Faith Covenant Church

Faith Covenant Church

From The Desk of the Bishop...

Lord, I'll Grow and Give For You! Part II

 

Lord, I'll Grow and Give for You! Part II
 
Memory Verse:
"Also I heard the voice of the LORD, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me." -- Isaiah 6: 8
After Isaiah committed to grow ("Woe is me..."); after he fully committed to give himself ("Here am I..."); he finally was ready to go ("Send me."). I think this is a biblical pattern for leadership development. In order to become effective leaders in the Kingdom of God, we must strive for mastery in each of these areas -- we must grow in the Lord, and His Word. We must fully give our very lives to the cause of Christ, being willing to make any sacrifice He desires. Only then are we ready to move to the next step, ready to go for Him as ambassadors of His Word and of His Love.
 
 
I don't want to belabor the point; but I was reflecting about how many ministerial shipwrecks would be avoided, if only this generation of ministry would heed this message -- "Called" doesn't mean chosen or commissioned! Or to say it another way, just because the Lord has called you, doesn't mean that He is ready to send you yet. If you go before you grow, it is a sure recipe for disaster. One who is unbroken, un-mentored, undisciplined, and uncorrected is unready to be in charge of others. I don't know how many are even taking the time to read these words today, but I wish I could share this message with all ministers and "wanna-be" leaders... I know what it is to be called and anxious to go, to get out and be about fulfilling my call. And there is much that a newly called minister can and should be busy doing in the local assembly -- where he/she can be supervised and mentored. That season of mentoring and correction, even sometimes painful or embarrassing correction, makes all the difference between being "called" and being "chosen."
 
 
As I look back through the lenses of almost 27 years in full-time ministry, I am so glad that I was not allowed back then, to do all that I thought myself capable of. I thought that I was ready for a lot of things that I really wasn't ready for...Thank God for more experienced wiser voices that told me, "You're not ready for that, wait on God." At the time, I sometimes thought that I was just being held back -- to be honest, even by God, who didn't let me go when and where I wanted to. I can see now that if I had been released to do what I thought I could, it would have been disastrous, not only for me, but for all involved. You've gotta grow before you go!
 
 
Just as important as allowing God to grow us as ministers/leaders is coming to the place of totally giving ourselves to God -- no strings, and nothing withheld. Brothers and Sisters, that is far easier said than done. When I truly give myself to God, no commitment that He would ask is too much for me. When I really give myself to God, it revolutionizes the order of everything else. If I am a head of household, it radically transforms my family time -- sometimes family-time must revolve around serving God time! Can you imagine the priests and prophets of old telling the Lord, "Sorry, Lord, but I can't make it out tonight, I gotta get the little ones in bed..."? No, the way you raise a generation of "priests and prophets" is you bring them along with you and teach them the commitment that is involved in following the call of God! When they are small, put them to sleep in church -- wasn't it little Samuel who first learned to hear the voice of the Lord, as a child sleeping at the house of God? Take them out and feed them at church(not in the sanctuary). Teach them to love and fear the Lord at church. Teach them how to respect adults, and treat others at church...I promise you, it will pay off in rich dividends! If they learn these lessons at an early age in church, they will carry them far in life.
 
 
I credit my upbringing in church with who I am today. Church and serving the Lord was our whole life! I used to actually feel sorry for my neighborhood playmates and classmates because their life appeared so two dimensional and dull -- school and home. We had such a richer world -- school, home, and church! Church is where all our best friends were. Church is where our Dad worked and loved to be; and consequently, because he and Mom took us with them, so did we. Church was where we had laughter and affirmation. Church is where we saw God at work. I and my wife are witnesses, that if you raise your children right, going to church will never be a punishment; being left home from church will seem like punishment! Although, our parents took time with us and played with us and took us many places outside church too, Church and serving the Lord, was the center of our universe! It became a part of our very identity,we were a family called to serve the Lord and His people...And that didn't keep us from succeeding at school or in other activities (as long as they didn't interfere with our commitment to God). This little "church-boy" graduated high school with honors, and went right from the church pew to one of the nation's elite colleges -- Harvard College -- again, graduating with honors. I lay any successes I have achieved at the feet of my dear parents who gave themselves and their children to God, and had an undying commitment that said, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
 
 
Because I came from a lifestyle of giving to the Lord -- even of giving up all for Him -- I have also been privileged to see the kinds of rewards that God gives to those who truly step out in faith and leave all...I don't want to ride this "hobby horse" into the ground, but just let me say, if you want to play in God's "Big Leagues," you "gotta pay to play" -- Jesus said, "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it" (Mark 8: 34, 35). The old preacher taught us, "if you're going to teach faith, you've gotta live faith." He said that in context of our giving in the offering, but it has wider application to be sure. In other words, don't get up and preach commitment then show by your actions, that you aren't really committed! Folks, this is applicable not just for ministers/leaders, but for all who want to live for God and be able and available to go when and where He sends. Until you are willing to give your all, you aren't ready to be sent!
 
 
Remember: 1) You gotta grow before you go! 2) You gotta give (your whole self) before you go.
 
 
Thoughts for your journal:
 
 
1. In light of the last couple of "Manna Messages" are there any areas that come to mind where God might be trying to grow you in preparation for what He wants to do in your future? Have you been resistant to His correction in any areas? What are you going to do to rectify it?
 
2. In what ways has either your upbringing or your current family situation helped or limited your ability/willingness to give yourself to the Lord?
 
 
Prayer Focus:
  • Pray for the Lord help you to grow and give in 2011 in such a way that this year you will see the difference in your life and ministry.
  • Pray for a mighty outpouring of the Holy Ghost with signs following this weekend at church.
Prayer/Worship Opportunities this Weekend:
 
 
Today and Saturday - Noon Prayer
Tonight - Meet me for Impact Crusade Revival at 7:30 p.m. as together we conclude our Impact Consecration.
Sunday Morning - Altar Prayer and Intercession at 9:30 a.m.
Call friends and family today to join you at church for a Holy Ghost Explosion all day Sunday!!
 
 
Final thought:
 
 
Congratulations on the commitment and tenacity that has brought you this far. You have been changed in ways that will only be fully revealed in days and weeks to come! One writer called fasting, "the private discipline that brings public rewards" (Jenetzen Franklin). Please know that God is not through blessing you as a result of having chosen to honor Him in this consecration!
 
 
Please continue to consider and pray about how you can bless your church financially as we conclude this fast...giving mixed with prayer and fasting makes for powerful results! Put God to the test. Think also, what a blessing we can be to the work of God if we gave sacrificially on one accord. We should sow a seed toward the church fulfilling it's vision debt free. It might also be the very seed that moves you toward being debt free.
 
Finally, if it is alright with you, I am going to maintain this Manna Mailing list, and will try to send Manna from time to time to bless you! I have enjoyed this journey with you!
 
 
Love and Blessings,
 
 
Bishop Moore

 

 

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