During this ‘time out,’ we are developing a magazine called ACTS 29 that we will publish in Africa and Europe for free and make available for free online here in the USA.
The theme of the first issue will be LIGHTBEARERS MINISTRIES – CELEBRATING TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF THE POWER OF GOD!
If you have been blessed by our ministry – even twenty years ago – either by me or RM, or by our team members, or in our schools of ministry, or online intern training, immersion schools or Anglican pastors conferences, or through ministry we have done here in the USA or our brother and sister countries all over the world, and you would like to share your testimony, please write it down, as much as you care to share – send pictures as well, and email it to Yahna at admin@lightbearers-ministries.
Of course, we will keep your name and contact info confidential. Love you!
SERVANTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. Rom 6:18 NKJV
Man’s great need to be relevant is as essential to life as the need to be loved. I believe that a sense of irrelevance which contributes to a broken heart has done more to cause premature death than any disease, war or famine. This is why the Lord in His infinite wisdom and love allows us to serve Him. The fact that we have a job, a mission, a purpose, given to us individually by the Lord God Almighty, and that we are a necessary part of something far greater than ourselves, the body of Christ inspires in us a true sense of relevance that makes life worth living.
The first great command in what are called the Church Epistles is found in Romans chapter six.
…but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. Rom 6:13 NKJV
I turned eighteen years old in July of 1973, which was the same month that the US government ended the draft of young men into the armed forces of our country. Had I been drafted, I would have received an order by mail to ‘present myself’ for induction in to the U.S. Army. To not appear for the induction, to not ‘present myself,’ when legally ordered to do so would have been a criminal offense.
With the new birth, the Lord has drafted us, both men and women, into the Army of God. To not present ourselves to Him for service would be a criminal offense to our brother and sister warriors, and a great disservice to the Lord, and ourselves.
Within the context of ‘present yourselves to God,’ 1 Corinthians Twelve has great instruction for the warriors. It works like this…
1 Cor. 12:4-6 – individual callings to every member by the triune God.
1 Cor. 12:7-11 – all the tools GIVEN TO EVERY MEMBER to enable them to successfully fulfil their calling.
1 Cor. 12:12-26 – a dual analogy, showing that every tool is needed by every believer, and every believer is needed by the body of Christ. Relevance…indeed!
Let’s hit some of the highlights…
There are diversities (Grk. DIARESIS: differences through God’s choice or option) of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences (Grk. DIARESIS) of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities (Grk. DIARESIS) of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 1 Cor 12:4-6 NKJV
Spirit, Lord, God the Father – the entire triune Godhead is intimately involved with you personally, and your assignment in the Body. How is that for personal importance, for personal relevance? Jesus said that he who rejects you, rejects Me (making you and I equal with Himself), and he who rejects Him rejects the Father (Luke 10:16). Oh, if we could only see how important we are to Him!
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matt 22:37-40 NKJV
Your calling is promotable. My first service to the Body was as an usher for our church services on the fourth floor of the YMCA in downtown Oakland. We would watch for folks out the windows, then run down the stairs, walk them back up the stairs, past the ‘characters,’ and into the service. At the end of the service…everything in reverse! Today my service has a little more responsibility. The key is to apply your love for God in love to the Body – in other words, full throttle service, in wisdom and love.
Gifts is CHARISMATA, a gift of God’s grace. Thinking of grace, of the twelve tribes of Israel, only one tribe, the Levites, got to directly serve God. Think of all the tribes, families and clans of men on earth. To appreciate that, let’s take just one country – Kenya – for example. In Kenya, there are more than forty-five distinct tribes. How many were on the face of the earth during Old Testament times? Out of all mankind, only one tribe, of one nation, got the privilege of doing what every born again one gets the privilege of doing – directly serving God. That for us is grace!
Every calling is a gift by grace to you from the Spirit of God, even ushering. Think about that…
Now, the thing that you must see is that the gifts of the Spirit, all nine of them, are given to you to empower you to fulfill your ministry. I desperately want you to understand that you need all nine gifts of the Spirit to enable you to fulfill most effectively what God has given you to do. Even when I was ushering, we ministered healing, prophesied and imparted godly wisdom into those we were escorting. If you serve God’s people, please realize that each one of them needs to be trained effectively in all nine gifts as well, because they all have ministries. We can help!
There are two gifts – DIVERSE KINDS OF TONGUES and the gift of FAITH – that are the key gifts around which all the others revolve.
FAITH is the link between prophecy and revelation, and healings and miracles. In most cases, prophecy requires the gift of faith to bring the prophecy to pass as a miracle. Dutch Sheets explained it so succinctly years ago when he said, “A prophecy is God saying, ‘This is possible!’ not ‘This is automatic.’” The gift of faith turns the ‘possible’ – as set forth in prophecy or the revelation gifts – into reality.
One aspect of DIVERSE KINDS OF TONGUES is your private supernatural prayer language, the one you pray in all day long. That aspect builds up your spirit and brings all the wonderful benefits that Bill Hamon talked about in his great book, SEVENTY REASONS FOR SPEAKING IN TONGUES.
The other great aspect is when the Lord uses an even more anointed and specialized version of your divine prayer language for some great purpose – to decree His will or accomplish His work. I know of one young lady who was given to preach in and understand Spanish fluently having never learned the language. Another time, a young woman spoke in tongues for the first time, and it was in a language my assistant understood. He gave me the exact translation of what the young woman said which now hangs on the wall in my office.
And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 1 Cor 12:21 NKJV
Finally, you have to understand that verses twelve through twenty-six are a double analogy, comparing how one member relates to all the members of the Body, and one gift relates to all the gifts of the Spirit. You cannot say that you don’t need speaking in tongues. How foolish that would be! Nor can you say that about any believer, regardless of their age or even of their character. Everyone is needed. Everyone has something wonderful and fulfilling to do.
The Lord called you to serve Him because He really loves you!
True relevance, true importance, true self-worth is found in fulfilling the plan the Creator God called you to from before the foundation of the world. Someone once asked me about when a man of God should retire. I said, “When a man of God retires, they bury him three days later.” Maybe you got sidelined because of ‘something that happened.’ Now is the time to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back in the game. You’ve got work to do, dear one. You are a servant of righteousness!
Remember dear ones, we must be about our Father’s business…