Ministry Priorities: Do We Have Them Right?
Devotional Thought of the Day:
4 whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
Acts 6:4 (NAB)
22 So turn from youthful desires and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord with purity of heart. 23 Avoid foolish and ignorant debates, for you know that they breed quarrels. 24 A slave of the Lord should not quarrel, but should be gentle with everyone, able to teach, tolerant, 25 correcting opponents with kindness. It may be that God will grant them repentance that leads to knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they may return to their senses out of the devil’s snare, where they are entrapped by him, for his will. 2 Timothy 2:22-26 (NAB)
11 This saying is trustworthy: If we have died with him we shall also live with him; 12 if we persevere we shall also reign with him. But if we deny him he will deny us. 13 If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself. 14 Remind people of these things and charge them before God to stop disputing about words. This serves no useful purpose since it harms those who listen. 15 Be eager to present yourself as acceptable to God, a workman who causes no disgrace, imparting the word of truth without deviation. 16 Avoid profane, idle talk, for such people will become more and more godless, 2 Timothy 2:11-16 (NAB)
I’ve been going through Acts for about 7 months with one of the Bible Studies I teach. And so as devotional reading got to Acts, I sort of went into glide mode. Got this, know these words well. Then, as I got to Acts 6 – the passage that gives birth to the ecclesiastical office of deacon, the first quote above hit me between the eyes.
I need to rethink some of my ministry, and especially my priorities.
We shall devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of word…..
But do we?
There is no doubt I need to pray more, times of dedicated prayer and in times of just enjoying life as God and I walk together, times as well where the family of God breaks out in prayer.
But what about the ministry of the word? It is important I think to understand that this is not talking about careful exegesis, or studying the logic and reason to use it to argue and divide. The ministry of the word is not using it to divide the believer and unbeliever, to prove the who is orthodox and who is heretical. The ministry of the word is the ministry of reconciliation.
That is why Paul urges tolerance and gentleness in our teaching, that through these words, people can be called to dance with God, to live with Him.
This is our work, and it is why prayer must be so much a part of our ministry. For only from growing in our dependence on God, can we understand and commit to His will, to see all come to deliverance.
I need to clarify what I mean by this is our work, our vocation. I am not talking that it is our job as if we work 10-12 hours and then we go off duty.
This is our life work, this ministry of the word, this ministry of reconciliation. And what we do in our free time is just as much part and parcel of that work as our time in the office, at the pulpit, or beside the hospital bed. So if we blog, or podcast, it must be the goal of that work. If we are out having a beer, this ministry is still our work, if we are meeting with other ministers, this call to reconciled, to be reconciled to God still is our life.
So let us lay aside the sin, and all other things that hinder this, and let us look to our Lord Jesus, who reconciled us to Himself at the cross – and may we live with Him, praying and ministering at His side.
Posted on September 20, 2016, in Devotions, Theology in Practice and tagged Abiding in Christ, Apostles, apostolate, Ministry, ministry of reconciliaiton, pastors, prayer. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.