What Is The Key To All Ministry?
I. The key to a successful and enduring ministry of service is very simple. We have all heard many a sermon on the subject. Yet, we still so often miss the mark. The key to all ministry is love. To know, experience, and give His love is the basis of our relationship with Him and of course our service to Him. Jesus said to love God with all your heart, mind and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself was the whole message of the Law and the Prophets (Matt. 22:37-40). When Jesus sought to restore Peter to service He focused his attention on the fundamental issue, "do you love Me?"(John 21:15-17). Paul declared love to be the greatest virtue of all(1 Cor. 13:1-13). That without love all our service was worthless and we were nothing. He also prayed for the Thessalonians that God would direct their hearts into the love of God (2 Thess. 3:5). He knew this to be the most fundamental issue of their service to Him. Let's look at the importance of love in three areas and what the Bible teaches concerning each.
II. Why Aren't More People Involved In Ministry And Service?
A. Because they love self more (Phil. 2:20-22).
B. Because they love their own life more and refuse to be crucified with Christ (John 12:24-26) (Gal. 2:20).
C. Because they love the things of the world more (2 Tim. 4:10) (Col. 3:2) (1 John 2:15).
D. Because they love pleasure more (Luke 8:14).
E. Because they love the praise of men more than the praise of God (John 12:43).
F. Because they have left their first love (Rev. 2:4).
III. What Causes People To Become Involved In Ministry And Service?
A. When they truly realize what Jesus did for them (1 John 3:16) (Luke 7:41-43).
B. When they understand that this is what it means to love Him in return. The Greek word for servant means a bond slave or love slave (Ex. 21:1-6). This is the word the Apostles used when referring to themselves (Rom. 1:1) (2 Pet. 1:1) (James 1:1).
C. When they realize that this is what it means to obey His commandments (John 14:15,21,23).
D. When they see that this is what people do when they no longer want to live for themselves (2 Cor. 5:14,15).
IV. What Enables People To Serve God And Overcome All The Obstacles, Trials, and Temptations?
A. To know, experience, and walk in His love leads a person to the maturity and fullness of God (Eph. 3:19) (Col. 3:14).
B. To increase and abound in His love promotes stability and real holiness from the instability and corruption of the world (1 Thess. 3:12,13).
C. To keep yourself in the love of God, is the counsel Jude gave to help the early Christians persevere against the seduction of ungodly men and their teachings (Jude 21).
D. Love is what causes faith to work (Gal. 5:6).
E. We will become more than conquerors and will overcome all that comes against us when we are persuaded of His love (Rom. 8:35-39).