Week 6 Prepare My Heart for Ministry to Others

Week 6 Day 1

Prepare My Heart for Ministry to Others

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;”  Paul, Eph 4:11-13

One of the great things about being a Christian is knowing that we are not expected to carry the weight upon ourselves alone for all Jesus wants to do in building His church.  He, through the Holy Spirit, gifts each believer in such a way that each one –working together – carries out their important role in His work. 

The work of ministry – which is Jesus working through each believer for His purposes – is multifaceted.  It is reliant upon His Spirit and our obedience.  It is part of His plan to save mankind from eternal separation.  It is necessary for the building of His church.  It is an essential function of a growing church. 

Inward ministry is caring for the needs of the body.  It is focused on making disciples of those who believe in Jesus.  It builds up and equips the church for His service.

Outward ministry is usually evangelistic in nature, not only caring for the needs of those around us – but motivated with the desire to see every person come to faith in Christ.  Ministry is the normal function of every believer.  The growing disciple and the growing church will increase their ministry. 

Prayer:  Father, help me to know and understand how you have gifted me for ministry, and especially help me to have the faith necessary to follow you completely in the ministry you desire to use me in.

 

 

W6D2

Prepare My Heart for Ministry to Others

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  Luke 10:27; Deut 5:5; Mt 22:37-39

Jesus was talking with a lawyer when the question arose concerning what would please God enough to allow one to gain eternal life.  Jesus of course referred to the law, and the wise lawyer had a great answer – and Jesus even said so in the following verse. 

Here in is where true ministry starts – with true and complete love of God.  For, to love God completely – with one’s soul, strength, and mind – is to love that which God loves, and God loves mankind – enough to send “His only begotten Son” to be the sacrifice which pays for the world’s sin. 

Ministry to others is the outpouring of what the Holy Spirit is doing in the heart and life of the one who loves God with ALL of his heart, soul, mind and strength.  The ministry God wants you to be involved in can only be fueled by His love and your love for Him.  If there is no fuel for the work, your own efforts will fade quickly and you’ll fall short of completing the ministry God sets before you.  It will be too hard, too dirty, too consuming – and in the end, too much.  Fueled by His love working through you, you’ll be able to make the impact which pleases and glorifies Him.

Prayer:  Father, I want to impact the community around me for your glory.  Give me direction.  Help me see where you are working, how I can be used the best, and how I can get started with ministry to others around me. 

How can I minister to those in my neighborhood and community?

 

 

W6D3

Prepare My Heart for Ministry to Others

Go and do likewise.”  Jesus to the lawyer, Luke 10:37

Ministry which pleases God and glorifies Him is impossible unless one is a child of God, is being directed by the Holy Spirit, and is daily becoming more like Jesus. 

Ministry means action.  It is not passive.  It often demands that one step out of their comfort zone, being completely vulnerable, and completely reliant on God’s provision and protection in order to accomplish that objective He has brought before them. 

The lawyer had clearly stated God’s desire from Deuteronomy, but likely didn’t expect Jesus’ response to his next question: “And who is my neighbor?”  The Jewish lawyer would have known of the dangers of the journey between Jerusalem and Jericho.  He may have traveled that route many times himself.  And as Jesus shared the story, he likely was able to identify with 3 of the men – the robbed and wounded man, along with the priest and the Levite. 

The priest and the Levite had no true overflowing love of God, because mercy was void and fear overwhelmed.  That ministry opportunity was too much for them.  Yet, the Samaritan man did have mercy.  Mercy is the action of stepping in to help one who can’t help themselves.  Mercy like this is fueled by God’s love. 

Jesus had such mercy for you and expects you to have such mercy for others whom the Father leads across your path.

Prayer:  Father, thank you for showing great mercy to me through the sacrifice of Your Son.  Now, help me understand Your mercy even more, and especially the love which fuels it.  Help me show your love and mercy to others around me, wherever I am.

Which of my friends or neighbors needs God’s mercy? 

How can I help them experience His mercy?

 

 

W6D4

Prepare My Heart for Ministry to Others

for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”  But they asked, “When?”  And the answer came, “Assuredly…inasmuch as you did it to one of the lease of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”  Jesus, Mt 25:35-40

We are blessed to live in the United States.  Although human needs are all around us, they are not as visible and striking as in many other counties around the world.  Many of these needs are more evident in some places because of the poverty associated with them.  However, even the richest people in the world still have needs.

