The Delightful Way


Importance of Ministry
May 28, 2006, 2:38 am
Filed under: Warrior

Importance of Ministry

  1. We were given a ministry:

2 Corinthians 5:17-20a: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.
It is our duty, then, since we were saved, to share God’s message, his appeal, the gospel with others. God’s goal of reconciling the world to himself becomes our goal: To “ooze” the gospel. We were entrusted with this task. What are we going to do with it? We must beware to not be like the worthless servant in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30).

  1. Because of the Final Judgment

Matthew 25:31-46 emphasizes the importance of charitable ministry: feeding the poor, clothing the destitute, visiting the sick, going to prisons. Not what we might think of as active, frontline, evangelistic ministry but nonetheless very important.

  1. To guard our hearts

This is a complex line of reasoning so hang on:
Proverbs 4:23 commands us to “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flows the springs of life.” This has the connotation of diligently guarding our hearts or working hard to watch out where our hearts are. Matthew 6:21 delineates that “…where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 12:33-37, especially verse 35, emphasizes “The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.”
Essentially, there is a twofold cause-effect relationship going on here: First, investing our treasure is placing our heart; second, placing our heart is determining the fruit of our lives. Logically, this means that the quality of our fruit is in large part determined by where we invest our treasure (anything of value; time, money, possessions, speech, etc.). For example, if we invest our treasure in the world—spending money on “toys”, spending time on worldly entertainment or fashions, etc.—then we will have worldly fruit and will not inherit the kingdom of God. Paul lists the fruits of the world as: “Sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and this like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21) On the other hand, if we invest our treasure eternally—giving money to the poor, spending time witnessing, etc.—we will develop Godly fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.)
The case of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-30 is an example of how to invest our treasure eternally. In verse 21, Christ commands this man to “…go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven…”
Obviously, the ministry of charity is an easily identifiable way to invest in eternity, and thus ensure that we our keeping our hearts with all vigilance.

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