Daily Devotional for Tuesday January 17, 2012
Back in 1992 as I was just Starting Out in Full-Time Ministry
Back in 1992 as I was just starting out in full-time ministry, I was blessed to work for a time at TV 38, the Christian TV station in Chicago, Illinois. One of the first things I did at TV 38 was sit at a small desk and call all of the people who had donated to the ministry in the last year and simply pray with them. Every day I sat there for 6-8 hours praying for people?s needs, literally 90-100 people each day for months until I had prayed with everyone who had been a donor to that great television ministry the previous year.
I will never forget as long as I live walking out in the cold Chicago winter one night. I was tired. I was mentally and spiritually drained. The cold Chicago winter winds were actually refreshing. Then God spoke to me and told me that no matter what I would ever do in the ministry for however many years I would live, it would never, NEVER, have greater significance than what I was doing each day in making those prayer calls.
*Nothing I would ever do in serving God would be as important as what I was doing at that little desk, calling people up and praying with them for the needs in their life!!!
I have to tell you that in 20 years in full time ministry, the Lord has blessed me to preach in over 500 churches of all denominational backgrounds. But I have to tell you that Liveprayer has become my life's passion these past 144+ months because it pure ministry. Reaching out and personally ministering to people's lives all over the world through the Internet is what God has called me to do.
Sharing with the lost and hurting in this world the hope and love of Jesus Christ at a critical times in their life. Agreeing in prayer with people for the needs they are facing in their life. You see my friend, this is the ultimate ministry we can perform because this is the example we have from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry!
There are many examples where Jesus preached to and taught large groups of people. The Sermon on the Mount. The time when he fed the multitudes with the fishes and loaves. But as I studied over and over the earthly ministry of Christ, I saw the example of one-on-one personal ministry.
Jesus loved people. He didn't need a stadium full of people, or an arena packed to the rafters, or a sanctuary that seated 4,000 to minister. Jesus loved people. He showed us through His ministry that while there is a place and time for a large gathering of people, some of His richest ministry was one-on-one, dealing with the specific, very real needs of someone God put in His path.
Let me speak for just a second to the many pastors and ministers who read this Devotional each day, as well as those who are in full-time service to the Lord. Never forget two things. First, those of us who have answered the call to serve God full time are SERVANTS. Our lives are to serve not be served.
Our greatest ministry is not in front of the TV camera, or when the spotlight of the auditorium is on us, but in the time we take to personally minister to someone in need one on one. If you ever, EVER get to a place where you are too busy, or view it as a waste of your valuable time to minister to someone in need, it is time to go back and remember that God has called us to serve others.
Secondly, never forget, that our ministry to others, flows from our own personal walk with Christ. If we are not plugged in, if we are not following Him in our own life each day, if we are not investing the time into our personal relationship with Christ each and every day through prayer and the Word, then we have nothing of any significance to draw from to give to others.
I love you, and care about you so very much. I want you to know today, anyone that is saved, has accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior has been called by God to minister to others. Our most effective ministry is that personal one-on-one time we spend with someone. It may just be a kind word, or doing someone an act of kindness. Just letting someone who is hurting know how much we care about them is often the hope they need.
Sharing the hope and love of Jesus Christ with others is not an option for a child of God, it is a responsibility. We have ALL been called to be ministers of the Gospel no matter what job we may have. Nobody is too young, or too old to share His love and hope with someone else. That is our greatest service to God!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,