SERMONS, OUTLINES, ILLUSTRATIONS, AND PREACHING IDEAS

Has Ministry Lost Its Joy?

by Jeff Schreve

Pastor, author and Christian leader, Lloyd Ogilvie, shared about a time in his life when he was working so hard for the Lord.  He was preaching, teaching, serving, writing, and ministering in Jesus’ name.  But there was a big problem.  In all his working for the Lord, he had lost his joy, his peace, his love, his passion, and his power.  Ministry had become an empty chore.  As he stopped to reflect on where he was spiritually, it dawned on him.  He had missed the secret!  He was living and serving without the secret.

What is the secret?  The Christian life is not working hard in your own strength to serve God. Lots of preachers do that and have forgotten this basic truth: the Christian life is “CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY.” Paul says in Colossians 1:26-27 NLT:

This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory. Colossians 1:26

 In Old Testament times, the Lord had a temple for His people.  But since Jesus came and died and rose again, God now has a people for His temple.  The great, eternal, almighty God now lives in His people!  If you truly know Jesus as Savior and Lord and have surrendered your life to Him, your very heart is the Holy of Holies – WOW!!

WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS IN MINISTRY OF THIS SECRET? 

1. You have power! You are inhabited by the King of Glory!  He who lives in you, wants to live through you.  He wants to fill your life with His peace, joy, love and power.  All that He is and can do is available to you because He now lives inside!  Just yield yourself everyday to Him.  Say with the songwriter, “Jesus, be Jesus in me.  No longer me, but Thee.  Resurrection power fill me this hour.  Jesus, be Jesus in me!”

2. You have assurance! The Lord has promised us that He will never leave us or forsake us.  When Jesus moves into a life, He moves in forever!  When you sin and blow it big time, He does NOT move out of your life saying, “I’m done with you, you sinner!”  The Bible says, “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).  There is great assurance knowing you are His forever.  You have eternal life and can never lose it because He will NEVER desert one of His blood-bought children.

3. You will share His glory! Without question, true Christians will have difficulties and persecutions.  The world is not for Jesus.  The world is against Jesus and nailed Him to a cross.  If you truly follow Jesus and take a stand for Him at work, at school, in the community, you will experience ridicule, persecution, suffering, and maybe even bodily harm.  But that’s ok because Paul said, “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom. 8:18).

There is GREAT GLORY awaiting those who are faithful to the Lord regardless of the ridicule and persecution.  Heaven is going to be a zillion times more wonderful and more glorious than we could ever even imagine (see 1 Cor. 2:9).  So keep standing firm in your convictions that are deeply rooted in scripture as you remember the secret – Christ in you!  It is worth it all to live life surrendered to King Jesus so you can experience His love, joy, and power this day and all the days to come.

 

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