Sexual assaults. Drugs. Alcohol. Bigotry. Hate. Government Shutdowns. That is life here nowadays, it seems. How does it make you feel when you turn on the news and you see all this stuff going on daily? Some of us choose not to watch the news. I told a friend the other day that I need to watch the news because I need to know what’s going on.
So, let me ask this, why did you become a believer? Were you forced to do so as a child? Did you become a believer because you genuinely believe in this wonderful man named Jesus? I often share my story about getting baptized because I wanted to take part in communion but that was all about joining the church! I became a genuine believer the day that I realized I was no good in my spirit, but that there was One who loved me. That One, named Jesus, could clean my soul and could do wonderful things in my life.
Truthfully, many of our Christian journeys started out the same way – they started out selfishly. I tell you that there is nothing wrong with this because it takes a person loving themselves to come to Christ and admit that they need help. However, while on this journey, we realize that Christ was never about Himself. Christ was sent to the world (everybody) to save the world.
So, the ministry of Christ, we realize can certainly be used for self. However, we must also conclude that the ministering of Christ is not only meant for self but it is meant for others as well. What I want to focus on today is the Christian vision of ministering to others.
Do you have a vision?
I want to take a look at Paul’s writing in 2 Corinthians 6:1-10. In the very first verse, we see Paul say:
We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.2 Corinthians 6:1 NKJV
Do you have a vision for what you want to do – accomplish – as a Christian? Not many of us have ever set a vision for our Christian self,
Now that we have part in God, Paul says that we are workers. You will notice that Paul not only say we are workers but that we are workers together with Him! The Him there is none other than Christ – this is very significant for us to know. I want to point out the part of this scripture where Paul says to us, “not to receive the grace of God in vain”.
Understand that everybody has received the Lord’s unmerited love. God loves everybody! The key here is to not receive the Lord’s love in vain by doing nothing. There are things that you can do that I myself am not capable of doing. There are going to be people that you can reach that I won’t ever reach! We must all work together to do kingdom building and advance the gospel today.
We know that we are to share the gospel (Matt. 28:19-20), but the question is, what is your plan in doing so? We know that it is good for us to have a vision in our everyday life but why do we not set one in our Christian life?
Many of us don’t make such a plan because we don’t think it is our calling. We believe that ministering is meant solely for the preachers. Preaching may be the gift of preachers but, as you have heard me say before, ministering is something that we all share in. We are all stewards and workers for the Lord.
Working for the Lord
3 We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. 4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much p2 Corinthians 6:4 NKJV
atience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses,
We must not be afraid to minister (to help). We must not be lazy and choose not to minister (to help). Paul says that we commend ourselves ministers of God.
Over the past month, we have watched as people have been furloughed or have gone to work without getting paid. There has been much tribulation and distress in our nation. It is not enough for us to mumble about what is going on, tweet or post on Facebook about what is going on. We, as genuine believers and ministers, must look at these situations and see what we can do to minister (help) those who are in need!
You can be on whichever political side you wish to be on but at the end of the day, people are struggling. To be frank, there are always going to be people who are in need. The question is, what can we do to help those who are in need? Regardless of who they are, we should help!
Paul wrote to the Colossians:
5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.Colossians 4:5-6 NKJV
We are to walk in wisdom toward those not only inside of the faith but also towards those outside of the faith. In doing this we can redeem the time.
Not all of us have traveled down the same road. Though we are in the same place, we have all taken a different journey and have picked up some wisdom along our journey. I look at and hear the stories of young women being sexually assaulted in the Me Too movement and I consider how the elder women can minister to the young women today. Older women could minister to the younger women because I, being a man, simply cannot understand all the things that women have to deal with over the course of their life.
Then I consider what the young men in our community today go through and how men my age could minister to them. I know exactly what they deal with and grow through. It is time that we fulfill our roles as ministers in our community. Not in a way that tears down, but in a way that, again, encourages and lifts up! We have the ability to lift up those who are going through some things whether it is putting a meal in front of them or giving an encouraging word.
To achieve our godly vision
So we must ask ourselves, what do we want to achieve as Christians and how are we going to go about achieving our goals?
An answer to one of those questions can be found in this passage of scripture. Paul says:
6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by s2 Corinthians 6:6-7 NKJV
incerelove, 7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
We achieve whatever our vision is through purity – that means genuineness. Again, our ministry should give no offense because it is genuine. We continue to achieve our vision by longsuffering, kindness, and by the Holy Spirit. Again, whatever your vision is for how you can help somebody, must be led by the Holy Spirit and not simply by your desire.
Too often we let our own desire lead us instead of letting the Holy Spirit lead us. If we are going to minister, we want our ministry to be a Godly ministry! A vision and a ministry that is filled with sincere love and truth. I have a grand vision to where this ministry is one that helps in both the good times and the bad times! In my vision, I see a ministry that shows the glory of the Lord through good works! I see a ministry that brings nothing but joy because God is love and joy!
This, I tell you, is a godly vision and one that I know will come to fruition – I have faith! I urge all of us to come up with a vision for ministering the Lord’s gospel to others because we are living in a time where our ministry is not only needed but required. The preacher cannot do it all by his or herself, but with all believers joining in to work the good work of the Lord.