HONOR TO ALL WHO SERVE HIM

 

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John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

 

Jesus calls every Believer to service and gifts them for it. Our serving isn’t to be for our own purposes but letting God use us for His purposes. He also said we are to seek the honour that comes from God only, not the honour of men, “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only John 5:44?” He also clarified the honour that comes from God is upon those who serve Him,        “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour John 12:26.” It is an honor to serve and serving will be honored by the Father (John 12:26).

 

We are also told to let the mind that was in Christ, be in us. He humbled Himself and served as Philippians 2:5-8 says, “5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” The mind of Christ humbles itself and submits to serve. The mind of Christ is a servant mind.

 

The word serve has some powerful meanings. Serve means:

 

  1. To meet needs or what is required
  2. To contribute; be of use or useful
  3. To benefit or be beneficial to
  4. To assist or help to achieve something.
  5. To devote one’s life, time, work, or efforts to

 

Would you be described as one who serves? Are you operating in the mind of Christ?

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MISSING IN ACTION

Missing in action

 

When a person receives salvation they become a member of the Church which is also the Body of Christ. As an individual member of the Body of Christ, they are given a place (1 Corinthians 12:18), gifts (Romans 12:6-8), and a function (Ephesians 4:16). As every member supplies what they’ve been given the Body matures, the work of the ministry is accomplished, and the Body of Christ is built up.

 

Missing in action is a casualty classification assigned to soldiers and prisoners of war who are reported missing during times of war or after a ceasefire. This classification can also be applied to those missing in action from the work of the ministry and work of the Lord. It is the plan of God for ALL Believers to be equipped for the work of the ministry to build up the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11, 12). That is why every Believer has been given gifts of grace (Romans 12:6; Ephesians 4:7).

 

Failure to exercise that gift weakens the whole Body, leaves it incomplete, and postpones/delays the mission of the Church in the Earth being fulfilled. Many Local Churches are functioning with skeleton crews most of the time because:

 

  1. Gifts that are needed can be missing for a whole host of reasons.

 

  1. Gifts can be present but non-functioning or inactive. Some are new to the idea that God wants to use them with their gifts while others need trained and equipped.

 

  1. Gifts can be present but hidden due to the person not living an honorable life 2 Timothy 2:20-22.

 

  1. Gifts can be in attendance but directing their strength to outside focuses and interests (people are committed but not to the things of God or as the Apostle Paul said, “For all seek their own, but not the things which are Jesus’ Christ’s Philippians 2:21)

 

  1. Gifts can be prisoners to bondage from the enemy, family problems, financial struggles, or physical health issues to where their life has been reduced to survival mode or trying to just live above the pain.

 

  1. Gifts can be in captivity to the world system.

 

Their gifts are in use building up the world system but not the Kingdom of God or work of God in the Earth. There is an example of gifts being in captivity being mentioned twice in Old Testament times. Firstly, Solomon put the treasures in the Lord’s house 1 Kings 7:51. Shishak, a Pharaoh of Egypt plundered the treasure 1 Kings 14:26; Secondly, Nebuchadnezzar plundered vessels out of the temple in Jerusalem.  His policy was to resettle conquered people and relocate and transport them to other provinces of his empire, providing him with slave labor to build his worldly projects (Ezra 6:1, 5).

 

The Prophet Daniel in describing this plundering of vessels from God’s house adds that Nebuchadnezzar carried them away to the land of Shinar (Daniel 1:2; Genesis 11:2, 3) which is where the symbol of worldly power, the Tower of Babel, was built. In Second Chronicles 36:6, 7, 18-20 it is called Babylon. Another reference to Shinar is mentioned in Zechariah 5:9-11 in connection with the woman and the ephod in the vision Zechariah had symbolizing the spirit of godless commercialism originating in Babylon; so being in captivity in Shinar would mean being in captivity in the godless commercial world system. I am believing that there are those who are the redeemed of the Lord, in captivity to the godless world system in our day that God can cause to return to His House to function in their place in the Body of Christ in the Last Days.

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FINDING OUR PLACE IN THE BODY OF CHRIST

FINDING YOUR PLACE IN THE BODY OF CHRIST

1 Corinthians 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

 

God has a purpose, plan, and assignment for every Christian.  The work of the ministry of the church is to be done by the entire Body of Christ and God designed it to be that way.  Many Christians want to find their place in the Body and do God’s will or purpose, but how do you find your place or God’s will?  One powerful way to find your place is in identifying the spiritual gifts God has given you.  Spiritual gifts are powerful enabling gifts that allow Believers to function in the work of the ministry.

