…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14
Been fellowshiping with 3 friends from different churches about their church’s challenges …
In the midst of many things happening in the local church and the wider church world,
some uplifiting, inspiring, invigorating, edifying,
others negative, energy sapping, emotionally draining, confusing
… as lay persons, we sometimes may lose sight of priorities,
Fads & trends come and go, but … priorities remain firm.
Being sure of our ministry priorities helps us focus … instead of juggling many things …
running endlessly to the urgent … instead of focusing on the important.
What’s the heart of our message & purpose?
A question posed by a Jewish friend in the advertising business raises another very important consideration for Christians who want to be effective and obedient.
She asks, “Why is it that from Christians,
we hear almost nothing about Christ?
We hear about a lot of things from you guys, but almost nothing about this Jesus”
– Source: Bob Briner, Deadly Detours, Zondervan 1996, pg 89
Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus calls us to
Go …. make disciples
… all nations
… teaching them … to obey everything He commanded
By His authority and abiding presence, our role is to make disciples by teaching them everything He commanded.
Hosea 4:6 (NIV)
… My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
Hence, Jesus calls us to teach them … to obey everything He commanded.
John 6:63 (NIV)
The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.
The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.
Effective teaching of God’s word results in others gaining a clear understanding of God & His ways, and having their faith anchored solely on God’s word … not man’s words or soundbytes …
resulting in changed hearts and lives.
Yes, we may have taught … but have our listeners learnt?
Its always good to consider and confirm,
‘Have others understood, … what we’ve taught?’
2 Timothy 2:15 (NASB)
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed,
accurately handling the word of truth.
In ministering to others, our starting point is God’s word, which are full of the Spirit and life
Matthew 9:35 (NIV)
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.
Proverbs 4:20-23 (NIV)
My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
Jesus taught, He healed.
Ministry is centered around a revealed understanding of God & His ways through His Word, by faith.
God’s counsel through His word.
Luke 8:1 (NIV)
The seed is the word of God.
Mark 4:20 (NIV)
20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
John 3:6 (NASB)
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Ministry must start and be sustained by God’s seed – the Word of God, and birthed by God’s Spirit. The Word of God produces fruit.
When things are birthed from good intentions, or one’s ambition, or formulas for quick success, … without the Holy Spirit … hence, the fruit.
When new fads & trends emerge … watch for the fruit ..
is it just a brief spurt ….
or lasting transformation, action & love in individual lives, service
sustained by the Holy Spirit.
Look for sustained, consistent action … not mere words.
Love is commitment.
Acts 5:38,39 (NIV)
38″… For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.
39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
Through discipling others, we lead others to trust & be dependent on God more and more for their daily lives, …. growing in His Word and His character …. able to encourage and confidently minister to others along their path.
Hebrews 4:15,16 (NIV)
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Just as important,
….God’s word should help us grow to appreciate the glorious diversity of the body of Christ … beyond ethnicity, culture, creed, denomination, labels … to harmoniously and peacefully collaborate together & complement one another … humbly magnifying the strengths in each other, rather than weaknesses …. bless, encourage, support one another through words and deeds … giving and receiving … praying for one another …
… His Kingdom come, His will be done.
John 13:35 (NASB)
By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another
1 John 4:7,8,11 (NKJV)
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
8 He who does not love does not know God,
for God is love.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Philippians 2:3,4 (NLT)
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but
in humility regard others as better than yourselves.
4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.
This is the fruit of effective discipling … effective ministry,
… love … humbly blessing/serving others
… by His grace alone … humbled by His grace & mercy.
John 13:12-15 (NIV)
12 So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?13 You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.
Its not about growth in more & more bible information or programs/seminars,
… but heart & love transformation in words & deeds, acts of humble service,
by following an example … & replicating Christ’s example in others
Mark 1:17 (NASB)
Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me”
1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV)
Follow my example, just as I follow the example of Christ.
2 Corinthians 3:2 (NLT)
The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves.
Your lives are a letter written in our hearts;
everyone can read it
and recognize our good work among you.
Colosians 1:9-12 (NIV)
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father,who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
What about the church ?
Jesus said, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (Matthew 16:18 NIV)
Build the church? … that’s Jesus role.
Our role? …. make disciples of Jesus,
achievable by anyone and everyone of us, young & old,
… one person at a time.
Sometime back, the Apple slogan was ….
‘Changing the world … one person at a time‘
which they did through leadership, disruptive innovation, ease of use & anticipating the lifestyle needs of the market … with products relevant & useful to people’s everyday lives.
The company revived from near bankruptcy in the 1990s … to explosive growth & boom.
with a new slogan “Think Different”.
Proverbs 29:18 (KJV, MSG)
Where there is no vision, the people perish:
but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
If people can’t see what God is doing,
they stumble all over themselves;
But when they attend to what he reveals,
they are most blessed.
Luke 5:37,38 (NIV)
37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved.
The Christian walk involves embracing change, inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Being open & not resistant to change .. to think different.
1 Corinthians 3:6-9 (N(V)
6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.
Our role is to faithfully plant the seed and water,
only God makes it grow,
1 Corinthians 1:14-17, 2:4 (NIV)
14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.)
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
Its not about numbers, size
… or popularity, or fame,
but bringing people to follow Jesus,
your faith might rest on God’s power.
Matthew 24:44-47 (NIV)
44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
Matthew 25:23 (NIV)
His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.
& faithfulness in humbly serving others.
John 21:15,16 (NIV)
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
Let’s not weary ourselves in trying to save the world
… Jesus already did it !
Let’s be faithful with our part & make disciples for Jesus.
” … do you love me?”
“Feed my lambs.” … “Take care of my sheep.”
by 林弟兄, bro Lim
March 27, 2015
Copyright © 林弟兄 bro Lim, Laymanointing, 2014-2016 – All Rights Reserved
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