Monday, June 11, 2007

Ministering out of humility and confidence

Understanding that we can do nothing good apart from Christ is so foundationally important. You see, Christ had to come to this earth to save us because we could not save ourselves. We were completely hopeless without Christ. We can do no good work apart from him. To think otherwise is to cheapen the blood of Christ.

With this in mind, are we approaching our ministries from this humble and sober perspective (reality)? Or, do we think our successes are because of us? Do we think that we can “make it happen”? Well, we may be able to fake it and produce some results without him. But, do you think those results are truly kingdom results? Maybe, if God allows it, but probably not. Is the effectiveness going to be sustainable? Probably not. Will we truly finish “strong” if we run the race in our own strength? Again, probably not. Paul said that he worked harder than anyone else, but it was God’s grace that was really doing the heavy lifting. We must be grounded in Christ and Christ alone and know where the strength and success come from.

While we must be humble and sober in our understanding of where our strength comes from, we must also be confident and bold. You see, when we are truly living out who we are in Christ, then we are promised to do even greater things than him. Yes, we are empowered and even expected to do greater things in our ministries than Christ did in his (accept for the cross of course). With this in mind, we must take action with conviction, passion, and gusto. We must boldly minister the Gospel and live lives that represent our faith.

What does all of this mean? Why am I rambling on? Because, how we approach our ministries matters. It can never be about us and it is never because of us. It is all about God! He started it all, he is the reason for it all, he makes it all happen, and he receives the glory. This should make us both extremely humble and, when we are grounded in his truth, ultimately confident. He formed us, he saved us, he transforms us, he equips us, and he uses us – all for his glory. We are blessed to be instruments in his hands and vessels for his service. And it is when we submit to his hand, and not our own strength, that we can expect great results.

Here’s a simplified version: (1) God calls us, (2) In faith, we humbly respond to his calling with bold action, and (3) God is glorified and his kingdom is served. It starts with God and ends with God. He is the alpha and the omega. But, we must respond and be willing, passionate, and confident about the role we’ve been blessed to play in this kingdom experience.

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