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Ministering the Word of God to Others

Dear brother bob,

Lately the Lord has been laying on my heart the desire to give out some of what I have been taking in, and do some Bible teaching or witnessing or writing some devotional messages or tracts. What advice would you give me ?

Sincerely, X

Dear friend,

Sometimes I find myself asking this same question...and I keep coming back to the same answer...I dont write them, I let the Lord write them through me. I could write any number of my own opinions or clever poems or editorials or spiritual advice, but I dont want to do that...I  want to  be a messenger of the Lord's teaching to those He has given me to minister unto.  He has His own agenda of what they need to hear, and when they need to hear it. It is up to me to follow His leading, and give out what He tells me to. I let Him be the Shepherd and the Teacher, and I am the scribe.

So here are a few  principles which God has showed me over the years, four things which I need to add to my life and christian experience to be able to minister the Word of God to others, either by speaking or writing or by living the Christian life....

1) Read, mark, learn, devour and inwardly digest the scriptures.
Read the Word  in every spare moment of time that you have..lunch time, break time, bed time, quiet time...give up time from amusements or tv to study it. Listen to tapes or chrisitian radio preachers while driving or working. Read it in other translations. Get dictionaries, concordances, commentaries, listen to excellent radio and TV preachers...use Bible searching software and any other Bible study helps that are available on the internet....ask God for wisdom to tell you what the difficult passages mean, ask Him to explain scripture with you get it as correct as possible. Let the understanding of God's word be your hobby, your obsession, your food, your life.

2) Ask for improved memory for the scriptures.
Claim this promise which the Lord gave to the disciples...
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26 (KJV) 

This promise was not only given to the apostles for the purpose of remembering what Jesus taught so that they could write down the is given to all of us to claim when we are studying, witnessing, writing, or just meditating about God's Word while sitting in the dentist's chair. Claim it as your own, and expect God to honor it. And remember, the Word has to be in your soul, so that the Holy Spirit can bring it to your remembrance.

3) Ask for much wisdom as it takes...even more than it takes.
Ask God for as much wisdom as He wants to pour into your little soul. The Bible says, Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived or ever would live. However, what's wrong with being number 2, or number 3, or number 100? How big is your faith? How much wisdom is enough? How much wisdom do you seek?

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, 
Who giveth to all men liberally, and will not criticize; 
and it shall be given him.
 James 1:5 (KJV) 

4) Pray for the spiritual gifts that you need to do this kind of spiritual work.
    a) prophecy (in the sense of forth-telling God's Word and will), 
    b) teaching (instruction in sound doctrine, both for yourself and your hearers)
    c) wisdom (application of truth to individual circumstances),
    d) consolation, (empathy with the pain of another, showing genuine concern)
    e) exhortation (calling near or encouraging people to hear God's message),
    f) any other gifts the Lord may lay on your heart to ask for as described in... 
        Romans 12: 6-18;        1 Cor 12: 1-31;        1 Cor 14: 1-33;        Eph 4: 8-16

5) Be prepared to experience suffering, and let God turn it into wisdom.
The experience of enduring suffering, sorrow, pain, discomfort, disease, or loss, is the University of God's Practical Learning. It is what He uses to allow us to feel the pain of others in a real way, to empathize with what they are going through, to have a practical knowledge of how to endure or overcome the adversity, how to understand where they are coming from, so we know where to start to help them.    Believe that at some future time, our painful experiences will be used by God to help someone else.

Take, my brethren, the prophets,
 who have spoken in the name of the Lord,
 for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 
{11} Behold, we count them happy which endure. 
Ye have heard of the patience of Job, 
and have seen the end of the Lord; 
that the Lord is extremely compassionate, and of tender mercy.
 James 5:10-11 

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
 the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 
{4} Who comforteth us in all our tribulation,
 that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble,
 by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 
2 Cor 1:3-4

6) Be prepared to be honest and transparent about what God has taught you. 
This is related to the experience of suffering, i.e. the sharing of suffering experiences. Not going around looking for sympathy because of what you are going through; or hiding some negative experience because it might be personally embarrassing; but be willing to open your heart and let someone peek in... to see how God delivered you, and how He can therefore deliver them too, then sharing whatever you feel the Holy Spirit leading you to, for their benefit.

