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The Miraculous in Ministry

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” 1 Corinthians 15:19

In this Bible Study, we spoke about the miraculous in ministry.  God is miraculous and everything He does is miraculous.  He is a miracle God and it’s what makes Him who He is.

We are people who cannot control our ministries; humanly speaking, we are not considered miraculous people, but with God, excellence can come out of good, and another dimension or level can happen in my personal ministry.  With God, I can still see the spectacular.

It’s amazing that these verses can take me to another sphere.  That which is dead can come to life, and that which is alive can remain eternal.  There is something better that can happen which is not under my control in ministry.  If we don’t have the miraculous, then we are in all ways miserable.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren be ye steadfast…”1 Cor 15:58a

May we have a “therefore” in our lives?  Does anything in my mind have permission to shut me up?  Is there anything in my heart that can stop me on a dime and make me submit?  If I don’t have that, there will be no control in the inner man and control of my Spirit. Better is He that controls his Spirit than he that can take a city. Proverbs 16:32.

God has granted us the ability to control our Spirit.  I have got to have a “therefore” or my ministry will be affected. The storm in my heart will now become the storm in my ministry. The storm in the ministry should not affect the quiet in my heart.

The core of whatever ministry that God would have me do is locked up in this: my internal steadfastness is the core of my ministry; otherwise I am just like a breath.

To the degree that I am able to look up, will be to the degree I will be able to lift others up.

To the degree that I am able to be steadfast and immovable, believe it or not, that is to the degree that I will have the power to move others and to translate them, to help move them from one kingdom to another.

It’s not that we are saying, “Just fill this cup Lord,” God is saying, “I have an ocean and I have more.”  If I am asking Mr. Miraculous, why am I asking for so little, when I can have so much?

“…always abounding in the Work of the Lord, for as much as you know that your labor is not in vain or empty.” 1 Cor 15:58b

Weariness in ministry is not empty or vain; God is not going to forget my work and my labor of love.  He doesn’t forget the work or the exhaustion in ministry. I will work and will be weary.  God will have me always abounding in the work and in my weariness.

 

These thoughts are taken from our Monday night Bible study. To listen to the message, click here.

 
What Can A Cookie Do?

What Can A Cookie Do?

For many, the Christmas season is a time of great joy and celebration. But for others, it is a time of deep depression and loneliness. In fact, it holds the highest suicide rates of the year. We wanted to do something to show people that someone was thinking about them. So we hit the city streets with 10,000 home made Christmas cookies!

It was our founder’s vision to encourage those who were down-and-out by scouring the streets and neighborhoods of Baltimore in order to surprise people with Christmas gifts, home made Christmas cookies, hot chocolate, and a message to let them know that they are loved.

Over the years, we have seen suicides prevented, comfort brought to those going through divorce, and joy as well as relief shown by parents who just did not have anything to give to their children. For some, they expressed that our cookies were the only thing that they received for Christmas that year.

We have found that a cookie can do a lot.

What Can You Do?

Pray that each cookie lands in a needy hand…

Each gift to a needy family….

And each smile to hungry eyes.

You can also help donate ingredients, gifts, money towards gifts, or help us bake cookies or wrap presents. Below, you can see that we need:

  • eggs
  • flour
  • sugar
  • margarine
  • wax paper
  • wrapping paper
  • bows
  • curling ribbon

A big thank you, thank you, thank you to the Arrow Center for Education for all of their help!

So Far...

"When giving out hot chocolate, many people looked at me with surprised, wide open eyes and said free???? One lady was so surprised that she kept saying thank you, thank you, thank you. "

You never know what people are going through..

""My wife just left me, my dad just died. I drink a lot now. What can you tell me?"

"I was having a really hard day, today. You really made my day."

GOAL!

A big thank you to all those who helped us reach (and exceed) our goal of 10,000 cookies. With all 10,440 cookies in hand, please pray with us that they reach just the right person at the right time. Also, you can continue to follow the schedule above to join us on any of our outreach times. Thanks again!

 
Enemies in Ministry

In this week’s Bible study, we learned about having Enemies in Ministry. The three enemies mentioned were: I can be the enemy, people can be my enemy, and God can be my enemy. We must realize that without Jesus Christ, left to ourselves, we can become our very own enemy and have the ability to destroy the very house we built. We needed a Savior and Jesus Christ was our Savior but left to ourselves, we sin. We are prone to it.

So, when I minister it doesn’t mean I am not going to sin.  We are prone to it.  We have an incredible ability to destroy.  We have no ability to restore.

God can restore what I have destroyed or have the potential thereof and there is no throne of grace or place of mercy that I can’t approach. I can be the enemy in my own ministry and God can have a plan. When I recognize I am the enemy and that I have sinned, God will say these words, “I have put away your sin.” He will turn things around and make that very thing that could have destroyed me and my ministry into something fantastic.  When we do sin, much more grace will be given to us.

Honestly, this has to be at the center core of ministry or we will not survive it. We will disqualify ourselves.  We will walk away.  We will say we are not worthy.

When people become our enemy, then apply Luke chapter 6, see it as a promotion and an expanded ministry, and will love my enemies. What if the next enemy is God? One of the places God would like to lead us is, loving Him while He is our enemy. Does this offend you? Blessed is he who is not offended in me. It is possible that God has become my enemy in this way.

