February 12, 2020

To: My Fellow Laborer in Christ,

I greet you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  It is a privilege and an honor to send you this letter.   I am doing great in the Lord.   I pray that you are doing great in your spirit, soul and body.  1 Thessalonians 5:23 I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  By the way, if you would like me to stop sending you these ministry letters, let me know.  I never desire my spiritual letters to be considered junk mail to those I send them to.  I love to encourage and challenge ministers that desire to obey God.  I realize that if I can encourage and strengthen you, you will help others.  We are all in this God work together.  Do you agree?

As I began to meditate on what I would write to you on, knowing who you are in ministry came to my mind.  It is very important to know our place in the body of Christ.  Ecclesiastes 8:9 All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt. 1 Timothy 3:6 A bishop (overseer, elder, pastor) should not be a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.  If a person acquires an office that they are not mature enough for, they may hurt themselves and the people they are endeavoring to help.  What is a stumbling block?  It is any stone that is out of place.  Some ministers are out of place.  Listen to this thought.  In the traditional religious community, everyone who receives the call to preach should eventually pastor a church.  As you know, everyone that is called to ministry is not called to pastor a local body of believers.  In the religious world that I grew up in, after one accepted the call to preach, people ask, when will you get a church?  People will ask the young minister, have you started pastoring a church yet?  There is what we call the five-fold ministry.  Ephesians 4:7-8, 11-12 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  And he gave some apostles and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  We know that God can use anyone He desires to, do His will.  God used a donkey to speak to a covetous prophet.  God used a rooster to crow at the right time to bring conviction on Peter.  God can speak through whomever He wants to, to accomplish His mission.  The main thing is, yielding to the grace God has given to us to.  We cannot accomplish His mission without His grace. 

Before I go on with this letter, we need to define grace.  First of all, grace has at least two definitions.  Grace is unmerited favor.  Grace is undeserved mercy.  However, grace is more than unmerited favor.  It is God’s strength.  It is divine enablement.  Ephesians 3:7-8 Where of I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.  Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.  1 Corinthians 15:9-10 Paul stated that he was called to be an apostle.  He said, by the grace of God I am what I am: and God’s grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.  Well, I am running out of space in this letter.  I must cover more on this topic next month.  Let me conclude this by asking a question.  HOW CAN WE DO THE WORK OF MINISTRY, BEING A PROPHET, EVANGELIST, TEACHER, PASTOR OR AN APOSTLE, WITHOUT GOD’S GRACE (STRENGTH, ENABLEMENT) IN AND UPON OUR LIVES????  GOD ONLY GIVES GRACE TO DO WHAT HE HAS CALLED US TO DO.