But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
The word ‘ministry’ is the Greek word ‘diakonia’ (dee-ak-on-ee’-ah), and it simply means service. Ministry is service, and those called into the ministry are called to serve. There is no higher calling than ministry, for ministry is service—serving the purpose of God to man (believers and unbelievers).
CALLED TO SERVE,
NOT TO BE SERVED
Every instruction Paul the apostle gave to Timothy makes up the details of his (Timothy’s) ministry. Those who are called to the ministry are called to serve and not to be served. The goal here is to perform all the duties—obligations of ministry. The duties of ministry are clearly spelt out in Paul’s letters to Timothy, so, there’s no need carving out other ministerial duties in contrast to those scriptures are clear on.
If ministry is service, and to be called into the ministry is to be called into service, or to serve, then every minister of God is a servant of God. Irrespective of the title we bear as ministers of God, whether apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher, bishop—overseer, reverend… we are servants of our Lord Jesus Christ, and this should be our perspective in the rendering of our service.
All ministry gifts–the clergy, and the laity are called to serve. You can’t think too highly of yourself because of a title and still think yourself to be a servant of God. The titles we bear are not more important than the functions we carry out.
A ministry gift is in its function. An apostle is truly one if he does the work (function) of an apostle. Likewise every other ministry gifts. We will not be judged and rewarded for the titles we bear but the works (functions) we performed according to the Lord’s plan and purpose.
Beloved, on the Day of Judgment, the titles we bear will not amount to anything, but the work we did as pleasing to the Lord. Paul the apostle, who wrote extensively by revelation on the believer’s union and elevated position with Christ, saw and carried himself as a servant of the Lord throughout his life. He acknowledged that he was an apostle of the Lord, not neglecting the primary function of that office, which is to serve.
A TRUE SERVANT OF THE LORD
Let’s see some evidences…
Romans 1:1, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God…”
Philippians 1:1, “Paul and Timotheus, servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons…”
Titus 1:1, “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness…”
And there’s a place he called himself a prisoner of the Lord…
“Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy [our] brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer…” (Philemon 1).
GIVE UP YOURSELF TO SERVE
The word ‘servant’ is the Greek word ‘doulos’ (doo’-los), and it means a slave, a bondman. Metaphorically, it means one who gives himself up to the will of another. It simply means one who has given up all his rights and privileges to follow Christ. This is a great task. To follow Christ is a great honor and privilege, even as it is a call to a great responsibility. It is a call to sacrifice, to give up all for the work of ministry–the service of the Lord.
Today, some are giving up themselves only in word but not in deed. The reason why some have gone cold is because they have so magnified their ministerial titles above their ministerial functions. The meaning of service is missing in the word-bank of their minds. Such have turned away from their first love. They want to be served instead of serving. They want to receive instead of giving. They want to be blessed instead of blessing.
A SERVANT’S PRIMARY FUNCTION
Whosoever calls himself a minister of the Lord will do well to know that his primary function is to serve, to give and to bless; for ministry is service, and service is giving—something goes out of you. It is God’s job to replenish you by using men to meet your needs, and not you going about using gimmicks on men, manipulating them to give to you. God cannot and will not ignore the needs of His servants, but His servants must not make a merchandise of His word.
Paul’s letters to Timothy are instructive for that minister who is truly in service for God. Some act as if they’re above the instructions in the word of God with the way they carry themselves. There might be need for repentance for some, as they have erred from the faith, and departed from their first love because of the pressure of the time we live in. However, there is grace available for effective performance of our duties if we will only focus on what God has called us to do, and avoid distractions.
I pray that you be filled with divine wisdom, and stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
I triumph always!
I win always!
I rule! I reign!
Jesus is Lord!
APOSTLE RAPHAEL A. MACAULAY
Gospel Life Ministry.
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