Who is in Ministry?

1 Chronicles 26.30 observes they did the Lord’s work and the king’s service. images

Described in this verse are men who did good work for society while keeping the work of God first priority.Until men in the Church embrace a similar understanding of their responsibility the culture will continue to move further from the ways of God.

A serious misunderstanding has occurred within the Church that vocational Christian workers are in ministry while those whose vocation is outside the Church are in ministry support. This lie from hell has had the effect of neutering the impact of the Church upon the world.

Those in vocational Christian ministry are called to serve as coaches for helping those in secular vocations to effectively serve God for building His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

The vocational Christian worker has disengaged from most of his relationships with people who do not know God thus becoming increasingly ineffective at influencing these same people toward God. Whereas those in secular vocations daily engage people who deny the existence of God and are thus His target audience for the gospel of Jesus Christ and who will be most easily won over by those Christians among them in secular vocations.

Christian people in secular work must understand they are first to engage God’s work by performing their secular work with excellence, modeling the character of Jesus then finally verbalizing God’s work in Christ to the uninformed.

Those in vocational Christian work are to encourage, equip and support those in secular work for they are the Christians who are truly in full-time ministry!

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The effect of God’s work

Luke 10.18 observes I saw satan fall like lightning. images

Upon the return to Jesus from their ‘mission’ experience, God in Jesus comments that the fruit of His disciple’s labor was His observation of satan’s fall like lightning. The Lord Jesus had just sent seventy-two disciples to preach, teach and heal in all the towns He was preparing to enter.

The disciples returned to Him excited by all the miracles they had seen and with the effect of their work. Few are those who know this joy for very few participate with God in telling others about Him or in working to help others see Him.

Jesus identified this problem after appointing the seventy-two when He said the workers were few but that we should pray to God to send more workers into the harvest field. The need has always been great but the response has always been reserved, for people love themselves more than they love God and His mission.

The culture around us reflects the work of satan who deceives people into believing there is no God then encourages them to do whatever they feel like doing.

Satan’s work in the world is stymied by God’s people doing His work in the world.

Where the laborers are few the fruit of evil is abundant.

The world desperately needs more workers in the harvest field, God’s people who will give-up their pursuit of wealth and pleasure in this world in order to pursue people for reconciling them to God through Jesus the Savior.

When God’s people fully engage God’s work evil plummets with a crash!

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Fishing with God

Luke 5.10 promises from now on you will be catching people.images

God had just blessed Peter with his greatest catch of fish ever, so much that Peter was embarrassed by it causing him to confess to God how unworthy he was to receive such a blessing.

Peter did not interpret this blessing as a confirmation that he should stay in business but rather he saw it as a demonstration of the love and generosity of God Who can and will provide for His people where previously there was nothing (just the night before Peter had attempted to fish but caught nothing).

Having given Peter a windfall God now called Peter to leave it behind in order to follow Him Whose work is the catching of people for eternal life. God calls all of His people to this work for it is the only work that matters for all eternity.

Most Christians are busy trying to provide for themselves at the expense of following Jesus where they can provide for God.

God is building His kingdom and has chosen to make people the means by which He accomplishes His work. While He could do the work Himself or even send heavenly beings to do His work for Him, He has instead chosen to use people to catch people for eternal life.

Therefore Christians who will be fruitful workers for God must engage the work of winning people to Jesus Christ.

To accomplish this work Christians must abandon the goal of worldly wealth and its temporal pleasures and instead follow Jesus by doing what He did in the manner in which He did it.

Practically this means using what we have to serve people while telling people the good news of God’s redemption through Jesus the Christ.

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Proving not Earning our Salvation

James 2.22 observes faith was perfected by works. The half-brother of the Lord Jesus encouraged the Church to prove their faith by their works. images

Faith without works is really no faith at all he taught.

The message of salvation by grace through faith and not by works has been so thoroughly taught that people now believe that pleasing God is only a matter of faith without regard to deeds.

