Do you, like so many others, like the idea of being IN the ministry? Or do spend time each day and week DOING ministry, like Jesus commanded us to? (Mat. 10:7-9, John 14:12) Many have a sense that being IN the ministry is awesome! Imagine to get paid for sitting in an office, going to staff meetings, going to lunch with people and talking to people in the church about Jesus! What a great gig, right? But this is a wrong concept based on the average church’s unscriptural view of ministry, perpetuated by their denominational backgrounds.
Jesus defined ministry as healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing lepers and casting out demons (Mat. 10:7-9), not sitting in an office and going to lunch. Jesus always told His disciples they could also do this and do it well. (John 14:12) Actually, the people who are able to be full time in ministry should be the best in what they do in DOING ministry so they can TRAIN OTHERS to DO ministry. Teaching others can’t be legitimately done unless that person has experienced something that they can pass on to others.
Staying connected to God is the only way we as believers can walk in faith, victory and live as an overcomer: That means we must stay close to the One in the Trinity who abides in us and is on the earth today. His name is the Holy Spirit!
To be an overcomer and more than an overcomer (Romans 8:37) we must overcome three things:
Here are a few reasons why we should pay attention to our dreams…
God speaks to ALL men through their dreams.
Job 33: 14-18 – “Indeed God speaks once or twice, yet no one notices it. In a dream, a vision of the night, when sound sleep falls on men, while they slumber in their beds, Then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction,That He may turn man aside from his conduct, and keep man from pride; He keeps back his soul from the pit, and his life from passing over into Sheol.
God declared that He WOULD and did speak through dreams and visions in the Old Testament…
Gossip and slander is spiritually serious and can destroy friendships, marriages, businesses and churches! It is casually accepted as “talking to friends”, but in reality can be deadly to Christians. Over the years I have seen many people fall away from the Lord due to it’s toxic effects. It happens because the offended person won’t go to the one responsible and instead goes to others for solace and support.
Some examples are:
Recently I’ve been reminded of the horrible effects of gossip and slander among Christians.
As a pastor I have seen its horrible fruit in churches. Someone said “good news travels fast,but bad news travels faster.” In this day of social media there is the temptation to use these technologies to spread it. The challenge for the believer is to use the internet as a way to spread the gospel. Today that can be done in just seconds from your smartphone. The bible describes the spreading of bad news as gossip, slander or talebearing.
The world has become smaller as social media and the internet have changed the way people get information and knowledge, there remains a huge danger with the freedom to find out anything, at any time. In Genesis 2:8 we hear about two trees in particular being in the garden at the beginning of time. One was called the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” and the other was called “the tree of life”. God tells Adam and Eve in verse 16 not to eat from the one called “the knowledge of good and evil” or they would surely die. This is the first time where we see that there is something more to be desired than knowledge and that is LIFE.
The enemy’s desire is to paint God as a distant, aloof being who wants our knowledge suppressed, our freedom diminished and our choices limited. But the enemy already had every good and perfect thing in the eons he served God and decided he wanted MORE than being beautiful, perfect and immortal. He wanted to be God Himself and He couldn’t. So until he is thrown in the lake of fire, he is allowed from time to time to test human hearts.
So, what does LOVE FOR GOD look like?
1) The ones who love Him, KNOW Him! 1 Cor 8:3, 1 John 4:7
2) The ones who KNOW and LOVE Him, obey His commandments. 1 John 2:2, 5:1
3) Love for God is expressed in a rejection of the things of the world. 1 John 2:15
4) Love for God is expressed in loving one another in the faith. 1John 4:7
I have recently been looking for a vehicle to replace a car that has seen better days. As I went around to car lots, I realized the salesmen there initially direct you to what you ask to see. Gradually they begin to direct you and show you other things that may meet your similar criteria. Ideally, they want to sell you the most expensive one on the lot that fits your request, but they have sales deadlines to meet and many times direct you to what will help them, not you.
While this is understandable and that is “the way the game is played”, their misdirection still isn’t always helpful and, many times, it is downright frustrating. While this tactic of showing you “something else I have today” is the oldest trick in the book as far as sales strategy, it reminded me of something. (By the way, I am still looking as I write this. Thankfully I have no pressure to get something right away.)
According to the standard we see in the Bible, the vast majority of folks in America today are MUCH more likely to be guilty of being lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:1-4). It seems to me that much of the church in these days experiences awesome worship times in meetings, and maybe, in the midst of that moment, somehow folks think they are actually living what they are singing! They leave the meetings over stimulated, but when they get to that restaurant, tend to treat that young server horribly and leave a dollar tip for a $100 meal. I have talked to dozens of servers who HATE working the “church crowd” due to their rudeness and cheapness!
Maybe we should take a sober look at the fruit in our lifestyles instead of our worship times and meetings??
Pastor Marc Lawson
There are 168 hours in every week. The 166 Factor is the answer to the question: "Who are you the OTHER 166 hours a week when you are NOT in church?" Join the community here as we will be discussing this and other topics related to Reformation in the Church, The End of Church (As We Know It) & The 166 Lifestyle.