Monday, March 24, 2008

Are You Being Equipped?

Matthew 23:1-3 in the Message Bible says:

1-3 Now Jesus turned to address his disciples, along with the crowd that had gathered with them. "The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God's Law. You won't go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don't live it. They don't take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It's all spit-and-polish veneer."

I have heard the statement made for years, "I go to church here because my pastor is such a good teacher." In light of the above scripture, being a good teacher alone is not enough. They must also live it. The Pharisees were good teachers because they taught the law of Moses, but they did not help others to live it. Today we have many ministers teaching the Word, but when we really get to know them, we see that they are not truly living the same message that is being taught in the Gospel.

If a minister is truly living out the Gospel, then we should be seeing him help others more than he helps himself. He should be setting the example by personally getting involved rather than always sending someone else. If he is so busy taking care of his personal needs that he fails to see the needs of the people, or does not have time to help them, then he has lost sight of what true Christ-centered teaching is about.

Matthew 9:35-38 NIV

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

Jesus saw the needs of the people and had compassion to help them. He was never so busy that he lost touch with them. Jesus could always pay attention to what they needed because he fully trusted that God would take care of Him.

The true fruit of good teaching will be reproduced in the people that are hearing the message. Do you find yourself wanting to help others and promote the Kingdom of God, or are you merely helping build a man's ministry? Good teaching should stir you to serve others and to help them grow in Christ. If you are being fed a healthy diet of good teaching, then service to others takes place over service to self.

Many people today have never found a place of service for God because they do not have someone to help equip them. There are many good churches that are truly helping people get to that place. Make sure that you are in one.

- G