Thursday, July 07, 2005


Hello, gentle readers...

It's been some time since we shared with each other. My mind and spirit have been so busy with a myriad of thoughts and prayers. I have felt overwhelmed by the mean-spirited talk between ministries and social groups. There are times when I think I am the only person who sees past the veil of self-promotion into the heart of God. (Yes, I know that's not true. And I say it not to seem haughty, but to let you understand my brokenness over how we act toward one another.)

In Philippians, Paul talks of others jumping into ministry positions after he was put in jail. He says, "How am I to respond? I've decided that I really don't care about their motives, whether mixed, bad, or indifferent. Every time one of them opens his mouth, Christ is proclaimed, so I just cheer them on!" (The Message/Remix)

I realize that Paul is speaking of specific happenings, but I wonder if it is applicable today. How often do we criticize others' walks of faith or preaching? Quite often, actually. We all seem to think we are the "chosen", the one with the answer. We all read our bibles differently. We all have our own interpretation of what each scripture means.

There are groups and denominations who teach that, unless you conform to their image of what the christ-life is, you will be eternally damned. Why can we not accept each others' teachings and be thankful that Christ is preached? Instead of picking each other apart for our differences, why can we not cheer each other on for our similarities?

When all is brought to its primary thought, isn't it really about reaching the world with the Gospel? Is it really about who thinks women should keep silent? Is it really about who speaks in tongues and who does not? Is it really about whether the wine and bread literally transform into the body and blood at communion?

I say it is not! It is about bringing God to man. It is about being a conduit through whom others can find their way in a difficult world. Paul says that regardless of the others' motives, he cheers them on because he knows that the Gospel is being brought to the people! I think this is a strong lesson for us. We should cheer on our brothers and sisters who seek to show God to the world, regardless of their motives. You see, in reality, we are but planters in this vineyard. It is the Spirit of God who brings to fruition the labor we offer. It isn't because of our own goodness, or our own motives, but because of the Holy Spirit of the One God, in the Message of Jesus.

So, today let us examine our own motives. Let us commit to be an encourager of others and not a criticizer or complainer. When you meet someone today who seeks to bring the Gospel to others, don't argue over doctrine or dogma. Agree to encourage each other in showing the love of Christ to the world around you. You will find that your harvest increases because you are operating in the Spirit of the One God, and that is a position of blessing!

May God richly bless you this day as you seek to bring the Message of Jesus to a world full of confusion and strife.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the old "who is greatest among us" syndrome. A weakness of ministry as old as the original 12 disciples in Luke 9:46.

I Cor. 3: 7 says that any of us in ministry is neither "anything" because some of us plant, while others water BUT it is G-d who gives the increase!

In Luke 10 Jesus sends out 70 other disciples - other than the "chosen 12" and they return with reports of spectacular results! These 70 might not have spent as much time training with Jesus personally so they might not have been as "kosher" as the other 12. There might even have been a few women in the bunch of 'em, yet they were as commissioned as the chosen 12!

The key to successful ministry is to be under submission to Christ and be commissioned by him and let G-d give the increase!