Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Real Call

Not a message that all my family will be glad to see, but it's a message that I must present this week. Especially since I've got another major surgery next week. I feel obligated to my family (and all other families) who will read this.

See, I don't know for sure that all my family belongs to the Lord. And why wouldn't I think this? Because I had an experience last year, in August, that made me question whether I was true to the Lord. A lot of truth was given to me about this, and now it needs to be passed on.

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7.13-14)

This verse can be studied and torn apart, until anybody reading it can feel good about it. And still be wrong. The core of this verse comes out very basic. There is no simple way out. Are you part of the major bunch? Have you found nice excuses? Is it really OK to be totally separated from the church? Can you do what you want? I can't answer this for you, but if you can easily answer "Yes" to everything, you're probably part of the big bunch. The wrong bunch.

To be on track for true life in Jesus Christ, then you're on a narrow path that is true to God.

I have called before. I will continue to call as long as I can. Do you know God through Jesus Christ our Lord? Yes? Do you attend regular worship for His name? No? Well, I'm not saying that you're not saved. But I'd be worried about it. So I call my family, who all claim to love the Lord. Find a real church. Attend it regularly (You don't have to every week). But please come to Christ.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Simplest Ministry

Jesus spent the better part of a day feeding people. Jesus was with about 5000 men, plus matching numbers of women and children. 20,000 people or more would not be out of line. After dinner, many of these people stayed the night, camped out however they could be. The next morning they woke up, but Jesus was gone.

Many folks went home. But a large bunch figured out that Jesus must have gone across the sea, so they set out to find him. Those that found him came ashore in hope; many just for breakfast.

Jesus answered, “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. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"
Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." (John 6.26-29)

Could these people get what Jesus was telling them? Would they understand? Could they really do what is right? How bad do they want it?

The same questions apply today. What does God really require?

The answer to that is so simple. But you have read this from me before. It's a lot tougher than most people want.

"The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." So simple; but so hard to do. To be one God has sent, you must be one who will serve Him. The thing about believing in Jesus is that you can't just say so. Jesus always calls his true followers to active ministry for others in His name.

When was your last true ministry to anybody in Jesus' name? Oh... that long?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Ministry is Usually Backwards

I hope someone as wondered why I've missed posting for over a month. I've been fighting some health issues. The details of my health aren't important to share. What it makes you realize about ministry is really vital.

We all have a tendency to think that our salvation is simple. And in reality, it is. Salvation is very simply accepting Jesus Christ's death as your own. A justice payment for your life's sin. But it's not simple, either. You have to accept that Jesus died for you. And more so-- unless you die that moment-- you have to accept the responsibility to live His life through your own.

Jesus illustrated this with a simple story. "I tell you the solemn truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces much grain. The one who loves his life destroys it, and the one who hates his life in this world guards it for eternal life. If anyone wants to serve me, he must follow me, and where I am, my servant will be too. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him." (John 12.24-26)

I've had great ministry over the years: from local churches, to outlaw biker gangs, to real outlaws, to people of overseas cultures. I've had great successes. But looking back now, I would have done far more of what is possible, if I was fully given over to God. That's probably the thing for anyone ministering for God.

Natural tendency is to plan it out, do what you can, then lean back for God's help when things fall short. Backwards. By good human standards, that's the right way. But God created us, not the other way around. Our #1 action is not to serve others. It's to serve Christ first. Sounds strange to all of us. But if we serve Jesus Christ first, then He can use us to do more and better ministry.

The simple point is, God is the real One to do ministry. It's important to study and learn. Then when called into action, you do what you learned, but not through what you planned. You always have your eyes and ears open to what is happening. Your words and actions must always come from God's.