1) Do you know your worth to the Kingdom?
He called them together
They were already with Jesus so this is a Holy huddle where Jesus is laying down the seriousness of what He is asking them to do as well as the game plan to do it. Last week we focused on how before we start any ministry we should pray about it and now we see the balance in that by Jesus calling them to do more than pray. Christians tend to go from one extreme to another and yet we are called to Pray and then act and if we would pray then act then we will know for sure that where we are headed is Gods will.
I asked the question if you know your worth because there are two lies people believe about being used in ministry. The lies are: I have nothing to offer God or I am God’s gift to saving this world
“God uses dumb people, so if you want to be used by God, then you are going to have to get a whole lot dumber” Dr. Erick Brookins
God does not need your talent He wants your obedience. Yes He gave you the talent you have but remember the Bible is all about God choosing people not because they are the best pick for the job but because they were humble enough for Him to use. He also uses people that are less qualified so that He can show His power through them. God does not need your plan, your purpose or your power because He already has all that. He wants a tool that is placed in His hands that He can use as He sees fit.
“It is encouraging to realize that Jesus did not call those twelve disciples who became apostles on the basis of their innate worthiness or personal capabilities or faithfulness, but solely on the basis of what He could make of them by His own power working through them. “ John MacArthur
Jesus chose these men after a long time of prayer (Luke 6:12) and our churches need to do the same thing. Churches do not need to choose people because of their status in the community, their bank account or even their talent but by the biblical guidelines established in the Bible along with prayer.
Do you believe the lie that God cannot use you?
Do you realize that God is calling you to go and tell others about Himself?
There is no other plan and God is calling us to be His mouth pieces to go and tell others about Him.
“He gave them the authority”
Our power for ministry does not come from us but from Him and if He called us, then He will empower us and give us (Delegate to us) the power to accomplish the task.
These men were nothing special and our churches would have never put them in a leadership role. James and John were known as sons of thunder who when Jesus was rejected wanted to ask God to call down fire and burn the city to the ground. Peter ran his was too loud and his brother Andrew was to quiet. They were fisherman, accountants and had various political parties and yet God brought them all together and used them all mightily.
Read vs 5-6
Jesus lays out for them the specifics of where He wants them to go and what He wants them to do.He did not just say go He told them specifics so they knew what area they were supposed to cover. It does not mean that Jesus does not care for the other regions but He knew that ministering first to the Jews with a belief in God would be a good place to start to prepare them for the other nations that did not believe in God.
Jesus knows that you cannot do it all but you have to do what He is calling you to do. God uses different people for different purposes and that is why each person is important to Him to reach out to those who do not know Him.
1 Corinthians 16:5-9 I will visit you after passing through Macedonia, for I intend to pass through Macedonia, 6 and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may help me on my journey, wherever I go. 7 For I do not want to see you now just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
Paul knew specifically what God was calling Him to do and He had to say no to other things to accomplish it. Not everyone is called to be a preacher or teacher or missionary but we are all called to fulfill our specific area of ministry. We are all surrounded by people that God has in our lives to show them about Jesus Christ.
“A ministry that is not focused on certain priority objectives is a ministry doomed to mediocrity… But He (God) never asks a person to do everything in sight. He is a loving and reasonable God, and when we find ourselves frustrated and overworked, we may be trying to do more than He has called us to do or are seeking to do it in our own power … The effective worker for Jesus Christ puts his primary energy and effort into the task the Lord has assigned him. He is concerned for all the Lord’s work, but he does not try to do it all himself. ” John MacArthur
What is your calling? Have you ever thought through your calling?
Read vs 7-8
2) Do you know the message to be preached?
The kingdom of God is at hand. A Kingdom means there is a King
Our Message must be clear that we are ministering to people not just for them to receive healing and help but for them to know the King. Some people have said that we should let our lives do the talking for us. Although our talk is important we also have to share the clear message that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven (John 14:6)
The things the Disciples were commanded to do where for the purpose of people gathering so they could share about Christ. Their good acts would not have spoken in and of themselves because people could have arrived at different conclusions on how they healed so many people. They had to share about the one who empowered them and wants healing for people spiritually more than their physical healing. Nothing is done just to be done, it is done with the sole purpose of sharing Jesus Christ with them. So if you serve you serve to share with them about Christ.
So our actions are important but they should ultimately lead to us sharing a clear message about Christ.
If someone were to ask you what you believe about God what would you say?
1 Peter 3:15-16 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
The John 3:16 Method is simple if you have memorized that verse. God loved- God Gave- If you Believe- you receive.
There are other tracts and other verses and I would encourage you to think through what you would share with someone if you had the opportunity to tell them about Christ.
3) Do you trust God to take care of your needs?
When it comes to doing ministry you cannot wait till you can see logically everything will work out. I am not saying that you do not make any preparations but at the same time you do not have to think through every scenario. What it does mean is that we are going to trust God to meet your needs to get there, meet our needs when we get there, and meet our needs till we return.
Many people do not go because they cannot factor in every possibility and if they can’t figure it all out then they don’t go where God has called them to go. This was a short term missionary trip and they were to go and find people that would accept them in and support them.They were to rely on others to meet their needs which is a very humbling experience for those of us who have to rely on others for support.
“The purpose is to remove all material encumbrances and incentives to focus entirely on Gods work.” (Exegetical Commentary)
The love of money will keep you from doing what God has called you to do. Trying to be self reliant will keep you from depending on God to provide others to support you in His work.
Read vs 12-15
4) Do you trust God to take care of the results?
Rejection is a powerful thing that keeps people from doing the work of the ministry. If you are more concerned with people liking you than doing God’s will then you will not do what He ask. This is not saying that you witness one time and then leave but if they reject the gospel after understanding it then you have to move on. It is a delicate balance whether or not you continue to meet with someone sharing about the things of Christ or if they are just wasting your time because they enjoy the debate. It is always better to error on the side of spending too much time with someone but at the same time you have to realize there are many more who need you to share with them as well.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
We have to have patience as we minister because God was toward us and so we need to be toward others. Not every ministry is going to have quick results which is frowned upon in our quick result society. Too many churches are looking to show results of the ministry instead of faithfully staying with people till the results come.
2 Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.