1Cor 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors (School master or tutors) in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
The great and importunate cry of today is for spiritual fathers in Christ. It is for those who will mentor and hear the hearts of others through the ears of unconditional love. It is for others who deliver and raise up Christian leaders by laying down their lives for them. Those will build the healthy churches of today. A true leader must be able to bear testimony to the Heavenly Father’s character.
John1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared (Revealed or disclosed Him) him.
Romans 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify ( Glorify) mine office:
To speak about “glorifying oneself” or even one’s ministry usually carries a negative connotation. Normally it implies pride and self-exaltation. Yet we should bring as much glory to God as is attainable within our ministries or callings. Glorifying can only deal with that portion of God’s work that is executed by the Holy Spirit.
John 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God accomplished by God
1Cor15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured (To labor with strenuous zeal, to the point of exhaustion) more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
“Spiritual burn out” is always inadmissible. It is the product of all labors for the Lord initiated by us, and not the Holy Spirit. Yet our lives should be consumed with the Lord and His work. We should daily feel that “good tired feeling” which comes from working hard and expending ourselves in God’s service in the power of the Holy Ghost.
1 Corinthians 4:13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth(As soap being rinsed off from dirty plates) of the world, and are the offscouring(scrapings of food thrown away) of all things unto this day.
Are we willing to live our Christian life in such a way that we daily die to our rights, our reputation, and our need for recognition? I struggle with wanting to be a “personality for the Lord.” We are slaves of Christ. No slave has any rights of his own. When Jesus said that He was meek, in truth He said, that He yielded all His rights to the Father will. Are we willing to lay down our lives for sinners and serve them instead of merely preaching to them? Jesus said that he who wants to be first must be last. In actuality He was addressing us about being last in rank, importance, place, and time. Only those who make themselves servants (slaves) of all shall be chief in the eyes of the Lord.
2Cor 5:13 For whether we be beside ourselves (out of our minds, or wits, or exhibit insanity) it is to God: or whether we be sober,(sound mind) it is for your cause.
In our burning obedience to our Lord, Jesus requires us to take steps of faith that portray us as incoherent and insane to the world, and even to the sleeping church at large. If we never appear to be crazy in the eyes of the world, it should give us cause for concern. Yet the reality is; we do have the sound and healthy mind of Christ. This should be the balance of a normal Christian life.
Matthew 19:27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
Luke 18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
Philippians 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after (I persecute after), if that I may apprehend ( seize and make it my own) that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Please personalize this for yourself; “I persecute, pursue, and overtake everything for which Christ has called me. I do this in hope of being able to seize, and grasp all that Christ has grasped and possessed me for.”
Romans 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality (the affectionate love of strangers). Does our hospitality go as far as entertaining and loving strangers?
1Cor 9:24 Know ye not that they which run (to run and spend my strength in attaining to something) in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.(to posses and make my own.
Jesus said that He glorified the Father by completing all that the Father had placed before Him to do.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery (the agony of athletic competition) is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
Our Christian lives should abide in the exhilarating agony of strenuous athletic discipline. If we are experiencing boredom as believers, we are missing out on part of Christ’s destiny for us. Every great work of God has been executed on bended knees.
1 Cor 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
Our faith must contain a clear perception of God’s vision for our lives.
“Without a vision the people perish.” We must not walk obscurely, as those who do not know the voice of God. We must not trash the air aimlessly with those things that Christ has not called us to, no matter how noble or praiseworthy they might be. Our time must not be wasted by the missed discernment of God’s will; too much is at stake! Our punch must be sure; we must strike straight and not spare.
27 But I keep under my body (To beat the body black and blue, or get a black eye), and bring it into subjection(make my body a slave to the Spirit of God) lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway .
The love of God and the love of the world are opposed to each other. Either you love one or love the other. What the world values, Christ abhors. What the worldly man esteems as of great value Christ says, “get the behind me Satan!”
2Cor 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: The love of Christ blocks us up on one side, forcing us to tread that narrow fenced path of unending fervor for His church , the brethren, and the lost.
2 Cor 12:15And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved. I will very gladly incur personal expense for your Christian well-being. I will pour my very soul out for your progress in the faith. I will exhaust myself by spending and using myself up for your spiritual maturing in Christ. Is this you?
2cor 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. The one sowing sparingly, sparingly will also reap and the one sowing so as to produce real blessings, real blessings will he also reap.
This verse does not talk simply about money. In everything we do, our attitude should be one of our sacrificing profoundly enough to really produce a blessing in someone else’s life. Mother Teresa said, “Love must give until it hurts.”
THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
2 Corinthians 3:8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? The office of the Holy Spirit dwells or breathes in the glory of God.
This verse and those adjoining it, advise us that God will bless our Christian dealings even if they are done outside the direct leading of the Holy Spirit. Yet, God will only bless them with a fleeting or passing glory. Moses covered his face because the glory upon it was so transitory and brief. He established for us a pattern of the “works of the law.” “The works of the law” are those noble Christian works executed through our efforts to please God. Unfortunately however, and quite frequently, the works of the law are not initiated by the Spirit of God. The things being done away are all works outside of the works of the Holy Spirit. No matter how noble and well intentioned they are, their effect and results shall not remain. Their glory is only fleeting at best. What is done through the Holy Spirit, however affects all eternity, because its glory abides or remains.