Just Missed The Cut

When you realized that Jesus hadn’t recruited you for His A-Team, like His team of Apostles or another special team, or a particular local pastorate or ministry, how did you feel?

Think back to being a kid on the playground at the beginning of recess. When it was time for the popular kids to choose teams, were you usually one of the last ones picked because you weren’t the cool, athletic type? Were you kind of dorky, and prone to losing the game for your team?

Well, this is nothing like that! Jesus doesn’t pick people for A-Teams because they are “cool,” and He doesn’t pass by others because they are “losers.” Consider whom He did choose: several wild fisherman, an extremely impulsive and flaky guy named Peter, some other previously unknowns, including a guy named Judas Iscariot that now holds a distinct place in history that nobody else wants to have!

“When morning came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also designated apostles including:… Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.”

~ Luke‬ ‭6:13‬

Scholars guesstimate that Jesus had between 120 and 1,000 disciples (followers) at the time when He chose just 12 of them to be Apostles. I’ll venture to guess quite a few of the rest of them had flashbacks to their own playground experiences!

Let us remember that God doesn’t pick us for a formal call to ministry because He loves us more, and He doesn’t pass other believers by for a formal call to ministry because He loves them less.

He was greatly pleased to create us so He could enjoy being a Father to us. He was greatly pleased to providentially assign to us a substantial purpose to fulfill in His Kingdom. He was greatly pleased to formulate a unique mixture of natural-talents and Spirit-giftings that would help us to accomplish our life’s Divinely assigned mission.

Let’s leave our playground disappointments in the past. We are now in the “big leagues” of the life-and-death “games” where God is unbiased and is purpose-driven in His selection for special teams. If He can choose Peter in spite of his huge flaws, and if He can choose Judas (Iscariot) in spite of already knowing his future as a traitor, God can certainly pick us at the right time, in the right place, for the right special team or church pastorate, to accomplish the right mission.

Besides, there is perhaps nothing more frustrating and unfulfilling than being and doing something that is outside of God’s original, pre-birth purpose and design for our life. Let’s be patient, and let’s trust our Father to orchestrate every step of our life.

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#PastorsTip #Luke6 #MissTheCut #Recruit #ATeam #A_Team #Judas #Peter #PurposeDriven #Talent #SpiritualGifts #Calling

Love’s ISO 9001 Production Standards

If you work for a large company you may be somewhat familiar with the ISO 9001 standard (for the rest of us, ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization based in Switzerland and is used globally by over 1 million business entities). It is a Quality Management System (QMS) standard that requires an organization to meet its own requirements and those of its customers and regulators.

As Christians who try to conform to the standards of Christ and to serve others with His same quality of love, each of us should have a scriptural QMS and maintain an ISO 9001 certification.

Okay, that analogy is probably over our heads, I know it is way over my head. Let’s put things simply, where we can actually implement them in our lives without needing an entire organization to implement, manage, and audit it.

The scriptures teach us that love is produced by three high quality springs:

“… love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”

~ 1 Timothy‬ ‭1:5‬

1. Pure Heart ~ A heart which is motivated by holiness, sacrifice, and giving that is in alignment with the heart of Christ.

2. Good Conscience ~ A conscience that is clear from the guilt of unrepented sin, and a conscience that is clear in discerning what is right and appropriate in the Christian life.

3. Sincere Faith ~ A faith that is simple and straight forward, and not entangled with other desires and allegiances.

Our love does not trickle forth from just the small stream of our emotions, though warm and affectionate feelings might be present; instead, our love is a roaring river of passionate faithfulness and commitment to those we serve, a river that is fed by the three springs that well up from deep within our lives.

When we implement a personal “Quality Management System” (eg. QMS) and we “Standardize” (eg. ISO 9001) our personal production of love to be Christ-like, our “customers” and our “clients” will truly receive the highest quality of loving service that they need.

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#PastorsTip #1Timothy1 #Love #ISO9000 #ISO9001 #QualityAssurance #Customer

Your Calling is MASSIVE!

Dear Pastor,

Was the Lord’s calling to the ministry a really big and life-course altering experience for you, only now you find yourself [faithfully] Pastoring a small group in a home or a small church in a rented facility? Are you wondering when the people-count on a Sunday will match the largeness of your calling?

I won’t presume to know what the Lord articulated for you in His blessed calling, but please allow me to remind you (and remind all of us who are called and serving as pastors, missionaries, evangelist, et al.) about something very important and ultimately very encouraging for those in small settings.

What makes your ministry calling big isn’t the number of people it will impact with the Gospel. Your calling is MASSIVE because of the size and glory of the GOD Who called you to the Ministry!

“… the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were angel-seraphs… the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke… the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?… Go and tell this people…’”

~ Isaiah 6:1-9

Let’s remind ourselves as we faithfully serve the mission of Christ in arenas that are smaller than what we had hoped and dreamed for: our Lord is the King of Kings!

If He calls us to serve His purposes and desires, and our assignment leads us to a damp, cold, dark dungeon in a foreign land where we are to share our prison food with a lice infested rat that scurries in and out of our cell when we ourselves are chained in place… If that is the King’s assignment, our royal calling is still MASSIVE because of Who He is!

We are blessed and honored beyond comprehension to have the attention and the trust of our King, that He would know how depressed an average-hearted person would be with such an assignment, yet He knows that our fiery passion to serve Him will result in the absolute best outcome because we will not lose heart! We have, after all, been commissioned by our King, and this fact alone should sustain us through the darkest of times.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, Jesus Christ your King most certainly cares how you feel. But, He needs faithful and passionate ones who [regardless of how beautifully gifted they are] will accept His assignments without questioning His motives nor His love for them. When He looked for just such a one, He spotted you. His heart leaped in His chest and He excitedly pointed at you and said, “That one! I want that one to have this lackluster assignment. They will do great!”

My friend, your calling is MASSIVE because Who it is that calls you.

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#PastorsTip #Isaiah6 #Calling #Ministry #Pastor #Missionary #Faithful #Passionate #Evangelist #Big #Massive