"Paul an apostle-sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead-and all the brothers with me."
Have you ever considered why and how people are called into the ministry? Do you ever feel God call you to do something specific; something for Him with His stamp of approval on it? I have, and I imagine most of you have also. It doesn't have to be a "ministry" with or at a church. Maybe it's as simple as helping out a neighbor who needs someone to take care of their child if they are sick. To visit an elderly friend with a meal or just to send a card to someone who needs to be thought of. We each are called by God to do big and small jobs for Him. It doesn't have to be one with a salary to make it important. And we don't have to feel intimidated by the life of Paul. A "Damascus road experience" is not required to do God's work.
Matthew 10:42 says "And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."
There are a lot of philanthropic people and organizations in the world. Last week we were watching television and some heavyweight business moguls were sitting around the table discussing their organizations. Yes, they were doing it from the goodness of their hearts; there was nothing pretentious or condescending in their giving or attitudes, but my first thought was..."are they believers?" We can give and give until we have nothing left but if it's not done in the name of Jesus, it won't receive heavenly recognition. Now I know we don't do things to receive "recognition or reward", but I want to do whatever I do, in the Name of Jesus. That way I at least know it's turned over to Him and He can use it to further the gospel, and bless others in ways that otherwise would or could not happen.
The word "apostle" means "sent one". And in that sense we are all apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. God has a plan for each one of us to bear witness for Him in a variety of ways. Giving God credit for the things we have received through faith is one way. Living our everyday lives we have opportunity to acknowledge God. Since I've been blogging I've been amazed to find so many Christian women out here that are willing to say the "J" word. JESUS. Not being afraid to admit you are a Christian. We can say that we believe in God, there's nothing "offensive" to the non-believer in that. But when you say Christian, or pray in Jesus' Name, we are all the sudden taking it a step further and out there a little farther on the "plank" so to speak. I've had to overcome being skittish in that area. Say it like it is, and mean it. That doesn't mean beating someone over the head with the Bible, just not being afraid to speak about my faith in Jesus Christ.
And referring to "not being sent from men nor by man", I think we all know the difference. When my husband and I were younger, with a preschooler, we were asked by the educational director at our church to take over the preschool Sunday School leadership. I had taught children before and really enjoyed relating to them, but we were at a time in our lives that we needed to be taught and discipled ourselves. I needed to be in the worship service and have a few minutes away from the 4 year old crowd, not multiplied by 20. She literally hounded us until we gave in. I never felt "called" to do it. I found no "anointing" there and felt out of sync. Each week, even though I enjoyed the children, it was "work" if you know what I mean. I felt no fruit or passion for it. We moved out of town not too long after, and I have to tell you a huge weight was lifted off of me.
I say that, to say this. If God calls you, you will know it. It doesn't always mean it will be easy, but you will know deep down that it is something that you know is right because it just feels right. And fruit will come...and blessing.
I know God is asking me to be willing and ready to be "sent". This Bible Study is part of that. God's been showing me lately that there are "appointed times" for ministry. Certain tasks are laid before us for certain times. Being in the right place at the right time to fulfill a certain purpose. If you've ever read the book of Esther, it is all about this subject.
Ask God this week how He can use you; how He can "send you out", to "preach and teach" the Gospel. I bet you'll be surprised at what He asks you to do. I'd love to hear what God has to say to each of you "apostles" out there. Jesus had the "5-fold Ministry"; apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher. (Ephesians 4:12). He gives us that ministry also, maybe not like Him exactly, but an anointing to go do the things He call us to do.
Thanks for coming by, this first time in Galatians.
love, in Jesus,