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mtembezi
Member



Joined: 2004/10/28
Posts: 66
Nairobi, Kenya

 What is the ultimate motivation of Christian ministry? --Help!

Dear beloved in Christ,
What is the ultimate motivation of Christian ministry?
There was a lovely thread on "what is ministry?", and the one thing I plucked is ministry is beholding Christ as opposed to bearing His image.

But again what's the motivation for working for the Lord?
Juat a little bit about me, last 3 weeks been struggling with sin, and by just spending time with the Lord in prayer and Bible reading (beholding Him) I've found that the snares of sin recede.

When sin lurks and shades my path, I get real concerned and troubled and seek to be free.
But when I get free there are times, I just plateau.
Yes, I seek the Lord and pray. Yes, I do all I can in my place of service in church and with my freinds.
(EDIT*-Moderators--please allow me to post this link though the audio is hosted elswhere)
But just now I heard a compilation "don't go to hell"
http://www.fireonthealtar.com/compilations/igy/Don't%20go%20to%20Hell.mp3
by Robby Mitchell and he quotes a scripture:

Quote:
"And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Rev 14:11



When I listen to messages about the damnation of the lost, it moves me. It upsets me. It breaks my heart.

It causes me to say "Lord, what I'm doing isn't enough, it may be better than my contemporaries, but it isn't enough."
"Something has to happen for the sake of the lost!"

It causes me to sorrow for them and for the coldness of my heart.

Is that the ultimate motivation for service?
Is it just emotions and a vivid imagination?

I ask this because after listening to "Ten shekels and a shirt"
http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=282

I understood his argument to be the ultimate motivation for service is the glory of God.
But isn't this the Glory of God? to see lost, damned men and women redeemed and saved?

I would sincerely appreciate any of your opinions.
Again please bear with me and quote scripture, even though it seems basic.

In God's love,
Richard


_________________
Richard Walker

 2005/6/2 11:26Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re: What is the ultimate motivation of Christian ministry? --Help!

Once the disciples requested that "fire be called down from heaven" to deal with sinners. What did Jesus say? You know not what manor of spirit you are of. What did He mean by that? Did He mean that they whist not what spirit they [i]should be of[/i] or that they whist not what manor of spirit [i]they were manifesting[/i] in making that remark. In either case we need to know what Spirit we should BE of and ARE of.

I am disturbed by much of the preaching I hear and I am a repentance minister myself. The motivation of Christ was compassion- this is unmerited love. This is loving against all odds. Can we love like that? Can we love like Christ?

God is glorified when we walk in the Spirit and at no other time. God is glorified when we preach and teach in the Spirit and at no other time. God is glorified when we witness in the Spirit and at no other time. God is glorified when in all things we do it in the power and person of the Holy Spirit- which is the indwelling of God Himself within us- the outworking of which will be the personality of Christ Himself.

We live in a generation that cannot distinguish anger from anointing by and large. Getting mad at the devil and sin and then approaching sinners in that attitude is to hear the words of Christ, "Ye know not what manor of spirit you are of."

Moreover, [i]asceticism[/i] is not spirituality, it is a demonic substitute or counterfeit for the genuine. We must understand this because eastern religion has found its way into Christendom and it is a mixture of Buddhism and Christianity. I say that because often I am hearing ascetic teachings being passed off as holiness and spirituality and its as fake as a 3 dollar bill. It's dead religion. There is no real life in it and when we convert one into that dead religion we make them two fold more the child of hell.

Galatians 6 tells us to stand fast in the Liberty with which Christ has made us free. many want to make a show in the flesh- but that's just what it is- a show. Who can be the holiest or who can preach the hardest. It's all rooted in pride and God is not pleased.

I challenge everyone to read through the Gospel of John when you get a chance. No pressure. Don't feel compelled or condemned if you don't. Just a suggestion.

We don't know the half of genuine ministry I suppose. We know a lot of legalism in the name of Christianity- but we don't know much about liberty. We think an ascetic life glorifies God? I am so weary of a radical repentance message that does not contain compassion and love or is spoken in love that I could vomit. When we learn how to live and walk in compassion for souls we'll start winning them to Christ. When we stop trying to clean the people up and allow God to be God we will see some results. God forgives trespasses but men will not. This is where we are heading if were not careful.

We need a good old fashioned Gospel message. When need some messages on God's grace and mercy which cause a sinner to know God's love and compassion. Repentance messages have their place. They have their season and services, but by and large the world needs the GOSPEL as it did in the days of first century Rome. A balanced and biblical Gospel that is bathed in love and compassion and powered by the Holy Ghost. If we'll do that God will be glorified.