 

All members have gifts (Romans 12:6; I Peter 4:10). All members have a place (1 Corinthians 12:18). All members have a function (Ephesians 4:16). Aside from God’s Word and His Spirit leading us, if we know what gifts He has given us, it is a powerful indicator of what He expects of us.  Sometimes Believers seek to know God’s will/plan without thinking His will is written in our very beings.  We can perceive His will when we discern our gifts. Our purpose is built into us by Divine design as the workmanship or product of God (Ephesians 2:10)

 

  1. SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE DIVINE GIFTS OF GRACE.
  2. They give special ability for service to the Body and ministry to the world.
  3. They are gifts given us to help others not to build our self-esteem.
  4. Gifts in Romans 12:6, Ephesians 4:8, and 1 Corinthians 12:28 is the Greek word “charismata,” which is defined as a gift of grace, Divine gratuity, spiritual endowment, or miraculous faculty.

 

  1. SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE NOT THE SAME AS TALENTS.
  2. Talents come from natural birth; gifts come from spiritual birth.
  3. Spiritual gifts are not souped up talents or anointing on our talents. Talents can be dedicated to work for God, of course, but gifts are not natural talents.

 

  1. SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE NOT THE SAME AS CHARACTER OR THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT.
  2. Gifts are given according to grace not character or maturity.
  3. Gifts are self-manifesting and outward manifesting whether a person is mature or not. You know them by seeing them (There is no question, they are obvious; and there is no pretending).
  4. As a gift it is not earned, worked for, or grown.

 

  1. SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE RECEIVED WHEN WE RECEIVE GRACE Romans 12:6; 1 Peter 4:10.
  2. Our gifting determines our place in the Body of Christ so to be without a gift is to be without a place.
  3. Gifts (charismata) are grace gifts or gifts of grace that come with the package of salvation.
  4. Each one of us is given a measure of Jesus’ gifts of grace Ephesians 4:7.

 

  1. SPIRITUAL GIFTS CAN BE MOTIVATIONAL, MINISTRY, OR MANIFESTATION GIFTS.
  2. Motivational Gifts Romans 12:3-9. (Gifts of the Father)
  3. Ministry Gifts 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11 (Gifts of Jesus)
  4. Manifestation Gifts 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. (Gifts of the Holy Spirit)

 

Every member of the Body of Christ is gifted in some way but not the same way. Our gifts are for functioning in serving others or for doing the work of the ministry. By God’s plan and design, there are no unused members.

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GRACE MOTIVATES US TO FUNCTION

GRACE MOTIVATES US TO FUNCTION

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

Every Christian is set by God as an individual member in the Body of Christ. Every member of the Body of Christ has a function God has designed and equipped them to do. Every believer possesses gifts that can make them differ from other believers. It is not the grace we share in common but the uncommon grace of God we have (it makes us differ). Often called “Body Gifts” because all members of the Body have them (one or more than one) and sometimes called “Motivational Gifts” because they are gifts whereby we flow in the grace given us. The flow of this grace gifting through us moves us or motivates us to see and do things in a certain way.

 

These gifts of grace is how God works in us both to will and to do what pleases Him (Philippians 2:13) with the measure of grace given to us (Ephesians 4:6). These gifts of God’s grace, because they are in us, move us, motivate us, and cause us to be burdened about certain things and interested in certain areas of work over other areas. It is a measure of His fullness in an individual member designed to work in cooperation with others and whose purpose is to complete the Body.

 

There is a danger in judging other through your gift or projecting our motivation, burden, interest, and view as being what everyone else should see in the same way. The functioning of the measure of grace (spiritual gifts) in every part makes the Body increase as well as fulfill and add rejoicing to the individual themselves (Ephesians 4:16; Galatians 6:3, 4). Pastor’s try to recruit, train, and deploy every gift (harness every gift and grace) for the vision.

 

If you are in a church, function in the grace given to you, and apply your strength there. Allow the Spirit of God to help you know the grace you’ve been given and be a blessing with it in the Local Church. God does not have to speak to you individually or reveal to you “your vision;” if in the church, the Local Church’s vision is for you. It is big enough and broad enough to include, excite, and fulfill everyone. An example of this is in Acts 16:9, 10, where the Apostle Paul received a vision to” come over to Macedonia, and help us,” but then the team went with him. He was the only one that saw the vision and he must have communicated to the team what he saw and they obeyed.

 

The point is that many hold out from involvement in their local church waiting for God to specifically give them an individual vision yet God connected them to a leader with a vision. There is a place for us to function under the vision God’s given for a church with the gifts God has placed in us. God sets every member in the Body as it pleases Him (1 Corinthians 12:18) and He sets us to function not to sit, spectate, or stay idle.

