Thursday, February 17, 2005

Every Believer Has a Ministry

2 Corinthians 5:17 – 6:10

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) 3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: 4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, 5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; 6 By pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, 7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; 9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

What is a minister? How does one know that he or she is called into the ministry? I have been meditation on these very questions over the last few days. I must say that I am in awe at how complicated we sometimes try to make Kingdom business. The bottom line is that EVERY believer is called into the ministry. Each of us have a responsibility, which is to bring souls to the Body of Christ.

Now, Ephesians 4:11-12 outlines the five-fold ministry. In other words, these are ministry categories, if you will. Many of us are called into these positions or have ministries that fall into one of these categories. Nevertheless, every saint of God is called into the Ministry of Reconciliation!

Jesus has given us the ministry of reconciliation. This means that we are to reconcile sinners to Him. Each one must reach one, at least! We are not saved to keep this good news to ourselves. If this were the case, God could simply take up every person as soon as they sacrifice their lives to Him. Instead, He has constructed a plan by which His love and the Gospel can be shared throughout the world – through us. What a privilege and an honor. What a responsibility!!!

In the work of the ministry, many leaders and ministers often get caught up on the politics of ministry and outreach. It often becomes a business rather than a service. My question to myself and others is this: If God were to call you home today, and ask how many sinners you have brought to salvation, what would your answer be? For too many people, that answer is 0. The truth of the matter is that most churches are packed with broken believers. Most people who don’t believe the Gospel WILL NOT BE IN CHURCH! This means we have to go out and get them, Saints of God. We must go out, as sheep among wolves, and win souls over to Christ! To win a soul, we have to have substance. We need to know that Word of God. We need to have holy boldness. We need to live lives of prayer and fasting. The time is now – NOW is the day of salvation. We can no longer procrastinate. These are the last days, and we must work quickly. Souls are at hand. Eternal life is on the line. AMEN?

Then, we must prove ourselves through the ministry. A ministry is not proven by the amount of money it takes in, nor the type of car driven by the minister, nor the amount of members that show up each Sunday. Instead, according to the Word, our ministry is judged by our patience, our pureness, our knowledge and our love.

How does your ministry measure up? How many lost souls have you rescued from an eternal hell? My prayer is that everyone reading this post will make a new commitment to the Lord. Father, we will seek the lost and bring them back to You, as your Word commands. We die to ourselves, and seek your face. We will be obedient and operate in the ministry of reconciliation. This is a responsibility, but also a privilege given to us by the blood of Jesus Christ. Father, allow your Holy Spirit to teach and strengthen us as we go forth and do your well. Make ready the hearts of those who need you. The harvest is plenteous, and the laborers are few, but Lord, I will go. Send me, in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

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