Friday, March 8, 2013

The Foundation of Ministry

For the month March, I am studying Jesus as seen through the eyes of Mark.  As a part of this study, I am also reading N.T. Wright’s book called Simply Jesus.

As I began reading in Mark, I was surprised to see how many different ways that Jesus ministered.  You see Jesus actively loving people in word and deed.  He confronts evil as it is manifested in people’s attitudes and in the demon world.  He engages those who are sick and heals them.  Jesus teaches with authority that captures people’s attention.   To say the least, He is involved in heavy duty ministry that can suck the life out of you.  In the midst of His ministry, you see Jesus retreat for solitude and prayer.  That time in prayer is the secret of powerful and effective ministry.  If our Lord needed that time, we definitely need to make time for prayer.   If we want powerful and effective ministry, it will begin on our knees.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

For Such a Time as This

I just finished studying the book of Esther in February.  Here are a few lessons I learned as I studied.

  • The name of God is not mentioned in the book of Esther.  However, you see God working throughout the book.  Just because God remains anonymous doesn’t mean He is not working.  Keep your eyes open because that coincidence may be God remaining anonymous.  
  • Mordecai’s conviction of not bowing to Haman got him in trouble.  Doing the right things is not easy, and it is not always rewarded.  In the end, Mordecai saw justice.  We must do the right thing even though it is not always rewarded here on earth.
  • The fate of the Jewish people rested on Esther.  It must have been rewarding for Mordecai to see his cousin that he raised rise to the occasion and bring deliverance for their people.  Are we laying a foundation in our children that will stand?
  • Esther took a stand and did the right thing even though it could have led to her death.  What she did is still remembered today in the Jewish celebration of Purim.  When you stand with God, you do something that will last.