Admirable Life (12)

   Carlos McCleod was asked how he liked denominational service. He served as a large church pastor for decades before he went to the denomination as Evangelism Minister.

   "I wish I had a funeral today," he reportedly answered.

   I know what he meant. He did not mean he wanted someone to die. He missed the immediate ministry impact of a pastor's life.

   When you are a denominational servant, people work hard to make you feel important. What  people seldom do is make you feel needed

   There is a huge difference between the two feelings. A person can feel important because he/she holds a title, sits in a big office or drives a nice car. I think one of the fellows I worked for thought he was important because he could do things for people or he could things to people and only he decided.

   On the other hand, there is the Jesus-follower type person who is more concerned with being needed. Consider Luke 4:31-37:

        He went down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, and was teaching them on the sabbath. They  were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue, there was a man who had the spirit of an uncleaned demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, "Let us alone! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" When the demon had thrown him down before them, he came out of him without having done him any harm. There were all amazed and kept saying to one another, "What kind of utterance is this? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and out they come!" And a report about him began to reach every place in the region.

   If people without Twitter, Facebook or IPhone talk about you all over the region, you are either infamous or admirable. In the case of Jesus, it must the latter and not the former.

    The immediate impact of Jesus' ministry is redemption for the needy, recognition of the Kingdom of God in him and respect from the immediate audience. Or, one might say there are three voices in this passage, the demon who sees the Lord, the Lord who frees the victim and the synagogue-goers who report Him. 

(Pastor, get your some illustrations and you can preach on this for two weeks. If you want to plum the depths of this passage, answer this central question: "Why is it necessary to say Jesus cast out the demon but left the man unharmed?")

   To look at it either way, there is a minister with authority, redeeming power and spiritual impact. He is needed in the synagogue and across the region. if we look at the life of Jesus, we see a life wholly committed to the love of the Father and the good of Man. This is a necessary life.

   Is it enough to say an admirable life is a necessary life?

   What is a state denominational worker? He/she must be a minister whose ministry has inner depth and outward results. He/she must have such a ministry where he/she is of such redemptive force it can be reported across the region.

   He/she must be more concerned with being needed than with being important.


Opinions expressed here are mine alone.




2 thoughts on “Admirable Life (12)”

  1. “Why is it necessary to say Jesus cast out the demon but left the man unharmed?”
    Excellent thought-seed. Deeply-entrenched evil resists being uprooted–and might do great harm even as it is being exorcised. (But not on that occasion, thanks to the miraculous power of Christ.)

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