Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Five Fold Ministry and the Saints role

Ephesians 4:11-13 says: And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,  for the Equipping (to furnish or provide with whatever is needed for use or for any undertaking) of the saints (patron) for the work (exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something) of ministry (To serve), for the edifying (to instruct or benefit, especially morally or spiritually; uplift) of the body of Christ  till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

We have somewhere lost sight that those in the five fold ministry are there to equip us (Church members) to do the work.  That the Saint's are there through service, to uplift other members of the body of Christ until we can work as a unified in faith, knowledge of Jesus, and are ALL following in the full measure of who Jesus was on this earth.  

We think it is those in the Five Fold Ministry's responsibility to spoon feed us, cater to our desires, and do all the work associated with furthering God's kingdom.  We have put a cross on our pastors that is not theirs to carry.  The  Five Fold Ministry's job is to EQUIP the church.  That is to provide the church with whatever is needed for use and undertaking for us to fulfill our role.

It is our role to serve, lift up other members in the body, and live in unity in faith, knowledge of Jesus, and to live as Jesus lived.

Take up your cross

The New Testament is filled with "take up your cross" Scriptures:
Matthew 10:38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 
Mark 8:34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 
Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

We often think of taking up our cross as dying to flesh, but Christ died to the his flesh in the garden when He said "not my will, but your will be done." Not that there was not some more 'dying to will' done as He  carried the cross to Calvary, but that was not the primary reason He took up the cross.

Christ took up the Cross for every sinner.  He carried it for our sake, not His.  He wasn't paying a price for himself, but "He became sin who knew no sin that we might become His righteousness"  We follow Him because of the price He paid for us.  We follow Him because He laid down His life for us.  We follow Him, because He was the only one that could bridge the gap between us and God.

Christ is not calling us to take up our Cross for our sake.  Yes, it is a further process of dying to self, because we have to deny ourselves.  The cross we carry is not for us.   It is for the sake of those who we come in contact with daily.  We are to take up the Cross and follow Christ in laying down our lives in service to others.  We are to be His hands and feet bridging the gap between the lost and God.

It is our cross, because there are people in our sphere of influence that will only be reached for the Kingdom if we lay down our lives in service.  There are people that will only be saved when we take up the cross and bridge that gap for them to see. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Sound of Breakthrough

Maybe I am sensitive to all things military because my son left last week for his National Guard AIT training.   Maybe because I have a special place in my heart for our armed services because of their willingness to serve.  Regardless, one thing I really heard from our Advancing the Kingdom conference this past weekend is about the importance of the unified voice of believers.  

Mrs. Rachel Hickson shared the power in a unified noise, sharing stories from the Israelite marching around the walls of Jericho in unison and how the walls came down.  She shared how military soldiers are told to break cadence when they reach a bridge because the resonance that is created has been known to destroy bridges. Resonance is a physics term which according to  is the state of a system in which an abnormally large 
vibration is produced in response to an external stimulus, occurring when the frequency of the stimulus is the same, or nearly the same,as the natural vibration frequency of the system.  
While I have read multiple opinions regarding if this is really scientific, in the Spirit realm, there is something to be said about the impact of unity.  Deut. 32:30 "How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight." When we have the unified body of Christ working in a unified purpose there is nothing that can stop the Church.

I can just picture the Church rising up in unity against the enemy.  That as we rise the ground that the enemy has is broken.  That his bridge to our communities is destroyed through the power of Christ in His unified church.

I can see that every weapon that he has formed against us, will not prosper (Isaiah 54:17).  We have allow Satan to use his weapons against the Church for far too long.  It is time that we stop playing defense and take an offensive stance against his weapons.

I can see that every step we take in reclaiming territory for the Kingdom would be His.  "Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours" Deut. 11:24.  If God would make that promise to two men who obeyed and believed, imagine what He would do for His Church that obeys and believes. 

I can see it is time that the Church be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. That we put on the whole armor of God, that the Church may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. That we stop fighting with each other, and with sinners and realize that (Eph. 6:10 - 18) we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places 

It is time that the Church in unity take up the whole armor of God, so that we may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  We must stop backing down, and stand. 

We can stand, having girded our waists with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.  We can take the shield of faith with which and quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, the word of God; and take back what we have so freely given to the enemy in our silence and complacency.

The church must once again, in unity start praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.  That is the unified cry that Heaven is waiting for, the glorified church of Christ to stand united in knowledge of whose they are and who they are.