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The Essence of Ministry 

Welcome to March.

This post was originally scheduled to go out in January but well, it was overtaken by events.

In  January,   I resumed Sunday teaching after a six month hiatus.  My team was overjoyed.

I enjoyed myself. I had missed my class and most importantly I had missed the learning moments from those class interactions.

True to form, as I sat in service one of the sundays,  a very common verse of scripture hit me in an entirely new way.

Read with me: ‘So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the prophets and teachers to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach the unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ ‘- Ephesians 4:11-13

I read this passage and my eyes popped. 

Listen, Child of God,  your ministry is not about your title, your eloquent speaking, your depth of understanding and the level of your anointing.  

Your ministry gift has one essence,  one goal- and it is not to prove that you are anointed or designed to create an heirachy for the church.

You gift is given to you so that in deploying it, you can prepare others to serve, thereby promoting the oneness of the church and all round maturity.

If you are in ministry and you are still the only one with the answers to all the spiritual questions, Sir, What are you doing?

If you are in ministry and you’re spending more time defending the church heirachy than you are teaching and helping disciples grow, Ma, what are you up to?

If you’re in ministry and your ‘anointing’ tears people down more than it builds them up, hmm, I can’t help you.

The essence of ministry is to build people up to maturity in the faith- everything else is secondary.

Check your ministry. Is it confirming to the essence of ministry or has the focus shifted to the mere running of the organisation we now call the church?

May we not miss the essence of ministry in the midst of all the activity.

I am re-examining my ministry priorities as we commence a new year. 

Who’s With Me?

Tobiloba 

God’s Masterpiece

The ‘increase your faith to receive healing’ brigade came at me a few weeks ago and I’ve sat on this post since then.

Because they are church leaders, I kept quiet.

But it saddened me.

You see, the issue they have is that I have Cerebral Palsy.

It’s a developmental disability I have had since birth that affects mostly my movement, gait, posture and depth perception.
I have had this my whole life and I have thrived and served despite this my whole life.

Now I’m wondering….

How many parents, kids, young people with disabilities have we saddled with the guilt of their ‘being sick’ being their fault because they lack faith?

How many mothers are depressed because all of their ‘faith’ isn’t working and their pastors and churches insist it’s their fault?

How many have we driven from the faith with this misguided theology?

Child of God, Listen, God does not heal every condition or disease. God does not take away every thorn. He will use everything in your life for His glory whether or not He chooses to heal.

You are God’s masterpiece created for good works that he has prepared before time that you would do- Ephesians 2:10

Do not let anyone, no matter what their church given title is, tell you otherwise.

Repeat after me: I am God’s masterpiece.

Who’s With Me?
Tobiloba

How Is Your Foundation?

In the last few weeks, I have heard references to a very common part of the bible. I even quote that part a lot and use it in conversation. Last night, It hit me in an entirely new way and I thought to share.

Read with me: ‘

13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed[d] in heaven.” -Matthew 16:13-19 (NKJV)

You know this portion of scripture right?

Yesterday, as I ruminated over it again in my mind, I wondered, Why would Jesus ask his  disciples the questions he asked? I mean these guys were disciples. This was not a gathering of the crowd, it was the gathering of the core group. The ‘we have given up everything to follow Jesus’ group, Why would Jesus ask them those questions?

Isn’t it interesting though that even though they all had answers to the question of public opinion about who Christ was, only Peter could answer the question of personal belief?

Scripture tells us why. God revealed the truth of Jesus’ Identity to Peter. It was not based on his flesh and blood experiences of walking with God.

Consequently,on that revelation, the church of God was established and continues to be established today,

Listen, YOU are the church of God. The minute you gave your life to Christ and He came to dwell in you by the Holy Spirit, you became the church.

What personal belief are you as the church built on? Is it a God given revelation of Christ or the flesh and blood understanding of men?

Are you more versed in public opinion than you are about the unchanging truths of God?

Let me reiterate, If all you know about God is what your pastor/man of God tells you, you do not know God . If you do not know God,  Your foundation as a Church of God is faulty. We all know what happens to buildings with false foundations-they collapse and usually take unsuspecting  casualties with them.

Check your spiritual foundations today.

What are the built on?

Ask God to reveal to you if and where there are weaknesses in your foundation and help you to fix it with the right tools from his word.

I’m  checking my spiritual foundations today.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

RELIGION OR RELATIONSHIP?

I stumbled upon a scripture last Sunday and it inspired this post.

