How to Be a Good Minister of Christ….

Do you ever wish that you could minister to others the way your pastor does? Or your neighbor? Or your best friend?

2 Corinthians 3:6 tells us that we are ALL able ministers. Here is a quick little guide to help you become the light that leads others.

First, and most important, Jesus tells us is LOVE. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34

You can’t pick and choose who you love, who you give grace to….you must love the neighbor who brought you the casserole when you got into a car accident as much as the drunk driver who hit you.

1 Timothy gives us even more direction as ministers of Christ. Let’s break down Chapter 4, verses 1-6:

1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

It is sad to me to have personally seen two men of God who were instrumental in my early walk with Christ to turn their backs and God and profess Buddhism or atheism now. I don’t know what happened in their lives, but I can only pray that they see the error of their ways and come back to Christ.

What infuriates me, though, is seeing “evangelists” preach the gospel and then tell viewers they can have the same blessings if they are obedient to God and send money right away. I’m not talking about 9.99 for a book or video. I get publishing costs. I’m talking about the ones who tell you not to worry about going in debt by sending $100 or $1000 because God will wipe your credit card debt away because you were faithful. SCAM ALERT! Salvation is free. God’s blessings are free!

Minister to those freely. Give freely. Don’t be swayed by those who don’t speak the truth and don’t speak anything but truth when you talk.

Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

“Do as I say and not as I do.” Yeah, right. What kid ever obeyed that? It is the same with us as ministers. We can’t act one way in church and another outside of church and expect anyone to see Christ in us.

I did business with a man for five years. He asked how the church was, asked us to put people on our prayer list, talked about God every time we placed an order. When the quarantine came and we were unable to order anything from him, his language changed considerably. The sarcasm and profanity-laden conversation completely changed my view of him. I’d always felt like I was talking to a fellow Christian. One conversation and his torch was snuffed. Now, the truth is, I don’t know if this guy was just really struggling as so many of us did during the shutdown or if the quarantine conditions caused his true colors to come out. But it didn’t matter. We found a new distributor because of it. The same will happen with you. You cannot minister to others and pop off with a bad attitude one day and expect people not to notice.

Do you have to be perfect? No. But you do have to remember there are consequences when you do not guard your words and actions around others.

3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

Let’s be frank here. We are bigger than ever. The additives, the preservatives, the supersized meals…there are more fat people in America than ever. I struggle with my weight too and it’s frustrating. It’s obvious that a plant-based diet is good for the body. There’s no doubt that an Old Testament diet is good for you as well. But this is NOT a point of salvation. God gave us meat to eat. It’s not wrong to eat it; it’s not wrong to abstain from it. It’s only wrong when you make it biblical issue. Basically, you can dine with The Beverly Hillbillies’ Granny as long as you receive your roadkill with thanksgiving in your heart.

(To address the forbidding to marry part: Timothy is referring to priests who said it is better to remain alone and devoted to God than to marry. His response is that it is not biblical to forbid marriage in the priesthood.)

If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

There you have it! In a nutshell, to be a good minister of Jesus Christ, you should speak the truth, let your light shine before men (even when darkness is rumbling in your mind), and don’t get caught up in religious rules that don’t affect salvation.

Oops I Did It Again…. (Lord, forgive me)

When I first joined my husband in full-time ministry, I was certain I was heeding a call. And with that certainty came a faith that made no obstacles seem insurmountable.

Of course, that kind of faith is a little easier when there are no actual obstacles.

After the first couple of months, doubts set in. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I need to go back to teaching. (Fill in the blank there, you always want to go back to the familiar.)

I called a good friend in ministry and questioned my next steps. Do I go back to teaching? Do I keep waiting? Our savings is almost wiped out. I was the widow woman with enough left for just one meal.

Do you believe that you are doing what God called you to do? she asked. Absolutely, I replied. I’d never been more certain of anything in my life. But I also knew He could perform miracles and I guess I expected a money tree to sprout up next to the crepe myrtle.

Her reply changed my soul. I can’t tell you what to do but I can tell you two things: Where God leads, He feeds. And where He guides, He provides.

I tucked those promises away deep in my heart and watched amazed as He did just that. We would balance the checkbook with $3 left and a $500 check would arrive unexpectedly. We would eat the last of the sandwich meat and someone would bring a truckload of groceries. They were lean times but there was a lesson. He wanted me to learn to LEAN on Him.

Eventually, He provided in a way that allowed for us to bless others. But every now and then, I start seeing things with carnal eyes instead of remembering my eyes of faith. Like in the midst of a pandemic when everyone’s income, including our own, dropped. Churches aren’t receiving stimulus checks…they aren’t filing for loans. They are just having to trust God. I sometimes forget that part when I’m looking at the bottom line.

The problem there is, JESUS is the bottom line! He knew our needs. And once again, just as we needed it, He provided.

WHY do I ever doubt?

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

It’s 2020. Does anyone really care about Jesus anymore?

The Lighthouse by the Crabb Family is one of my favorite songs. I’d listened to my husband sing it for twenty years but last week it took on a whole new meaning.

         Everybody all around us….they say tear that old lighthouse down

         The ships don’t come this way anymore. There’s no use in it hanging ‘round…

My heart began to weep inside.

That’s where we are in this country. The nation formed UNDER GOD. They say they Bible is archaic; Jesus was a mere man, if not a myth. No one believes like that anymore and if you do, you’re wrong.

Christians are a hate group. Christians are ignorant. Christians are intolerant. The claims against Christianity abound.

Many Christians back up. Humans have an inherent need to be accepted. They aren’t tearing the Lighthouse down, but they are standing by silently as it is dismantled.

Do you not remember?

       But my mind goes back to that stormy night…where just in time I saw the Light

Does the praise of men mean more to you than that day of salvation?

This is my featured song for July in my Media picks. If you haven’t heard it before, listen to it. Jesus was YOUR Lighthouse. Jesus is THE Lighthouse. And yet, our world thinks the flashlight it created works better.

I’ve shamelessly plugged one of my new books as well. Surfing, Dancing Seeds of Glory is a metaphor for life. Seeds are all born different and lead different lives but in the end they all have the same opportunity: to surf down the river of life and dance on streets on gold! The book was designed to open communication about salvation and the promise of Heaven. It is a children’s book that was designed to also use with elderly and mentally-compromised patients who need to hear the good news of Jesus.

I also am featuring a study by one of my favorite Christian authors, Elizabeth George. This is a study of Esther and I’m particularly interested in Esther because of where we are right now in this country.

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I know what Esther’s role was. Now, do I know mine? Actually, I believe I do, and I strive to meet God’s expectations for my life every day. What about you? He has raised you up for such a time as this. Are you doing what YOU are supposed to be doing?

For the movie, I realized I never featured the very first advance screening for pastors I attended. Do you Believe? came out in 2015, after the nation hungered for God’s Not Dead. I found it to be complex and heartwarming, and it set a high standard for screenings to come. If you haven’t seen it, download it today.

I hope you enjoy July’s featured media! If you decide to order a Surfing, Dancing Seeds book, let me know and I’ll send you a free bookmark that goes with the book. It contains a poem called “Take Up That Cross” on one side and salvation verses on the other. Images and ordering available on the author page.