We all know those who claim to be “christian” and may even be “somebody” in the Christian community, but are they really people we should look up to? How can we know if they are somebody that we should emulate? What are we to look for?
Does the size of their ministry determine whether or not they are upright and following God? No!! The larger the ministry the harder I would look to see what is really there. How do the members treat each other? How do the Christians treat the other Christians? Is Christian bashing allowed? How are new disciples treated? Do they make the time to deal with those new to Christ? Or are they pushed aside as if the job was done? Is so much effort going to getting along with unbelievers that the Christians are being harmed in the process? Are the leaders of the ministry capable of judging their own faults and are they capable of admitting when they have wronged others?
Sadly, over the last 26 years I have seen more who fail at the above and very few pass.
12 "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
13 "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.
14 "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Many will enter into the false gate. Again, how do we know the difference and what do we look for?
The bible says that you shall know those who are His by their fruits.
What fruit is the ministry showing? What fruit is being shown by the ones running the ministry?
What you shouldn’t find in the lives of those running the ministry and those who follow them? What should be there?
I think that this passage says it all:
13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."
15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.
19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
This does not mean that anyone is perfect. We shall all fail. The more we work towards doing the right thing and the more we follow the Spirit, the more we will have those who are going to lie about us and do what they can to bring us down.
The wide road is the easy road. Why are so many willing to follow the wide road? Why is it easy? Because there isn’t any opposition. The flesh is loving it and the devil is loving it, so why put stumbling blocks in the way?
The narrow road is the Hard road. Why is it so hard? And why are there so many stumbling blocks? Because the flesh hates it. The flesh hates the fact that we are following the Spirit. The devil hates that we are trying to do the right thing, of course he is going to put people and things in our way to make us stumble.
We need to remember to judge ourselves and to listen to what the HS says to us more so than anyone else, including our pastors. Who is the authority in our lives? A pastor or the Word of God? If your pastor or leader tells you to do something that is not supported in the Word, which one do you follow? The Word of course.
If we judge ourselves and we are open and honest with ourselves enough to see our own faults, then we will be able to change those faults. As long as we close a blind eye to the truth, the flesh will always win and will effect every part of our lives, including our ministries.
posted by Star @ 4:04 PM