While it is true man cannot earn his way into heaven by doing good, if he could, God would not have needed to enter our world and offer Himself as a sacrifice for sin on the cross. It is also true that God is a holy God who requires not only belief in Him but obedience to Him.

God has commanded that we love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength which He said is demonstrated through obedience to His commands.

Faith that does not prove itself by obedience is mere belief in God no different from the devil who also believes but whose end is condemnation into the fire of eternal torment along with all those who fail to obey God in Jesus Christ.

The great saints have all demonstrated their faith by their great works and we too are expected to do the same by sacrificing self and possessions in order to help others come to love God as we also love Him.

The Church is in desperate need of diligent works not earning their salvation but proving their salvation.

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The Sacredness of Marriage

Hebrews 13.4 commands marriage must be honored among all. The Scriptures command Christians to honor marriage.images

When the Bible refers to marriage it means the union of one man to one woman who have covenanted before God and His people to honor, love and remain with one another for the raising of godly children and to glorify God on earth as long as they both shall live.

It never means the union of two men or two women for God repeatedly declares this behavior an abomination to Him for He Himself instituted marriage when He created the first man and the first woman.

Some who call themselves Christian have voiced support for the modern ‘equality’ of marriage movement promulgated by the homosexual community. These supporters seek to please people more than please God for they ignore God’s clear will and teaching by their complete disregard for His written record for humanity.

Sexual immorality is a major theme of the Bible where God has repeatedly condemned and prohibited His people from engaging in it like the rest of humanity who ignores God.

Among the sexually immoral acts God condemns besides homosexuality are adultery and fornication. This is why God commands marriage be honored by His people and is the only place where God blesses the sexual union of two people.

All sexual activity outside the marriage union is immoral before the Judge of all humanity Who will not take into consideration the opinion of men on that Day when He judges each of us in accordance with our obedience to His commands.

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Less Talk and more Action

James 1.22 warns we live out the message and not merely listen to it.images

Most Christians describe themselves as believers rather than disciples of Jesus Christ.

There is a tremendous difference between knowing and doing.

There are many believers in God including the devil and his demons but not many disciples of Jesus Christ. There are many who know of God but few who diligently practice doing the will of God.

Our current culture is a reflection of the proliferation of knowledge about God without walking in obedience to God. Bookstores, TV and radio put forth information about God in Jesus but our country continues to divorce, murder the unborn, lie, steal and cheat while practicing all manner of sexual immorality demonstrating little transformation proving the lack of application of our information.

God is not fooled, He is not ignorant nor is He satisfied by lip service; He demands obedience to His commands. The Church needs less talk and more action.

Christians need to become more devoted and productive in doing rather than listening and learning. It is true we cannot do the will of God without knowing the will of God but if we know the will of God we are required by Him to do the will of God.

Few Christians regularly read the Bible thus limiting their knowledge of God to whatever they learn on Sunday. Fewer still are committed to giving generously, serving sacrificially and witnessing daily so that all people might come to know and serve Jesus as Savior and Lord of all.

The Church is desperate for people who will live out the message and not merely listen to it.

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Eternal Planning

Hebrews 9.27 reminds us people are appointed to die once and then to face judgment.images

Humanity has always struggled to think or plan much beyond today. This makes the most sense among those who are simply trying to survive through the daily gathering of their food but for most of us sustenance living is a thing of the past.

However just as we struggle to save and plan for our financial future even more do we fail to plan for our spiritual future.

The Bible teaches that there is One God Who is eternal and the author of all life. As He never dies neither will those created in His image die but will live forever with Him or separated from Him.

As humans pass from the womb to the earth so we will also pass from the earth to heaven where we will be measured not by comparison to one another but by the will of God. This passing is why Jesus says we must be born again to enter the Kingdom of God.

The determinant for where we live eternally has been clearly revealed in the Bible. God has clearly revealed Himself and His ways to all humanity for all time through the Bible and God invites everyone to receive His free gift into heaven though it cost Him personally at great sacrifice.

