The Heart Of The Holy Life
The way you live, the service you give, the lift that you offer to someone, the love and compassion that you show... this is part of ministering, sometimes far more important than the sermons we preach.
Alright, thank you very much nice to be back with you. How in the world are you? You doing alright? Well, dear friend, I’m happy in the Lord, feeling grateful of whim and wager and all the rest, and so glad for the privilege of ministering the word of God with you as we look into His precious, infallible, inherent, eternal word of God, the Bible.
We’ve been talking about John Mark, the young man who was brought up in a praying home and who started well, who faltered, who quit on the job but who later became a real stalwart servant of our Lord. A couple of thoughts here before we finish up talking about him and go onto some other things. He said, “Aristarchus my fellow prisoners saluteth you and Marcus, sister-son to Barnabas”. And here’s a very interesting parenthesis this is Colossians 4:10, the second half of the verse, “Sister-son to Barnabas (touching whom ye received commandments if he come unto you, receive him)”. Now, why did Paul have to say that? Well, simply because the Christian grapevine does operate and the word had gotten around that Mark had gone away from the job, had quit on the job and that he was, therefore, to be considered more or less unstable and undependable. I’m sure that is in part at least that was what was happening.
It takes so long to reestablish confidence, doesn’t it? You go one, you have to come back three as you remember in the story of Mary and Joseph, it said, they went a days journey from Jerusalem supposing that our Lord Jesus was in the company of the relatives, always dangerous to suppose, isn’t it? But when they didn’t find Him they went back to Jerusalem and sought Him sorrowing, you know a lost boy, especially this very special young man, they sought Him sorrowing.
Now after three days (they went one day’s journey took them three days to find Him) they found Him in the temple, asking and answering questions. He was surprised that they upset, he said, “How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” The point being when you do make a mistake, when you slip, when you fall, when you quit on the job, when you fail to carry on a responsibility or an assignment, you lost credibility and people say, “Well you can’t depend on him or her or them”, and they tend then wrongly I’m sure but they tend to cross you off as being a real possibility for usefulness in other relationships.
Somebody has been cheated out of some money by a person who didn’t pay a bill, now what is up to be said, I’ve heard this actually almost word for word, one bill has not been paid and this person was on the losing end of it because the obligation hadn’t been paid to him, now what does he say, “Yeah you can’t depend on him, he never pays his bills”, never? Well that is a hasty generalization that grew out of one disappointment but that’s how people are, isn’t? Eh, you can’t depend on him, he doesn’t tell the truth. Well, you caught him in one lie but you immediately assumed that he’s going to be dishonest about everything, don’t you? Yeah, that’s the way human nature is. Now that’s what happened to John Mark.
He was about to get what we call a Jerusalem cold shoulder from people who had heard that he really was no dependable. Good boy, you know brought up in a Christian home I’m surprised that he did it but yeah you can’t depend on people like that, the younger generation they don’t know what responsibility is, can’t you hear them talking?
Now Paul goes out of his way in this verse of Colossians 4:10, the second half of the verse “now listen you’ve heard me talked about John Mark and if he comes your way you receive him”, that word “receive” means taking him, take care of him, be good to him, and receive him as a brother. Don’t give him the cold shoulder, don’t depend upon your memory of something that may have happened before, I’m telling you he’s a profitable young minister, you take him in.
Now, think about your own relationship with people. Are you making someone else the victim of a hasty generalization like that? Have you sad thoughtlessly, “oh you can’t depend on him or her”, you know can’t – no – no. Now, what is it based upon? Your statement is based upon probably one disappointment and you remembered it, and remembered it, and remembered it. Somebody said to me, “I have in the middle drawer of my desk a promissory note for some thousands of dollars that I keep there just to remind me that people do fail sometimes.” Well, maybe that’s a good idea, I don’t know.
