Oct 3, 2012

Our ministry - the ministry of Jesus Christ

Luk 4:17  And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
Luk 4:18  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luk 4:19  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Luk 4:20  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
Luk 4:21  And he began to say unto them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.

We the believers are called to be ministers by Jesus - he has proclaimed that we are a group of ministers to the lord, a holy priesthood, made royal by the sonship to the father. (1pet 2:9) In this day, God has given us a ministry as he had given to Jesus Christ. In the words above, we read the fully fulfilled prophesy of Jesus's ministry while he was on this earth. We (the believers) are the body of Christ on this earth today. And by inheritance, we get his ministerial calling. We are called to

a.       Preach the gospel to the poor : We are to be conveyors of the good news to the people who are spiritually poor (i.e. those who know that they don't have what it takes to make it to eternity in heaven). Always, the people who take time to come to the lord are the ones who are full of themselves. Self-emptying is a crucial process before we can come into a fullness of salvation. Indeed, preaching the gospel is our first calling to the ministry of Jesus Christ.
b.      Heal the broken hearted : know anyone who is broken hearted ? I know many ! Our calling is to offer the ointment of Gilead ( Jesus Christ) as the medicine for binding up the hurts of many who, in their deep hurt or rejection, are even moving away from God. Our ministry is to offer the healing by giving them Christ.
c.       Preach deliverance to the captives : Many in this world think they are free, but are bound by sin and habits. It may be drinking, gambling, lust, pornography, unnatural tastes, love of money, love of self, idolatry, roving eyes, self-exaltation , pride, unbelief, and so many other evil characters (even things we find so easy to condone, like lying, stealing, etc). The Christian (the believer) has to be first delivered from all these life-breaking habits by faith and by the 'change of nature' that the new birth brings in us. And then he/she has the freedom to go to the world which is lying captive and offer this message of freedom. Yes. Believe it or not, we can truly be delivered from these habits and sins by Jesus!
d.      Sight to the blind : There are so many people (in the faith and outside the faith) who are blinded by the evil one, into hating/rejecting the message of freedom that Christ offers. There are people who are blinded to the spiritual consequences of their actions and thoughts. Like how Jonathan's eyes were made clear when he ate honey, when we consume the delicious honey (i.e. the word of God), we receive spiritual eye sight. And once we receive the spiritual eyesight, we can see only Jesus first. And then we will start seeing every one as how our lord sees them. And our eyes are opened to seeing the spiritual activity (like how Elisha's servant was able to see the heavenly activity once his eyes were opened) Friends, this is the real eye sight we need to pray for. Life changes once we have this eye sight.
e.      Preach the acceptable year of the lord : Often, the reason why we live the way we live is because there is no imminence of anything good or bad happening. We tend to think our bad ways will not receive the punishment it deserves purely because  it seems slow in coming. Yet, there is a judgment to look forward to. There is the second coming of Jesus to look forward to. And there is the right time for people to change their direction of life, repent and truly come to the lord (which is now, really!) Our ministry (an unpleasant task often!), is to remind people of the inevitable judgment and so make people understand the need for salvation. No one enjoys being with a doomsday prophet or preacher. Yet it is an inseparable part of our ministry of Jesus Christ.

Do you realize the grandeur of the calling to take up the ministry of Jesus christ ?

Before we minister to others, the most important thing is to minister to the lord (through our constant dependence on him and spending time with him in our daily prayers). Unless we minister to the lord, we can only offer our empty powerless hands to others. When we minister to the lord, we get the spiritual supplies for our ministry from the Lord himself - and hence can take the spiritual riches to the needy.

Thank God for the men (and women) of God who are moved to be His ministers! :)

God bless you!

Praise the lord Jesus christ