LFM – 15 May 2016
Moving to the next level as servants of God / true disciples of God
- We need to develop strong foundations in Christ– personal & ministry
- Mathew 7:24 NLT
- “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.
- The strength of our foundation (ability to listen & obey) determines the levels that we will be able to reach
- If we need the ministry to grow, we need to develop our foundations (personally & corporately) to be able to accommodate more people.
- Basically –
- …What have I built my foundation on?
- …What will God build on in me?
- We need to be good soil for God’s Word, thereby producing much fruit.
- Mathew 13:22-23 NLT
22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. 23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
- The Word of God that we are blessed with through reading our bibles and teaching and preaching’s in Church should be producing a harvest in our lives.
- People should be seeing a difference in us otherwise we are not truly hearing and understanding God’s word.
- The Word is Living & Powerful…
- Using the Word wrongly / inappropriately …
- We are to be fruitful and multiply as God frequently commands us
- Something is wrong if I find myself always on the same level year after year
- Still eating spiritual baby food and not able to handle spiritual meat
- The Word is living & powerful….Am I utilizing it wrongly…or have I not allowed it to influence my life?
- True discipleship that brings glory to God requires us to be producing much fruit
- Much fruit requires deep strong foundations in good soil
- This is found only in Christ the solid Rock & our submission to Him ( Listening & Obedience to his Word)
- John 15: 1-8 (NLT)
- “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
- 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
- It is all about Jesus – No one can come to the Father except through me – John 14
- John 12:32 (NKJV)
And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”
- We are just branches that get our nourishment from Jesus.
- It is the power of God that works through us
=> Therefore Christ needs to be the centre of our life and the ministry
=> We also need to be led by the Spirit of God
=> Listening & Obedience is Key –> Total surrender of our lives to the Lord Jesus
- John 14:25-26 (NKJV)
25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
- Without Jesus & His Holy Spirit, we cannot be fruitful & multiply
- Without Jesus, we wither and die,
- What does not produce fruit is cut off – churches disintegrating, pastors withering – becoming irrelevant in the Kingdom of God
- Those that bear fruit are continually purified and sanctified by the Word of God – John 15:3 pruned and purified by the message that I have given you .
- Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
- 12 For the word of Godis living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
- –> There is usually a painful process of pruning and purification –> Kugharammia
- Things of the flesh / world are cut out / separated from things of the spirit
=> Are we focused on Jesus, His Word & are we guided by His Holy Spirit?
=> How do we know if we have been called and approved to be servants of God?
An Approved worker
2 Timothy 2: 15, 19-21 NLT
15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.
19 But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,”[b] and “All who belong to theLord must turn away from evil.”[c]
20 In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. 21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.
When we think we hear the call of God for our life / ministry – A soldier for Christ
- We need to present ourselves to God for His approval
- Who chose who — When God chooses us we are inclined to do his will. When we chose God, we want him to do what we want. – Pauls road to Damascus
- An ambassador, though appointed by his country, still has to present himself to the president of the country of posting for approval.
- Requires separation / a wilderness experience in seeking God( Prayer, Fasting & Word)
- Understanding –> A clarification of the call [like an interview process]
- Preparation –> Purification, sanctification & testing [kugharamia/ training]
- Equipping –> Anointing that empowers us to be able to do [silaha /tools]
- Approval –>Sent out to do our mission (our part) in the overall vision
- In Luke 4, after Jesus wilderness experience in seeking God (ignoring the flesh, focusing on spiritual things ) he was tested through temptations by the devil.
- After seeking the Lord and understanding the call for His Life, He declares His mission (plans) in line with God’s vision (overall objective).
- Luke 4: 18-19 NLT
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free,
19 and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
A good worker
- Approved –> Is approved by the Master after the wilderness experience
- Acceptance –> Is not ashamed of carrying out his assigned duties, whatever it is
- Understanding –> Is able to correctly explain the Word of Truth
- Holiness –> Lives a Holy life
Our level of purity determines our level of use by the Master
- 2 Timothy 2:20-21
- Shows the importance of the wilderness experience
- The higher the level –> the greater the authority –> the greater the responsibility
What have we been called to do?
- Ephesians 4:11-12 (NLT)
11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
- An army unit has a mission(intelligence, logistics, artillery) to accomplish the overall military vision ( capture and conquer).
Because it is God’s power and anointing on us, people should be able to see the difference in us after our encounter with and our conversion by the Lord.
- Luke 4:22 NLT
22 Everyone spoke well of him and was amazed by the gracious words that came from his lips. “How can this be?” they asked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”
It is God’s power that works through us and in us. He can use anyone or anything to accomplish His vision
- 1 Corinthians 1: 26-29 NLT
26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy[g] when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world,[h] things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
Philippians 3:14 –> I press towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.