Jesus’ ministry on earth lasted only three short years, but His message continues to be preached today and has spread to nearly every country and language of the world. When Jesus began His ministry, He knew His time would quickly pass; yet rather than trying to preach to the greatest number of people, Jesus focused the majority of His effort on a small group of twelve men.
Jesus taught His disciples about the Kingdom of God and how they must learn to truly love; “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). He taught them about the forgiveness of sin through His sacrificial death, and about their true source of strength: “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you…apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:4,5).
Jesus intensely taught His twelve closest followers with one overriding purpose – He taught so they would be prepared to serve in the Kingdom of God: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Jesus provided a model for effective ministry which we ought to follow today.
“It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”
We are all called to be a disciple, a close and intimate follower of Jesus Christ. We are each given different gifts and different ministry opportunities, but the focus of a disciple is always to serve as we build up the body of Christ and love Him with all our heart. We help others become His disciple as we teach them to follow Jesus, and provide the necessary tools which prepare them to serve.
We have been blessed in so many ways. By His grace we have been granted the forgiveness of all sin and given a place to worship Him for all eternity. As we better grasp this wonderful truth, we will be filled with an unshakable contentment and peace while we walk in the presence of God. But this blessing must never be selfishly held – it must be shared; “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).
I pray that every day brings us closer in our relationship with God through the forgiveness and love of His Son, Jesus. I pray we minister in our church, our work, our family, and among the friends God places in our path, with love and uncompromising truth. And I pray that each of us looks for ways to build up the body of Christ by preparing God’s people to serve.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
May 21 1 Samuel 29:1-31:13; John 11:54-12:19; Psalm 118:1-18; Proverbs 15:24-26