“So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.” 2 Peter 1:12
These twelve things are likely things you already know, and for many of you, they may be firmly established in you. But we tend to remember things we need to forget and forget things we need to remember. So, drawing from his 38 years of ministry, Dale O’Shields offers a reminder of these truths.
1. MINISTRY IS A PRIVILEGE.
When you serve the Lord with gladness, it’s hard to harbor a sense of entitlement. Grumbling about your situation is hard to do when you realize that ministry is truly a privilege.
2. YOUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
Your spiritual growth is up to you. It is your own responsibility. Refuse to just to ministry and forget to invest in growing your own relationship with Jesus. No one can do your praying for you. No one can build your relationship with Jesus for you.
3. MAKE SURE TO KEEP PEOPLE AS THE PRIMARY FOCUS OF MINISTRY.
Don’t let your ministry become simply about projects and programs. If you love God, you absolutely will love people. When you talk about attendance and numbers of people responding to give their lives to Jesus, remember that those numbers are people. What’s more, each of those people carry forward a ripple effect because the people you have helped meet Jesus will in turn help others meet him.
4. RESPONSIBILITY AND PRESSURE ARE THE PRIMARY TOOLS GOD WILL USE TO MAKE YOU GROW.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you pray for God to make you grow, be prepared that He will allow pressure in your life that will refine you, and make you stronger.
5. THE PATHWAY TO PROMOTION IS FOUND IN TAKING WHAT YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN AND DOING SOMETHING WITH IT.
Promotion is a result, not an aim. If you’re faithful and fruitful with what you’ve been given, promotion will follow. Take what you’ve been given, and do something with it.
6. YOUR HARVEST IS ALWAYS DETERMINED BY THE SEEDS YOU SOW.
The seeds you plant today will produce your harvest tomorrow. How much seed you plant and what kind of see you plant – both matter immensely because they determine what you’ll harvest tomorrow. So many of our worries about tomorrow could be overcome by planting plenty of the right seed today.
7. YOUR MOST IMPORTANT RESOURCE IS TIME.
Your time is your life. The truth is, all people are given the same amount of time in a week: 168 hours. There’s nothing you can do to get more. Once time is spent is is gone – it is a non-renewable resource. Spend it wisely.
8. YOU ARE POWERLESS TO MAKE ANY SPIRITUAL IMPACT IN OTHERS; ONLY JESUS HAS THAT POWER.
In John 15:5, Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” Remember this: Jesus is the vine and you are not. Apart from Jesus, you cannot accomplish anything to transform lives. But when your work is fueled by Jesus and His love for people, lives will be transformed.
9. REMEMBER THE VALUE AND IMPORTANCE OF HONOR.
Robert Barriger wrote a book about the importance of honoring others. In Honour Found (http://www.honourfound.com), he says we should be sure to honor in five directions:
• Honor those in authority over you.
• Honor those who have gone before you. It is upon their shoulders you stand.
• Honor those around you.
• Honor those coming behind you.
• And most of all, in all you do, honor God.
10. ENJOY THE JOURNEY.
It’s difficult especially when you’re just starting something, but remember to enjoy the journey. Breathe in deeply along the way and take in the sights. Don’t be so focused on where you’re going that you miss the joy of all the experiences along the way.
11. MANAGE THINGS WELL.
What you manage well increases. And this is what we are all hoping to do – to increase the impact of changed lives in our communities and our world for the cause of Jesus Christ.
12. THE SECOND MILE IS IMPORTANT.
When you go the first mile, you’re simply fulfilling an obligation. But the second mile is where you begin to make an investment and you earn influence. Don’t underestimate the power of going the second mile.
September 15 2014