But Mary kept all these things, 
and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:19 (KJV) 

Moreover when ye fast, 
be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance:
 for they disfigure their faces, 
that they may appear unto men to fast.
 Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 
{17} But thou, when thou fastest, 
anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 
{18} That thou appear not unto men to fast,
 but unto thy Father which is in secret: 
and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. 
Mat 6:16-18 (KJV) 

Who makes a mistake and I do not feel his sadness? 
Who falls without my longing to help him? 
Who is spiritually hurt
 without my fury rising against the one who hurt him? 
{30} But if I must brag, 
I would rather brag about the things that show how weak I am.
 {31} God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
who is to be praised forever and ever, 
knows I tell the truth. 
2 Cor 11:29-31 (TLB) 

7) Pray and ask that the Holy Spirit speak through you the very words you should speak. 
I always ask Him to hide me behind His Word, so that the reader or listener would not see me, but Jesus only...

For no prophecy recorded in Scripture 
was ever thought up by the prophet himself. 
It was the Holy Spirit within these godly men
 who gave them true messages from God.
2 Pet 1:20 (LIVING BIBLE)

John (the baptizer) answered and said,
 A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. 
{28} Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 
I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
 {29} He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: 
but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him,
 rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: 
this my joy therefore is fulfilled. 
{30} He must increase, but I must decrease.
John 3:27-30 (KJV) 

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; 
yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: 
and the life which I now live in the flesh,
 I live by the faith of the Son of God, 
who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Gal 2:20 (KJV) 

And when they had lifted up their eyes, 
they saw no man, 
save Jesus only.
Mat 17:8 (KJV) 

8) Use the actual Bible verses in your work, not just the reference.
 Human nature, being what it is, is such, if you just give the reference
 (example-Gal 2:20) instead of typing out the whole verse, you run the risk that people will just  go on reading your tract with the intention to look it up later, but may just not get around to it.

The Word of God has its own inherent power, it is capable of convicting and changing people's minds. Our words, no matter how learned or clever they may be, are but a vague shadow of what we have already been taught...kind of a pre-digested form of the real food.  If we consider our words of more important than God's words,  we miss out on using this power to its fullest extent.

This is why we need to so extensively learn the Word, and quote it in its proper meaning and context. If we quote a verse outside of the context that God has intended it to mean, we are not quoting the truth, and so God will not honor our words. Be sure to read some verses before and some after the verse that you quote so that you can be sure the verse actually means what God has intended it to mean.

For whatever God says to us is full of living power:
 it is sharper than the sharpest dagger, 
cutting swift and deep into our innermost thoughts
 and desires with all their parts, 
exposing us for what we really are.
Heb 4:12 (TLB) 

And although the following verse is specifically warning against changing any of the content of The Book of the Revelation, you have to believe that God's Holy Zeal guards all of the scriptures with the same passion...

"Don't misunderstand why I have come--
it isn't to cancel the laws of Moses and the warnings of the prophets.
 No, I came to fulfill them and to make them all come true. 
{18} With all the earnestness I have I say: 
Every law in the Book will continue until its purpose is achieved. 
{19} And so if anyone breaks the least commandment and teaches others to,
 he shall be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. 
But those who teach God's laws and obey them 
shall be great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Mat 5:17-19 (TLB) 

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, 
If any man shall add unto these things, 
God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 
{19} And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, 
God shall take away his part out of the book of life, 
and out of the holy city,
 and from the things which are written in this book.
Rev 22:18-19 (KJV) 

Jesus said:
Heaven and earth shall pass away: 
but my words shall not pass away.
Luke 21:33 (KJV) 

9) Pray that God would bless each one that hears or reads your message in some way.

Blessed is he that readeth, 
and they that hear the words of this prophecy, 
and keep those things which are written therein:
 for the time is at hand.
Rev 1:3 (KJV) 

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: 
{25} The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: 
{26} The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
Num 6:24-26 (KJV) 

God Bless you as you seek to serve the Saviour.
In bob.......<><


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