The Bible clearly teaches that God created you and me with a purpose. This purpose is to be involved in personal ministry. This was perfectly exemplified in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. In Matthew 22:36, the Pharisees asked Jesus which commandment was the greatest. They wanted to know the most important thing they should do. “Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:37-39).
Jesus not only said these words, but we know from reading the New Testament that Jesus lived these words. Even better, God has made it possible for you and me to live them, as well! This is the miracle of Christianity. God is able to take you and me, who so often separate ourselves from him and want nothing to do with his control in our lives and bring us into a wonderful relationship with him. That’s what Jesus is all about. His life was set as an example for our own ministry, and his death and resurrection is the bridge that brings us to God. When we first realized our need for Christ and came to him in repentance and accepted him as our Savior, we began our relationship with God. It is with this relationship that we find meaning, significance, and purpose; we begin our ministry. Jesus called it, “being born again.” This is when we accept the new life that God has for us and his invitation to join him in his work for this world.
The question is, how do we live out this ministry that Jesus talked about? How do we love God with all our heart, soul and mind and love our neighbor as ourselves? We do it through personal ministry.
PERSONAL MINISTRY IS TO LIVE WITH THE AWARENESS OF THE PRESENCE, LOVE AND POWER OF THE RISEN CHRIST, USING OUR PERSONHOOD, GIFTS AND SKILLS TO SERVE HIM IN EVERYTHING WE DO.
We live out our personal ministry by being aware of God’s presence in our lives, the love he has for us, and the power that he wants to use. This moves our heart, soul, and mind into action. We then love our neighbor by serving God with everything we have and in everything we do.
Awareness of God is the first stage in developing our personal ministry. We are living for God. Not just a god, but the living God. What a difference! We’re not living out some religious experience—we’ve entered into a relationship with the risen Christ. So often we treat Jesus like another historic figure. We meet on Sundays to remember his death, we sing his praises for what he has done and then go about our week as if his present risen-ness has no bearing on our lives. For a vibrant ministry, we must have a vital relationship with the risen Christ, one that influences every aspect of our lives. This realization results in a transformation that empowers our psyche and, in turn, the results of our ministry. He is alive. And the same power that rose Jesus from the dead is available for our ministry. Living every hour of every day in the conscious awareness of the love of Jesus gives hope and peace. The risen Jesus motivates, inspires, gives courage, and leads us in the way that we should go.
Using our personal gifts and skills for God is a deliberate choice to be cognizant of all that we are, live for all that he is, and be mindful of all that needs to be done. We ask ourselves, “What is my part? What is my role in this drama of life?” We find the answer when we come to the realization that God has given us a unique combination of personality, interests, spiritual gifts, and aptitudes that we can use for him. There are many factors that make us who we are. Each of these variables combines to produce the outcome of our unique selves.
We are God’s masterpiece or, as some translations put it, workmanship. When a pottery artisan sets out to make an object, a simple lump of clay is transformed into the object the artisan had envisioned. Our great and loving God thought about you and me individually and then intentionally created us for specific good works. We were not mass-produced; we’re God’s workmanship. We are the unique, one-of-a-kind ambassador that God created us to be in this world. As we respond to the life we’ve been given with our unique selves, as we become conscious of our ministry preferences and more proficient with the skills, abilities, and resources that God has given us, we live out the unique ministries set before us in our lives for God.
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