God Bless,

-Robert


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2005/6/2 11:48Profile









 Re: What is the ultimate motivation of Christian ministry? --Help!

There is much that could be said, Richard. But much of it would be speculation because only God knows your heart.

Jesus said there were two commandments, Love God will all your being, and love your neighbor as yourself. Then He was immediately asked, "who is my neighbor"? Then He told the parable about the Good Samaritan. This speaks the heart of God, beloved.

So love is the motivation of ministry. Your concern for souls is from the love that overflows from His life within you. How do we demonstrate that love? I'll ask you to read two passages for me, and then come back here and respond, if you will.

The first is Isaiah 58, and the second is Matthew 25:31-46.

God is love. We respond to His love by loving God and loving others. If we do not love, we are not His, no matter what we say or do.

Hope this helps. I'm sure others have more to say on this. God bless you as you seek Him first and foremost above all else.

 2005/6/2 11:52
mtembezi
Member



Joined: 2004/10/28
Posts: 66
Nairobi, Kenya

 Re: Re: What is the ultimate motivation of Christian ministry? --Help!

Dear Br Robert,
Thanks for your prompt reply.
Forgive me, I didn't quite understand your message, in this context.
I take it you mean that the message of repentance without a heart of love is hard and unloving and doesn't glorify God.

Just in case I didn't communicate OK. My questions stems from a sorrow that the lost are perishing.
It's a terrible truth, but the ONE truth so far that breaks me and motivates me to love more/die more/ pray more--for the lost!

So I ask, is this my emotion/imagination/flesh?

Is this what ought to motivate all ministry?
A love for the lostness of the lost that will not let go?

Or is there a deeper, richer motivation to serve God.
Thanks and God bless,
Richard

EDIT!!Thanks also Br Lahry, will study the scriptures and get back. Have to go now...


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Richard Walker

 2005/6/2 12:02Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
Just in case I didn't communicate OK. My questions stems from a sorrow that the lost are perishing.
It's a terrible truth, but the ONE truth so far that breaks me and motivates me to love more/die more/ pray more--for the lost!



You ask a good question because it allows us to look at what exactly is [i]humanism[/i] and what is [i]compassion[/i]. Humanism places man as the center of the Universe and all things revolve around him. This is man's 'version' of compassion. Humanism cannot meet the needs of humanity because it is not willing to make the sacrifice. It is not long suffering enough to be compassion. This is but a few points.

If you have a heart to see souls won to Christ I can pretty much assure you it did not come from the flesh, the world, and the devil. A Kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.

Where humanism comes in and is exposed is when one is ready to throw in the towel when they do not see results in the calling God has called them to. Humanism runs out of gas before the job gets done- and even if we minister and see no results we do it because God called us to do it. To say we are even doing it to glorify God can SMACK of pride if we are not cautious. When we have done ALL these things we are to say we are unprofitable servants who have merely done our duty. What is our duty? To love God with all that is within us and our neighbor as ourselves. That is 'our duty.' It is not a grevious duty because God is working in us to will and do His good pleasure.

So as to your question I praise God for anyone grieving over souls.

Quote:
So I ask, is this my emotion/imagination/flesh?

Is this what ought to motivate all ministry?
A love for the lostness of the lost that will not let go?

Or is there a deeper, richer motivation to serve God.



I would say not to get too caught up in what is motivating you if you are walking close to God. We can ask questions God is not asking if we are not careful. Again, it is what I posted before, some things you hear are simply not profitable. They raise more questions than they answer. The simplicity of the Gospel is lost in a mass of teachings that are very ascetic and legalistic. Love is not RIGID like that and it flows from a willing heart. Love does not go through a list making sure it didn't miss anything. Love just loves and its all God asks.

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/6/2 12:41Profile
taco
Member



Joined: 2004/4/27
Posts: 211


 Re:

Havent read all of all of the replies so sorry for any duplication.

The ultimate motivation for ministry is a desire for the upbuilding of the body of Christ. All ministry is either directly building the body up or it is equiping others to do it.

The ultimate motivation for upbuilding the body is, of course, love for Christ. So this governs everything.

It is a sad thing that many view the body of Christ as a platfrorm for them to excercise there gift. Quite the opposite is true, your gift is to build the body.

This includes evangelism. Paris Reidhead's 10 shekles is most instructive on this matter.




 2005/6/2 14:39Profile









 Re: Motivation for ministry - re mtembezi

Quote:
So I ask, is this my emotion/imagination/flesh?


