Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Model Ministry

“I have been a constant example…” Acts 20:35

Looking at Paul’s life we see a man who modelled ministry. His life had tremendous influence. He led others by serving. He became a servant leader by being a leading servant. He led as he followed Christ.

He did “the Lord’s work humbly and with many tears.” (vs.19) He endured trials and never shrank back. Ministry , although often thrilling, brings tears. He was authentic and vulnerable. He wasn’t afraid to express himself and let others see his emotions. Pain challenges and breaks us. A. W. Tozer writes that it is doubtful God can ever use us greatly until he breaks us. Breaking releases God’s power and God’s vision.

Paul demonstrated tremendous courage. He was aware that jail and suffering marked his path (vs.23), but he pressed on. He didn’t hesitate to follow Jesus as close as he could. Paul taught us that God is bigger than all our fears.

Paul was faithful to his responsibilities (vs.26). He showed commitment. In a world today that gives up and gives in at the slightest indication that effort will be required, Paul was diligent. He was faithful to God’s character, His Word and to His call on his life.

Paul didn’t focus on himself, but he did give careful attention to guard himself (vs.28). We can so easily burn out in ministry and then be of no use to anyone.

Our life speaks more than our words. More than knowledge there needs to be evidence. Most of our problem is not that we don’t know the Bible, but that we don’t live it out. If only we lived out half of what we know. Paul was a model for ministry. He writes, “I have been a constant example…” (vs.35).

Asking myself, how am I modelling ministry today?

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Brandee said...

Joy, I read your "Jesus, Only You" comments on Melissa's blog. Sister, you are so awesome and such a blessing to me! I hope Melissa complies all these into one list. Jesus, Only You!

Lynn Cowell said...

Some days I really want to go back to my "old" life...the one where I had no other concerns each day than me, myself and I. So selfish. As you said, ministry is unselfish, so it constantly challenges me. Lord, help me to press into You, because only there will I find true ministry...loving you!
Thank you so much for the words to My Passion. I need to hear it...absolutely beautiful!
Merry Christmas, my friend!

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

I needed that admonition today to "guard myself" so that I don't "burn out". Sometimes I think we forget about that and try to keep on going and going until we are ineffective in our ministry. For the sake of not only ourselves, but for those we serve, we need times of refreshment. Now if I can only take my own advice! ha

Love ya,