Friday, April 9, 2021

Book of the Week: The Call to Serve: An Examination of the Deacon and Servant's Ministry in the Church


 
In this book, we will examine the history and subsequent development of the Deacon's office in the Church. In addition, we will learn how the first men who were appointed to serve in the Church are the standard for which deacons and servants are to evaluate their service today. In doing so, the Church, deacons, and those called to serve will benefit from mutual understanding and cooperation.





Excerpt:


THE DEACON’S CHARACTER

To begin his directives for the placement of individuals into the deacon’s office, Paul lists certain character traits for the deacon. Remember, your qualification as a deacon rests in your character and not your career. You may have abilities and knowledge, but they are of no use to the Church if they are not tempered with godly character.


The Deacon is Honorable


The first character trait that Paul gives for the deacon is grave. It comes from a Greek term, which means honorable or honest. In order to effectively serve as a deacon, you must be able to tell the truth in every circumstance and situation. From the examination of the first servants, we discover that a deacon then will act as a liaison between the people and those in leadership.

To do this effectively, the deacon has to be honorable and not biased in decision making as well as reporting issues, which may arise in the Church. The deacon has to be able to speak the truth in love. He must have an honorable reputation among the people so that his decisions can be received without substantial suspicion. 

To remain honorable, the deacon must do 2 things according to the scriptures.

Have no respect of persons. The deacon who only stands for Christ and the welfare of the assembly will not be tempted to operate without integrity.

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. James 2:1 (KJV)

He will represent God by not having a respect of persons as he executes his duties in accordance with established leadership.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Book of the Week: Dreams and Visions: A Biblical Perspective to Understanding Dreams and Visions

When Jesus made us citizens of the Kingdom, it came with advantages. As members of the kingdom of God, we are eligible to partake of the outpouring of the Spirit. The books of Joel and Acts declare that the direct result of the outpouring of the Spirit of God would be revelation. Men and women could receive and communicate by the Spirit of God; two ways this is done is through dreams and visions. In this book, we will discuss the various aspects of dreams and visions. We will examine the different types of dreams and visions; how to interpret dreams, and how to apply them to our lives. 



Excerpt:

Throughout the ages, discovering the interpretations of dreams and visions have troubled many and excited others. We have discussed the types of dreams and visions and reasons for their occurrence.

Now, we will discuss the actual interpretation of dreams and visions. As we discuss dream/vision interpretation, keep one truth in mind:

*ALL INTERPRETATIONS COME FROM GOD*

Though we will offer some guides and clues to dream interpretation, we must remember that if God sends or gives a dream or vision, He has a particular purpose in mind.

Hence, your confidence to find interpretation will not rest upon your ability or intellect, but upon God who is able to reveal all things.

We make this initial statement of truth from the biblical account of Joseph in Egypt. While in the Egyptian prison and before Pharaoh, he made the following two declarations.

And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you. Gen 40:8 (KJV)

And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace. Gen 41:16 (KJV)

When you approach the interpretation of dreams and visions understand that:

1. It is not in you, but in God – you can trust that He will give proper understanding.

2. The interpretation rests with God – He knows the reason and purpose behind the dream or vision.

These two facts should provoke a sense of peace in those who are faced with discovering interpretations. We also know that sometimes God will reserve the interpretation of a dream or vision to be shared by someone other than ourselves. This is to promote unity and interdependence in the body of Christ.

We began this chapter by stating that interpretation belongs to God. The burden of interpretation does not rest upon us, but God. However, there are things we must know to be in a proper place to receive the correct interpretation.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Book of the Week: He Gave Gifts Unto Men: God's Plan for Ministry in the Kingdom

 

Ministry is a valuable part of the Kingdom. God anoints individuals in the Church with ministries and gifts to glorify Him. However, as the day of the Lord hastens, we find many believers entering into ministry with wrong motives. In addition, others are pursuing gifts for their own personal gain. This publication will give believers a pure perspective for ministry. 




Excerpt:

God chose Israel to be a special people unto Himself. This was done so that all nations would accept Israel’s God as their own. They were to participate in the salvation of the world. 

Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God. (Isaiah 43:10-12)

God told them that they were His witnesses that He was God. Israel was supposed to display God to the world, and thus turn the nations unto Him. 

When Israel disobeyed God, He anointed men to aid in their salvation. God anointed men and women that would help them remain in right standing with Him. The priests were anointed by God to make sacrifices for the sins of the people. 

The judges were anointed by God to deliver the people. In addition, the prophets were anointed by God to cause the people to return to God rather than face His judgment. God anoints us today for the same purposes:

1) We are anointed to intercede and pray for one another as priests.

2) We are anointed to help restore and deliver one another as judges.

3) We are anointed to encourage one another to serve the Lord as prophets.

God anointed individuals in the Old Testament for Israel’s benefit. All in the Body of Christ are responsible to fulfill the charge given to Israel; we are to be witnesses to the world. In addition, believers are instructed to encourage and exhort one another in their salvation. However, we find that Israel failed and God promised that He would send a Messiah. This Christ would not only come for Israel, but for the world.