Certain changes of mindsets are required to build with God. In a reformational style church we should be careful to give God's people rest, yet we still need to get the job done! Finding your function in a local church is a journey, enjoy it.Leaders Training: Building with God
Harvester Reformational Church, Cape Town
Apostle Aje Pelser
Scriptures for meditation:
Act 6:1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples were multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
Act 6:2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
Act 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
Act 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
Act 6:5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
Act 6:6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
Act 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
Act 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
Ezr 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
Ezr 1:2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
Ezr 1:3 Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.
Ezr 1:4 And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.
Ezr 1:5 Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem.
Neh 4:6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
Notes on Building with God:
Finding a function – or a function finding you?
In Acts the apostles took six chapters (so to speak) to find their function! Here they discover that their most important role was prayer and the ministry of the Word. When apostles start becoming sure of their function, it opens new dimensions of clarity for believers around them. Stephen and Philip in particular 'found themselves' and were launched into God's service. We still read about them today!
In the early church it was an ongoing process to uncover the perfect will of God. Believers who proved themselves to be “of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom” were selected from the congregation to help in the area of need in the church. In their case it was the widows being neglected in the daily distribution.
In our context, some people in the church are suffering hunger too. Our households are the care units that help make sure that people lack no good thing. However, there is a commitment to God’s body that is required before such a care is released. It also requires suitable people to be selected to channel this flow of care to the relevant parties.
Once again, there is a process involved of revelation, discussion, mutual submission and patience. Functions take time to form, to be clearly defined.
Spirits moved by God
Cyrus gives us a clue as to how God chooses people to build his house:
Their “spirits were moved” by God.
This focuses on the inward realities of the reformation Jesus Christ paid for with His precious blood.
True sons of God are led by the Spirit of God.
Jesus said that zeal for God’s house had consumed him.
Fire should be kindled within. People should not have to be fired up by the pastor alone. They should be in touch with the Holy Ghost fire within.
Christ within the hope of glory!
Also Christ within this church the hope of Glory.
We need each other.
A mind to work
Nehemiah reveals another tip for becoming a co labourer with Christ:
The people had a “mind to work”!
A mindset change has to take place in many believers.
Stephen and Philip were examples of deacons that proved themselves amongst the congregation and see how GOD promoted them. They did not seek promotion but served tables faithfully. Nobody asked Philip whether he felt like doing it or not. He had a mind to work. To do what needs to be done.
We are His workmanship
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Paul tells Timothy to watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
(2Ti 4:5 )
Remember that your your reward is with God.
(KJVR) The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
(MKJV) May Jehovah repay your work, and may a full reward be given you from Jehovah, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to trust.
(MSG) GOD reward you well for what you've done--and with a generous bonus besides from GOD, to whom you've come seeking protection under his wings.'