Tag Archives: Luke 11

Service

Ministry is using the gifts that God has put inside of me

To do the work that God has put before me

To bless the people that God has put around me

Through the Spirit that God has within me

 

Ministry is that which is called, that which draws strength, which blesses others, which grows me.

 

The idea that Ortberg says that the Holy Spirit calls to something that only we have been given to do, and the tragedy of the gifts not being used.

 

Gifts are like carrots that the farmer has at the market at the end of the day, you either give them away or they go rotten.

 

We need to talk about Rewards, because Jesus spoke a lot about Rewards, and how they are given when we give of ourselves, and the joy of God saying to us “Well done.”

 

Nancy sat on the seat for the whole of this talk and she did not talk, and actually she found this quite comfortable, and she was able to think about a few other things that she needed to do, but actually she was called to get up out of the seat an serve.

 

Talks about the story of David Livingstone when he was a small boy in Blantyre, when the offering went around, not having any money, and being so inspired by what Christ had done for him that he put his whole self into the basket.

 

I think about this flawed man Livingstone with many problems, and with a legend that does not always tally with critical history, still being so much more because he put his whole self into the basket.

Ministry To A Hopeless Man

 

The task of the Christian leader is to bring out the best in man and to lead him forward to a more human community; the danger is that his skilful diagnostic eye will become more an eye for distant and detailed analysis than the eye of compassionate partner.  And if priests and ministers of tomorrow think that more skill training is the solution for the problem of Christian leadership for the future generation, they may end up being more frustrated and disappointed than the leaders of today.  More training and structure are just as necessary as more bread for the hungry.  But just as bread given without love can bring war instead of peace, professionalism without compassion will turn forgiveness into a gimmick and the kingdom to come into a blindfold. (page 42)

 

Many will put their trust in him who went all the way, out of concern for just one of them.  The remark “He really cares for us” is often illustrated by stories which show that forgetting the many for the one is a sign of true leadership. (page 73)

 

All this suggests that when one has the courage to enter where life is experienced as most unique and most private, one touches the soul of the community.  The man who has spent many hours trying to understand, feel, and clarify the alienation and confusion of one of his fellow men might well be the best equipped to speak to the needs of the many, because all men are one at the wellspring of pain and joy. (page 73)

 

I have—found that the very feeling which has seemed to me most private, most personal and hence most incomprehensible to others, has turned out to be an expression for which there is a resonance in many other people.  It has led me to believe that what is most personal and unique in each one of us is probably the very element which would, if it were shared or expressed, speak most deeply to others.  This has helped me to understand artists and poets who have dared to express the unique in themselves. – Carol Rogers on page 74.

 

A Christian leader is not a leader because he announces a new idea and tries to convince the others of its worth; he is a leader because he faces the world with eyes full of expectation, with the expertise to take away the veil that covers its hidden potential.  Christian leadership is called ministry precisely to express that in the service of others new life can be brought about.  It is this service which gives eyes to see the flower breaking through the cracks in the street, ears to hear a word of forgiveness muted by hatred and hostility, and hands to feel a new life under the cover of death and destruction. (page 75)

 

Many ministers, priests and Christian laymen have become disillusioned, bitter and even hostile when years of hard work bear no fruit, when little change is accomplished.  Building a vocation on the expectations of concrete results, however conceived, is like building a house on sand instead of on solid rock, and even takes away the ability to accept successes as free gifts. (page 77)

 

Hope prevents us clinging to what we have and frees us to move away from the safe place and enter unknown and fearful territory.  This might sound romantic, but when a man enters which his fellow man into his fear of death and is able to wait for him right there, “leaving the safe place” might turn out to be a very difficult act of leadership.  It is an act of discipleship in which we follow the hard road of Christ, who entered death with nothing but bare hope. (page 77)

The first service

The first service one owes to others in the community involves listening to them. Just as our love for God begins with listening to God’s Word, the beginning of love for other Christians is learning to listen to them. … We do God’s work for our brothers and sisters when we learn to listen to them. So often Christians, especially preachers, think that their only service is always to have to “offer” something when they are together with other people. They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking. Many people seek a sympathetic ear and do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking even when they should be listening. But Christians who can no longer listen to one another will soon no longer be listening to God either; they will always be talking even in the presence of God. -Bonhoeffer

All In – Serving

 

 

Ministry is that which is called, that which draws strength, which blesses others, which grows me.

