Get Up And Bless
The work of the ministry, work at it. You do not bless other people by drifting through life. Ministry is sharing God with people at the point of their need.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? Doing alright? Well, I’m fine, thank you. Happy in the Lord. You and I are in Ephesians 4:12. What is the purpose of the gifts God has given you? Now remember in Ephesians 4, He talks about gifts that were given to the church. In first Corinthians 12, He talks about gifts that are given to some believers but not all, not everybody has all the gifts. God hath set some in the church; first apostle, second prophets, third teachers. After that miracles, and gifts of healing, helps governments, diversities of tongues, and He says, not everybody’s an apostle, not everybody’s a prophet, not everybody’s a teacher and so on. But what are these gifts? “There are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit.” This is 1 Corinthians 12:4. Different kinds of gifts, but the same blessed Holy Spirit. Differences of administrations, that’s the element of control, different ways of controlling things and running things.
There are differences of operations that has to do with methods. One man uses methods that I might not use. I won’t criticize him for that because God uses different kinds of methods. So he says, “the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is given to everyone to profit with it. And so to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another, the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith, by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another, prophecy; to another, discerning of spirits; to another, different kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues; but all of these worketh that one and selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” Not everybody has all the gifts, but God the Holy Spirit gives the gifts to people whom he knows will use them and whom he can trust with them. If God gave you some of the gifts he couldn’t trust you with them, you would not use them properly, so he doesn’t give all the gifts to everybody. Over in Romans 12:6, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us,” and then he lists prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, administration, ruling, showing mercy and love. All these different gifts.
Okay. Now you know if you’ve lived with yourself for a while, you know just about what gifts God has given you. If you have never thought deeply about that, you ought to. Sit down and just have a little conference with yourself and find out what gifts God really has given you. And then realize as we come back to Ephesians 4, that the purpose of these gifts is to encourage other people. And we did a little word study. We didn’t quite get through it the last time we got together, so we’ll finish that and then go on. The perfecting of the saints. That’s a word that is “katartismos”. Somebody said, wrote me a letter, said, “I have to laugh at the way you pronounce Greek.” Well, I’m not a Greek, but I can read it, and I can write it, and I can understand it, and I guess that’s good enough. And that is, in turn, from a verb, “katartizo.” And that verb has different shades of meaning. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 shades of meaning that the lexicon will show you. What does it mean then to perfect other people by using the gift that God gave you? To mend is one meaning; to repair, to bring to completion, to equip, to put in order, to adjust, to strengthen, to perfect. That’s the one that is translated in that verse. And then to make one what he ought to be.
That’s an interesting rendering isn’t it? It’s a reference to something in first Peter. What are you doing with the gifts God has given you? And this takes a lot of patience, a lot of compassion, a lot of love. As a young pastor, I think, I did some damage here and there, by being too eager to put things in order in other people’s lives. You can’t do it that way. It takes patience, it takes compassion, it takes the ability to listen and care and ask questions, but your main objective is to help bring others to a place where they ought to be in Christ; to bind up the broken-hearted, to repair things that are broken so they work again, to bring to completion something that had been neglected. To equip someone with knowledge, or procedure, or insight that will make him or her more effective and all of these other things. God help us to use our gifts for the perfecting of the saints. Now that’s in verse 12. You come in verse 14 to the expression or verse 13, excuse me, to the expression, until we come to a perfect man. Now, that’s all together different.
That word perfect is “teleion” which means achieving God’s original purpose, working according to God’s plan, and we get down to that, we’re not quite to it yet. Alright, now the perfecting of the saints, verse 12 the next phrase in that verse, “For the work of the ministry” and ministry is a word from which we get our word “deacon.” What did the deacons do? Well they fed people, originally. They were folks who saw to it that everybody got fed. Acts 6. They ministered to the needs of others. So when you talk about ministry, it’s not just telling, or lecturing, or preaching, or running a service, or being active in some form of official religion.