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AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST

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2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 NOW THEN WE ARE AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

 

Our significance is found in God’s belief in us to call us His ambassadors. God has chosen us to make His appeal to the world through us. We all have a potential to make a difference, but it takes courage to break away from the crowd. Courage to cross the line from spectator to participant in what Jesus has called us to do! When we think of what will people think of us – we should be hoping that whatever we do it makes them think of Jesus.

 

Our mission may not involve hanging on a cross, being jailed, or being burned at a stake here in America, but we have other obstacles to overcome. Much of our culture is built by freedom to do as we please, materialism, and dedication to the status quo. In a world built on ‘free will’ instead of ‘God’s will’ we must remember we are Ambassadors for the Lord Jesus.

 

While we may not be called to martyr our lives, we may be called to martyr our lifestyle in order to obey the Great Commission. We must put our selfish ways to death and obey the Word of God. A life totally committed to Jesus without apology, compromise, or concerned about pleasing people or what they may think. The world will see Jesus through us and hear the saving Gospel of the grace of God.

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A VERY PRESENT HELP

a-very-present-help

 

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

 

Our God is a very present help in our time of need because He is Omnipresent (Omni-All; Latin, present-present).  To say that God is omnipresent is to say that God is present everywhere. He is present everywhere in that everything is immediately in His presence. At the same time He is present everywhere in the universe. No one can hide from Him and nothing escapes His notice. Unlike the idols of ancient cultures God is not limited to one altar, one temple or one geographic area. God reveals Himself in His word as being everywhere. This should not be confused with pantheism which is the view that God is everything and everyone and that everyone and everything is God. They say the tree is God, the animal is God, the rocks are God, and the physical creation is God.  God’s omnipresence means He is present everywhere. There is no place in the universe where God is not present. This is not the same thing as pantheism. God is everywhere, but He is not everything. God would not have given commands in His Word against the worship of idols if He was the idol object being worshipped.

 

We cannot get to a place or be in a place where He cannot reach us and us reach Him. The Psalmist said, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence Psalm 139:7?”  We can only be one place at one time ­ but, only God is everywhere at the same time.

 

God cannot be contained in a building (1 Kings 8:27). He cannot be localized in a city or a nation for He is the God of Heaven and Earth. God is always present whether we believe it or not. He is always available to us wherever we go, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.

 

The truth of His Omnipresence can be convicting when we read Proverb 15:3, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” and Hebrews 4:13 “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” His Omnipresence can be comforting when we read Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” and Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

 

We do not serve a God who is off somewhere far away and too busy to hear us when we call upon Him. He is near to them that call upon Him and ever ready to show Himself strong in the behalf of those that have their heart perfect toward Him. Call out to Him today and He will show you great and mighty things you do not know or have even thought about to help you in your trouble (Jeremiah 33:3).

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GRACE PRODUCES GOOD WORKS

 

Grace Produces Good works

Christianity is the total work of God for man, for birth and for growth.  It is not man doing a work and reaching up to God for His acceptance, but God reaching down to man with a complete and finished work for man’s acceptance.  That is the grace of God, and grace is what makes Christianity different from all man-made religions.

 

Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  (SALVATION IS THE TOTAL WORK OF GOD FOR MAN)  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus UNTO good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. ” (OUT OF WHICH SHOULD COME THE FAITHFUL WORK OF MAN FOR GOD)

 

“Since we aren’t saved by works, does that mean there aren’t any works under grace.”  No, there are works under grace, but not to get saved, but because we are saved.  The book of Titus, the book of good works shows us the idea of good works after salvation is represented in four different ways.

 

  1. SHOW THYSELF A PATTERN OF GOOD WORKS Titus 2:7.

The Greek word for pattern is “tupos” meaning an example, a pattern, a fashion, figure, form, manner, or print.  It primarily denoted a blow; hence, an impression, the mark of a blow; the impression of a seal, the stamp made by a die, a figure, image; a form or mold; an example.  Have a track record.  Have a trail of good works, a normal habit of good works.

 

  1. BE ZEALOUS OF GOOD WORKS Titus 2:14.

The Greek word for zealous is “zelotes” meaning earnestly desirous of, desire eagerly.  The word is literally a zealot, an uncompromising partisan.  Zealous means to be full of and characterized by or showing zeal; ardently devoted to a purpose; fervent, enthusiastic.  Zeal implies intense enthusiasm for an object or cause, usually as displayed in vigorous and tireless activity in its support.

 

  1. BE READY (prepared) TO EVERY GOOD WORK Titus 3:1.

To be ready or to prepare one’s self.  Preparation precedes production.

 

  1. MAINTAIN GOOD WORKS Titus 3:8.

Whoever has heard a preacher say that good works have no part in a Christian’s life because they are under grace needs to read their Bible for themselves. Start in the Book of Titus, the Book of Good Works.

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