|Prepare to Minister page 2
Without love we have nothing to give. Love is something we must have in order to minister to others, without it we are an obnoxious clanging cymbal.
1Co 13:3 Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God's love in me), I gain nothing.
I know we donít always feel love, but the Holy Spirit came to dwell in us when we were saved. He is love which means we have Godís love in us; but we need to learn to walk in it.
When we really love others we will not talk about their failings. Quite the contrary, real love protects the reputation of others.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].
Ministers of God have to know how to keep their mouth shut. Itís not for us to tell others when someone has problems. We need to be able to be trusted to stay quiet, as well as not think ill of others, this is important as it all begins in our mind.
I have seen many a pastor and pastor's wife gossip about those coming to them for help. What a disgrace this is the body of Christ, let alone the ministry. We should not even speak of these things to our spouse.
There will be those coming against you, but there is no room for bitterness or fleshly anger. Real love isnít quick to anger nor temperamental; instead we will see the pain or spirit the other person is operating in [1Cor 13].
Love is messy and most Christians don't want to be bothered if it means getting their hands dirty. Jesus would meet the lost wherever they're at, without judging them, even if it meant risking His reputation. Christ did not come to condemn the lost, but to save them [John 3:17]. The only ones condemned were the religious ones who claimed to be so righteous, but had no love.
God's laws are much easier to follow then God's love. We need to know the truth of God as well as His heart which is love. It's equally bad to have truth with out love as it is to have love with out God's truth. We need both to be an effective Christian, let alone a minister.
Loving fallís right in line with being a prayer warrior. How can we be effective in prayer if there is neither love nor compassion?
The day may come when the Lord leads you to minister to a person or group in such a way as to cause your name to be spoken bad about. If there is real love then it doesnít matter what others think of us as long as we are being obedient to the Lord with a loving spirit.
Matt 5:11-13 Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous--with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions) are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely on My account. Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you. [II Chron. 36:16.] You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.
We need to be willing and able to play second fiddle in assisting other ministries. We need to learn to serve. A true servant of God is not looking for self glory. Are we willing to clean the church and be blessed for doing it as unto the Lord? This is important to learn.
We need to rejoice when others are lifted up and recognized for bringing glory to God. I remember as a young woman being very upset that I wasnít ministering as I felt I should. It took several years for the Lord to break that haughty spirit of pride that reigned in me. Until it was broke I wasnít fit to serve in any capacity.
Ministering is not for our glory and recognition. Our own desires are not important if we are a true servant of God. We need to be willing to set our own desires aside in order to help others. There are times you just won't want to go out or have someone over, but that's too bad. If we are to serve then we need to be available.
I was saved one evening when a friendís pastor left his dinner guests and came to her home to minister to me as a young, suicidal, rebellious woman. If he hadnít been obedient to the Lord, where would I be today?
Of course we donít always have to be at others beck and call, but we do need to be sensitive to the Lordís leading.
Summing this up, it all comes back to making the Lord Jesus Christ our LORD. Surrendering our lives to His service, being obedient in all things, no matter the price. Always wanting the Lord to recievce the glory for all things we are a part of.
I hope this has answered your questions. As always I am including my email address for any questions you may have not addressed in this article.
May our Lord bless and aniont each of you as you walk in His light.