If you’re gonna minister to people you meet their need. I have a little Cook definition of ministry. Here it is. Ministry means sharing God with people at the point of their need. Now, if they’re hungry, you share your Lord with them by feeding them and loving them. If they’re lonely, you share God with them by being with them and easing the pain of loneliness. If they’re out of work, you share God with them by helping them look for a job and showing them that they can pray their way through difficult dark days. Sharing God with people at the point of their need. A classic illustration of that I suppose would be, Acts 4. Simon Peter says to the lame man, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee. In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up and immediately, his feet and ankle bones received strength, and he, leaping up, went with them into the temple, walking and leaping and praising God. Dr. Pettingil always used to break off his talk about this and say whimsically, “The testimony of his leaps was better than the testimony of his lips.”
Well, Peter didn’t have any money, but he gave him something else. What’d he give him? He gave him something of the very power of God. He shared God with the man at the point of his need. Ministering to people. Do you minister to people? Husband, I wanna ask you something, do you ever minister to your wife? And wife, do you ever minister to your husband? See, it’s not just a matter of being in love, it’s not just a matter being well-adjusted, it’s not just a matter of getting along. There needs to be a giving of spiritual life and blessing and nourishment and power from your life to someone else, if you’re gonna minister. Do you ever minister to your children? And teenager, if you’re listening, I’ll give you something that’ll shake you up. Did you ever minister to your dad? Sometime when you know dad is worried about something, it may be at business, that maybe the boss is breathing down his neck or something about a project that needs to be finished, or whatever it is. Some time when you know the dad is burdened or he’s tired or he’s worried or all of the above, you slip up along beside him, put your arm around his neck and say, “You know Dad, I know that you’re burdened, and you’re tired. I want you to know I love you and I’m praying for you. Let’s have some prayer now.” And you just go right ahead and say, “Lord God, bless my father and lift the burden from him and help him through in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
And then go on your way. Don’t look back because you’ll see your dad wiping tears from his eyes. You have ministered to him. Get the idea? The work of the ministry, work at it. You do not bless other people by drifting through life. You look for a chance to be a blessing. You look for people who are neglected and lonely. You look for people who are broken-hearted and down. You look for people who are overworked and underpaid, and embittered because of it. You look for folk to whom you can minister, and when you find them, you don’t preach to them. You love them, and you share Jesus with them; His very presence in prayer and in love and in compassion. You follow that? TJ Bach was the leader of the, what used to be called the Scandinavian Alliance Mission, now it’s The Evangelical Alliance Mission, T-E-A-M. They call it TEAM for short. Dr. Bach was… For some reason I’ll never know, he picked me out and was friendly to me. He always recognized me, always greeted me warmly, and he was a friend. And I’m grateful.
But I remember how in every situation where there was any contact beyond the momentary, he would be found praying with people. So it was that he met me one day in the bookstore at the Moody Bible Institute. This was in the old days when their book store was located on Wells Street. So you know it was a few years ago. And he met me there, and we talked a little bit, and I asked him how things were going, he asked me how things were going, you know, small talk. And then right there in the middle of the book store he said, “Now we pray.” And he put his arm around my shoulders and proceeded to call on God to bless this young preacher and fill him with the Spirit of God, prayed heaven down on my soul that day. I don’t know what the rest of the customers felt but I was blessed. He ministered to me. Now I don’t mean that you should go around and start praying loudly with people at every point. Sometimes that isn’t indicated.
You go to work singing, “Holy, holy, holy” at the top of your voice, and you’ll be in personnel by 10:00 AM, and the men in white coats will have you by 11. There are some places where you can’t be officially religious, but there are other times when you can share Jesus with people. You can bless them. Do it. And you’ll be thanked a million times in eternity. Yes, you will for the work of the ministry. Minister to people, find out what they need, help to meet the need. Pour out the love of Christ in the process and you’ll be blessing them. Now we go on with this the next time we get together.
Precious Father, oh, may we minister to other people today in the enablement of the Holy Ghost I ask, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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