From my reading in Colossians 1 in the One Year Bible New Testament.
Ministry is hard work.
Anyone who does ministry knows that it is very hard to do well. Paul gives us a great insight into how he approached his ministry.
“So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.” Colossians 1:28–29
Paul’s desire was that everyone would reached maturity in Christ. He worked tirelessly to this aim. The final sentence is what I want to focus on. We are to work hard and at the same time trust God’s might power.
Let go and let God is not a ministry strategy.
We are to work as hard as we can and depend on Jesus to fill us with his power and energy. This does not mean that we are to wear ourselves out and burn out. We are called to rest also.
But what I love about this passage is that there is a co-laboring element to ministry.
We work alongside God. God fills us with his energy and power and we work our butts off! It’s not either or it’s both.
Many people fall on one side or the other. Some people say well I am just going to pray and then sit back and watch God work. They wonder why no one is growing or getting saved. Other people work night and day but are not doing it in God’s power.
Working hard with God’s power is the way to experience the greatest ministry fruit!
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From my reading in Acts 8:1-25 in the One Year New Testament.
One example of someone who had the wrong motivation for being used by God was a man named Simon.
He had a reputation for doing amazing things, but when Philip came the crowds started paying attention to him. Simon got jealous.
“When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power. “Let me have this power, too,” he exclaimed, “so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!” Acts 8:18–19
Simon wanted to buy God’s power to draw the crowds back. That is a bad motivation.
Sometimes in ministry we want to do amazing things in order to impress people or make ourselves feel good. The apostles rebuked Simon harshly for his bad motivation.
“But Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought! You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God. Repent of your wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive your evil thoughts, for I can see that you are full of bitter jealousy and are held captive by sin.” Acts 8:20–23
We must make sure that our hearts are right when serving God.
Our motivation should be to love and glorify God. When we are jealous of others that shows that we may have a wicked prideful heart. Fortunately Simon seemed to respond well. Those of us who struggle with this issue would do well to humble ourselves as he did.
“Pray to the Lord for me,” Simon exclaimed, “that these terrible things you’ve said won’t happen to me!” Acts 8:24
Ask yourself, “What is my motivation for ministry?”
If you have been motivated by jealousy then repent of your wickedness and pray to the Lord.