How much of your focus is directed to the things of God, and not to God Himself? How much of your discussion centers on things [b]about[/b] Jesus, and not Jesus Himself? Just look around. This brother is focused on end-time events, and that sister is devoted to inner healing. This brother is primarily concerned with prophetic things, while another sister is keenly interested in spiritual warfare. That brother is deeply involved with theological discussions, while that sister is in love with Christian music. One movement emphasizes this particular thing, and another group stands for another thing. There may be diversities of gifts and callings. There may be various and sundry things to be involved with. There may be many topics to study and discuss. Many things compete for our time, attention, affection, energy, and money. But there is only one Lord Jesus. Is Jesus enough? Whenever I am ministering to pastors, whatever they think their calling is, I always have them turn to Mark 3:14: "And he ordained twelve, that they should BE WITH HIM, and that He might send them forth to preach." You are called to be with Jesus. That is your calling. That is the primary thing, the highest ministry. Going forth to preach or do anything else is of secondary importance. We should be with Jesus; after that, He might send us forth to preach. But before Jesus said, "Go into all the world" He said, "Be with Me." The call of the Lord is not more important than the Lord of the call. The work of the Lord must not replace the Lord of the work. No amount of ministering FOR the Lord will make up for a lack of ministering TO the Lord. And knowing the Word of God does not necessarily mean that we know the God of the Word. Everyone wants to go and do something for God, but few people are willing to stay and do "nothing" for Him. Jesus asked Peter, "Am I enough for You? Do you love Me more than everything else? [b]Do you love Me more than you love the things about Me[/b]?" A few weeks later, when Peter stood with John before the religious rulers to explain the healing of a man who had never walked, "...they marveled; and they took knowledge of [Peter and John], that THEY HAD BEEN WITH JESUS" (Acts 4:13b). If we will be with Jesus, then Jesus will be with us. The reason the New Testament church had power was not because they spoke in tongues, or held meetings in their living rooms, or had a certain system for planting churches. The secret was they had been with Jesus. But some Christians are more in love with methods and ministries than they are in love with the Man. The prophets and teachers in the church of Antioch were gathered together: not to have a house church conference, not to begin a new ministry, not to discuss the latest prophetic word or the newest teaching, not to exchange ideas on how to grow the church, not to fellowship, not to share a meal, not to minister to one another. But "as they ministered TO THE LORD, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said..." (Acts 13:2a). Paul and his fellow workers had many souls to save, many disciples to make, many churches to plant, many places to visit, many messages to deliver, many letters to write. There were many needs to be met, many doors of opportunity before them. But the work was suspended. Activity ceased. Ministry came to a standstill. Fellowship and food were forgotten. The prophets were there, but the prophets did not prophesy. The teachers were there, but the teachers did not teach. Instead, they ministered to the Lord. The focus shifted from horizontal to vertical. The emphasis was directed away from man and man's needs, and onto the Lord and His Need. They were busy being with Jesus. They were at His feet. So when the Holy Ghost finally spoke, they were ready to go forth. Thus began the first missionary journey of Paul. When apostles love church planting and mission work more than Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. When prophets love their prophecies, dreams, and visions more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. When evangelists love traveling, preaching, and holding meetings more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. When pastors love their church services and building programs more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. When teachers love their teachings more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. When preachers love their preaching more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. When ministers love their ministry more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. When musicians love their music more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. When writers love their writings more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. And when the simplest disciples grow tired of "just" being with Jesus, and begin to long for [b]something bigger, something better, something greater, something more powerful, something other than what they have in Jesus already[/b], then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. If Jesus was all you had, would Jesus be enough for you? Or do you have to have all the "trappings" of Christianity, all the bells and whistles, all the toys and trinkets? Make no mistake: there is no life in the things that are ABOUT Jesus. There is life only in Jesus Himself. -C. Brogden-------------Just reminding myself and anyone else who may need to refocus :-) Satisfied in Him alone, Chanin
This is great.The part about musicians hit home hard.Paul said they preached... Christ crucified.That is enough for me when I take it all in...
