Summary: Jesus knew that God’s creation and purposes works best through a diversity of perspectives, cultures and approaches to ministry. One day the disciples came to Jesus complaining about men who were doing the ministry differently then they were accustomed
1. Jesus knew that God’s creation and purposes works best through a diversity of perspectives, cultures and approaches to ministry.
One day the disciples came to Jesus complaining about men who were doing the ministry differently then they were accustomed to. Jesus said, "Do not hinder them, for he who is not against us is for us."
Application: Ask the Lord to give you a greater appreciation for the way God can work through a diversity of people and ministry approaches.
2. Jesus knew that all people struggle to overcome ethnocentric tendencies. The Lord spoke to the woman at the well to teach everyone that the Lord has no bias, prejudice or partiality.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you confess any hidden assumptions of bias, prejudice or partiality.
3. Jesus knew that the disciples would need a wider appreciation of the diversity of God’s 18,800 people groups in order to fulfill His great commission. (Matt. 28:18-20)
Application: Ask the Lord to help you gain greater exposure, awareness and knowledge of the diversity in people groups and the ministries God is using to reach them with His kingdom, gospel and righteousness. Begin to read and pray through "Operation World", an excellent prayer source to help you pray for the needs of all 228 nations.
4. Jesus chose to work through disciples from a diversity of backgrounds and social-economic classes. The Lord’s body is made up of a wide and deep diversity of backgrounds, professions and experiences that enrich the church.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you learn how to cooperate with a wide diversity of perspectives, social-economic and backgrounds to increase the quality and quantity of ministry scope.
5. Jesus’ love is so broad, long, high, and deep that He encompasses everyone with a believing heart and mind.
Application: Resist the temptation to have a higher standard than the Lord when it comes to accepting people. (Rom. 15:7) Christ’s love is broader than the measure of any person’s mind or heart.
6. Jesus’ approach to ministry evidenced a great kindness, understanding and appreciation for a wide variety of methods in ministry. Our Lord gave every believer creative powers through the Holy Spirit to innovate a diversity of approaches in many different contexts.
Application;Ask the Lord to give you the wisdom to find just the right "key approach" to match the "lock" in every personal, emotional and cultural mindset.
7. Jesus kept an open mind to anyone from any background or profession as long as they would follow Him and believe. The Lord did not discriminate against prostitutes, tax collectors or thieves.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you to keep your mind open to how He can use you to reach and disciple people from any previous experience.
8. Jesus knew that Paul, the apostle, who previously demonstrated murderous narrow-mindedness and hatred, would prove to be a great example of God using the power of the Spirit to reach out across new cultural, ethnic and language barriers.
Application: Ask the Lord to give you the same burden, abilities and skills to reach across cultural boundaries to those of different backgrounds.
9. Jesus knew that most people would fear leaving the comfort and security of their own cultural context, but He assured them all power would be given them to complete their tasks. (Acts 1:8)
He said, "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth."
Application: Ask God for the faith to put into
action the power given to you.
10. Jesus places before all of us open doors to a wide variety of people and ministries, if we will only trust and obey. Jesus said, "See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut." (Rev. 3:8)
Ask, seek and knock and more doors will be open to you. (Matt. 7:7) You are only limited by your faith and obedience to do His will.
11. Jesus approved God’s methods of using a wide diversity in types of fruit bearing. Just as there are millions of species of plants and fruits so God creates a myriad of varieties of fruitful ministry styles. Do not assume that everyone must bear the kinds of fruit that you are gifted and called to produce.
Application: Ask the Lord for an appreciation of others’ ministries and fruit as they may be reaching people you could never touch. The Spirit of God’s creativity knows no limits.
12. Jesus wants everyone to bear much fruit and so prove to be His disciples. (John 15:16) Ask the Lord for a greater measure of faith, creativity, variety and tolerance in your ministry approaches.
Jesus said, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (Matt 7:12)
Application: Give freedom to others’ approaches and they will feel a greater urge to reciprocate with greater liberties to you.