Jesus, God made visible, offered Himself as a sacrifice to pay for all humanity’s transgressions against God and now offers entrance to heaven through His resurrection from the dead.

We all will one day see God but whether we are well received is determined now by our commitment to follow Jesus.

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Christian Parenting

Proverbs 29.15 observes a child who is unrestrained brings shame to his mother. images

Christian parenting has become the same as pagan parenting making indistinguishable the children of Christians from the children of pagans. The Christian parent should be different because they are to raise children to know and obey God.

Obedience to God is learned from the practice of obeying parents. Children who fail to honor their parents will fail to honor God.

Woe to those parents who raise children to disobey God, causing them to stumble, it would be better for them to drown in the ocean than to raise such children!

Christian parents have bought into the psychological and sociological pathology of parenting preached so earnestly on talk television rather than reading, studying and applying Biblical truth to the upbringing of their children.

Children are to obey their parents, honoring them in all ways so that when they are older they will obey God and honor Him always.

Children learn to obey as they are disciplined by their parents using the rod of correction on their behinds in a way that causes them to no longer desire disobedience. The rod of correction is to be brought with the words of understanding for the correction so that children learn from their disobedience.

Angry abuse of children is never acceptable but neither is sparing the rod for it results in spoiled children of which we have plenty in the church. Most parents cannot imagine having more than a couple of children because the children they have are such a nuisance that more of them would become too burdensome.

Children are a blessing from the Lord, are to be raised to be holy and godly and should be a blessing even to their parents.

When children are raised according to Biblical truth they are indeed a blessing and the more we have the greater the blessing to ourselves and to the world.

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Power for Living

Hebrews 7.19 observes the law made nothing perfect.images

Most religion is an attempt by people to live lives acceptable to God in order to be received by God with favor when they pass from life to death to life forever.

While ignoring the written commands of God in the Scriptures, most people still consider themselves good and worthy of being accepted by God as they compare themselves to others in the world who they know are less savory.

The One True God does not work this way. While the One True God has recorded His will for all people in the Scriptures, He requires that will be perfectly obeyed if people would live lives pleasing to Him.

God’s law is good in that it perfectly records what God requires for people to live lives pleasing to Him. The law is not good in that it fails to provide the power necessary for people to live it for the predisposition of humanity is rebellion against the law of God.

Perfect obedience is impossible for humanity, with that being the requirement; every person fails to please God making all of humanity unworthy of welcome into the eternal dwelling of the perfect God.

Yet God was not willing to condemn forever His creation so He Himself came to earth and lived perfectly the law He required all to live so that He could exchange His perfect life for the imperfect lives of all people.

Those who receive this exchange now seek to please God not because of legal requirements but from thankful hearts because of God’s mercy.

In addition, God has given His Holy Spirit, the power of Himself, to reside in people so that they can now live lives pleasing to God, something the law is powerless to provide.

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Living Daily with God

Proverbs 23.17 commands be zealous in fearing The Lord all the time.

This should be the goal of every christian yet very few manifest such love for The Lord.

It is hard for us to stay focused on the things of God for our attention span is short. We are easily consumed by the urgent and our own agenda so that thinking and doing the work of God becomes difficult.

The solution is to devote our first and last thoughts of each day to the Word of God which allows the Spirit of God to train us for doing the work of God.

The Lord Jesus modeled such behavior as He rose early in the morning to pray then concluded His day again with prayer while spending the working day doing the will of God.

We have work to do, families to serve and people to engage: all in a way that honors and glorifies God. This is only possible as our hearts and minds become saturated with the Word of God otherwise our work, our families and other people all become means to our selfish ends.

Being zealous for The Lord all the time means to be continually aware of His presence and will while doing all that we do.

It means staying in the moment with God to honor God even while doing the mundane. There is no minute of any hour when our heart and mind are not to be devoted to pleasing God: a near impossibility made more difficult without daily intake of God’s Word and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

God is not demanding activity from us all the time; He just demands all activity honor Him all the time.

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