And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. ~Matthew 10:1
The greatest business in the world is the propagation of the gospel and the starting of churches. When we think of business, we think of an enterprise that is established to provide needed goods and services to the marketplace for a profit. Everyone who starts a business does it to make a difference in the lives of the people they are serving and to stay in business. No one starts a business with the intention of failing. When Jesus commissioned the twelve apostles, He did so with the intention of impacting the world for eternity. Let us see the work of the ministry as Jesus has in mind.
We see the anointing.
The calling of the Lord on the initial twelve men involved much study and prayer. First, candidates for the ministry must be proven in character, be devotedly loyal, be unafraid to work hard for long hours, have a hunger for spiritual things, be obedient, and not resist being corrected. Jesus vetted these men for weeks in these areas. Second, Jesus labored in prayer for an entire evening before making the selection. Upon their selection, these men were set apart and anointed to do the Lord’s work.
We see the authority.
The first thing Jesus did after He made His selection was give them power. The supreme authority in ministry is the Lord’s power for serving Him. Without His power, we are nothing and we can do nothing. His power enables us in all facets of ministry. It gives us wisdom and discernment. It gives us insight on how to work with all kinds of people. It is the difference maker in seeing people saved and disciples made. It is how God grows and sustains His work. Just as a car cannot go anywhere without fuel, we can go nowhere in the ministry without His power.
We see the assignment.
Jesus assigned His men to the Jews. Their first priority was to reach the lost sheep of Israel. It was important that the hardened Jews knew that Jesus, their Messiah, was come. This does not mean that Jesus was not interested in the Gentiles. The time would come when they would be reached. The idea in this is that the Lord has a group of people that is the focus He gives us. We might say that that is our marketplace. In the ministry, we each have a group of people we are to be effective in reaching. We must give ourselves completely to this task.
We see the anticipation.
Jesus told them what to expect when they went out. He told them how they were to perform. He told them how they would be paid. He told them what kind of problems they would encounter. He did not paint a rosy picture and then let them find out the hardships by surprise. He gave them full disclosure of what to expect. The ministry has risks and rewards. We must be careful that we are not extreme either way. The risks should not make us adverse to exercising faith. The rewards should not prompt us to be so ambitious that we do ministry for what we can get out of it.
We see the accomplishment.
In the end, there are souls saved, disciples of Christ being developed, leaders being trained, church growth, and the starting of new works through the sending of preachers and missionaries. The work of the ministry is global in scope, eternal in its product, and essential in its viability. Pray for those who serve the Lord in ministry, and ask God to broaden your desire for doing more for Him.
Have a ministry-driven God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Psalm 119