My understanding is that you can expect to 'feel' as the Lord 'feels' about the lost and it is bound to affect every aspect of your being. He did not send His body to suffer on the cross without being there, in it, feeling what was happening. Of course, He was also fighting many other battles in His mind. But my point is simply that even if you wonder how you can feel so strongly and whether these deep emotions will last, their presence is not a cause for alarm. Rather, it is a sign you are 'being' like Christ, in 'feeling' His heart towards those for whom He died.

It would be dishonest for me to suggest you will always feel like this, and therefore if you stop feeling this way, it's time to stop ministering. NO! You may have to keep serving the Lord regardless of how dry you feel, or how tired, but this will not detract from the truth that He may have (or has) called you to evangelise - and you will grow as you trust Him to give you strength to complete the course on which He sets you. As you read scripture, too, you will find many places where God expresses the same heartache, as you are.

 2005/6/3 15:35
dohzman
Member



Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 LOVE

That is the only motivation for all of the christian life in anything----Love. The focus of our love will determine the direction of our love.


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D.Miller

 2005/6/3 18:51Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: A broken and contrite heart

Searching for something else entirely unrelated and came across this...

Quote:
I am disturbed by much of the preaching I hear and I am a repentance minister myself. The motivation of Christ was compassion- this is unmerited love. This is loving against all odds. Can we love like that? Can we love like Christ?


Luk 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
Quote:
I challenge everyone to read through the Gospel of John when you get a chance.

Don't know what it is, the sense of being called back to John time and time again... it's just endless, Oh for His heart to invade us and consume us in totality...
Quote:
We don't know the half of genuine ministry I suppose. We know a lot of legalism in the name of Christianity- but we don't know much about liberty. We think an ascetic life glorifies God? [b]I am so weary of a radical repentance message that does not contain compassion and love or is spoken in love that I could vomit.[/b] When we learn how to live and walk in compassion for souls we'll start winning them to Christ. When we stop trying to clean the people up and allow God to be God we will see some results. [b]God forgives trespasses but men will not. This is where we are heading if were not careful[/b].

Quote:
We need a good old fashioned Gospel message. When need some messages on God's grace and mercy which cause a sinner to know God's love and compassion. Repentance messages have their place. They have their season and services, but by and large the world needs the GOSPEL as it did in the days of first century Rome. A balanced and biblical Gospel that is bathed in love and compassion and powered by the Holy Ghost. If we'll do that God will be glorified.


Brother, thank you, we needed this, I needed this, so easy to get off on so many different tangents, controversies, keying in on one area and neglecting the whole...

Mat 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, [b]mercy[/b], and [b]faith[/b]: [b]these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone[/b].

Balance... Perhaps a study on compassion would be helpful as well, lest we turn to more and more cannibalism.

2Ch 30:9 For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.

Again, thanks for bringing forth the balance Robert


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Mike Balog

 2005/6/4 10:36Profile
mtembezi
Member



Joined: 2004/10/28
Posts: 66
Nairobi, Kenya

 Re:

Quote:
The first is Isaiah 58, and the second is Matthew 25:31-46



Br Lahry,
The Scripture you gave speaks of the kind of work/fast/offering to the Lord.
It's one that isn't external.
It is lived out, especially to those whom we receive no interest or return or earthly blessing from. Employees, poor and oppressed and needy family. Perhaps to everyone we have power or influence over?

I believe you're leading somewhere, I'll wait for your response.

_________________________________________
Quote:
Moreover, asceticism is not spirituality, it is a demonic substitute or counterfeit for the genuine.



Not wanting to start an argument about ascetism (I had to look it up) :-).
If I understood the word correctly, denying oneself in the fear of God to minister to others needs I believe is an essential part of ministry.

_________________________________________
Since my last post I heard someone say that true motivation for a missionary is more from a love for God than a love for the lost.

That helped a lot. Plus all the responses that point FIRST to the Lord, and then to WHERE He points to.

For me, I guess I have to reconcile the reality and existence of an eternal hell with the other extreme of Heaven. Boils down to the understanding and accepting the character of God, and trusting Him in what is to me eminently perplexing!

Something I have to grow in.

On another thread I asked if we're responsible for this generation. Turns out we are!
It's difficult to bear the truth that I'm the Lord Jesus Christ's hands, heart legs and mouth on this earth.
And the way I live my life will affect not just my eternal destiny (awesome as THAT is) but the destiny of many, many more.

But again I remember that Christ called His disciples to be with Him before He sent them into the field.
So before I ask such questions, I believe I ought to learn to spend more time with the Lord Jesus Christ. He will reveal Himself and reconcile what I find perplexing.


_________________
Richard Walker

 2005/6/6 11:31Profile





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