I happen to know both of the individuals involved and I must say I sort of sympathized with the person who has the paper in his desk. Oh dear, to live above with Saints we love all that will sure be glory to live below with saints we know is quite a different story. People have their faults. The point I’m making is, make room in your heart for people with their faults. God had to be pretty patient with you, didn’t he? Before you attained your present level of “sainthood” shall we say being a little sarcastic, I’m afraid. God had to be patient with you and me, to call us, to love us, to save us, to guide us, to keep us from ruining ourselves, times without number by some stupid mistake or other, oh how patient and kind He’s been with you and with me. Now let’s make room in our hearts for the John Mark people who may have quit on the job. They may have been undependable, they may have been a disappointment, but Jesus died for disappointed, disappointing people, didn’t he? And he lives to be for us all that we need Christ is made on to us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.
Oh, you know somebody that’s like John Mark? Take him in, take her in, and love them, and help them, and encourage them for Jesus sake. Good idea? Now we come over for just another word about John Mark and then I think that will wind it up. 2 Timothy 4:11 says, “Take Mark and bring him with thee for he is profitable onto me for the ministry.” The rehabilitation of John Mark was not complete until he had learned how to minister, “Take Mark and bring him with thee for he is profitable to me for the ministry”, 2 Timothy 4:11.
Now as you deal with people bear this in mind, will you? And as you evaluate your own life and your performance, bear this in mind. It’s not the gifts we bring, it’s not the talents with which we’ve been endowed, it’s not the expertise which we have developed, it is whether or not we’re really ministering to other people that count, to minister. See this is the idea of sharing God with other people at the point of their need that’s a “Cookism” definition but I think it’s pretty good one. To minister means to share God with people at the point of their need.
The first Deacons were asked to minister, to folk who are physically hungry, see. And they were called “deacons – diakonos”. Well, now he says, Mark, I’m reading from my Greek New Testament, “Take with you for he is “eucharistos” that’s word, that means “easy to use”, “eucharistros”. You find it over in 2 Timothy 2, “If a man therefore cleanse himself from these he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified and meet for the master’s use” same word “eucharistos”, it means easy to use. He is easy to use on to diakonia and the ministry.
You see the job isn’t done when you’ve learned to make a speech. It isn’t done when you’ve learned to play a solo. It isn’t done when you’ve learned to sing. It isn’t done when you’ve got a hat full of Bible verses in your head to use in showing somebody else the way of salvation. Your job isn’t done, it hasn’t even begun yet until you’ve learned to minister which means to bring the very presence of God into a situation at the point of somebody’s need.
Now as you know human needs are varied, they are different, everybody is different, you can’t adopt the formula approach to human nature, it doesn’t work. But and everybody you ever meet will be hurting somewhere, find out where he is hurting and bring that in touch with the Lord Jesus Christ, you will of helped. To bring the presence of the Lord Jesus into somebody’s life and you minister not simply by praying or preaching, sometimes you ministered to people by feeding that’s what you find in the next Chapter 6. They fed these people, you ministered to them by helping, if a person needs a job you ministered to him by helping him look for a job. And saying a good word to somebody and say, “why don’t you take in Joe Doe and give him a job” you minister in that regard.
If somebody is ill you go see that person and you minister to them by bringing the blessing of the Lord in to the sick room and if you come into a home where the mother is ill and you see the baby needs a change of diapers and you see a sink full of dirty dishes don’t wait to be asked to pitch in and help, you minister by helping. It is to bring the very presence and love and blessing of God into somebody else’s life for Jesus sake at the point of his or her need. Most people don’t need sermons, they need service. Paul the Apostle said, “We preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord in ourselves your slaves”, Greek word “dulas” your slaves for Jesus sake.
Do the serving before the sermonizing and you’ll get along fine. Oh, Peter said this concerning wives that have unsaved husbands, he said, “Ye wives be in subjection to your own husband that if any husband obey not the word he may also without the word of God be one by the lifestyle of the wives while they behold your Holy manner of life couples with respect.” The way you live, the service you give, the lifts that you offer to someone, the love and compassion that you show this is part of ministering, sometimes far more important than the sermons we preach. You want to think about that and apply it, pretty good idea wouldn’t you say?
Dear Father today, Oh help us to ministered people for Jesus sake, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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