 

The idea that Ortberg says that the Holy Spirit calls to something that only we have been given to do, and the tragedy of the gifts not being used.

 

Gifts are like carrots that the farmer has at the market at the end of the day, you either give them away or they go rotten.

 

We need to talk about Rewards, because Jesus spoke a lot about Rewards, and how they are given when we give of ourselves, and the joy of God saying to us “Well done.”

 

Nancy sat on the seat for the whole of this talk and she did not talk, and actually she found this quite comfortable, and she was able to think about a few other things that she needed to do, but actually she was called to get up out of the seat an serve.

 

Talks about the story of David Livingstone when he was a small boy in Blantyre, when the offering went around, not having any money, and being so inspired by what Christ had done for him that he put his whole self into the basket.

 

I think about this flawed man Livingstone with many problems, and with a legend that does not always tally with critical history, still being so much more because he put his whole self into the basket.

The Life You’ve Always Wanted – Part 4

Appropriate smallness

  Key Words Humility Servant
  Source The Life youve always wanted
  Source Author Ortberg, John
  Location 107
  Quote Says a number of things about appropriately becoming a servant:

1. That it is in the nature of God to be God and therefore that means becoming a servant

We need to cut out the pride, because pride is comparative in nature and that prevents us from loving.

Don King “I never cease to amaze my own self – I say that humbly”

Also story of Mohammad Ali refusing to put on a seatbelt in a plane. Ali said “Superman don’t need no seatbelt” to which the hostess replied “Superman don’t need no plane.”

Humility is the decision to “let God be God” from Luther

How do we stop being the prodigal son without turning into the elder brother.

Foster writes
“Nothing disciplines the inordinate desires of the flesh like service, and nothing transforms the desires of the flesh like serving in hiddenness. The flesh whines against service but screams against hidden service. It strains and pulls for honour and recognition.”

Bonhoeffer talks about our competitive instinct:
“We know who it is that sows this thought in the Christian community. But perhaps we do not bear in mind enough that no Christian community ever comes together without this thought immediately emerging as a seed of discord. Thus at the very beginning of Christian fellowship there is engendered an invisible, often unconscious, life-and-death contest. “There arose a reasoning among them.”, this is enough to destroy a fellowship.

Ortberg writes
“God’s great holy joke about the Messiah complex is this. Every human being who has ever lived has suffered from it – except one. And he was the Messiah.”

Ortberg talks about the importance of:
1. The ministry of the mundane
2. The ministry of being interupted
3. Embracing our weaknesses and limitations
4. The ministry of “Holding your tongue.”
5. The ministry of “Bearing”

     
  References The hymn of Christ (Philippians 2)

Holding the tongue

  Key Words Community Speech Gossip
  Source The Life youve always wanted
  Source Author Ortberg, John
  Location 123
  Quote Bonhoeffer wrote
“Often we combat our evil thoughts most effectively if we absolutely refuse to allow them to be expressed in words… It must be a decisive rule of every Christian fellowship that each individual is prohibited from saying much that occurs to him.”

We say we are nothing

  Key Words Humility
  Source The Life youve always wanted
  Source Author Ortberg, John
  Location 124
  Quote Francis de sales writes
“We often say that we are nothing, that we are misery itself and the refuse of the world, but we would be very sorry if anyone took us at our word or told others that we are really such as we say … “We pretend to want to be last in the company and to be seated at the foot of the table, but it is with a view to moving more easily to the upper end. True humility does not make a show of itself and hardly speaks in a humble way. It only wants to conceal all other virtues but most of all it wants to conceal itself.”

