Saturday, February 21, 2015

Necessary Actions for Effective Ministry

The Holy Bible  (The Message – 1 Timothy 2:8-10): Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray—not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God. And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.

Thoughts:  In giving direction to Timothy for ministry among the churches, Paul knew that the driving force behind a successful work of the Lord would be: prayer; commitment by the church (Christian brothers and sisters); their respective attitudes, and their roles being controlled by the God they intended to serve. Friends, these same characteristics are necessary for the successful work of the Lord in our day also! To achieve the desired dedication, commitment personal effectiveness of the people, Paul had a few guidelines for Timothy to teach them, and since I already stated that this is much like our efforts today to spread the gospel, I believe this applies to us also. Here's what Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, taught us:
MEN – Pray, pray, pray! As I studied this deeper, there is indication that Paul wanted men to pray everywhere. That tells me that we are to pray even in public places, not just in our closets as alluded to in earlier scripture. Also, just as Solomon did in 1 Kings 8:22 and Psalm 141:2, Paul felt it was important that men lift up holy hands before a holy God. Not only is this a sign of surrendering self to God, but doing this in all holiness is also reemphasizing Psalm 24:3-4. Prayer should be the first thing a Christian man should do in every circumstance. In fact, Paul indicated that this should be done rather than showing our anger against those who abuse us or harm us in any way. Think about it Brothers, when we 'PRAY', we are showing respect to God, humbling ourselves to His authority and His power to fulfill His way in our circumstances, and to grow us into being more like Him. Going off and doing our own thing defies submission to God and shows disrespect to the authority of God.
WOMEN – Depending on the Bible version you read this verse in, women may be offended by what Paul was teaching here. But ladies/friends, please allow me to remind you that the Word of God is not intended to be a 'feel good' book of instructions for everything you may like. In fact, why have a book of instruction if you want it to always make you feel good about what you are doing, or want to do? Based on supporting study material, I believe Paul is instructing our beautiful ladies to not spend so much time on the physical appearance, but instead on the inward person. For the outward appearance will attract undesirables, but the inward loving, caring, beauty and example of a God-fearing woman will serve to display the love and concern of our loving Father who wants so badly that all may come to know Him personally. Your humbleness to your Christian husbands will be a display of the respect Jesus showed for His Father in depending solely on Him for knowledge, timing and direction. Further, women have a built in mechanism that tends to nurture their children, much like Jesus wants to nurture all those that surrender their lives to Him and His authority.
Friends, if we are to see the work of God flourish, we must take our respective roles very seriously. God used this opportunity to help Paul see how to grow the churches in His day, and His Word still speaks just as clearly and loudly to us in growing and nurturing His church today. Are you on board?

Prayer:  Thank You for Your precious Word dear Lord. Thank You for considering us and how we might accept You, know You intimately, and showing us the way that we might love and care for others as You would. Please speak to myself and our Christian men that we might learn to pray more and learn to be more submissive in our prayers, so that Your perfect will might be accomplished in our world. Without You in our lives, we have absolutely nothing to offer this world that might serve to improve their standard of life. However, because You hold the key to eternal life and heaven, Your rewards are simply 'out of this world'. May the unsaved recognize this before it is eternally too late. May we, as Christians lean on this as our encouragement for self, and as our determination to share the love of Jesus with all that we know and come into contact with. May our precious ladies have an example to follow in us as their earthly leaders, caretakers and lovers. May they see Jesus exampled in us, and may they in turn, seek to live disciplined and controlled lives led by Your sweet Holy Spirit. All to You I surrender Lord. More of You and Less of me, is my song of dedication to You today oh Lord. Thank You for taking time to listen, comfort, cheer and encourage this child today! Please be a special blessing to all who will read this devotional. May they be drawn to You. For I praise You and request my petitions in the wonderful name of Jesus, my Lord, AMEN!


FOOTNOTE:  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day's devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

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