The Holy Bible (Good News Translation – Philippians 1: 3-6): (3) I thank my God for you every time I think of you; (4) and every time I pray for you all, I pray with joy (5) because of the way in which you have helped me in the work of the gospel from the very first day until now. (6) And so I am sure that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Christ Jesus.
My Observations: I believe that it is true in every Christian based group, that you will find: A ‘Pastor’ or minister or priest or similar leader; A ‘Support Team’, such as elders, deacons or other such leadership group; and the ‘People’ (you and I). Although not scriptural, I am saddened that many of the ‘People’ see themselves as spectators and therefore, the work of the Lord is squarely on the shoulders of the ‘Pastor’ or the ‘Support Team’. You might wonder why this would sadden me. I don’t believe that you will find this thought supported anywhere in scripture, instead you will find many other references to the ‘People’ being cautioned, encouraged and led to take what they have learned in the church and to go and share/minister to others who are not at church. In our scripture this morning you will see where Paul is giving thanks to God for the good work accomplished by the ‘People’, and he quickly acknowledged that it was God who began, and continued, the work in them. Don’t you see that there might be obvious disobedience, if we choose to ignore the desire God places in us, and shows us through the need for ministry and the ongoing spiritual needs of others? Many might quickly respond that they feel so unprepared to minister to someone. May I remind you that it is only through the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit that we are to move out in ministry on God’s behalf? Please don’t interfere with the work of the Holy Spirit by refusing to obey the opportunities He deliberately places in our path. Please don’t offer to take that friend to church next week so they can have their needs attended to. Yes, one of their deep needs might be to fellowship with other believers through church worship services, but the last thing I believe that any Christian would want to hear by our Savior, is the disappointment over the missed opportunities to minister to a friend who never lived to see the next worship service. I can easily understand how we all have different qualifications and gifts, but remember that God would never ask us to do the job of our ‘called’ pastor. All He would expect of us is to make ourselves open and available to be used by Him to minister to lost and/or hurting people who need a Savior. God will use our availability far greater than any earthly taught abilities. Let’s be open to allowing God to do His work in and through us friend!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, please forgive me for feeling inadequate to minister to my friends and family, and for not allowing You to take control of my life, my words and my actions. I want to represent You and freely open the doors of my life so that my words might be yours and my actions controlled by You and used by You as appropriate. You spoke to my heart through a wonderful messenger of Yours, may others receive You, and/or be renewed in You because of what You might accomplish in and through me. Like Paul gave thanks for those who listened to You and were used by You, I pray that my readers would also acquire the desire to be used by You also. May Your name be praised and lifted high this day and throughout 2015 is my heart’s cry that I ask in the precious name of Jesus, AMEN!
Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!