Chanin...sister...I wish there was a way to show me exploding onto the message board.I've been chewing on 'ministering to the Lord' for about 2 years now. Beginning in Acts 13:1-2 (the prophets and teachers ministering unto the Lord), Acts 6:1-7 (Peter and the apostles 'giving themselves to prayer and the ministry of the word), Psalm 109:4b (the Psalmist says 'I will give myself to prayer'), Deut. 10:8 (the priests ministering to the Lord), Genesis 18:1-8 (Abraham 'ministering unto the Lord, literally), Hebrews 7:25 (Jesus, our perfect example 'ever liveth to make intercession for' us..in other words, ministering to the Father), Luke 7:36-50 (Mary 'ministering to the Lord'), Luke 8:2-3 (certain women 'ministering unto Him out of their substance)...The list goes on and on.God bless you as you are reminded and remind others.
Sister, thank you for sharing this!I want to add also something very touching concerning this subject:Christ Is Made A Stranger, When People Praise Him,But Will Not Pray To Him!"We praise a Christ to whom we will not pray! We have become a praising people, but not a praying people. For many of God's people the prayer closet is a relic of the past. "Why ask God for what He has already promised? Just get hold of the promises and simply command deliverances!" We no longer want Christ as much as we want what He can do for us. We want an escape from pain and suffering. We want our troubles to vanish. And we are so caught up in our escape from pain, we lose the true meaning of the Cross. We refuse crosses and losses - no Gethsemane for us! No nights of agony! We don't even know this suffering, bleeding, resurrected Christ! [b]We want His healing power. We want His promises of prosperity. We want His protection. We want more of this earth's goods. We want His happiness. But we really don't want Him alone![/b]The Church once confessed its sins - now it confesses its rights. [b]How many of us would serve Him if He offered nothing but Himself? No healing. No success. No prosperity. No worldly blessings. No miracles, signs, or wonders. What if - once again we had to take joyfully the spoiling of our goods? What if - instead of clear sailing and problem-free living, we faced shipwreck, fears within and fightings without? What if - instead of painless living, we suffered cruel mockings, stoning, bloodshed - being sawn asunder? What if - instead of our beautiful homes and cars, we had to wander about in deserts in sheepskins, hiding in dens and caves? What if - instead of prosperity, we were destitute, afflicted, and tormented? And the only better thing provided for us was Christ?[/b] Very few of God's people pray anymore! They are too busy working for Jesus to talk to Him! Ministers especially have become so busy doing kingdom work, they have little or no time left to pray. There is time to visit, to build, to travel, time to vacation, to attend meetings, time for recreation, reading, counseling - but no time to pray! Preachers who do not pray become promoters. They become frustrated building contractors. When they lose touch with God, they lose touch with their people and their needs. Preachers who don't pray have egos that spin out of control. They want their own way. They substitute sweat for unction (anointing). Evangelists who do not pray become stars, storytellers. They lack humility, so they manipulate crowds through emotional gimmicks. The cry of many pastors is, "Oh, God, where can I find an evangelist who doesn't care about money, or who is not promoting something? One who can bring heaven down and make Christ real! Oh, God - give me a praying man to bring my congregation to its knees! " The shame of this generation is that we have too many talented men of God and only a few who have touched God in prayer. There is even less praying in the congregation! I'm 100% for getting prayer back in our public schools! But that's not God's real problem! His problem is getting prayer back in our homes! His problem is to get His own chosen people to pray! And you are a phony if you fight for school prayer and neglect secret-closet praying yourself! Do we pray? Oh, yes! When we need something. We have the formula down pat - "in the name of Jesus." All we need Him for is to countersign our petition checks before the Father. I am weary of hearing people say, "This is such a busy age - l have no time to pray. I'd like to, but I don't have time. " No! It's not lack of time; it is a lack of desire. We make time for what we really want to do. Look at our Christian young people! Wasting hours of time playing Pac-man, Galaxy War, goofing off, bored, restless, looking for some action! But no time to pray! No time for Jesus! Oh, God! Somehow! Some way! Get this generation on its knees. Not just the Lord's Prayer, but a daily communion with