Sean Scott's Blog

www.preachingjesuschrist.com

Archive for March 2012

How Your Ministry Can Become an Oasis, by Paul West

leave a comment »

I found this post to be very edifying and challenging.  It points to the heart of why so many believers fail to progress in their life with God.  After reading this, ask yourself how well you’ve responded to the light the Lord has given you.  Are you living up to the light you’ve already attained?

You can read more about this subject on Paul West blog at:   www.understandingmortification.wordpress.com

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

When we categorically mortify temptation and yield not to the urgings of our flesh by the grace of the Spirit, we enter into a blessed realm of God’s peace, joy and protection. If our conscience remains undefiled, our hearts can draw confidence to enter into God’s presence without any hindrance (I John 3:21). As we continue to walk in the light of the Holy Spirit, we receive more light and revelation on scripture that pertains to our sanctification. We gain precious insight on the cleansing and restorative power of the blood of Jesus Christ; insight impossible to obtain but by divine experience through a continuous obedience to the light God has already given you. This is a law, then, of God: to him who has (light), more will be given (as he obeys).

The Lord has given us all a measure of light. The reason some believers grow in grace and go on unto perfection, where other believers remain spiritually paralyzed is due to how they respond to light. When God gives a man light, the revelation often involves some form of mortification; that is, certain areas of his life to which God is calling him to surrender. The very word “surrender” denotes death by relinquishment. An area of self must die to whatever inner earthly habit or fleshly pleasure God has put a finger on. Though God has decreed that such a thing must go, He puts the responsibility of mortification in our power and observes how we respond. Our response determines if we continue to go on unto perfection (Hebrews 6:1), or if we remain where we are in the school of God. If we say “amen” to God’s will and collaborate with His Spirit in putting the thing to death, new light is automatically given and advancements made.

The blessings that spring from saying “amen” to God’s decrees of death are truly monumental. Through the putting to death of that which God commands, life-giving power bursts forth from our spirits to bless other believers. We find the very same seed that fell to the earth suddenly springing up into life as a living tree, giving edification to all those who sit beneath the coolness of its shade.

The way God works blessed mortification is by first purifying our hearts and then by showing us our part in maintaining the purity. He guides us through His Word with blessed instruction on how to take every thought captive in order to keep strongholds from re-invading our hearts; He shows us the substance with which we ought to keep our minds “busy”: with things that are true and honest, just and pure, of good report, things that are lovely and virtuous and praiseworthy; He shows us that mortification is a daily affair and not a one-time-fix occurrence, and He gives us a deeper understanding and a divine revelation on the cleansing power of the blood of Christ.

As we walk in this constant state of mortification, and as we continuously abide in Christ by faith for the power to mortify, continuously under the blood, and continuously in a state of heart-confidence for prayer, rich blessings of grace and maturity immediately flow forth from our vessels to water other believers. Through the holy act mortification, our ministries become an oasis of life and deliverance to those in bondage and spiritual depression. Captives are set free, prayers are answered, Satan is vanquished, God is glorified.

http://understandingmortification.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/how-your-ministry-can-become-an-oasis/

Advertisements

Written by Sean Scott

March 6, 2012 at 4:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

What is your pay?

with 13 comments

For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.
(1Co 9:16-18 ESV)

By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.  (Eph 3:17 NLT)

I can’t tell you how grieved I get when I see believers charging other believers for them to hear the word of God; whether it comes through books, audio teachings, music, conferences, etc.  It’s crazy how Christian truth has become it’s own multi-million (probably billion) dollar market.  Just go to almost any church or ministry website and you’ll find out that you can buy their sermons on mp3, their latest worship cd, their newest book with the “freshest teaching”, or even buy apparel that promotes their ministry; shirts, mugs, hoodies, baseball caps, etc.  It’s all there for a price, and usually the price isn’t cheap!

