2 Essential Ingredients for Ministry

For any ministry in the body of Christ, there are two essential ingredients that are a must. Regardless of your position and station in life, you must be in the Word and you must love people. With these two ingredients you form the bedrock of your life’s work.

Love the Scriptures

As we study God’s Word we are able to equip and encourage other individuals. The guidance we receive is not from the world, but from God. If are ignorant of the Bible, it isn’t possible to bring the healing that comes from God’s Word. Our words apart from Scripture are meaningless; they are ineffectual in transforming the life of an individual. It is the Word of God that is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, convicting the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Heb 4:12). In order to teach Scripture we must be in Scripture. Do we spend time growing in God’s Word?

In discussing knowledge there is always a danger of going overboard. It was Robert Anthony who said, “some people drink from the fountain of knowledge, some gargle, and others drown themselves.” We spend time in Scripture never just to acquire knowledge. Our goal is always to know our Savior cognitively and experientially. Our knowledge of Him through Scripture is the lens through which we interpret our experiences.

Love the People

By reading God’s Word, we grow in love and that manifests itself by showing love for people. Our love for people is what makes our theology warm and the lack of it makes our theology cold and distant. It is our love that distinguishes the body of Christ from the rest of the world. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). When a church has lost its love, that church has lost its ability to represent Christ. It may be a Baptist or a Presbyterian Church, but it is not Christ’s church. For the churches that bare the seal of Christ are marked by love.

If we love God’s Word and love people we will have the foundation for a fulfilling ministry.

 

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True Love Judges

When you think of judgment, what words come to mind? Christians, religion, church? I’m sure that “love” was not the first word that popped into your head. The words “love” and “judgment” in our minds mesh as well as oil and water. They seem to be an unrelated pair. However, the paradox is that love exists only when there is true judgment.

Michael Ramsden from Oxford articulates it this way:

Love doesn’t exist in the absence of judgment, but in the presence of it. What makes the words “I love you” meaningful is when it is spoken by someone who has truly judged you, and knows you completely. This is the way God loves us. He knows what is going on in our hearts and [despite the junk] He loves us.

Love and judgment in this context provides us with great comfort. God knows all our flaws, weaknesses and sins, yet He still loves us. His love is not conditional.

Knowledge of a person always involves judgment; judgment about their character, actions, beliefs and values. I cannot love what I do not know. And I cannot know without making judgments. Love only exists when there is true judgment. How beautiful it is then that God has judged us.