May 8, 2020 Love For His People in Charlotte, NC USA
“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24, NKJV
Paul the apostle, foremost a servant of the Lord, paid the price required to accomplish the will of the Lord in his life. I admire him. I honor him. I strive in my own walk with my Lord Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach, to also do as the Lord has given me to do.
Paul and all the early church saints (believers in the Lord Jesus) took their mission seriously. They did the work needed – both naturally and spiritually. They prayed daily. They knew the Scriptures (what we call the Torah, or “Old Testament” for Christians.) They lived the disciplined life that was required to carry out what they had been called to do. Faithfully, with courage, until the day they died, which was typically in martyrdom.
We are not all called to be apostles. That is a very rare calling and gift. We are not all called to be prophets, or teachers, or evangelists, or pastors. These are the five-fold ministry needed in our churches, congregations today.
But each of us have been given gifts of the Holy Spirit. We each have received a calling in the Lord Jesus to be “exercised” within His Body.
And we cannot do it alone. We need each other. It takes teams to do the will of God. There are no “lone rangers” in the Kingdom of God. At least not any who walk in His ways and His purposes.
At the beginning of the chapter 20 in Acts, prior to the above verse 24, it reads of Paul and a team he had assembled, in verses 1-6, “After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and when he had exhorted them and taken his leave of them, he left to go to Macedonia. When he had gone through those districts and had given them much exhortation, he came to Greece. And there he spent three months, and when a plot was formed against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia.
And he was accompanied by Sopater of Berea, the son of Pyrrhus, and by Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia. But these had gone on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas. We sailed from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came to them at Troas within five days; and there we stayed seven days.” NASU (Emphasis mine.)
I count 7 men in Paul’s team on his trip to Macedonia. On other trips he always had Timothy, after first starting his ministry under the careful leadership of Barnabas.
In my 33 years of ministry, having served with three international ministries for 24 of those years before starting Love For His People, the “team” who went out generally consisted of the founder and maybe on occasion his wife. For the most part, that was it. As costs generally, if not always, were the reason for that, I believe the time is coming when the concept and practice of having a more full, inclusive team of men, and women, will become the norm in our days.
As the Lord is fully restoring His Body, and bringing His people together, both Jew and Gentile in the One New Man as Paul spoke of in Ephesians 2:11-22, changes are coming. We all know they need to come. Not only will these teams consist of men and women, but also of Jews and Greeks, who together have come together as a team to perform His will.
“Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called ” Uncircumcision” by the so-called ” Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands — remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
“For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.
AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” NASU (Emphasis mine.)
Jesus (Yeshua), our prime example, had chosen 12 men to be His disciples, His team. He also took along with Him women who served in the roles they were given.
“Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means.” Luke 8:1-3, NASU
If Jesus and Paul did it that way, having a full team, and I would think the others in the first two centuries also did walk in following their example, as they took the Gospel, the Good News to first their land and then beyond, I look forward to the day when we will do it too.
May the Lord do among us the same as He did then. I for one believe He will.
Now think on this.
Ahava and shalom,
Steve Martin, Founder/President Love For His People, Inc.
SPECIAL NOTE: Our ministry’s new mobile app is available for iPhones and Androids is available. See it above? These are free app downloads! Look here: Love For His People free phone app
You are welcome to help support the work of this ministry, including the assistance we give to families in Israel: DONATE online now. You can also send checks to: Love For His People P.O. Box 414 Pineville, NC 28134
Please share Now Think On This with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. Others will be thankful you did. And I thank you too.
Now Think On This #506 – in the year of our Lord 05.08.2020 – “Team Work” – Friday, 12:30 pm in Charlotte, NC USA