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March 1, 2020 1:00 am
Often, in church, we discuss the rewarding part of ministry. However, when it comes to discipleship, there will always be a cost. Unlike the worldly view that focuses on gaining as much as possible, the Christ-like way is asking how much of ourselves can we spend on others?
Series: The Least of These
From the Salvation Army you're listening to wonderful words of life.
Welcome back to wonderful words of life. Everybody I'm Bernie Dake and you are Jimmy Taylor were glad that you're here Jimmy By now. I think our listeners know you are aware, and it's important that the they do your if you been a friend to me. Your whole family have been wonderful to my wife and I as we've known you and we pray that God will continue to bless you and your ministry as Salvation Army officers welcome as we begin to close this series next week. The least of these. Rob and Heather spend one more week discussing the cost of ministry and if you missed it sound cast produced another podcast the storyteller series this Christmas where we read a chapter a day from the book of Luke and each chapter was followed by a group conversation, of which Rob and Heather were actually a part of. But another friend of ours, Caleb Lowden said something really beautiful and one of those episodes he was comparing the consumer mentality of gaining more getting as much out of life as possible for ourselves and comparing that with the heart of Christ and therefore a believer where we want to live in a way where we ask, how can I spend as much of myself for others. That was a beautiful statement and really speaks to the cost of discipleship. Jimmy, how much more can you spend of your own life, having given yourself to the salvation army officer ship in full-time ministry you see everyone in everyone's life as their own and I think we have just not look at is I'm giving some of my life and giving all of my life is more of my really giving myself how I surrendered all of me not just perception of that but have a really giving all of me to what God has for me ethic is a question if at all ask ourselves what else can I give God and work areas. My holding back because we were created for love or created for service were created for ministry. And if we are holding back then were ultimately cheating the Lord cheating those that we could be measured to even cheating ourselves so you earlier and that this series Heather said something that we alluded to that you know salvation is free. But discipleship will cost you everything. I think of my wife and I as people who volunteer at our local Salvation Army, but at the end of the day, you know, we can go home. We don't bear the burden of responsibility for the Salvation Army's entire ministry in the city of Atlanta, whereas you and your wife Ashley are serving in Hagerstown, Maryland, and you are the be-all and the end-all for the Army's work there with the people that suit come alongside and serve with you both staff and volunteers. Jimmy, I just want to say thank you for your surrender as you've alluded to, I don't think any of us can ever know what how God will use that surrender we've seen fruit of your ministry both here in Atlanta and in our visit to Hagerstown last year, so I am. I applaud you for your work with Ashley.
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So we spoke last week a little bit about what it feels like to have ministry failure to come get a plumber were trying to do everything right. Go through all the motions and it it done work. There's not that response that we expect in that moment and how sometimes that can even be about us in that moment. I love that I think in the kingdom of God at the table.
It's not just us and them. But where there together with Jesus and we were talking about Matthew seven check chapter 7 verse three and he says why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye. How can you say to your brother, let me take the speck out of your eye.
When all the time. There's a plank in your own eye, and it's as beautiful picture and again I don't think Jesus is angry and like yelling at people when he shares that I think he really is trying to help us and this idea were we have to do all the right things and have all the right results that can be overwhelming and you he just calls us to to look in the mirror and spend some time with him and I love that you know before we go out and try and do all this stuff for those that are hurting and those that are broken that he so gracious to sit down with me and make sure that I'm ready for that by dealing with the issues I have in my own life I recognize here in chapter 7 that judging others all throughout the series. I feel like we've been touching on what it looks like whether it's through the Pharisees, whether it's the disciples looking at the kind of 5000 when there is priest and the Levite looking at the man beaten up at the side of the road or even how the congregation listening to that good Samaritan parable what you felt about the snacks and right a lot of people casting judgment and sound.
