Archive for June, 2012

Preaching the Gospel

Posted: June 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

There is nothing more rewarding than shepherding people and preaching a message about the Lord and His goodness.  Whenever I start thinking about it my heart starts jumping.  Pastoring, preaching, and leading people to the throne have always been the things I have wanted to do.  

I was able to hear many great things from my pastors growing up.  Whenever I was in 7th grade we did a time capsule and opened them up the next year.  We basically wrote down our dreams for the future, what we hoped God did in our life during the year, and prayer requests.  I drew a picture on one side of my paper which showed me on one side in a pulpit preaching to hundreds of people.  (the crowd I drew like old style nintendo games with circle heads and square bodies)  Though I would wonder away from the idea, I always came back to it.  Since I was not truly a believer til I was 21 it always blows my mind to think about.  Whenever God truly gave me a new life in Him, the passion was untamable, even though fear did a number on it.  I was always able to talk about Jesus with people and missional living was my heart as well.  I took my first spiritual gifts test and I was blown away by its confirmation of these things.  Evangelism/missions and pastoring scored at the top of the chart with every other gift scarcely showing.  There was no doubt where I was going in ministry.

When I went to Criswell to get my biblical studies degree, I was going to get a degree and start out in youth ministry as a stepping stone for a full-time pastor job.  I was trying to get involved with ministry but the Lord never let me hold a specific role (paid) at a church.  His plan was different and I always struggled.  By the time I was finished with Criswell I could hardly put the flame out.  How am I supposed to be patient for this?  I figured once I graduated at least something would come up but here I am in Denver.  What is going on?  As I serve here I still wonder when I will get to use some of those gifts that I have such a passion for.  Why would the Lord call me to obedience by moving me away from family to a place where I don’t necessarily have a chance to do these things?    Even better… why has He called me to do things that may or may not be comfortable for ministry?  I can only think of one answer to those questions.  The Lord is about making me (and you if you’re a believer) complete for the work He has for us.  

Ephesians 2:For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9  not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

 Just as we have nothing to do with our own salvation because our lack of sight to see how holy He is versus how depraved we are, we also have no control of our future.  Rest assured if God has the power to save us from His judgement, how much more powerful is He in our lives when it says in scripture that we are made for His works, which He knew about before hand.  If we are to walk in His works, we should do it in power, not timidity.  If God, with His foreknowledge, created us to walk in His good works then we are to be walking in ministry which is glorifying no matter what it is.  This is easier said than done.  My heart yearns for the day that I can live out shepherding a flock and being missional, all through His gospel.  If I am to preach the gospel, lead people in the gospel, and show people how to be missional in the gospel, then I am to know the gospel myself.  “How do you preach the gospel to others if you don’t preach it to yourself first,” said Nathaniel at our last meeting during our study time.  I am forced to think.  God radically made a cure for the sin disease of the world by sending Jesus to this planet.  Jesus was obedient to God, in humbleness, unto death on a cross.  God’s good works for Jesus, while on Earth, meant Jesus had to make the ultimate sacrifice in death. In Philippians 2 it says, ” Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  With Jesus humbleness, obedience, sacrifice, and death, God has now lifted Him up “to the Glory of the Father.”  There is no other above Him!  If I am to preach the gospel to myself then I must realize what He did first and how God lifted Him up.  I will be heir to the Kingdom and lifted up in the end, but first there is ministry to do of humbleness, obedience, sacrifice, and death to my own desires at times to be raised.  

Because I so easily forget, I wear myself down by thinking I am entitled to things.  I forget to preach the gospel to myself and I get bent out of shape because it is about me, not the God that made me for His good works. For now I take the gospel and I run with it.  I live life in glory to Him, which means I will serve wherever God puts me.  He didn’t give me the passions to do those things for no reason, He just wants me to serve in these ways first.  I have to be ok with that because God is the only one I can serve, not myself and my desires.  For now that means I take a backseat and do whatever He leads me to through the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  For now I just walk with Jesus and learn.  For now I just serve because that is what servants do.  Right now I live in obedience because that is what my Father wants in His child.  For now I sacrifice my desires for His because He has a plan which He made me a part of.  For now and always God knows what is best to glorify Himself, which means His way is best.  John Piper always says, “God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him.”  That is the way it must be.  Lord I pray you help me to love you more.  Help me to love your church like you do.

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The guys of Emmaus Church.   I love them all.