Several years ago, early in the morning, I felt that I had to go to the emergent care. Looking back, I shouldn’t have gone I suppose. The whole thing cost a whole lot more than it was worth. I had a lot of pain internally on my right side toward my back. This area of pain isn’t new as I regularly have it there, especially at night when I am trying to sleep. That particular night was the worst it had ever been. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t find a place to get away from the pain and so I gave in and went. I actually thought they might be able to help. However, they didn’t and weren’t. They didn’t seem to want to listen to me, as to what was going on. The Dr wanted to simply treat the symptoms, but I said no. Then the Dr insisted it was something to do with my spine and I tried to explain that no, it was internal and further to the right. Yet it was all to no avail. Frustrated and still in pain I came home. Oh yes they did give me a shot of something like Motrin, an expensive Ibuprofen. Read more
Genesis 12:1 (NKJV) Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.
I was just reflecting upon our life in the ministry and specifically the very early years. It was in those times, seemingly so long ago, that my wife and I helped to pioneer several churches and restart a few more. It was interesting because when we began, we had little if any money, resources or support and absolutely no training, at all. I worked in construction and pastored bi-vocationally for many years off and on. Even then, it was still financially very difficult.
As the years went on, pioneering churches seemed to catch on more and more in other denominations and church organizations. It became much more institutionalized and structured. Money became more available for what now was called, planting churches, as did other resources such as training and relational support systems. All that we see today, including the books, conferences, etc. just was not available back then.
Let us please continue with a Simple and Unsophisticated Gospel, from last week.
My Grandfather and Dad at one point in their lives just picked up their Bibles and went forth preaching. Lives were changed and impacted and yet when I honestly look at their lives and ministry, I can’t help but feel there was something lacking that was vital and important. However, you know what, I did the very same thing. I just picked up my Bible and went a preaching. I also feel that something vital and important came to be lacking in my life and ministry as well. I have sought to continue growing and learning from the Lord Jesus, each and every step of the way, yet I know there is more. What is it that I am not seeing?
I do not want to make church and ministry, life and living, overly simplistic. I just desire to see, live, and understand it in a way that is much more genuine, in the Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore much more effective in terms of the Kingdom of Almighty God. I continually long for the revelation of the truth that is of a yoke that is easy and light, yet gets the work of the Kingdom accomplished in such a way that He, our Lord and Savior, is genuinely glorified, honored, praised and worshiped, in Spirit and Truth.
I want this for my family and I, yet I so desire this for us all, for the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ at large. I know that there is more here than is meeting my eye of understanding. I just know there is. I so long to continue learning from and growing in the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, by the power of God the Holy Spirit, that His simplicity may be recaptured and realized as a powerful truth once again, in our lives personally and corporately. That place where we are completely at rest in Him, in the midst of His life and living, of His church and ministry, no matter what is before us, one and all.
We need to disciple/mentor those whom the Lord Jesus would have us to. Therefore we need to seek the Lord as to whom He wants us to disciple/mentor and then how He wants this person to be mentored. It is then that we can begin this process with the confidence of His blessing and provision. We may and most likely will, stumble around at first. We may make it too academic and not enough of a relational experience. We may, depending on who we are, go the other way and want to make it so relational that we fail to hold our mentoree accountable and disciplined along the way. Regardless, if we will obediently give ourselves to this wonderful, albeit sometimes very trying process, we will discover the wonderful fruit of it; the joys of watching those entrusted to us, growing up into their role within their own lives, families and the Body of Christ Jesus at large. We will also have the wonderful hope of building a relationship for life.
Malachi 4:5-6 (NKJV) Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 6 And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
If you are a Leader or genuinely a Mature believer in the Church of the Lord Jesus and you are not open to and or seeking the Lord Jesus for the opportunity of discipling or mentoring others, then you are failing to fulfill a very important part of your calling, the call to be and become a genuine Father in the faith. Yes, we are to do the work of the ministry. However, we are also to reproduce, through authentic discipling and mentoring, the mature life of the Lord Jesus Christ in others. We are to help form the life of the Lord Jesus Christ into the heart and life of another through all that the Lord Jesus Christ has given, developed and taught us (Gal 4:19). This investment of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ into another life is truly worth it. We must turn the hearts of the fathers to the children before it is too late. We need the relational teaching and training that was practiced by our Lord Jesus Christ and the early church fathers to once again be restored.
Each synagogue had its leadership and the leadership form of choice was that of an Eldership Council or Presbytery. These elders were either chosen by the people or nominated by the Sanhedrin of the nearest town, or the Great Sanhedrin of Jerusalem, with concurrence of the local congregation. Where teaching functions were required of an elder (not all elders were to be teaching elders) he was formally set apart to this office by the laying on of hands. This was done by the elders and required at least three elders for this ceremony. When a wise man had grown sufficiently in knowledge of the Law and is called by the congregation to be their president or pastor, he was set in office again by the laying on of hands. In some exceptions due to smallness of congregation, where three suitable men could not be found to serve as elders, a single teacher could preside but was not allowed to give any authoritative decision regarding doctrinal or practical questions until others were joined together with him.
2Ti 4:7 NKJV I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
As my lovely wife and I walk out this season of our lives, it is easier for us to reflect upon our need for His continued strength, stamina and perseverance. It is easier, simply because we recognize that without He who is our very life breath we will simply not finish well. Therefore, what I write below, continues to be tested in and through our very lives, each and every day.
As I see it, the overall issue for each and every one of us will not ultimately be that we simply started out well. No. Rather, it will be whether we continued and thus ended well, or not. In all honesty, beginning well is important, continuing well is also important, but finishing well is crucial for each of us. To simply assume that we will, when all is said and done, end well and finish well, is foolish. While our ending well is crucial, it also isn’t automatic.