Read with me:  These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.- Colossians 2:23

Have you ever filled a form that had a box or column asking for your religion? I know you have. If you go to church, you ticked Christian right? I‘ve done it too. Countless times

And if you grew up in church like me, you probably know a lot about religion.  We were bred, buttered and jammed in it (lol).

God help you if your parents were Church leaders and you were expected to be constantly exemplary.

You know all the do’s and don’ts, the traditions, the mannerisms, doctrines-the whole nine yards. I know I did.

 You are born again from age 5,you know all the right buzz words, you know the bible from cover to cover-I mean you read it through every year (lol), when you pray, hmmm, heaven moves and yet you know your life is anything but Christ like.  And for a while you feel guilty. After a while, the guilt fades into acceptance.

I realised over time however that the knowledge of the rules and even the threat of, and actual punishment did not stop me from doing the things that I knew were wrong. (Most of the time in secret though-we have to keep up appearances in church)

Any witnesses in the house?

If you’re a witness, keep reading. There’s hope. Your life can line up to Christ’s.  How? You may ask.

Throw out the rule book, doctrines, expectations and traditions, clichéd prayers and get to know the Christ you have received. Read his word as you would read a letter from your lover- because that’s who He is. He loves you to bits.

Read His Word as you would read a love letter-carefully, repeatedly and continuously. Spend time talking to him as you would talk to your best friend or a loved one. Your relationship will grow and blossom and you will find that you’re constantly being changed from the inside out till you are more and more like Him.

If your Christianity is still based on do’s and don’ts and traditions of the church or church doctrine only,I’m afraid you still have a long way to go.

Religion, with its rules and traditions and mannerisms won’t save you, only a working relationship with Christ will.

I’ve shaken off religion and I’m cultivating my relationship with Christ.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

Further Reading: Colossians 2:6-end

 

IN CHURCH OR IN CHRIST?

I was in one of my favourite places to meditate think and plan today and suddenly it hit me like a wave. I’ve been trying to ignore the urge to share but it won’t go away.

Read with me: ‘If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, Behold everything has become new’.-2 Corinthians 5:17

It is no longer news a person’s claim to be a Christian in today’s world is usually taken with a pinch of salt especially with the atrocities being committed daily by so called men/women of God –in the name of Christ no less.

 I have repeatedly pointed out that saying you are a Christian, speaking ‘Christainese’ and blowing Phd level tongues will not get you to heaven. Only the fruit of the Spirit will. Read this: https://tobilobaajayi.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/fruit-before-gifts/

But today the reason a lot of Christians don’t bear Christ- like fruit hit me squarely in the face. The Holy Spirit does that sometimes.

A lot of Christians are in church but they are not in Christ! They have all the right words, mannerisms and even manifest the gifts of the spirit. These things are so easy to pick up and act out that they themselves may not know that they are acting a script.

I know firsthand because I used to be that person. I was in Church for a long time before I was in Christ.

You can even be a pastor and not be in Christ.

When you are in Christ, it shows! You change from the inside out. Being in Church only changes you from the outside in. And that does not last. (see Scripture reference above!)

As much as being in church is important, being is Christ is the ultimate. That’s the only way to heaven.

If you are not sure where you fall, check your life. Can men see a visible change in your life? Are you becoming more Christ like every day?

Does the word transform you from the inside out or do you just cram it to show off in church and bible sword?

Its easy to swing from one end to the other.

If you think you’re sure, Please check. Examine yourself!

Are you in Christ or just in Church?

I’m checking where I stand. I’m making sure I’m still in Christ

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

CHURCH SERVICE(S)?

I got to church a little early today and I had time on my hands before the ‘service’ started. All of a sudden, It hit me that every time I go to church, I say I’m going for service.

We all say that, don’t we?

Wait a minute and let’s consider the meaning of the word ‘service’. In simple terms it connotes doing something for someone. Rendering a ‘service ‘implies that in doing what you are doing, the satisfaction of the recipient is always of utmost importance.

When I was working in customer service, my boss had a mantra that translated to ’the customer must always leave this place happy. If the customer is unhappy, your job is far from done’.

We all had a laugh about it, but we knew he was right. As long as we are providing a service, the customer has to leave satisfied.

Why is it then that when we say we are going to service, we go expecting God to serve us instead of serving him?

Even those of us who say we are ‘workers’, which attitude do we have when we go to church to ‘work’ for God?

Is our aim to please God or to make our pastor and your church look good to attract the praise of men?

The aim of service is to please the one that is being served, not the one that is doing the serving.

Church services should have the sole aim of pleasing God and not to excite us.

The next time I’m in a church service, I need to focus on pleasing God and God only.

That is why it is called a ‘service’.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

 

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