Summary: An apostolic perspective will make decisions based upon God’s purposes, plans and praise. In other words, all of our decisions will be determined by what will bring greater praise, fulfillment of God’s purpose - HIs glory known and given throughout the wh
And God has appointed in the church first apostles... (I Cor. 13:28)
An apostle is one who is a sent forth messenger of truth. Paul identifies himself as Paul, an apostle (not sent from men, nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father. (Gal. 1:1)
We can thank God that He gives the apostolic office, perspective and power to every church for the accomplishing of His great commission purposes among all the people groups of the world. (Matt. 28:18-20) Only when we maintain our apostolic passion, perspective and performance are we able to enjoy the full power of God in our fellowship and lives. Too many churches have lost their God given apostolic perspective and are suffering as a result. The following are some of the characteristics of what compromises an apostolic perspective:
1. An apostolic perspective is not mediated through any man, but comes directly from Jesus Christ. (Gal. 1:1) People who gain their revelation, insights and wisdom from God feel compelled to share it with those who are yet to hear of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We can then truly say, "We are wholeheartedly serving the Lord and not men." (Col. 3:23,24) We do not have to get weary when we feel that few people appreciate what we are doing because we are no longer interested in pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts.
2. An apostolic perspective gives one passion for what burdens the heart of God. Human enthusiasm, statistics or field reports are not adequate to keep the heart stirred for world wide evangelism and church planting. Knowing Jesus Christ, His word and being intiimately in communion with the Holy Spirit are the only ways to gain a passion for winning the lost.
3. An apostolic perspective is enhanced by prayer. Paul wrote, "I have not ceased to pray for you that God would open the eyes of your heart so that you may be enlightened." (Eph. 1:15-18)
Illustration: A young man in Bible school offered to help David Wilkerson years ago when he was ministering on the streets of New York City. Wilkerson asked him how much time he spent in prayer. The young student estimated about 20 minutes a day. Wilkerson told him, "Go back, young man. Go back for a month and pray two hours a day, every day for 30 days. When you’ve done that, come back. Come back and I might consider turning you loose on the streets where there is murder, rape, violence and danger... If I sent you out now on 20 minutes a day, I’d be sending a soldier into battle without any weapons, and you would get killed."
4. An apostolic perspective means abandonment. We must release, relinquish and renounce our rights and completely give ourselves to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and take up our cross daily if we want to gain the apostolic perspective. (Luke 9:23) So many people want the fruits of Paul’s ministry without being willing to pay the price that Paul paid. Paul wrote, "But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ." (Phil. 3:7,8)
Illustration: James Dobson returned to speak at his high school in Texas where he had won the state tennis championship in 1958. Thinking he might glance at his trophy in the trophy case before he entered the auditorium, Dr. Dobson did not find what he was looking for until he went around to the back of the school and there he found his trophy, in a garbage pile. That day he told the students in his commencement address, "All the great trophies of life will soon be nothing but trash. Do not work for the things that perish, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven." Thank God that Dr. James Dobson has laid aside so many earth trophies so he can exhibit an apostolic perspective in helping to reach more families for Jesus Christ around the world.
5. Apostolic focus gives us the ability to prioritize our vision on to what is of primary importance to God. Too many people have activity without a focus on winning, training and multiplying the 8000 lost people groups on the earth. Do you realize that you will never become a mere maintenance fellowship or person if you focus on the harvest. Jesus said, "Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth workers into His harvest fields." (Matt 9:36-38) God wants every people group on the earth to experience true worship in Spirit and truth and that will happen best through people who are focused on fulfilling the great commission, after they worship and love the Lord with all their heart, soul, strength and mind. (Luke 10:27)