How to Keep From Messing Up in the Ministry
Psalm 127:1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city,
the watchman waketh but in vain.
1 Timothy 1:19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck;
INTRO: This chapter is talking about the home, and the children and parent’s responsibility to raise godly children. However, I would like to take verse one and use it to preach on several key aspects of the ministry. Since the work of God has so many similarities and interchangeable aspects to building a house, I’d like to draw some truths from verse one and deal with the ministry. The church is often referred to “the house of God”. We that are involved in ministry are as Paul described, “wise masterbuilders”.
Three times we find the word VAIN. This is the tragedy of a ministry that missed it.
I. Don’t Forget the Wonder – vs. 1 Except the Lord build…
We are partnered with GOD Almighty!
It is the Father’s business – this is HIS CHURCH – which HE PURCHASED WITH HIS OWN BLOOD!
God called us to serve HIM – and to work with HIM – not visa versa!
- 1 Timothy 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
Being involved in ministry is a miracle – God lets us work with Him!!!
Don’t forget that it is HIS ministry – not ours!
- I Cor. 3:4 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
- 6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
- 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
- 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
- 9 For we are labourers together with God:
The Old Testament saints had to be born in the right tribe in order to serve in ministry.
The Levites had the distinct honor of laboring and serving in the ministry.
The tasks of serving in the Old Testament Tabernacle was spread out among the three sons of Levi:
In the New Testament church dispensation, God has recruited all of us!!
- II Cor. 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
- God allows us to play a small part in the salvation of lost souls.
- God allows us to give to an investment program that is out of this world!
- God allows us to influence and impact the lives of other people.
- God allows us to show His love to the unloved.
- God allows us to take His word and teach it, preach it, and instruct others.
Never lose the wonder of this tremendous privilege!
If we lose the wonder; if we forget how awesome it is, we will make a mess of the ministry!
II. Don’t Forsake the Work – vs. 1 …they labour
- Colossians 4:17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
Though we are not working alone, we must still labor.
The ministry is work; it is toil and sweat and tears.
We will make a mess of ministry if we forsake our God-given responsibilities!
We can’t coast through our ministry opportunities and not see a negative result.
We will get discouraged because we are not doing our best and God doesn’t bless half-hearted service!!
- Colossians 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
Paul recognized that it was God doing the work, but he still labored and worked WITH GOD!
Notice how Paul worded it in his letter to the
- 1 Thessalonians 2:9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
III. Don’t Fail to Watch – vs. 1 …except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
It is God that protects the ministry.
It is God that protects the church.
It is God that protects the home.
But – it is our job to watch!!
The pastor is the watchman:
- Ezekiel 33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.
The believer is also commanded to watch!
Jesus warned His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemene:
- Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Many times in Paul’s writings, he urged the believer to be watchful!
- 1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
- Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
- 2 Timothy 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
- 1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
This means I need to be watching constantly!
- Watching for wolves – Acts 20
- Watching for leaven in my life.
- Watching for carnal tendencies and worldly lusts in my own heart.
- Watching for a critical attitude or negative spirit in ministry.
Carelessness will produce shipwreck!
- 1 Timothy 1:19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck;