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Making Time for Ministry

08.20.20 | Christian Life | by David Neely

    This picture is of BVBC Elder Jeff Herman and me in Kenya a few years ago as we ministered to the needs of a Maasai community near the Kenya-Tanzania border. It brought back a flood of memories of spending time with Jeff and touching the lives of this community for Christ. It made me think that in the midst of the many distractions we are confronted with during this time in our world (Covid-19, politics, race issues, 24 hour new cycles, global tensions, plus many more), we can learn a few things to help us gather our spiritual and emotional equilibrium from this passage. 

    Matthew 20:29–34 (ESV) says, “And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!’  The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!’ And stopping, Jesus called them and said, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’  They said to him, ‘Lord, let our eyes be opened.’  And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.”

    As Jesus Followers, we need to press on with direction, expectation, and ministry.  In order to do this we must…

      Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem and in a week he’s going to be crucified. Having ministered in Jericho, Jesus is continuing on with direction, moving forward with expectation and ministry, knowing full well what lay in front of Him. He was a busy man with many demands on Him, but he took time to minister. He had a lot to do but he wasn’t hurried. For most of us the real danger is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will skim through life and never really live it.

      Our church, the Kingdom’s work, your family and your sense of personal satisfaction needs you to slow your pace. There are people you could minister to that are being passed over. Be patient. Be persevering. Find a way to take time to minister. That’s something that will help us press on with direction, expectation and ministry during this time of confusion and when the church is finding creative ways to engage our community for Christ. 

      When these two men learned who was passing by, they knew of Jesus’ reputation for healing and that this might be their very last opportunity. They begin to scream at the top of their lungs to get Jesus’ attention. Their profession of Jesus as the Son of David is an acknowledgement that they believe He is the promised Messiah. They throw themselves on the mercy of Jesus. They moved forward with the expectation that Jesus would do something special for them.

      The crowd, the New American Standard says, “sternly told them to be quiet”. Here are two very needy men who are within shouting distance of the Great Physician. Thankfully, Jesus didn’t have the crowd’s perspective on the blind men.

      Most of us see life as an arc beginning with birth, which we can’t remember, and death, which we can’t imagine. Jesus taught us a different perspective about our life. He said this life is a transition to another life, a better life, and one that has no end. Because of that perspective on life, we live differently. He said we are fools if our perspective on life is like the farmer he told about who became rich in the things of this world and lived only to accumulate material goods. But if we use this life to become rich with God, we are wise. When we get that perspective, serving God and his church will become a priority in our life.

      Open your eyes to see this life from God’s perspective and you cannot help but get involved in some way pressing on with fellow believers to make a positive impact on our community and our world.  God will move Blue Valley Baptist Church forward as long as we maintain our focus on helping people know what it means to be a Jesus Follower, expect God to do what He has promised, and minister to the needs around us. Additionally,

      Jesus is so filled with compassion He suspends the natural laws He made to heal these two blind beggars. The word “compassion” is an attitude toward a need that compels us to take action to meet that need.  This is called ministry. A compassionate heart finds it impossible to remain neutral when it sees a need. It is a reminder that the first message we must deliver to the world is that “God cares.” They learn that message through our acts of kindness and helpfulness.

    People’s whose hearts have been touched by the compassion of Jesus serve the people they encounter. They are kind and patient with waiters and cashiers, they notice children and people in need, they are grateful that they have a spouse and children they can serve and show the love of God. This kind of compassion rescues us from a life that always thinks about ourselves to a life of joy that thinks of others.

    I cannot tell you the joy and affirmation that will come into your life when you minister to people out of a heart of love for Christ and love for people. 

    Our church can be changed, not in little ways but in big ways, if we all commit to loving and serving God together: living out the 5 habits of a Jesus follower.  I don’t have any doubts it will raise the level of joy and celebration in our church as we press on in a common direction, with expectation, ministering as we go through our daily lives.  

    Take time to minister.  Open your eyes to God’s perspective.  Ask God for a compassionate heart.

    That’s all I got to say about that.

    Pastor David