One word breaks chains. One word frees slaves. One word confounds demons. One word shatters walls. One word upsets systems. One word unseats cities. One word unsettles hearts. One word helps the hounded, heals the hopeless, yet hurts the hardened. One word makes the fierce flee, the unheard-of happen, and the unthinkable come to pass. One word.
We don’t need many words, lengthy words, or complicated words. Not witty, pithy, catchy words. We don’t need to talk long nor say much. One word, the right word, the Spirit-filled faith-founded God-grounded word is enough to turn everything upside down. With one word, the Son of God freed two demoniacs, opened closed road ways, rocked the economic system of a region, gathered an entire city, and upended a spiritual stronghold.
In short, it takes a word, but it may only take one.
What will you say today, son/daughter of God?
And Jesus said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went… Matthew 8:28-34
The local church, the Body of Christ, was given to enter into the world’s pain because, simply, that is what Christ does. He incarnates our suffering. God enters our pain and trouble and sin and doubt. The church will not be the church fully until it learns to not ignore and avoid the suffering world but learns to seek out pain and bear the burdens of the hurting.The local church is to offer divine presence in human pain!
Henri Nouwen said, “The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing… that is a friend who cares.”
We could just as easily say, “The local church that can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing…not healing, not curing,,,that is a church who cares.”
For more watch these from Henri Nouwen
The civil servants in your context influence the climate you and your church minister in. They help or hinder your ability to proclaim the gospel, serve the community, even build an addition on your facility. They directly effect what you do and how easily you do it. Civil servants are the sails that move your ship. Their openness to the wind and will of God controls how fast you are able go, how far you can get, how easily you work. No wonder God commanded Timothy to teach the local church to pray for government leaders.
Make prayer for leaders a regular part of your church’s ministry. Pray for them by name; the President and his Cabinet, federal and state representatives, county commissioners and municipal authorities. Pray for their wisdom and their families. Pray for their influencers and decisions. It pleases God and unfurls the sails that push your ship where you are sure to find better fishing.
Download this free resource to help guide you and your church in praying for our leaders: How To Pray For Our Leaders
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. – The Apostle Paul (I Tim 2:1-2)
Scattering is God’s method of kingdom growth. The farmer must scatter the seed to reap a crop. Left in the bag the seeds do nothing. The Christ-follower must scatter the gospel to reap a spiritual harvest. Scattering requires faith and risk. It is dangerous. To scatter you must let something go, release it into God’s hand, His plan for His purpose.
What are you holding onto? What have you kept tight in your fist unwilling to release it into God’s control? If it is something that you want to see grow then you will ultimately need to let it go.
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. – I Corinthians 3:6
Prayer is your single greatest contribution towards someone else. Your experience only informs your skewed perspective not theirs. Your leadership is contingent upon follower-ship and both can be blind. Financial resources can be wasted or unavailable. Friendship might not be reciprocated. If you really want to give someone your best then give them your prayers. Because remember, the other person doesn’t need you. They need God.
Prayer infuses your perspective and leadership, resources and relationships with divine initiative and power. Prayer crosses distance, time, language, and history. Prayer partners your finite-ness with the all-powerful, all-seeing, all-present, all-loving work of God. Your prayer opens up spiritual stongholds when you aren’t even strong enough to open the peanut butter jar you are holding. What do they need from you? They need you to pray. They need a church that prays.
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers… Ephesians 1:16
I just put a pot of chili on. The key to good chilli, or good anything, is not just having the right ingredients but having the right ingredients in the right proportions. Too much garlic or chili powder and not enough salt or thyme and the chili will not taste well. Ingredients can be present but not balanced. Don and Katie Fortune note this composition of spiritual gifts in Christians based on a ten year study;
12% are “perceivers”. They declare God’s Word.
17% are “servers”. They render practical service to others.
6% are “teachers”. They research and teach the Bible.
16% are “exhorters”. They encourage personal progress in others.
6% are “givers”. They share material assistance.
13% are “administrators”. They give leadership and direction.
30% are “compassion people”. They provide personal and emotional support.
This gift list is a bird’s eye look at the motivational gifts found in Romans 12:6-8. If you are a church leader, stirring the chili pot, know the gift mix of your church. If you are lacking in one area it might be time to search the cupboards, do a little praying, and activate other church members in their God-given area of ministry. When the balance is right the result is amazing.
For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, II Corinthians 2:15
The challenge is not to meet people’s needs but to fulfill your ministry. Chasing needs puts you at the will of others. Pursuing ministry makes you submissive to God. Meeting needs is the result of your availability. Ministry is the result of your spiritual gifts. Needs arise when someone calls. Ministry is birthed from your divine calling. Meeting needs often leads to exhaustion, but ministry ends in exhilaration. It isn’t that meeting needs is bad- fulfilling your ministry is best. Unfortunately, many will never experience what God has planned because someone asked them to do something else.
Are you just meeting needs? Have you found your calling?
The disciples found Jesus and said, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next town, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” – Mark 1:37-38