Category Archives: Helps Minsitry

Friday Focus: Serve with perfect love

Perfect love casts out all fear.

The first time I ever was involved in prison ministry, I was nervous. I’ll be honest. I was scared and that was just filling out the questionnaire to go.  I believed that God called me to minister. I didn’t know where my niche was so I served everywhere an opportunity was available. Actually, I wasn’t great anywhere I ministered, but I love to help and there was a need in ministering to those on the “inside”. Like a quote I heard from comedian Steve Martin, he said, 

Persistence replaces talent in some cases.”
If you ask me, I think many are incarcerated to some degree.  Living in society with out the physical bars of a prison cell. Although within, they could face lockdown of low self worth. 

For some It could be substance abuse, others could be hiding in eating disorders, drowning in debt or imprisoned within there negative thinking, even depression. These people are suffering. 

  They serve self -imposed sentences without a chance (in their view) of perole. This point of view can make the surest of men or women crumble as they endure this punishment. It can make them do things they wouldn’t fathom.  The people try and succeed for a moment, then back in confinement they go. How cruel is it to live in this manner. 

     So as a born again believer how would you minister to those imprisoned? 

  Because they don’t look nice. They’re hard. They’re ferocious. They have lived hard lives and know more about survival than then any cast member of survivor. On the “inside,” They don’t have time to play games, and can spot a phony a mile away.

Here is the good news……

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (‭I John‬ ‭4‬:‭18‬ NKJV)

God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. (‭1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭17-18‬ MSG)

It takes real guts to walk in love. You may feel without weapons, but you are walking with the love of God. You are victorious and even your shadow can heal!  You enter with the Lord on your side.  Fighting with you with artillery that is out of this world. Just a thought I wanted to share,  What are your thoughts? Please share with a friend. I would love to hear your input. How can we serve those who seem to have lost love? 

Friday Focus: Serving against the Ropes.

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11 ESV)

Have you ever watched the Rocky series? It depicts the story of a common man who stumbles upon an uncommon opportunity. He was never really a professional fighter, he was a brawler who attempted the sport. However, as the movie continues he lands an exhibition bout against the world champion Apollo Creed. You see, to the world it was just an exhibition (an event solely for entertainment), to Rocky it was a chance to fight for the title and a new life. Rocky was not training for entertainment he was training to win.
If we parallel this to our relationship with Jesus. How would you train? Would you map and plan out your strategy? Or would you go with what seems fun and easy?
against the Ropes

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11 ESV)

As a minister sometimes you can feel alone in ministry. These feelings are perfectly normal. Think about this : You are a human trying you’re best to be the hands and feet of God, yeah there’s a little pressure there, I’m sure he states in His word that he will help us with our burdens if we give them to Him. It’s ok, to sit down and rest with The Lord. You need that. God wants that.

Think about that friend, God wants to shoulder our burdens. In ministry, at work, or at home. God wants to share the load. I bring this out because you are not alone . He will be with you until the end of the age Realize this in your calling whether you are a pastor or one who serves your pastor The Lord is with you in your service to the body. He will help you by the Holy Spirit if you allow him to lead in your ministry.

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, (Hebrews 12:11, 12 ESV)

Pastor take joy in the fact that The Lord is with you to encourage you when you need to take another call. Rejoice In the knowledge of being taught by the master Shepherd, he puts the extra in extraordinary. When we serve the men and women of God we will be drained and in these times we cam draw on The Lord in worship. Do you worship The Lord with a song? I think you should, it is through our submission to Him that he strengthens us….
Now that we are spiritually settled we cam move to the practical. Three things stop us from continuing in our ministry.

1. Lack of empathy, we become desensitized toward others feelings and hurts. This puts us on the ropes due in part we have lost our compassion, and with passion lost no action will take place.
2. Lack of knowledge. Our training or lack there of could keep us benched for many reasons. We refuse to develop as a leader and as a result, immaturity can set in like an infection to which bitterness, strife, and backbiting may result. Its bad news and not ever to be toyed with. So get to school or ask of some one who is affluent in that particular area. You’ll gain a friend.
3. Lack of motivation, here is where mundane activities coupled with technical knowledge give birth to complacency. Do you remember the state you were in when You asked Jesus to be The Lord and Savior of your life? I know i was a mess. But he came in my life willingly. it hasn’t been easy since I started following after Him. Jesus has renewed who I am and I thankful for it. Do you remember when he held you? Now, take it to others, run friend, run to be the light where your impacting.

and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. (Hebrews 12:13 ESV)

Ministers, armor bearers, when you are against the ropes remember what The Lord whispered to you in the quiet place. Remember to do it all for the glory of God. You are healed to heal others.

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Friday Focus: The Great Investment

When I think about retirement, and I know for many that may seem like a far away time and place. For me, however I know that this part of my working life is closing and a new one is opening. It is a part of life.

Looking back I wanted to invest in the stock market. I wanted to play the game, if you will. I dreamt of making it big and have enough for my family and I. Then as I was reading my bible plan, the scripture hit me with this:
     

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”Matthew 6:19-21

Investment takes commitment. It requires you to give attention to the matter of interest. It requires your heart. You may have to research the company you bought shares in. You may be reviewing paperwork on a home purchase. Investment may take your time. It can consume you because it is of value to you.
When I read this in scripture I thought it was just about money or financial planning. But as I started to contemplate the Lord’s true intent of these words I was gripped with how I am investing my life in ministry? Or to put it simply what am I doing for God that is of true value to both Him and I in that our hearts are united? How is my ministry bringing value to the kingdom of God? What treasure have I stored in heaven that out of it’s dividends I am able to effectively minister?

One of my favorite Pastors Benny Perez once said in a message “it is ok to have things…. Don’t let those things HAVE you”. I can agree with that.
The treasures you value can have you invested. There is no wrong in that. How is your return on your investment? Does it surpass the confines of time?
My son receives a commision for the amount of tasks he does around the house and at the end of the period he is paid. He also is responsible (with help) to divide his earnings into three areas; Giving, Saving, and Spending
By doing so he is free to buy his toys, because he has put some money away for somthing he may need and has money for offering on Sunday. It allows him freedom. He enjoys buying his toy, I as his Father enjoy his learning of finances. Toys break, but financial wisdom is timeless.
As we serve this weekend continue to invest in treasure Jesus held of value. So that as our hearts grow full of heaven’s return we can minister out of them freely.

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