Friday, 14 September 2018

Spiritual Ministry

Scripture:  Colossians 1 v 20 - 24:  "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 
 21  And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 
 22  In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
 23  If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
 24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:"

There are two words in the above passage of scripture that need to be highlighted in our beings...... reconcile and if.

Jesus was manifested in life and death to reconcile us with our Father in Heaven.  Why?  Because we were once enemies and alienated by wicked works and thoughts.  Before we are born again and converted from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light God is our enemy.

If.......we continue in the faith grounded in the correct teachings, settled in our minds to live a radically changed way, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel, or still clinging to worldly ways, then this reconciliation has been successful.

Then when we mature in our faith we begin to understand the deeper workings of the Holy Spirit and how He can use each one of us to do "body ministry".  As Paul writes that he now rejoices in his sufferings for us because it completes the work Jesus started on the Cross.

This is where Romans 15 v 1 shows up - "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves."

We all go through periods of suffering; we get influenza, or colds, or headaches or heartache and we medicate appropriately and recover.  However not all our pain is just our own.  Sometimes the Lord allows us to carry someone else's pain in order to help them overcome the flesh because they are likely to fall back into sin if they have to carry it all themselves.

How often do we wish we could suffer in place of a terrible ill child.  God sees and hears and lets it happen when necessary.  Jesus did it for the whole human race and we are pledged to be like Him.  It teaches us to be patient in tribulation.  That's why those who need to be nursed in hospitals are called patients.

In Mark 7 v 32 - 37 Jesus heals a deaf and dumb man. He put His fingers in His ears and spat something out. He touched his tongue and sighed.  The deaf and dumb spirit manifested out through the spit and the sigh.  It came out through Jesus!

Similarly, in bringing Lazarus back to life in John 11, look at verse 33 where Jesus groaned in spirit and was troubled. In verse 35 He wept and people thought He was grieving.  Verse 38 Jesus therefore again groaning in Himself cometh to the grave. Read Romans 8 v 26: "Likewise the Spirit also helps th our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: But the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning that cannot be uttered."

Jesus was manifesting the spirit of death out of Lazarus! Through groans and tears He bound and dealt with that spirit.  This is when Heaven and Hell meet and the power of God is overcoming all evil.

When Adam gave this Earth to Satan, God had to make legal precedents to save us.  Abraham had to sacrifice Isaac and at the last moment God provided a ram so that Jesus could be sacrificed for us.  Abraham and God set a legal precedent for that substitution of Jesus for all humans.  He became the Lamb of God, and we are all Isaacs. Romans 9 v 7: "Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called."

In the raising of Lazarus, and the manner in which it occurred, a legal precedent for the Resurrection was established.  In John 11 v 25 Jesus says to Mary, the sister of dead Lazarus, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believes in Me, though he were dead yet shall he live. It was spoken into being for His own resurrection.

We have to make up what is behind of His sufferings.  In our bodies and souls they are made manifest.  When we become aware of this truth in its reality our manner of praying will change and we will know that we are fulfilling the will of God by helping unknown others be set free.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Your wonders never cease to amaze us as You use us to perfect the body of Christ.  Let us give thanks in all things as You draw the weak into Your strength.  Let us rejoice with faith even when we are afflicted so You can be magnified, the saints can be edified and Satan can be horrified. In Jesus' name. Amen.