It’s sad that more believers today don’t have the same attitude as the Apostle Paul.  Paul said, “What then is my reward (or pay)? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge”.  Though Paul certainly had the right to receive funds from other believers, money would never stand in Paul’s way when it came to giving the Gospel, and God’s word, to others.  Paul considered it a gift and a privilege to preach the Gospel.  He was entrusted with it, and it was his joy to preach and teach others the truth in Jesus Christ.  You’ll never find one instance of Paul requiring a fee before he would give the biblical truth that he was given by God.  Paul was not a merchandiser and did not see the Gospel as a business opportunity.  His desire and goal was to provide the Gospel to all free of charge.  Paul did not want anything to stand in the way of other that could hinder them from receiving the words of life.

How different was Paul’s attitude than that of many ministers and ministries today!  Today everything is for sale.  What is the common reason for this?  Usually people quote 1 Cor 914:

In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.
(1Co 9:14)

This statement is definitely true and all believers should heed it and obey it cheerfully.  It should be a joy for us to support those who labor in the gospel, whether they minister to us directly or whether they are sent out to labor in other places (such as missionaries).   In looking at this verse though, I really like the way the NLT renders it.   It says:

In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it.  (1 Cor 9:14 NLT)

Those who benefit spiritually from the teaching, preaching, and shepherding from the ministry of pastors, elders, evangalist, teachers, missionaries, etc should freely support them with material provision.  When we benefit from their ministry, we are benefiting from their sacrifice, time, care, and labor, so that we, and others, might grow in our Christian life.  It should be our joy to support them just as freely and willingly as we are when we pay a physician who provides us with necessary medical care.  But I believe there is a principal in this verse that many believes and ministries get backwards.  Notice the verse says that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those “who benefit from it”.  So, ministry comes first and the willful support comes second.  However, that is not what you see with many ministries.  What you see instead is “buy my CD’s, MP3’s, Books, online articles, etc so that you can be ministered to”!  Instead of receiving ministry and then supporting those who have sown into you spiritually, you are required to pay, in advance, to receive ministry. It’s totally backwards.  Can you imagine the Apostle Paul showing up at the church (the believers) in Ephesus or Galatia and saying, “I have received a revelation from God that will benefit your soul.  The revelation didn’t come from me, it came from God. You can have this very important Epistle for only $19.99.   Not only that, if you’d like to order more than one Epistle you’ll get a 10% discount”!   Sounds crazy doesn’t it? But how is that any different than what so many ministries and ministers are doing today with the selling of their sermons, teachings, etc?  They are requiring up front payment for something they should be freely giving away.

This whole issue though really points to what’s in people heart.  While a minister is entitled to receive support for their labor, charging for God’s word should never be a barrier or prerequiste for ministry to take place.  Our attitude should be like the Apostle Paul’s, to do everything we can to provide the Gospel, and other biblical truth, free of charge so it’s accessible to the most amount of people as possible.  If a ministry and ministers are motivated by love for God and love for people, they will do everything they can to freely give away what they have received from God.  However, if they love unrighteous mammon then you’ll probably find a price attached to everything they produced, making access to the “truth” costly and not something everyone can afford.

***Just for clarity

(I do realize that if someone wanted to publish something like a Christian book that there are certain cost involved.  I certainly wouldn’t make a rule that says it’s wrong for a person to cover some of those cost by charging a fee if someone wanted a hard copy ( ultimately that is between them and the Lord and God certainly knows the motives of the heart).   However, it seems like the right thing to do would be to make the resource as cheap as possible (covering cost), so more people can afford it, and not simply personally profit through book sales.  And the fact is, in the age and time we live in, with the internet, it’s never been easier to provide biblical writings, teachings, audios, books etc, in a free format so as to impact as many people as possible (there are ministries that do provide everything free online but that charge a reasonable fee for a hard copy – you can tell that money is not their motive).  I can guarantee you that when you stand before the judgment seat of Christ, you won’t have any regret for making God’s truth free and accessible to all who want to receive it).

Written by Sean Scott

March 2, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized