In 1 Peter 4:11 the apostle Peter wrote: "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." There are so many today that gage success in the ministry by numbers, activities or by worldly recognition. As Vance Havner once said, "The church is getting worldly and the world is getting churchy." All ministers of the Gospel and all who labor for the Lord with the right kind of spirit, desire success in their endeavors for God. How can one be assured of having a successful ministry?
I. The Message Must Be Plain. Paul on one occasion said, "I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27).
It must be plain in three senses.
A. First, plain in speech, so it can be understood by the hearers.
B. Secondly, plain in substance. In other words, it must have the right content–Jesus and His love. Also it must present a holy God that will judge the sins of the unrepentant.
C. It must be plain in strong rebuke (2 Tim.4:2). Those who preach the word are told to–"reprove, rebuke, and exhort." Notice the order–God's order is never out of order. God give us more "plain" preachers today!
II. The Motives Must Be Pure.One must sit down and face the reality of this question—"Why am I working for the Lord?" Though it takes money to live, it should not be the priority in spiritual service. See Eph.6:6. We are not to be men-pleasers, but to do the will of God from the heart. God's people should serve out of love to the Lord Jesus.
III. The Mission Must Be Perceived. God's people need to know why they are here in this world.
A. We are here for glorifying purposes. We are still on planet earth because God has some way we can yet glorify Him before others.
B. We are here for going purposes. Jesus gave us the "go" in Matt. 28:18 but thank God the "Lo" is there also. We can tell others about the Savior, because we have the "Lo, I am with you alway" (Matt.28:20).
IV. The Ministry Must Be Practiced. According to Phil.4:9, we have to practice what we know we ought to be doing, before God's presence and power will rest daily upon us. The Apostle says, "Do" then comes the "And." Witness, work--- do what you know you should do.
V. The Master Must Be Pursued. It is called "seeking the Lord." Heb.11:6 teaches us that the Lord is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. To truly seek God is to desire Him more than anything.
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