Revival Post – 2015 Winter Edition

 
Revival Post
Winter 2015 Edition
A publication of Precious Stones
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Practical Wisdom for Fulfilling Ministry and Missions – Part 2
By: Fola FayokunIn part 1 of this series of practical wisdom for fulfilling ministry and missions, as we explored the Word of God, we sensed a new understanding of the most important last words spoken to us by Jesus while in human flesh.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matt28:19 ESV

We saw that the primary call of every servant of God above all else is to make disciples. We realized that nothing else is more important than this for the servant of God, whether he or she is a pastor, evangelist or missionary. Similarly, churches ministries and mission agencies can only exists, for this primary purpose, for their existence to be biblically relevant. I regard this as a key parameter of my calling and ministry. For me it is the primary duty Jesus left behind for all and nothing else is fit to take its place. Soul winning or evangelism is an important step but winning a soul is never the fulfilment of the great commission when discipleship is neglected!
His mandate to us isn’t to merely win souls or obtain great conversions, but to raise disciples.

If we win souls without making disciples of them we have not fulfilled the Lords command.

For clarity and in order to avoid confusion, I like to state that church and ministry “follow up” program though good is not necessarily discipleship, lest we trivialise the great commission.

In our last edition we saw some distractions to making disciples which the servant of God must avoid. Subtle distractions which the enemy employ to waste God’s calling and endowment in the life of God’s servant. Good causes which every believer must do, but not an end on their own. We also saw the “quest for numbers to show case” and the desire for “the public” both of which are detrimental to disciple making.

“Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. — Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you–From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him John6

If Jesus was seeking for “attention” or “popularity” of “fame” or “money”, he would not have done this or preached in this manner. And you and I, are not expected to do less.

In this edition we shall examine yet another challenge facing the servant of God in fulfilling this God given responsibility:

The pressure of our needs.

Servants of God like everyone else have families and have obligations to provide for them. Few are salaried employees but majority have no means of a regular fixed income. Yet those who have the benefit of a regular salary is often offset by low pay or insecurity of employment.  In a world where meagre means is ridiculed and observed even in the church as a mark of lack of spirituality, where the more the material possession the more successful a man is considered as a minister of Jesus. The faithful servant of Jesus faces a physical and psychological torture when he lacks and his family shares in the pain.

The servant of God often faces the conflict of moulding lives and pleasing men. This is often the case as the congregation or audience he serves provide for his upkeep. These are challenging times for any servant of God in taking up the responsibility of discipleship. These are days of all manner of sexual orientation. These are days of diverse matrimonial models. These are days of censorship of   Christian public worship. These are days of secularism. These are days of extremist killings and terrorism. And these are days of gun trotting individuals provoked by the slightest disagreement.  Yet the servant of God who will fulfil the command to raise disciples must be uncompromising about Gods word, and never be afraid to condemn unrighteousness. He/she must be ready to declare righteousness and demand obedience to Gods word.

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last daysPeople will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.2Tim3:1-2,5

This rebellion against Jesus is as prevalent in the past as it is in the present, in faraway lands as its nearer home, and even in the church today. 

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.2Tim4:3

This is not new. John the Baptist found no accommodation elsewhere but in the wilderness where his food was locust and he was eventually beheaded because he preached against a wrong marriage relationship in his day. Elijah and several prophets had death sentences passed over their heads because they opposed the prophets of Baal and Jezebel. Prophet Micaiah was imprisoned and starved by King Ahab for not preaching and prophesying in the fashion that suites the unrighteous life style of the king in his day, even when other prophets compromisingly followed that path. Where do you and I stand?

Below is a testimony depicting that notwithstanding any hardship a servant of God may face, compromising the calling of God over our lives is never an option.

You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them 2Tim3:10-11

God is able to provide for us if we do His will. Discipleship cannot be done when a servant of God is fearful or unwilling to present the truth of God’s word because of any consequent adverse implications (including financial). Servants of God must emphasize the word of God both for themselves and others. It might look enticing to replace discipleship with selling books, anointing oil, fragrances and collecting offerings in exchange for prayers, or gathering multitudes with motivational messages rooted in mere psychology or by fund raising activities. However nothing must replace or serve as distraction from the work God committed into the hands of His minister.

Go therefore and make disciples——– Matt28:19

In the scripture below we see how the enemy uses needs to derail the servant of God and how Jesus gave us an example to follow.

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God Matt4:1-4

Jesus refused to succumb to the devil even in the face of dire need and starvation. I am happy to let you know, that Jesus did not die of hunger in the wilderness afterall. It only ended in Him coming back from that wilderness with power. You will only increase in grace if you refuse to compromise. Continue the work He has committed to you, God will soon come to your rescue.

We must deliberately make the choice of whether to make solid stones of “disciples” of the men and women God committed to our care or make “bread” of them.

If our primary focus in ministry is to make a living, we will stumble. On the contrary what must be our focus is fulfilling the work we are called to do {discipleship}.This is the way to succeed in the ministry which God has committed to our hands.

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.Isa40:29

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.1Tess5:23-24

Surely He will provide for you. But as we conclude it is important to mention that discipleship labours will be difficult, if not impossible whenever a servant of God is wasteful. We must therefore be good stewards of the resources that God provide for ourselves, our family and the work of God. He is with you as you labour to fulfil the call of God on your life.

Go therefore[a] and make disciples of all the nations—— Matt28:19

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, continue to rest on you and all that is yours.

Jul 9, 2015 | Posted by in Revival Post | Comments Off
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