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Meeting Needs

Meeting Needs

We’re continuing through the book of Romans, looking at the walk of maturity.

Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Romans 12:13

The first half of this verse has an interesting construction. It actually reads; as to the needs of the saints, sharing.

Think about it. Needs – we all have them. When we talk about meeting peoples needs, our first thoughts usually go toward money. There are plenty of places in Scripture that talk about financial needs. But, this verse is talking about more than that.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Ephesians 4:29

We must be prepared to give more than just money. What about a word of grace from our lips? There are many people who could use that word of encouragement.

What about those who are in need of healing? There are also many who need fellowship, guidance, or one of many other kinds of help we could give.

So, what do we do when we see the needs of others in the body of Christ? The Greek word used in this verse for sharing is koinonia. It literally means to be in partnership.

I’ve found that, in this generation, we really don’t understand what partnership is all about. It’s the realization that we all have a part to play in each others lives. It’s a very powerful part of our Christian relationships.

I believe that it’s a perception problem. Sometimes we simply view church as a place where we meet together. Instead, we should understand that it’s an organism that we’re a part of. It’s about more than just our stuff. It’s sharing who we are.

The church of the Philippians is a great example of this.

Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only;

Philippians 4:15

Paul commended them for their partnership in the Gospel. They were a blessing to Paul and helped to reach those in other parts of the world. But, they also received a blessing.

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19

Most don’t realize that this is specifically a promise for partners. We are partners in the work that God is doing. It’s like the flow of blood in the human body. That’s how blessings flow through the body of Christ.

Then, along with this, we’re told to practice hospitality. The verse literally says to pursue the love of strangers. That means love those who are very different from you. This is not the only place we’re told to do this.

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:9-10

It’s a way of giving out God’s grace to others. Why are we having church, if we’re not practicing hospitality? Of course, this also comes with a blessing.

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

Hebrews 13:2

The fact is that we don’t always know everything that’s going on in the spirit. It won’t be until we’re in God’s presence when we find out all of the effects that our partnership and hospitality had on the world.

Question: How have you practiced these qualities recently?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2021 in Ministry, Relationships, Spiritual Walk

 

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What Does Your Ministry Need?

What are the priorities of ministry?  What can we learn from the way Jesus handled the day to day logistical challenges?

In my last post, we saw Jesus teaching the crowds in a very remote location.  Now it’s getting late and there are some needs that must be addressed.

By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late.  Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
Mark 6:35-36

The first thing that happens is that the disciples see and recognize the need.  That’s the easy part.  Ask anyone what’s wrong with the church and they’ll tell you what it needs.

Notice the response.  It wasn’t the disciples’ problem.  The people needed to fix it.  If they were hungry, then the crowd needed to go out and find something to eat.

That’s the attitude of many people today.  “If they would do what they were supposed to do, the church would be better.”

Notice how Jesus turns that whole attitude around.

But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”
Mark 6:37a

That’s the response of a good leader.  Turn the responsibility over to the ones who are sensitive to the need.

“Pastor, this church needs a Men’s Ministry.”

“I totally agree.  When do you plan on starting it?”

I don’t think the disciples were prepared for that type of answer from the Lord.  It caught them off guard.

They said to him, “That would take eight months of a man’s wages!  Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”
Mark 6:37b

Here’s where most ministries lose sight of the true vision.  The disciples immediately make it a resource problem.  Their first reaction was to throw money at it to make it go away.

But first – here’s an aside for those who think ministers of the Gospel should live in poverty.  The disciples DID NOT say, “We don’t have the money to feed them.”  They asked if Jesus wanted them to spend that much cash on the crowd.

In our economy, think about how much it would cost to buy 5000 fast food value meals.  Jesus had that much money on Him at the time.  But I digress.

According to Christ, it wasn’t a money problem, but a Word problem.  How did the Father want this need met?  Too often we ask for money before we seek the Holy Spirit to provide a miraculous solution.

Verses 38 through 44 of Mark chapter 6 tell us of the way Jesus heard from heaven and met the needs of over 5000 hungry people.  This is how we should be ministering to those around us.  We must spend time in the Spirit, and then walk out what we’ve heard from the Father.

Too many times I hear, “If we don’t get the donations, then we can’t do what God has called us to do.”  Personally, I serve a God who’s bigger than the donations.  He can make a way with or without the money.

We need to learn to be listening for His voice.  That way we keep in step with not only what the Lord is leading us to do, but how exactly He wants it accomplished.

Questions: Has God ever worked His plans through you without money?  How did He bring it about?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2018 in Faith, God's Provision, Ministry, Prayer

 

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