Christ. Our Savior, who has the care and concern for multiplied universes, has the time to pray just for you! He takes the time to intercede for you before the throne of God (Heb. 7:25), and you say you do not have time to pray to Him! We work feverishly for a Christ we ignore. We will go anywhere, do anything, in His name. But we will not pray. We will sing in a choir. We will visit the sick and the prisoners. But we will not pray. We will counsel the hurt and needy; we will stay up all night to comfort a friend, but we will not pray. We will fight corruption! We will crusade for morality! We will stand up against nuclear weapons! But we will not pray! Most of all, we don't pray because we really don't believe it works. Prayer is a bloody battleground! It is where victories are won! A place to die to self! A place where a holy God exposes secret sin! No wonder Satan tries to hinder prayer! A praying man sends a shudder through hell. That man or woman is marked because Satan knows prayer is the power that crushes his kingdom. Satan is not afraid of power-hungry saints, but he trembles at the sound of a praying saint!"-David Wilkerson, from A Christless Pentecost preached 1982, what a powerful sermon! Here is the link from that sermon - [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=332]Part 1[/url][url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=333]Part 2[/url]Your brother,Kire
mloaks wrote:This is great.The part about musicians hit home hard.Paul said they preached... Christ crucified.That is enough for me when I take it all in...
Moreofhim When ever I read the article you find for us I cannot help but get the eerie feeling that I have found my sister in Christ. You have an eye for the first oracles of God (For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.) The simple messages you present are so profound we must read them more than once to be sure we have not allowed the flesh to overanalyze them. 2 Corinthians 11: 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.Our gifts and unique perspectives of Christ are a means to an end (Jesus Christ) and if we loose sight of that end our attempts to be Spiritual become self-centered; self righteous and unfruitful. (John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.)I read the following verses and something struck me the other day:And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. (Mathew 21:19)God (in the form of Jesus) came to a tree to receive that which it should produce FOR HIM. Where bear fruits of the Spirit primarily for God, then for the body of Christ, then for the world and lastly for ourselves. James
_________________James Gabriel Gondai Dziya
Chanin, just wanna tell you that I love you, Bless God for your witness. He is a very good Saviour isnt He?in His love,Neil
mloaks and Aaron,this came to mind right away when i read this yesterday in "A Hunger For God" by John Piper:
Beware LOVING Loving God rather than Loving GodThis is a very relevant warning for us today in a day of great worship renewal. Many people are discovering the joy of meeting God in extended times of emotionally charged singing to the Lord. I personally find such seasons of lingering before the Lord a very rich communion with Him. But I see a danger. The danger is that we will subtly slip from loving God in these moments into loving loving God. That's the way one of my colleagues put it recently. In other words, we begin to savor not the glory of God but the atmosphere created by worship. When this happens we open ourselves to hypocrisy. And under the cloak of great religious fervor, deadly inconsistencies can emerge in our lives.
James,sorry i missed this earlier. you said:
God (in the form of Jesus) came to a tree to receive that which it should produce FOR HIM. Where bear fruits of the Spirit primarily for God, then for the body of Christ, then for the world and lastly for ourselves.
Lord, come and renew my mind, renew my thoughts and my heart. Help me to see through the lies of this world and accept and believe Your truth alone. Help me to continually change into your image and not worry about "self". Help me to focus on You and others. (reminds me of J.O.Y.= Jesus, Others, Yourself :)
I think you are on the right course re music, C.The Piper quote also deals well with marraige (being in love, with being in love...)!My foible re music is that I do not chafe at giving up a solo or idea or song, but I often am challenged by the people over me and their authority to discern God's direction for our bands set list, style, use, etc. I have trouble trusting that their descisions and reasons are from a desire to serve God, and not just their personal tastes.But then, I am a lead vocalist, and we are a touchy lot... 8-) Sorry if I hijacked the thread for awhile there.