […] The one passion of Paul’s life was to proclaim the gospel of God. He welcomed heartbreak, disillusionment, and tribulation for only one reason— these things kept him unmovable in his devotion to the gospel of God.”

{ELGIN}  Have you ever thought of yourself as a preacher?  Probably not.  In our present day economy, preacher has a connotation of someone devoted to ministry, standing behind a pulpit on Sunday morning.  While I was in Haiti … my moniker was “Pastor Charley”.  I did not pastor a church but the Haitians associated me with those who did.  Although I am ordained as a minister of the Gospel in Baptist circles, I never pastored a church and never will, most probably.  My point, I am called to ministry and so are you, each in our own way according to God’s shaping.  We are all called to “preach the Gospel”.  (1 Peter 3:15) “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” You don’t have to stand behind a pulpit to lift Jesus up.  To tell people what happened in your life.  Telling people about your life before Jesus, how you met Jesus, and your life now that you follow Jesus.  I think we make it difficult with “methods” when it should be as natural as talking about your family or why you do what you do for a living.  (2 Timothy 4:1-5) “I [Paul] charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:  preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.  For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” I am certain there are some people that you have known that you wanted to avoid when you saw them coming.  They “attacked” you with the Gospel.  Dr. John Maxwell said “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  It’s true.  Another thing that is true is that you cannot save anyone.  Our part is to tell about what happened to us.  His part is to send His Spirit to do a work in the person’s heart.  Their part is to believe the truth and by faith in Jesus be saved … or not.  You are to “fulfill your ministry”.  Pretty simple, huh?

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