How can we be the best ministers we can be? I ask regularly ask myself what I would do if I could do anything. The answer has always been–preach the Gospel. My most constant prayers are for God’s mercy and to be utilized by God in His work. But how can I be the best minister and the best Christian I can be?
Jesus said the greatest commandments are: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”.
To be the best ministers we can be we must first love the Lord with all we have. We must follow Paul’s example as he said:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.”. (Galatians 2:20).
When the Devil knocks on the heart of our soul, we must respond that we have moved out and only Jesus lives here now. Ministry deserves that daily dedication.
Loving the Lord also means keeping His commands. Jesus said, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21). There will always be a conflict between doing the right thing and “pleasing the right people”, but we can only live for Jesus. “As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:9-10).
To be the best ministers we can be, we must also love our “neighbors” as ourself. We can never be indifferent to the people God has put in our lives. If we truly love the Lord and the people we preach for, then there will be time to praise, rebuke, comfort, and exhort (2 Timothy 4:1-4; Galatians 4:16; Acts 4:24-27). Every sermon should honor and exalt both the cross of Christ and the church of Christ.
It is easy to become discouraged and beat down the church with her own problems. Instead we should view and use problems as tools for growth. Opportunities tone be better than yesterday.
Loving our neighbors also means sharing the Gospel with our neighbors (Mark 16:15-16). We surely want to help rescue the world from their sins. Christians who do not share the Gospel have not yet truly loved the Gospel.
To be the best possible ministers we can be, we need live. Love the Lord and love the Lords people.