Tag: preaching

Multiplying ministry with character.

Scripture reading for May 13th:  Acts 6, Psalm 95, Proverbs 2

Key Scriptures:  Acts 6:2-6 “And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the Word of God to serve tables.  Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.  But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.”  And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, . . .”

As the number of believers multiplied and diversified, the apostles soon felt the need to multiply the leadership and spread out the duties of pastoral care.  They gathered all the disciples and shared their priority of prayer and preaching God’s Word.  They also shared their solution–the appointment of  Spirit-filled helpers to serve the widows.  They chose seven men–full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom to come along side and serve.  Character was more important than talent.

Faith Confession:  Thank You Lord for this insightful record of how You helped the leaders in Your church to keep their priorities straight and chose helpers full of the Spirit and wisdom.  Give me wisdom to multiply those serving Your church.

Proverbs 2:6-8 “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of His saints.”  

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Preaching at the church door!

Scripture reading for August 4th: Jeremiah 7-10

Jeremiah was told to preach to his people and warned they would not listen!  (Jeremiah 7:27)   God told him on several occasions not to pray for his people because their sins.  Jeremiah wept rivers of tears for them anyway!  (Jeremiah 7:16) (Jeremiah 9:22-23)  His preaching was straight and he used interesting object lessons in 40 years of ministry!

He stood at the door of the temple and preached as God instructed him.  “Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the Lord.  This is what the Lord Almighty, The God of Israel, says:  Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place.  Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!”  If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, and in the land I gave your forefathers for ever and ever.  But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.” Jeremiah 7:2-7

His people were going through the motions of religion and were deceived!  They were using religious activities to justify selfish lifestyles.  Their trust was in their attendance at the temple.  God called for a change in ways and actions that would align the people’s hearts with His.  God cared about orphans and widows.  He cared about the alien and the poor.  His heart was broken for injustice and innocent bloodshed.  God wanted His people to reflect His heart of love. They were in idolatry to their own selfish ways!

God was watching over His word!  He saw hypocrisy and used Jeremiah to call them to repentance.  600 years later,  Jesus Christ went into the temple of the Lord and saw similar things with his people and the money changers.  He quoted from Jeremiah:  “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have made it a ‘den of robbers’.” (Mark 11:17)  (Jeremiah 7:11) He cleansed the temple and drove them out!   Do we need more preaching at the church door?

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Who will stoke the fire?

Scripture Reading for March 9th: Judges 1-5

When I was younger, we heated our home on the farm with wood.  When it was extremely cold, we had a small bin of coal to help with the heat through the long Iowa winter.  One of the jobs right before bed was to go down and stoke the fire.  More wood would be added and ashes removed so a good flow of air would cause the fire to heat up and blaze.  A scoop of coal would be tossed in too.  A short time later the damper was shut so all the coals and logs would glow with a steady fire all night.  If no one stoked the fire, it would go out.

Godly leaders stoke the fires with the wood of prayer and pour on the coals of God’s Word to keep zeal burning through the long night.  But when the leader is gone, complacency sets in.  Joshua left some elders who stoked the fire for a time, but hey passed from the nation.  The next generation arose without a personal experience of God’s mighty miracles and deliverance.  This generation began to drift into idolatry and the bondage of sin.

The cycle is recorded in Judges. God got angry and sold them into slavery to an oppressing nation.  The people cried out to the Lord and he heard them and raised up another leader who would deliver them.  Then there would be a time of peace during the life of that leader (Judge).  After the leader’s death, the cycle would begin again.  (Judges 2:10-19)  This is repeated seven times in the Book of Judges!

I see this kind of cycle also present in our culture today.  A godly leader teaches and preaches and lives out God’s Word and a revival springs up in a home or church or city.  (That leader can be a father or mother, pastor or Sunday School teacher, or a janitor who loves the Lord.) The fires of the Spirit are stoked with prayer and faithful, anointed preaching of the whole counsel of God.  The land enjoys peace until another generation arises who did not experience God moving.  They fall into bondage as they drift away from the Lord.  Will you stoke the fires of the Spirit today by praying and reading God’s holy Word?  God will anoint you afresh with the Holy Spirit and Fire from on high!  (Matthew 3:11)

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Another generation, who knew not the Lord!

