Now 2015 is upon us, and I for one am most thankful, for I believe that this year poses an incredible opportunity in the life of our beloved church.
On Sunday evening on the 21st of last month, I shared a devotional from Colossians 4:17:
And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”
And that’s all we know about Archippus, but by the providence of the Spirit, He chose to preserve this piece of communication to this follower of Christ. Why? This was not just to Archippus, but to all of us!
For the sake of our walk with Christ, our walk with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and for the sake of those around us who need Christ, we must (not should, must) fulfill our ministry. But how do we know what that ‘ministry’ is for us individually? Do we sit and wait for God to reveal it, then get busy? No! These are the next steps.
Obey what you know. The Scriptures are filled with commands God calls us to obey, and as believers we obey them out of love for the One who rescued us! This is our calling. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Our Christian walk is a walk of surrender, a life given totally over to our Savior. We are crucified with Christ, and we no longer live, but Christ lives in us (Galatians 2:20). So, obey what we know from God’s Word. Love God with all we have, and love our neighbor as ourselves (see Matthew 22:37-40).
Seek what He knows. Paul, under the inspiration of the Spirit, tells Archippus to “fulfill your ministry that you have received from the Lord.” This implies that Archippus didn’t know what exactly that ministry was for a time, but soon God revealed it. Dave Earley in his book, Pastoral Leadership Is… , noted that younger people who surrender to full-time ministry do so after a period of time, while older people surrender after a life-changing moment. Either way, God at times and places lets us know what our gifting is and where he’d have us go. How helpful it is to understand our spiritual gifting, whether it’s a speaking gift or a serving gift. He knows! And He’s not in the business of keeping it a secret!
Chase after what He shows. You can be a Paul that immediately chases after his calling (see Acts 9) or you can be a Jonah who runs. Our misery begins when we fail to chase after God’s direction for our lives. In fact, it’s not just a bad life-decision, it’s outright sin! Running from God’s call will not only make you miserable, but will make all those around you miserable, even if you or they do not realize why.
For did not Jesus say to the man who invested what he had for his master, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:23). In the joy of your master! Being faithful with what he have is where it starts, then God will entrust more to us. With that comes joy!
What’s that old hymn? “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey!” Take that next step in obedience to Him.
Speaking of Next Steps, we praise God for the work He did in Corey, who will be baptized on the first Sunday in January (January 4th). I can’t think of a better way to start off the New Year, can you?
In closing, I want to remind you about our Leaders Boot Camp on Saturday, January 31st from 9-noon. The theme will be “A Great Commission DNA.” This is for all pastors, deacons, teachers, team leaders and members: let’s get together and pursue what God has for us moving forward.
Have a blessed 2015! Remember, Jesus changes everything!