Wednesday, 5 July 2017

You're Called To A Specialised Ministry

Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly, and each part in its own special way helps the other parts, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love, Ephesians 4:16 TLB.

Did you know that, as a reborn christian, you're called to fulfill a specialised ministry? It's true and I've got some good news for you, and it's this: You don't have to be a bible college graduate, or have some grand title such as, Pastor, Teacher, Prophet, Evangelist, or Apostle to do this work.

It does not matter who you are or where you've come from, God has a work for you. You were ordained by God long before you were born or even conceived. 'For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,' Ephesians 2:10 NIV.
Dear friends, God the Father chose you long ago and knew you would become his children...,' 1 Peter 1:2 TLB.

What is this work? It is to do your part to help the body of Christ grow and mature in love and Godly wisdom. Ephesians 4:16 NLT. Now your gifting could be either different or similar to other peoples' giftings, but God will use that gift and your unique personality to touch others on the spiritual journey we call life in Christ.

Okay then, lets consider for a moment the two types of growth:

1) Parasitic Growth
This kind of growth is extremely unhealthy. It is one sided growth where only one person does all the giving the other all the receiving. If you come out of a church service saying, "I didn't get anything out of that service, the chances are you're practicing parasitic growth. Parasitic growth is characterised by such statements as: Counsel me, pray for me, teach me, preach to me, but don't expect anything from me because I'm not ready to give.

Now if you're a brand new babe in Christ you may not have anything to give just yet, but once you've begun to taste the good word of God and you're starting to grow it's time to start practicing symbiotic growth (giving and receiving).


2) Symbiotic Growth
This kind of growth is where each part can not do without the other. Imagine the human body and all it's various parts (organs & systems) that work together in unison to make the whole body function in a healthy manor. Take any one of these parts away and that body will soon malfunction. It is the same with the body of Christ, each part needs the other to grow and mature.

Symbiotic growth is characterised by statements like: "Yes I have needs, but I'm willing to help you, I'm willing to give because I see that everyone will benefit."

Taking the human body as an example, Paul writes:  'Our bodies have many parts, but the many parts make up only one body when they are all put together. So it is with the “body” of Christ...Yes, the body has many parts, not just one part.  If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body.  And what would you think if you heard an ear say, “I am not part of the body because I am only an ear and not an eye”? Would that make it any less a part of the body?  Suppose the whole body were an eye—then how would you hear? Or if your whole body were just one big ear, how could you smell anything? But that isn’t the way God has made us. He has made many parts for our bodies and has put each part just where he wants it,' 1 Corinthians 12: 12,18

Instead of saying, "I'm going to church," say, "I am the church," and say, "I am a vital and important part of the body of Christ."  This paradigm shift in your thinking will allow you to view yourself as being interdependent with all other parts (other beleivers) of the church, which in turn will cause you to become more readily available to fulfill your specialised ministry in this awesome spiritual organism called the body of Christ. 

Our heavenly Father wants you and I to be a fully functioning part of His church. Now if you're not sure what your part is, ask Him. Begin seeking Him in prayer and He will reveal it to you. Remember His promise: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7. Amen!

Have a blessed day
Paul
PS. If you feel God is leading you to bless this ministry, please click here, thank you


Saturday, 1 July 2017

Are You Praying Like Jesus?

"...The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops, James 5:16-18.
Do you want God's power in your life dear Christian? Well it's time to get alone with Jesus and learn to pray using Jesus as your example. Luke 5:16 says this: 'Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.' He prayed when the pressures of life increased. 'News about Him spread...so that crowds of people came to hear Him and to be healed...but Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed,' Luke 5:15-16. 

Life can get so busy in our modern world and the pressure of meeting one's obligations can be daunting and draining, so spending regular time alone with God is the only way to prosper in life without burning out. It's when you think you don't have the time to pray that you need to pray the most! 

Consider this: Jesus prayed when important decisions had to be made. When it came to choosing those He wanted closest to Him Jesus sought His Father's guidance. 'He went out to a mountain side..and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve...,' Luke 6:12-13.

Did you get that? Jesus spent the whole night in prayer! Now I'm not saying that we must spend all night in prayer (not that it would hurt us to do so), but I am saying that we need to put in some serious prayer time with God when it comes to making important decisions.

God is not just the creator of the universe, He is the CEO who runs it! This is His CV: "I am the Lord...who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go," Isaiah 48:17. So before you choose a mate, hire an employee, formulate a plan, invest in the stock market, go on the mission field, or whatever else you can think of, be sure to discuss it with God first. 'Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take.' Proverbs 3:6.

When you fail to pray you set yourself up to fail. Ever wonder why Jesus never failed? It was not because He was God Incarnate (He functioned as a Spirit filled man while on earth), it was because He never failed to pray! When Jesus cousin, John the Baptist, was arrested and publicly beheaded for confronting a king about his sin, Jesus withdrew to a solitary place, Matthew 14:13.

No doubt Jesus would have been feeling heavy of heart after hearing His cousin had been killed, but what did He do? He prayed privately. Heart breaking disappointments, divorce, death, and desertion will come to all of us at one point or another. The question we need to ask ourselves is are we willing to get alone with God to pray?

Hear His promise: 'He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power.' Psalm 147:3-5. Dear reader, are you heavy of heart today? Do what Jesus did. Take time to pray.

I'll leave you with this final thought: Jesus had a such an intimate relationship, built through prayer, with His Father that in times of pressure and personal pain He could go to God to receive sustaining grace. Now that's where the power of God is, right in the midst of His mighty grace. Do you need supernatural power in your ministry, healing for a broken heart, or guidance for an important decision? Then get alone with God and pray and keep praying until you receive His grace, power, and wisdom, Amen!

Have a blessed day
Paul
PS. If you feel God is leading you to bless this ministry with a gift, please click here, thank you