Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ladies, resolve not to over-extend yourself in ministry this year

If you resolved this year to be more submissive to Jesus, more useful to the Body, and/or employ the Spirit's gifts for His glory, here is a bit of food for thought. Even if you didn't resolve those things...here you go!
The New Testament teaches us that Christ is THE HEAD of the church and we are members in vital union with vital ministry to each other-- 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:11-16. But reading something in the Bible does not mean "experiencing" it. For the most part, churches today do not function as bodies in which all the members are connected to the Head and to one another in vital union and ministry. Frankly, I'm glad my own PHYSICAL body is not in the shape many churches are in— if it were: My mouth might start talking against my ears. My feet might stop listening to my head, My hands might run off and 'join' another body, etc! ~Pastor James Bell

How to maximize your Kingdom impact in 2016 
By Jack Graham
December 30, 2016 
But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 1 Corinthians 12:18-20. 
Several years ago, I got suckered into buying one of those pocket knives that has everything on it you could imagine. It has a can opener, about five different sized blades, tweezers, a toothpick, a nail file, and screwdriver heads. If there was something you could use a pocket knife for, this one claimed it could do the job. 
But here was the problem: none of the tools on the knife worked very well. The blades were dull, the tweezers and toothpick fell out and got lost, and the screwdriver heads were so small that I couldn’t use them to turn a screw. 
The tool was so versatile, but didn’t do anything well. And as I look at a lot of Christians today, they’re a lot like that knife. So many are multi-talented and well-rounded, but they rarely commit to doing one thing really well. They’re spread so thin that their impact is minimized. 
As you step into 2016 this week, put your focus on one thing you want to do well in the coming year. Resolve to make a deep impact in one place. Do what you do well, and you’ll make a tremendous difference for the Kingdom in the coming year! 
CONCENTRATE ON ONE AREA OF KINGDOM IMPACT IN THE COMING YEAR AND WATCH GOD WORK THROUGH YOU IN A POWERFUL WAY!
I have found that in loving Jesus, in loving the saints, and in gathering with the congregation, there exists a tendency to become "busy." Sometimes we say "yes" to a task, or a ministry, and it is't really for us, but we feel like we "need" to say yes. Or even if we aren't asked, sometimes we women feel the need (silent pressure?) to jump in anyway so as to be seen "doing our part."

Resist that pressure, whether it comes from leadership or your own self. Slow down and examine whether it is something that will glorify the Lord, or will take away from family, or will use your gifts...in other words, examine your motivations for stepping into a use within the body. I'm careful not to get spread too thin. When I do spread myself thin, my mood sours and it's not pretty. I thrive when I am mindful of doing the things I truly feel the Lord is guiding me towards and doing the m well and 100% to my ability.

On the other hand, as Pastor Bell noted, doing nothing isn't helping the Body either. The Spirit delivered gifts so as to maximize all the saints' usefulness here on earth. He has stationed us here and there knowing what gift within which person will best serve the Lord's church for it's growth and Jesus' glory. Since each of us has a gift or gifts, and each of us is called to use them, it stands to reason that doing nothing isn't serving the Lord in any meaningful way, and is in fact an abuse of the Spirit's patience and ministry.

A hand is a hand. It doesn't try to be a foot. And it doesn't lay dormant, either. Work, but work wisely.

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