Understanding Purpose in Christian Ministry (PART 14)

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 By Pastor Raphael Adegoke 


All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.” (1 Cor. 6:12).

Blessed be the name of the Lord for another opportunity to witness a new day still standing firm in the faith. May God in His infinite mercies never permit us to do anything that will make us run out of His sustaining grace! Amen!

Last week, we considered “Time” as a major factor in the fulfillment of purpose, but from today, we shall consider “Sacrifice”.

The word “sacrifice” is a common word, but has got different meanings, depending on its form.  While in the noun form, it means an act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to a deity. In the Christian Church, it means Christ’s offering of himself in the Crucifixion, but in the verb form, it means to give up (something valued) for the sake of other considerations. So, the word “sacrifice” under consideration today shall be the verb form.

It is not unnatural to sometimes feel everything in life will come to us naturally without a need for much sacrifice which is the reason many lives and ministries today are unfulfilled. If we are to learn from Jesus, then it is worth paying attention to His instructions “24Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24). This is something we often neglect, yet we desire to fulfill purpose. Even, Jesus had to leave the comfort of Heaven, His celestial glory and majesty in order to come to the earth to carry out the work of redemption.

Also, Jesus had to forgo the exercise of His authority when he could have exercised it just for Him to be able to fulfill purpose. “53 Are you not aware that I can call on My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?”(Matthew 26:53). It is going to be fallacy of the highest order to think or feel purpose in life and ministry will be fulfilled on a platter of gold without any form of input which may bring a little or much discomfort.

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words” (Romans 8:26). It must be noted that the concept of help in this scripture, from original translation, is a kind that requires input from the one to be helped. If the Holy Spirit intercedes with groaning that cannot be expressed, it means the Holy Spirit also sacrifices comfort in order to be able to help us. So, it will become a difficult thing, if not an impossible thing, for any minister not willing to sacrifice comfort, pleasure, time, resources, e.t.c., to be  able to fulfill purpose in life and ministry.

This is a clarion call back to a sacrificial life and living in order to be able to fully take advantage of divine provisions within and without to fulfill purpose in life and ministry. Every divine resource given to us is not to be used per time. There are times when some will be used and some not used as seen in the life of Jesus when He could have called a legion of angels, but hesitated.  While every opportunity is divine, every opportunity is not needed for our fulfillment per time. It takes a sacrificial mind to practice this.   Apostle Paul discovered this and the fulfillment of purpose became possible and easy for him. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.” (1 Cor. 6:12). This, we can also do if we shall be willing to pay the price of sacrifice needed and required.

Pastor Raphael Adegoke is a Pastor in Christ Apostolic Church (Nigeria & Overseas) and a Lecturer in Christ Apostolic Church Theological Seminary.

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