Thursday, May 2, 2013

May 3, 2013

"Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” John 3:1-2
Of the many amazing aspects of Jesus' earthly ministry was the fact that ministry came to Him. As He lived with authenticity and as He made Himself available people found Him approachable and ministry opportunities flowed to Him.
I believe it is a model we can and should adopt. If we daily demonstrate authentic faith and if we make ourselves available to people in need and if we are approachable, ministry opportunities will come to us on a regular basis.
That being true, as I believe it is, we had better know how to handle it when people DO come seeking ministry.
Let me suggest the strategy I am about to recommend to my people this Sunday. I believe it is what Jesus did and what the Holy Spirit honors.
John Wesley said, "Nothing happens but by prayer."
I believe it and Jesus proved it. Prayer was always the first thing Jesus did. Prayer invites God into your day and into ministry opportunities that flow your way that day Prayer activates the power of the Holy Spirit to flow through you.
If Jesus felt the need to begin each with prayer, how much more must we?
Prayer alone is not enough. Prayer must be expressed in acts of caring and compassion. Though Jesus began by praying, that was not the extent of His ministry. He lovingly brought the power of God to bear against the needs that came to Him. He functioned as God's connecting point with people who came seeking divine help.
Care that isn't backed by prayer has a limited impact. Prayer that doesn't lead to caring actions has little effect.
The third component of effective ministry is sharing Biblical truth.
Sometimes sharing means telling a sinner how to repent and find the grace and forgiveness of God.
Sometimes sharing means reading an uplifting and encouraging portion of Scripture to one who is discouraged.
Sometimes sharing may involve telling a testimony of God's goodness or provision in your life.
This encounter Jesus had with Nicodemus is a great example of this three-fold approach to ministry. Jesus had prayed for God's guidance that day.
Nicodemus had seen the powerful effect of prayer in Jesus' life and ministry. And he had watched how Jesus cared for those in need. He saw people healed and delivered from evil spirits.
Because of the obvious power of His prayer and the passion of His caring, Nicodemus wanted to see Jesus.
There is a Nicodemus in your life that you can reach for Christ. Perhaps you are the only one who can reach him, or at least you are the best one to reach him. Why not learn from Jesus about how He reached Nicodemus?
Will you commit to His daily strategy of:
Will you begin today?