God expects to use our lives to touch other people

  “(God) gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry”      Ephesians 4:11-12

He did not save us so we would be spiritual misers, He saved us to know Him and to be involved in the wonderful works that He is doing in the hearts of people around us – and around the world.  He describes us as “His instruments . . vessels . . servants . . Ambassadors”. 

Think flow

God works in us to work through us.  He wants us to be flowing and refreshing fountains rather than still and stagnant ponds.

When should this start? 

If you are in Christ, it already has!  Being in ministry starts immediately.  As soon as God works in us, He can start coming through us. 

My favorite example of this is in John chapter 4.  Jesus is engaged in conversation with a woman who is spiritually dead, theologically ignorant and morally bankrupt.  But after meeting Jesus, she went to the people in her town and told them about Jesus.

Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”   John 4:39-42

This unnamed woman did not have time to learn theology or undo all her past mistakes, yet she was immediately and powerfully used, just by representing Jesus and pointing people to Him.  It is a simple plan that still works today. 

But the main point I want us to dwell on is the immediacy of God’s desire to use this woman. At the moment we believe, we know the basics of what the world needs to know – Jesus knows me, Jesus cares for me, Jesus saved me.

Everyone we meet needs Jesus

We can be sure that everyone we meet has an incurable sin problem.  We can be confident that whatever are the problems which plague them, Jesus is the permanent answer.

And if the people around us have already trusted in this truth, we can be sure that they struggle to live it out – just like we do.  We need to know that even the ‘strongest’ Christian needs to be daily refocused and refreshed in the truths of Christ and His gospel.

All this means that everywhere we go, we are in a place where God wants ministry to happen.

Ephesians 4:11-12 does not allow us to isolate being “in ministry” to those with leadership titles or paid positions.  Those  God “gives” to be pastors, do have a leadership role, but that role is again to “equip” the church into being people of ministry.

Think of the bottleneck in ministry, if only pastors and deacons do ministry.  What a constraining limitation on how many people could receive that ministry!

Being in ministry is a lifestyle of what we do with our day.  Being in ministry is an attitude we have toward the people in our life.

 Originally posted 6.16.2011

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