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Ministry Qualities Part 1

I’m continuing to look at Second Corinthians.  In my last post, I ended with Paul beginning to talk about the qualities of a true ministry for Christ.  Now we’ll see these in greater detail.

Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger;
2 Corinthians 6:4-5

Great Endurance – This is from a Greek word that means to live or continue under. Sometimes that’s one of the hardest things to do.

God’s calling will lead you to a certain place or group of people.  Things don’t always work out the way we want.  We’d much rather leave and do something different.  This attitude says, “I’m not leaving here until God sends me someplace else.”

The kingdom of God doesn’t work like corporate America.  We don’t search for the best pay packages and move on when something better opens up.  We follow God’s call wherever it leads.

Troubles – This word actually means pressure.  This always comes with the calling of God.  We feel the pressure to complete what God desires us to do.

Of course, we also feel the pressure of the normal conditions of life.  We must fulfill the call to provide for our home and family.  We need to take care of our social requirements as well.  You can never get away from the pressures of life.

Hardships and destresses – I’m dealing with these two together because they’re very close in meaning.  Hardship means constraints while distress means narrowness of room.

They both talk about the fact that there’s very little “wiggle room” in the call of God.  As followers of Christ, we need to watch how we live before people.  They will always judge the Lord based upon what we do and say.

We have to be careful to let Christ be seen in us.  We can’t live like everybody else.  We want others to be drawn to the Lord and not turned away by our actions.

Beatings and imprisonments – I’m glad that I live in the United States.  But for many believers around the world, this is a real possibility.  We should always remember to pray for our brothers and sisters who are under persecution and remain true to Christ.

Riots – This Greek word literally means instability and disorder.  That’s a good description of what’s happening across our nation right now.

As Christians, we’re always called to be the voice of hope in extreme situations.  We must always be prepared to share the love of Christ no matter what’s happening around us.

Hard work – This should go without saying.  But Paul lets us know the truth about the ministry.  It definitely involves hard work.

That’s because we have to help a lot of hurting people.  One of the things that you learn quickly is that hurting people don’t mind hurting those who are trying to help them.

Of course, that’s when we need to pray for great endurance.  It’s hard to continue to walk this road continually, showing the love and joy of Christ.

But in the end, it’s all worth it for the blessing of seeing transformed lives.  I’ll continue with this in my next post.

Question: How have you experienced these qualities in your life and ministry?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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Good Soldiers

2 Timothy 2:3-4 – Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs – he wants to please his commanding officer.
(NIV)

Hardship – no one likes the sound of that word.  The fact is, living involves hardship.  It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live.  Even God, Himself did not promise us a life of ease if we would follow Him.

More than that, soldiers are trained to endure hardships that most people never have to face.  I, personally, am so thankful to our armed forces for being in those front lines so that I can enjoy the freedom that most of us just take for granted.  They live a life of hardship so that others can live securely.

Whether we want to hear it or not, we are in the front lines of a spiritual battle for the lives of those living all around us.  In the same way that an American soldier must train for hardships, we need to be spiritually strong.  We need to be built up in our faith and in the knowledge of God.

Don’t be like so many who wait for a spiritual attack to run to the Lord for help.  Be ready at all times.  Be strong and secure with your feet firmly planted in the Word of God.  Be filled with His Spirit.  Be armed and awake as a good soldier of Christ.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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