Jesus loves me this I know. Debra Wants me this I know. My kids appreciate me this I know. My church encourages me this I know. My Life Group cares for me this I know. Everything else I know, I will share with you.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Letter to those who Lead at newLife

This morning as I was reading my devotions the Lord pointed out a very important truth.  He never promised that ministry would be easy.

I know that this is a foreign thought in a world where many Christians believe that being a good Christian is always easy. Even how we speak to each other in hard times seems to lean towards the thought "it will get better". But what do you do about this..................

Acts 20:18-23 (ESV)

18 And when they came to him, he said to them:
“You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by[a] the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me.

Paul's words to those serving are powerful but also painful as there are six things I want to share with you out of Paul's Testimony.

1) Paul had to keep a Stellar Testimony so that his word was believable. vs. 18
This is hard for many as they want to serve God but they want to live how they want to live. They use their freedom in Christ as a license to sin rather than a line of truth to others.
If you want to serve God effectively as well as honorably you will need to be more concerned  with what you can't do than what you can. This is especially true when your alone.

2) Paul had to put others before himself. vs. 19
This is Humility. He put his life away for the lives of others. Though he faced many trials in serving and had many plotting against him, his ministry was never about him. People needed Jesus and he was called to tell them.

3) Paul was Fearless in his Service. vs. 20
In a world full of people pleasers this is huge. Paul did not shrink or hide from sharing what he believed that people needed to hear. Whether it was in a church service or sitting in a home with a family, Paul taught without fear of men.

4) Paul's Message was simple. vs. 21
Jews or Greeks ~ Religious or Rebellious the message was still the same. Turn from your sin and trust in Jesus. Our modern Christian wants something deeper and if Paul were preaching today they would scoff at his lack of depth. But I know this to be true, depth in Christianity is not known by how much you know, but how far your willing to go.

5) Paul was truly Spirit Led. vs. 22
I am so tired of people talking about how the Spirit of God leads them here and there but they don't tithe, serve faithfully, or can't even be a committed member to His church.

The Spirit of God constrained Paul ~ Paul could not get away from the truth of God.
The Spirit of God moved Paul to live by Faith ~ Paul had no idea how any of this leading was going to work out. There was no promise of a positive outcome.
A Spirit led person is obedient to the word of God no matter how it works out for them.

6) Paul was Faithful. vs. 23
This is a huge verse. The Spirit of God told Paul that in EVERY CITY he would face IMPRISONMENT and AFFLICTIONS. This was a promise from God. But Paul still went.

God never promised that this would be easy, but He did promise that it was important.  So I say to you thank you for leading others at newLife. I know how hard it is for you. You never have enough people, never enough money and there is never enough time. Your message is often ignored, there are always those who complain and worse there is always the temptation to quit. But don't until you read what Paul said next

 TLB vs 24
But life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus ~ the work of  telling others the good news of God's mighty kindness and love.