Changes through Ministry II

Welcome, dear friends!Mercy and peace of God, Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ be with you!Yesterday we began to discuss the meaning of ministry and what influence it has on your life. As we clarified, that ministry is a practical way to show God’s love to the people around me. We can serve people with everything the Lord has blessed us with, e.g. finances, time, prayers, experience of life, etc. However, it’s important to remember that all these things must be based on love. Giving is the main quality of such love. The Bible says “God is love”. 
« He who doesn’t love doesn’t know God, for God is love ». (1st John 4:8).
 If God is love it’s vitally important to know and understand how Love behaves. 
« For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life ». (John 3:16).
 This verse from Scripture says God gave His one and only Son for the salvation of the whole mankind not as an act of feat but because He loves people.«For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son …» – God proved His love to us through His giving. 
« But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ». (Romans 5:8).
 We were dead in our sins, and desperately needed freedom from the slavery of sin and the power of satan. Regardless of our sinful status God came to help us and serve us. He sent His one and only Son to die for our freedom’s sake. Giving (His life) is the exact prove of love. That’s why God calls us to follow Him as His children. Taking into consideration that God is love in what area should we as His children follow Him first? Surely love is the first thing! 
« Be therefore imitators of God, as beloved children. Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance ». (Ephesians 5:1-2).
 By living in love we offer ourselves as a sacrifice to God for the benefit of the other people around us. 
« By this we know love, because he laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and closes his heart of compassion against him, how does the love of God remain in him? My little children, let’s not love in word only, neither with the tongue only, but in deed and truth ». (1st John 3:16-18).
 Love always gives! We share our property or skills to meet the needs of people God sends on our way. It’s also possible to help other people, even sacrifice yourself, meet all people needs but have no love for them. This is what Paul’s letter to Corinthians tells us: 
« If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don’t have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don’t have love, I am nothing. If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing ». (1st Corinthians 13:1-3).
 If our deeds are driven by different motives instead of love, it’s not a ministry in Biblical sense. The bible says, there is no profit for a man whose deeds are done without love. Such ministries or sacrifices do not please our God. So ministry presumes we use every blessing God has given to us to meet the needs of people around us, by expressing the love the Holy Spirit has poured into our hearts. 
« and hope doesn’t disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us ». (Romans 5:5).
 Thus, true ministry starts with discovery of the gifts and assets I possess. After a person has determined what he has, he or she should look around in order to find the people with whom he can share his gifts and assets with. Living this way our life will be filled with joy and satisfaction because of the privilege we have to serve or help somebody else.Let God pour His love and mercy on you to serve other people!See you tomorrow.Rufus Ajiboye, pastor

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