It’s maybe that I am not hearing from Him.  Where He doesn’t seem to be speaking, where He is quiet, where there is nothing there, where He is completely silent and quiet for the rest of the time, where He removes Himself.

An example of someone’s life that was in this kind of place was Mother Teresa. It’s fascinating that from the very beginning of her public ministry, to her death, she lived in spiritual darkness.  In her mind this was not what she had signed up for, and maybe a lesser woman would have walked away, counting it as a failure. She struggled with this and was transparent to her spiritual leaders. She was writing to a couple of people, particularly to her spiritual father, saying that darkness had entered her soul, it was something she couldn’t get rid of it, and it bothered her.

Pray for me, that I might keep smiling at Him (I know He loves me).  I have a resolution that I would really understand your joy; that I would rejoice; that others would see my smile.  She didn’t give the people around her less of herself. Part of her sacrifice was her sorrow. I find that I sense His presence, in the dark corners, where the poor are.

When we think of the life of Job, there is a mystery of why Job suffered.  He wasn’t boastful, he was righteous by choice. Mother Teresa was righteous by choice.  We are sinners and it could be that we are in the middle of something, a situation, darkness.  I must understand that God is for me, and He loves me.

In that dark night and in that darkness, no one really knows what it is; we just know God allows it. - Saint John of the Cross

These thoughts were taken from our Monday night Bible Study. To listen to the whole message, click here.

 
Uncovering Satan in Ministry

In this week’s Bible study, we spoke about uncovering Satan in ministry and what to do, as believers, when ministry fails. It is necessary to understand that we have an enemy and that we share a common enemy.  Satan’s device and plan would be to separate and bring division; but if I recognize that we have a common “enemy”, meditating upon the fact that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, then things will be put into their proper place, and I will be able to have an affective ministry. Jesus gave us a great picture of this, when He stood on the Cross and said,“Forgive them they know not what they do.”  He identified to who His ministry was and who the enemy was.

We meditate that we wrestle not against flesh and blood.  I am not the enemy, but I recognize we have an enemy. If the work I am a part of is going to be effective, then I am going to have an effective attack.

What does failure look like in ministry?

1. No Results: Ministry will only be a failure if I walk away from the situation. The only interesting thing to God is fruit in my life, not results. I need to ask myself if I have joy, if I have a burden, these are not necessarily results, but lots of fruit.

2. Negative results: We see this in the life of Christ. The Cross was a negative result, it was a crucifixion with a resurrection that was coming afterward with people who now have entrance into Heaven. In my own life there can be negative results, but I can stop in that moment and say, “I am filling up the afflictions that are in Christ.  This moment is a ministry.  I am being like-minded with Christ and I am sharing a little piece.  I have a ministry at the very least to God.

3. My heart is not in it:  Let us ask, “Am I walking worthily?”  “Am I letting fruit being developed in my life?”  Maybe that’s where I increase in the knowledge of God. I have to shut the door around me and get before God and say

Lord, I need you. I am so poor. These people don’t even know how poor I am.  I am in the negative. I have less than a penny in my pocket, spiritually speaking, to do any of what you are asking. I don’t feel an ounce of love today. In-fact, I am disgusted, I am angered, I am irritated. When I am weak then I am strong. To walk away then, that’s the problem.

Pastor Stevens used to say this quote: “You are not a failure until you quit.” We don’t walk away.  This is my recipe, my poverty plus their poverty, the recipe for success.

4. Circumstances: In the world we will have tribulation.  Let’s not be subjective women.  Our success is not in subjectivity.  It’s not in “Oh, they all loved me today, 15 people became born again, etc. Everyone on the team loved me today. I felt good today.  I feel light-hearted here.”

Circumstances are dangerous for the Christian as a deciding factor for the Will of God. We follow a voice.

Our very spiritual lives are wrapped up in that voice.  The moment I begin to not listen to that voice, it’s dangerous for me.  That’s the world of subjectivity.  I begin questioning everything.   Learn to hear the voice and then never let it go, because there will be a thousand voices.  Be like the mother who hears her child’s cry when there are 50 other children in the room.  Listen not to circumstances but the voice of God.

5. Enemies:  If you have the enemies of Luke 6, then see it as a promotion. We have an expanded ministry.  Ministry should hurt.  It’s the proof of love.  Love can be wounded but love doesn’t reject. You can’t tell love to stop.  What we do is, we go to the voice and we don’t walk away.  We don’t let circumstances and my own heart cause me to make movements. Psalm 73-“When my heart and flesh fail, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

When ministry fails, I don’t make movements outside of understanding all of this.  God knows when He has allowed hurt.  The Shepherd leads us out and in. Our methods should be decisive. I move with Are you available for anything?

Main point: There has to be an understanding of success
What keeps Adoniron Judson so long without any visible fruit?  Only an understanding of success does that
What keeps Paul, who was stoned and kept going?
What keeps Christ dying on the Cross?

Like two pieces of paper, be ready for the love, etc. and then when she hates you, turn that piece of paper over and be ready for Luke 6.  I have an opportunity to exercise long-suffering. Ministry will only be a failure if I walk away from that and if I see no results.

These thoughts were taken from our Monday night Bible Study. To listen to the whole message, click here.

 
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