NOTE: “Your ministry” is not defined as full time vocational ministry, nor is it defined as ministry exclusively in the church. “Your ministry” is defined as anything that you do to the glory of God and for the advancement of the Gospel. Therefore, everyone should answer all the questions above.
I have attached the required reading for the assignment. Please follow all instructions that are given. Thank you!
Encouragement #1God is Sovereign
He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. (Col 1:17)
God never called you to control the world. He never has and He never will! To ask you to do so would be to call on you to perform a task that is reserved only for God Himself. In the same way, He also never intended for you to balance everything in your life and in the lives of your friends all by yourself. There is only one person who is able to manage all of these things—God alone. Our shoulders are not broad enough, nor strong enough to balance the weight of the world—and God knows that. But be encouraged, His shoulders are more than able to carry all of it!
Take a Load Off
I wonder if today you are carrying a weight that is unnecessarily burdening you. As a minister, you are never called by God to bear any burden, perform any task, lead any group of believers, manipulate any situation to produce a certain outcome, or make any decision that God Himself has not purposed and equipped you to do. And once you remove these unnecessary burdens off of your shoulders, the faster you will grow in wisdom.
It Is Okay to Say “No”
Don’t worry, you are not “shrugging off” your responsibilities if you say “no” to some of the requests made of you. In fact, just the opposite is true! By learning to say “no,” you are showing a level of spiritual wisdom. When you extract unnecessary burdens from your life and discipline yourself to focus on only what God expects of you, you will become more efficient in your time-management. You will also experience a greater sense of accomplishment. Most importantly, those around you will not feel the spill-over of your emotional frustration like they did when you were striving to perform the impossible.
Make a List
Make a list today of everything that is weighing heavy upon you—be specific. The more detailed the list, the better. After your list is complete, scratch out every single item that is out of your control, the ones that only God can take care of. Mark them out completely—so completely that you cannot even read what you had written! Then read the items that remain on your list. My prediction is that the remaining items will be things that are just between you and God.
Be Encouraged Today…
Live to the fullest within the parameters God has set up for you. Live within His expectations. Focus on what He has called you to do, and do not burden yourself with things that He has reserved for only Himself. [Ben Gutierrez (2015). (p. 17). Be Encouraged! Inspiration for the Pastoral Journey, Revised Ed..Academx Publishing. Retrieved from https://app.wordsearchbible.lifeway.com]
[Sosthenes] accused Paul of “persuading people to worship God in ways that are contrary to our law.” (Acts 18:13)
This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Sosthenes. (1 Cor 1:1) [Ben Gutierrez (2015). (p. 21). Be Encouraged! Inspiration for the Pastoral Journey, Revised Ed..Academx Publishing. Retrieved from https://app.wordsearchbible.lifeway.com]
Have you ever felt a deep conviction about ministering to a person or group of people only to experience slander and persecution from the same ones to whom you are ministering? It doesn’t take too long to begin questioning if you had experienced a God-given conviction, or if you followed an unwise, emotional impulse. It seems the more you strive, the more persecution you receive, and you begin to wonder if you are really making a difference.
Hang In There
Whenever I experience persecution for following what I believe the Lord would have me to do, I recall that some of the greatest ministers felt the same way. Paul had a divine conviction to preach God’s truth to the people in Corinth. And as soon as he did, the persecution came in like a flood. And the people to whom he was preaching attempted to have him locked up and the key thrown away. But God protected Paul by having his legal case thrown out, so Paul was allowed to continue preaching the gospel. What seemed like an end to his ministry in Corinth became a catalyst to further spread the gospel!
Change Lasts For Eternity
From that moment, one particular person began to listen to Paul’s message much more intently than ever before. His name was Sosthenes. There was something about seeing Paul go through persecution that made him want to learn more about Paul’s conviction. He listened, he learned, he ultimately repented, and he himself believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. Sosthenes, who once thrust Paul into court to silence his message, had now become a believer in Christ. Sosthenes joined in Paul’s cause to spread the gospel to the world!
Be Encouraged Today…
You are making a difference! The rewards of your labor may not be visible today, but the Lord is always working His perfect plan. The Lord has promised to reward faithfulness. And you can be assured that faithful servants are always a part of His perfect plan. They can drag you to court and dream up all kinds of accusations against you, but the Lord will always receive the glory because He is continually working in and through you to make a difference… for now and for all eternity. [Ben Gutierrez (2015). (p. 22). Be Encouraged! Inspiration for the Pastoral Journey, Revised Ed..Academx Publishing. Retrieved from https://app.wordsearchbible.lifeway.com]