Scripture Reading for March 10: Judges 1-5

When I was younger, we heated our home on the farm with wood.  When it was extremely cold, we had a small bin of coal to help with the heat through the long winter nights in Iowa.  One of the jobs right before bed was to go down and stoke the fire.  More wood would be added and ashes removed so a good flow of air would cause the fire to heat up and blaze.  A scoop of coal would be tossed in too.  A short time later the damper was shut so all the coals and logs would glow with a steady fire all night.  If no one stoked the fire, it would often go out and the house would quickly cool down to nearly outside temperature.

Good and godly leaders stoke the fires with the wood of prayer and pour on the coals of God’s Word to keep zeal burning through the long night.  But when the leader is gone and the  fire is not being stoked with fresh wood and coal, complacency sets in with our walk with the Lord. This happened in the time after  the death of Joshua.  Joshua left some elders who stoked the fire for a time.  They passed from the nation as well.  The next generation arose without a personal experience of God’s mighty miracles and deliverance.  This generation began to drift into idolatry and the bondage of sin.  Isn’t it funny, drift is always away from the Lord!

The cycle is recorded in Judges.  After the death of Joshua and the elders, the nation drifted into sin and idolatry.  God got angry and sold them into slavery to an oppressing nation.  The people cried out to the Lord and he heard them and raised up another leader who would deliver them.  Then there would be a time of peace during the life of that leader (Judge).  After the leader’s death, the cycle would begin again.  (Judges 2:10-19)  This is repeated seven times in the Book of Judges!

I see this kind of cycle also present in our culture today.  A godly leader teaches and preaches and lives out God’s Word and a revival springs up in a home or church or city.  (That leader can be a father or mother, pastor or Sunday School teacher, or a janitor who loves the Lord.) The fires of the Spirit are stoked with prayer and faithful, anointed preaching of the whole counsel of God.  A generation is set on fire and the wind of the Spirit  brings salvations, healing, and deliverance.  The land enjoys peace until another generation arises who did not experience God moving.  They fall into bondage as they drift away from the Lord.  God looks for another godly leader who will pray and preach to stoke the fire again!  Will you stoke the fires of the Spirit today by praying and reading God’s holy Word?  God will anoint you afresh with the Holy Spirit and Fire from on high!  (Matthew 3:11)

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Sunday Rest and Reflection!

Greetings!  Another week is over and a day of rest and reflection is upon us!  Hopefully, you are spending part of this day with God’s family in a place of worship!  God redeemed us from slavery to sin to lead a life of worship!  We are to worship personally and corporately.  We come together to encourage each other and to meet with the family of God and prepare for a week of ministry and witness. We come together to hear the Word of God preached and taught by those with gifts for the body.  The gifts in the body help us to become equipped to do the work God has for each member of the family.  (Ephesians 4:11-16)

This week has been an interesting look at Moses as an elder and prophet sharing his heart at the very end of his ministry and time here on earth.  He is strong and vigorous at 120 years of age.  Evidently that manna and water diet kept him very well!  He was greatly concerned for the younger kids of the next generation.  He wanted them to be blessed and prosper and get all that the Lord had promised of their inheritance.  He clearly understood how their sinful human nature was a danger to them.  He shared that nature and because of his own anger and dishonoring of God would not be able to go into the promised land.  Deuteronomy is the record of his last messages preached to this next generation before he died.

It is also interesting that God chose the preaching of His Word to be the vehicle of teaching and inspiring this next generation. (1st Corinthians 1:21)  Faith comes by hearing God’s Word!  (Romans 10:17)  Faith also works by love and God calls them to love Him and love each other! (Galatians 5:6) This love is not a feeling, but a commitment to act for the highest good of another.  God’s promises show His love and our faith and obedience show our love in return!  God’s love hasn’t changed today!  He is still using preaching to reach people and inspire faith in them. (Romans 10:14-15)  He still desires faith and obedience as a show of our love for Him.   (1st John 5:2-4)  When we walk in faith and obedience and love, His face shines on us! (Number 6:22-27)  May God bless you with faith and love for Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!  Have a great day of rest and reflection!

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