Money may be able to cancel out hunger, thirst, nakedness, and perhaps even prison – but it will not cancel out sickness, fear, anxiety, and death.  And money can never bring salvation from spiritual death.  Every person has needs, especially spiritually speaking. 

Jesus seemed to say that ministry to others was equal to ministry to Him personally.  And we know the ministry of the Lord isn’t only directed to believers, but to all mankind.  Therefore, what are the needs of those you know, those in your neighborhood, those in your community, and those in your church? 

Prayer:  Father, I know you are working all around me to meet the needs of believers and others.  Help me see the needs of those around me.  Help me understand how I may be able to help meet some of those needs, and give me the courage to take that vision and step out in faith to minister for your glory.

 

 

W6D5

Prepare My Heart for Ministry to Others

“You are the salt of the earth;…You are the light of the world….Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Mt 5:13-16

The purpose of ministry is to bring God glory.  There is no better way for that to happen than for a disciple of Christ to exhibit such “good works” toward others that Christ is put on display and becomes seemingly visible through those ministry actions. 

As a disciple of Christ, you are meant to be “the salt of the earth”.  Salt preserves and keeps meat from going bad.  Here, Jesus meaning was that His disciples would be that force which would keep the world from succumbing to inevitable corruption. 

As well, as a disciple of Christ, you are meant to be “the light of the world”.  Light renders darkness useless and enables man to see clearly what is presented before him.  Here, Jesus meaning was that His disciples would be that light which would enable mankind to see God at work around them and come to faith in His Son. 

Ministry as the salt and the light draw others to faith in Christ and lead them to also worship the Heavenly Father.   Ministry to non-believers is primarily evangelistic in nature as evident here.  And, as designed by God for this purpose, we should always understand and know that each opportunity is there for His gospel purpose.

Prayer:  Father, I know there is a purpose in all things.  I know you have a purpose for my life.  Help me to be the salt and light you desire before a lost and dying world.  Father, use me to minister to others so they can be touched by You through me.

 

 

W6D6

Prepare My Heart for Ministry to Others

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies,…bearing with one another, …teaching and admonishing one another…And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”  Paul, Col 3:12-17

As previously pointed out, ministry happens inside and outside the church with both non-believers and believers.  Although a lot of your ministry may be for evangelistic purposes, just as much should be spent for discipleship purposes.  That is, after all, one of the main mandates Jesus gave His disciples.  “Go, and make disciples” Jesus commanded.  And, when we practice Paul’s exhortation to the church in Colosse we are focused on helping others grow in Christ, which is discipleship.

Your ministry is vital to support, teach, and encourage – in word and deed – so that each follower becomes a disciple – equipped for ministry, edifying the church, growing in unity and faith, becoming like Jesus until they reach the “stature of the fullness of Christ.”  Eph 4:12-13

The ministry of discipleship is the hardest, and often the most neglected ministry in a church.  Yet, without your involvement in this ministry, you’ll never reach the fullness Paul spoke – and likely those God would like to see you disciple wouldn’t either.

Prayer:  Father, although the idea of discipleship ministry scares me, I pray you give me confidence in You to grow as a disciple who desires to invest in others and disciple them so that Your church and kingdom will grow stronger and have a greater impact within our community for Your glory. 

Who does God want me to disciple?

 

 

W6D7

Prepare My Heart for Ministry to Others

“…through love serve one another.”  Paul, Gal 5:13

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  Jesus, Jn 13:35

Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”  Jesus, Mk 8:34

If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”  Jesus, Mk 9:35

but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant….For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”  Jesus, Mk 10:43, 45

Ministry is service to others.  It is the life of the disciple of Christ.  You are meant to serve lovingly, humbly, obediently, unselfishly, with vulnerability, sacrificially, and always for the wellbeing of others and the glory of Christ. 

Ministry is hard.  Sometimes it is hot and dirty.  Sometimes it means blisters, and sometimes aches and pains.  Ministry builds up and strengthens the body of Christ.  Ministry points the lost to Jesus who can save them.  Ministry motivates the believer, and challenges them to go deeper with Christ.  Ministry is fulfilling because it helps one know they have obeyed Jesus.

Fulfill your ministry” (2 Tim 4:5) and you will hear, “Well done, good servant.” (Lk 19:17)

Prayer:  Father, use me in Your service that Your name may be glorified.

I will serve God today and tomorrow by: 

 

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