To sin alone

  Key Words Sin Confession Community
  Source The Life youve always wanted
  Source Author Ortberg, John
  Location 127
  Quote Bonhoeffer wrote
“Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy… He who is alone with his sins is utterly alone.”

This Spirit Is Timeless Life

  Key Words Spiritual Training
  Source The Life youve always wanted
  Source Author Ortberg, John
  Location 152
  Quote As for me, I never lived, I was half dead, I was a rotting tree, until I reached the place where I wholly with utter honesty, resolved and then re-resolved that I would find God’s will, and I would do that will though every fiber in me said no, and I would win the battle in my thoughts. It was though some deep artesian well had been struck in my soul – Money, praise, poverty, opposition – these make no difference for they will all alike be forgotten in a thousand years, but this spirit which comes to a mind set upon continuous surrender, this spirit is timeless life.
     
  References Spiritual training (1 Timothy 4)

To whom do I belong

  Key Words Kingdom Allegiance Loyalty
  Source The Life youve always wanted
  Source Author Ortberg, John
  Location 158
  Quote Nouwen writes
“At issue here is the question: “To whom do I belong? To God or to the world?” Many of my daily preoccupations suggest that I belong more to the world than to God. A little criticism makes me angry, and a little rejection makes me depressed. A little praise raises my spirits and a little success excites me. Often I am like a small boat on the ocean completely at the mercy of the waves.”

Freedom with the critics

  Key Words Freedom Criticism
  Source The Life youve always wanted
  Source Author Ortberg, John
  Location 159
  Quote Smedes says
“One of the fine arts of gracious living is the art of living freely with our critics. When we have the grace to be free in the presence of those who judge our lives and evaluate our actions, we have Christian freedom.”

Growing up

  Key Words Criticism Praise
  Source The Life youve always wanted
  Source Author Ortberg, John
  Location 161
  Quote When you’re in your twenties, someone once wrote, you live to please other people. When you’re in your thirties you get tired of trying to please others so you get miffed with them for making you worry about it. When you’re in your forties you realise nobody was thinking about you anyway.

Discipline of secrecy

  Key Words Secrecy Service Humility
  Source The Life youve always wanted
  Source Author Ortberg, John
  Location 170
  Quote Ortberg talks about the discipline of secrecy, of ensuring that our actions are done for God and not for others.

He talks about us having treasures in heaven, but also says there is a reward on earth.

Acts of servanthood done to impress others loose their intrinsic power to help us enter the life of the kingdom.

The importance of developing a relationship with God alone is sensed in a saying by the desert fathers
“If you want to keep the fire hot, you must not open the door of the furnace too often.”

     
  References Doing things in secret (Matthew 6:1-24)

C.T.Studd – The Biography – Part 1

Body near the wall

  Key Words Service Mission Battle
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 6
  Quote From Alfred Buxton:

I myself owe an enormous debt to him. From him I learned that God’s ideal of a saint is not a man primarily concerned with his own sanctification; God’s saint is 50 per cent a soldier. So we and thousands more will continue to thank God for the soldier life he lived and the soldier death he died. A little time ago I sent him these lines, and how wonderfully they are fulfilled in his case:
“Let the victors when they come,
When the forts of folly fall
Find thy body near the wall.”

     
  References The armour of God (Ephesians 6)

No good at games

  Key Words Conversion Mission Evangelism
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 18-19
  Quote Tells the story of Mr. W. a man that Studd and his teenage brothers considered a “milksop”. Unlike them he was not good at riding or sports, and yet it was him who won them for Christ.

Grubb concludes:

So the “milksop” who was no good at games, was really an expert at the greatest game of all – catching men for Christ, and he had hooked three shy fish, all members of the Eton XI, in one day.

     
  References Not the greatest (1 Corinthians 1)
Fishers of men (Luke 5)