The hard work in ministry
S - Acts 18:22-32 (NASB)
22 And now, behold, bound by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. 24 But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.
28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. 32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
O - The ministry of Paul continues to be an example for me of the realities of ministry and what we as followers of Christ should expect and prepare ourselves for. I don't mean to say we all have the same calling that Paul had, but experiences of ministry can be a different view than the world view we may have grown up with in our careers. Jesus new this was the case with His own disciples in that he taught them not be like the pharisee's flaunting there positions over people, but rather become the servant of all. There will be sacrifice in our callings, but as you sense from Paul there is no fear, and in fact peace that comes from following Christ, despite adverse conditions that appear before us. Paul also points out a key point that the ministry we do in service of others will be under constant attack even from within. We are to persevere and guard against such attacks if we are to be successful.
A - The application for me is to see the light on the truth about ministry of Christ. It will be full of joy and challenges; all of which God knows about, and will lead us by his spirit to navigate. Perhaps the surprising thing to note that has not changed today in ministry is the challenges that rise up even from amongst our own ministry's and congregations. The role of a the leaders to admonish and build up the followers of Christ, is a never ending one until Christ comes. We must not be defeated by this thought but rather encouraged that Christ is sufficient to lead us serve him and serve others through these challenges.
P - Dear heavenly Father thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart. I pray Lord that you would grow in me a strength, skill, and endurance to lead others in and outside the church to know you and your ways, to uphold your righteous purposes in our lives, and in your Church. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.