“If you DECLARE the gospel and don’t LIVE IT – you will confuse people.
If you LIVE the gospel and don’t DECLARE IT – you will condemn people.”
— Steve Wilson
Moments of Ministry
A favorite phrase of mine since the first time I read it is…Instrument in the Redeemer’s Hands. It’s the title of a book written by Paul Tripp with a subtitle that really captures what it means to be Christians ministering to one another…People in Need of Change, Helping People in Need of Change.
This should encourage us to live with a constant ministry mentality…
“And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;” (Eph 4:11–12)
It also means we must always be ready for “moments of ministry”…submitting our lives to God’s plan to be His instrument. If we don’t it will be very easy to turn moments of ministry into moments of anger and frustration. We can actually personalize what is not personal…turn it into an offense against us and become adversarial in our response.
How many of us have been here…
We are right in the middle of something when we get interrupted. At that moment, instead of recognizing the opportunity for ministry, we turn this “intrusion” into a personal offense and our response is anything but loving. I understand it’s not always possible to “drop what we’re doing” but one thing is certain. Personal offense always gets in the way of personal ministry.
And what about this personal offense?
The reason we take it personal is because we love ourselves more than we love God who wants to use us at that moment to be His instrument of grace…
“For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” (Gal 5:14)
And how can we do that if we don’t love God above all else. I like this formula..
Vertical Priority = Horizontal Result
How often do ministry opportunities slip by us because we do not live the gospel in that moment? It could be that very person we’ve been praying for…asking God for that perfect chance to declare the gospel.
Oh how thankful we should be that the One who received the greatest offense of all time turned it into the greatest “moment of ministry” of all time.