When Jesus speaks about the plank he's talking about judging others in your right like we are on time, as believers in our prayer closet with the Lord in our devotional times he's working with us endearingly fast and I'm thankful for that. My experiences is that there are things that I discover about myself. Only when I am out amongst people doing what I believe to be the work of God is those judgments that sometimes I didn't even know I had or I didn't see as being native things come out and I had to be faced with the reality of what I'm really sober judgments of the kingdom we engage the kingdom and the least of these is not about showing up and seeing everyone else's brokenness in me getting to participate with Jesus and fixing that but is actually joining together in community and all, getting closer to Jesus together right because God opposes the proud, and using them in place of pride like I know enough to decide what is best and what is worse than on the vesting of the worst or this or that and Jesus himself did not model for us and that is why people got so not like we were talking about him and leave him hanging out at Levi's housing meal and the people that were full of pride that were very self focused that was religious leaders and Pharisees were like money if you really knew that guy was, you know you and me in his house, or if you know where that woman had been you would be letting her wash your feet you that woman that broke perfume over Jesus feet and wept in trident with your hit her hair like you if you knew you wouldn't judge them because they are bad people, right. Jesus does not model actually spends time with those people who are used to being pushed away, pushed aside and guides and he brings dignity to those relationships.
I remember this time were you know we were ministering to folks were struggling with addiction. You know, we build relationships and invite them into our community of worship. And sure enough there be this moment where they want to receive Jesus where they said I don't want to live this way anymore. This is not for me. You know we pray with them and in that moment begin to teach them about Jesus and invite the kingdom through invitation in their lives. It's a powerful moment. Remember, as a as a young believer trying to disciple people, then feeling the need to then tell them all the things they had to stop doing enough so as you now you know Jesus. Now your following Jesus, by the way I'm to provide you with a list here.
I can back up with Scripture. Here's one to 10 of all the things you to stop doing immediately and you know so you have to stop doing this.
Stop doing that. You definitely can't do that.
Here's all the things you must do right which really there's a lot legalism in, and I remember all these guys it would come through the small group that we were running we just time after time just keep going back to all those things and I had to look at myself in that. And you know Jesus really challenged me to build relationships in a different way maybe outside of that judgment a little bit and the challenges the Holy Spirit really put my heart was just to journey with people and just to teach them how to read Scripture United States and how to pray and get to know the father and in place.
You know what happened is instead of me giving them a list of all the things they couldn't do anymore, and then another list of all the things they must do just started talking about Jesus and telling stories from my own life I knew Jesus reading Scripture together, praying together, and you know what happened immediately that person often wouldn't stop all those things that we knew were good for them and didn't please God, but by me.
Not providing the list for them and allowing God to work in the Holy Spirit to be present in their life. Sure enough, a couple weeks and I say, you know, I've been praying light like is in overruling Harper had been praying on my own and conscious really convict me. I think I need to stop this thing in my life and I remember you he is a young man had been living on his own for a long time. He was only in his late teens, and allotted drug issues, but even more than just unhealthy mental wellness and really unhealthy lifestyle behaviors and staffing. I remember we felt like my first night and I felt like all of this guy just needs people around him right which is true but I felt like it was then my job to kind of the spiritual police make sure that he was like he knew all the expectations I had on him like you are saying that the list but also that he knew that listening link.
If you are to follow Jesus.
It's a serious thing you know, discipleship is serious.
I probably quoted that whole like salvation is free but essential civil everything. So come on now you gotta be self-sacrificing here and live radically in mine and I knew that I did love I love it and I knew that he loved us back right because when he was together and God was in our midst.
Something painful is happening in my immaturity and in my pride. I created this terrible scenario which weighs Adam was living to please me, rather than to please God said and what would have been is not saying I'm God. What I'm saying is I was like okay we love healing why your so great that you really gotta quit smoking. You gotta stop sleeping around with Tracy wash close like stop cussing like call your mom and all these thing a list of all the can and so when he would come around me. He knew the expectations and he would modify his behavior just for me right and I think that you know when we do that we fall into that trap. We can probably create some short-term changes in our lives, or even if were teaching that way we can see some short-term changes in people's life, but that long term transformative change.
I think it's not something that happens from the outside in that something that only happens from the inside out that outside changes religious behavior modification and I think that's when the Pharisees and the religious folks that Jesus is kinda having a come to Jesus with talking about literally right it is that they had a list if you follow these rules do all these things and don't do these things for sure. You know, modify your behavior than your in your in the kingdom. I think that we see that you know just spending time with Jesus and bringing others the invitation to bring others had come spend time with this Jesus guy I know, let's spend time together with him. That's really what creates that inside out transformative change that brings the power were the miracle shows up and lives are changed or blinded eyes open deaf ears here. The Salvation Army's mission doing the most good. Helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army visit Salvation Army USA.org to offer your support and we would love to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at PO Box 29972, Atlanta, GA 30359 when you contact us will send you our gift for this series is totally free for listeners like you, one per household, while supplies last. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store and be sure to give us a rating.
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