In the Old Testament, we find that each prophet had a unique burden given to him by God – but all of them were concerned about the lack of holiness among God’s people.
The burden God lays on your heart is almost always an indication of the ministry He has planned for you. So, wait on the Lord to receive a burden from Him. If you serve the Lord without a burden, you will get bored with the Lord’s work after a while, and you are likely to end up seeking after money, man’s honour or earthly comfort. It is unfortunate that many who claim to be serving the Lord today have no God-given burden for their ministry.
Take Up the Cross Daily
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “ You have circled this mountain long enough” (Deuteronomy 2:2,3). If we are always at the same level spiritually, we are going around in circles. We should be making progress in overcoming sin – and not be constantly defeated by the same old sins that defeated us many years ago. We should not be losing our temper or lusting with our eyes after women, as we did 10 years ago. If we are still defeated in these areas, then we are going around in circles. The Lord is now calling us to move forward. Did you take up the cross yesterday? Perhaps you did. But that was sufficient only for overcoming the evil of yesterday (Matt.6:34). Today is another day. And you have to offer up your body and your self-will as a sacrifice again. Today you have to die to your lusts, to your anger, to your pride, to your love of money, to your love of man’s honour, to your bitterness etc. These lusts are present in our flesh and will be with us as long as we live. That is why we need to have “a daily cross”, right until the end of our earthly lives. Is there this daily sacrifice in your life? If not, then the spirit of the Antichrist has certainly deceived you.
The Jews gloried in the fact that they had God’s Word unlike the rest of the world. But they did not live according to that Word; and they finally rejected the One about Whom God’s Word had prophesied, when He came into their midst. It is possible for those of us who have understood the new covenant also to glory in a similar way and to deceive ourselves.
The following is an adaptation of Romans Chapter 2 (from the Living Bible) – adapted to the danger we face:
You may be saying, “How sad it is that so many Christians have not understood the new covenant that we have understood so clearly”.
But wait! Examine your life honestly and see if it is better than the lives of those other Christians who have notunderstood the new covenant. Are you perhaps boasting only in a theoretical knowledge of the new covenant? Or have you actually entered into the new-covenant life?
Proverbs 10:12 – “Love covers all sins.” Peter quotes this in his epistle (1 Peter 4:8). If you really love a person you will cover his weaknesses and not expose them. That is how God has dealt with us. He has not exposed our past sins to anyone. We must treat others in the same way that God has treated us. If you want to be wise, let me give you, one bit of advice in your youth. If you know a bad story about someone, let that story die with you. Don’t go around talking about it. God will honour you if you do that, especially if it is a bad story about one of His children. He will love you especially. Think of a father whose child has done something wrong and I know something about it; but I never tell anyone what his son did. Don’t you think that father will love me very much for that? It’s like that with God too, when He sees that we treat His children with love
1.FELLOWSHIP:In Song of Solomon 2:4 (TLB), the bride says, “He has brought me to his banqueting hall so that everyone can see how much he loves me. The father of the prodigal son brought his son to the table. Jesus sat with His disciples around a table. The table speaks of fellowship. At a table, we are not engaged in ministry for our Lord, but in fellowship with our Lord. We dine with Him (Revelation 3:20). Ministry should never be the primary focus of our lives. Love for the Lord must always be primary. After serving the Lord full time for more than 50 years, I want to say this, that my devotion to my Lord is the basis of all my ministry. Our ministry will have no value at all in God’s eyes, if our devotion to Christ were to decrease. A personal, loving, devoted relationship with Christ is the spring from which all true service for the Lord flows.
It is written in 1 Cor. 4:2 – TLB ” The most important thing about a servant is that he does just what his master tells him to”. That is what it means to be a faithful servant. It is not a question of how much you do, but whether you do only what the Lord tells you to do – and in the way He wants it done. For that, you have to wait on God and ask Him, “Lord, what do you want me to do? I want to do only that.” For example, if you employed a servant, you wouldn’t want him to run around doing whatever he felt he should do for you. No. You would want him to listen to you and do what you tell him to do. But most Christian workers do not listen to what God has said in His Word and follow those Divine principles. Instead they do God’s work in the way they feel is best – with their own bright ideas, which are usually worldly. They make their own programs to serve the Lord, and don’t have the patience to wait on the Lord to find out what His will for them is.
Some believers consider God’s Word as having almost only one command – to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark. 16:15). This command must certainly be obeyed by the total body of Christ worldwide – particularly by those who are given by Christ as evangelists to the body (Eph. 4:11). But the work will still be unfinished, if this command of Christ is not balanced by His other command to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19).
We thank God for all those who, at much personal cost, have gone out into all the world and preached the gospel to those who have never heard the name of Jesus. But it is a sad fact of twentieth century evangelism that the threefold command of Matthew 28:19,20– to make disciples, to immerse them in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and to teach them obedience to all of Jesus’ commands – is almost totally ignored. When multitudes of believers are emphasising evangelism without making disciples, it becomes our task to restore the lost emphasis – to make disciples – and to complete the unfinished task.
The root cause of all our spiritual problems lies in our not knowing God as our Almighty Loving Father.
One truth that has revolutionized my Christian life is the glorious revelation that Jesus gave us that the Father loves Jesus’ disciples just as He loved Jesus . Jesus prayed to the Father, for His disciples, saying, “…..that the world may know that Thou didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me.“(John.17:23). The world around us must know this truth. But it has to grip our hearts first, before the world can realise it.
In Deuteronomy 6:4-5, we read, “The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!” And Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all you might.
We don’t worship three Gods. God is one in three Persons. Then in Deuteronomy 6:5, the first commandment is described in another way. This is what Jesus quoted in Matthew 22:37: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. “That is the first commandment.
That means that we don’t have any place in our hearts for family, property, job, or money – because ALL of our heart is given to God. This is Instruction No.1 in the “Manufacturer’s Instruction” Manual. Don’t operate the human machine before you have obeyed this commandment.
It is written in Exodus 12:40, “The time that the sons of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years.” However when God spoke to Abraham, He had told him that his descendants would be in another land for just 400 years (Genesis 15:13). But here we read that they were actually there for 430 years. Did God make a mistake? No. God is very exact in his timetable. God doesn’t make any mistakes. When God spoke to Abraham, His perfect will for the Israelites was that they should be in Egypt for 400 years. Why then did they stay an extra 30 years? To find the answer to that, let us consider another example. When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt His plan for them was that they should be only 2 years in the wilderness. But how many years did they actually spend in the wilderness? 40 years. (See Deuteronomy 2:14). God may plan to break you in 2 years. But it may actually take 40 years. God may want to begin to use you 2 years after you are converted. But He may not be able to use you for 40 years. It all depends on how quickly you are broken. So also, God’s plan for Israel was that they should stay 400 years in Egypt. But they had to stay for 430 years.