2013/06/20 - "We are all in the Ministry" - KL pending
I am in the "ministry." This means I feel a sense of God's calling on my life to help people understand God's love for them through Jesus Christ. The truth is, being "in the ministry" is something every true Christian should feel. As Christ followers, we are all called to Love God, Love People and Make Disciples. However, sometimes I lose sight of this calling. I'm like anyone else and the stress and busyness of life gets to me and I lose focus. This particular week, I have been overwhelmed by some of the needs I've faced in our church. My heart beats for people to have God-honoring marriages. I have seen too many struggling marriages this week. So, when I opened up to Romans this week as part of the Priority Time Challenge
, I was very encouraged by what God showed me. Check it out...
Romans 1 reveals the Paul's heart as an Apostle. Paul's words are a great reminder of what is really going on under the hood of a pastor's heart, which truthfully, ought to be going on under the hood of every Christian's heart.
Romans 1:11 "I long to see you…"
Paul longs to see his fellow believers in Rome. This shows that Paul is relationally connected to people. Ministry is ALWAYS a relationship game. God, help me not slip into the subtle shift of being task oriented. Help me stay aligned with the Holy Spirit so that I never forget it's all about people.
Romans 1:13 "I do not want you to be unaware…"
Paul wants to ensure those he leads are aware. Aware of what? Of his heart, his intentions and his hope. As a pastor/leader of people, it's vital to share my heart. I want people to know the hope I have for their marriages. I want them to know that i want to see a "harvest" among them in their marriages. I'm not satisfied that people have a mediocre marriage and neither should they. I want opportunities to teach/speak beyond the walls of Highpoint because I "do not want people to be unaware" of God's plan for their family.
Romans 1:14 "I am obligated both to greeks and non-greeks…"
Paul lived with a sense of obligation. It seems to me the modern Church has demonized anything that smells like obligation. I get it, we want people to have a desire or love for the things of God. However, obligation is not a bad word. Neither is it a NON-Christian concept. Because of my love for God and for people, I carry a sense of obligation. Because of the Holy Spirit's leadership, I AM obligated to obey His leading and deliver what He has given me. I feel that same obligation as Paul in the sense that my "obligation" is to a wide audience, not just those like me. Not just those who agree with me. Sometimes when I get discouraged in ministry I need the sense of obligation to override my discouragement.
Romans 1:15 "I am so eager to preach the Gospel…"
I love the turn we see here - Paul moves from obligation (which is a good thing) to being eager. He was eager to preach the Gospel. I confess my weakness and will say, I don't always feel "eager" to preach the Gospel. However, when I stop and think about it, to preach about the power of Jesus Christ in people's lives because Jesus defeated sin and death is the only real means of helping people anyway. I want people to live in the joy of victory because we serve a risen King. We win. Beyond that, I can be eager to preach the Gospel because it keeps me from preaching my opinions! My opinions cannot change human hearts, the Gospel can.
Romans 1:16 "I am not ashamed of the Gospel…"
Now we arrive at the most famous verse in chapter 1. Here Paul is clarifying that he is not ashamed of the Gospel. He is not ashamed of the rising King Jesus. He is not ashamed to give all the attention to Him. It is the message of Jesus' resurrection that gives power for Salvation. People can confidently believe that they will die and live eternity with God because Jesus didn't just die…He rose from the dead. He lives today and His resurrection became the means by which we have access to God. Here's where this hits my ministry…until you recognize and surrender to the risen King Jesus you will NOT be able to love your spouse in a healthy way.
I hope this encourages you to live out your ministry today. I'd love to hear your comments.