September 4, 2017 | You Are Never Too Unqualified For a Second Chance.

We all have limitations — things that we have no business doing. I know that I am not a mechanic. I trust a paid professional with whatever is going on beneath the hood of my car. I know my limitations. I avoid the frustration of trying to work in ways that I’m limited.
 
Likewise, I know my strengths. I am confident to work in the areas where I am strong. I’ve learned that we will find the most value in our lives when we trust others where we are limited and we work where we’re strong.
 
This principle applies to the ministry that God has called each of us to. While it’s true that “Everyone is a Minister”, not everyone ministers the same way. For example, I am confident that God has not called me to minister to babies because He did not give me the skills and competence to minister with them for longer than 60 seconds. Don’t get me wrong, babies are cute. But after I acknowledge their cuteness, my ministry effectiveness is done. Likewise, I also know the ways God has gifted me for ministry. It’s essential for our own spiritual maturity that we are familiar with both.
 

I’ve met far too many Christians who are all too familiar with the limits they have for serving in ministry; and yet, they are clueless about the ways God has gifted them for ministry. I’ve had to talk brothers and sisters in Christ into believing that they have purpose and value in God’s kingdom. And I’ve listened to every excuse imaginable why people feel inadequate and unqualified to do ministry for God. No matter how you feel…God has a ministry for you. Do you need more proof? Read Ephesians 2:10 — “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

There are three points from this verse I want to emphasize:

  1. You and I are God’s handiwork. The New Living Translation says, “For we are God’s masterpiece…” You are a work of art. I can imagine God making you and stepping back in amazement at His workmanship and declaring, “Wow!” Our Creator God doesn’t create junk and you are no exception.
  2. We are created to do good works. There is no one like you. You are one of a kind. And God created you, uniquely you, with purpose and a plan. God put in you everything you would need to do what He created you for. God doesn’t make accidents. He is intentional about everything He makes. As His plan for humanity unfolds, He intends to use people to point others towards the love of Jesus. He created you for this purpose. How you fulfill this purpose is unique to you in how He created you.
  3. God prepared in advance to deal with our sin. It’s our sin that keeps us from fulfilling God’s plan for our lives. Maybe you think something you’ve done has somehow disqualified you from doing good works. Because of our sin, Romans 3:23 says, “we all fall short of the glory of God.” God knew about this problem. And Jesus’ death and resurrection is the prescription for this problem. Romans 5:8 declares, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God prepared a solution for our sin because He knew it would be problematic for us accomplishing good works for Him.
 

Every one of us have good works to carry out for God — this is our ministry. You will not accomplish good works for God like I am created to, and that’s the way God created us. You are never too unqualified for God to give a second chance. And if you’re still wondering what ministry God has created you for, look no further than what interests you most…what makes you perk up and smile…what comes most natural for you. How can you do that as a way to minister to someone? There may not currently be a ministry in the church that specializes with what you specialize in, and that’s okay! Let’s look for ways to turn your talents and gifts into ministry for God. It’s a whole lot more fun to do what you’re good than it is trying to do what you’re not. And when you do, you will discover purpose as you bring eternal value to others.

I love doing ministry with you!

Ashton

August 28, 2017 |You are QUALIFIED! Don’t disqualify what God alone qualifies.

God The QualifierWhen you hear that God has purpose and a plan for your life, do you accept it or do you begin making a list of excuses? Are you willing to boldly step into the will of God or are you timid and insecure? If you’re not quick to jump at the opportunity to be used by God for His eternal purpose, then you’re not alone.

Naturally we want to live life where we’re familiar and we tend to avoid anything that makes us feel uncomfortable. And when God leads us to take step out of our comfort zone into a faith-stretching opportunity to serve Him, we may want to resist.

While there are certain gifts, talents, and passions that ought to serve as an indication for where God wants to use us, I think what often keeps us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives is fear, or guilt, or shame.

Fear is the emotional mechanism used to warn us of an impending threat. We know that the Lord is likely not going to lead us into a situation that will cause us harm; so, what is the fear that cripples us from freely giving ourselves to the service of God? Paul encouraged a young man named Timothy with this truth in 2 Timothy 1:7 — “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

Guilt and shame are the consequences that result because of sin. When we’ve sinned, we know that we’ve disobeyed God which leads us to feel like we’ve let God down; thus rendering us inadequate or disqualified from serving God.

I am acutely familiar with the feeling that I’m unworthy to be used by God. Just about every Sunday before I preach, I have to remind myself that God has saved me, rescued me, forgiven me, qualified me, and purposed me to preach His Word. And the same is true for you — through Jesus, God has saved you and purposed you.

Psalm 130:3-4 — “If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve You.”

God, your creator, knows you, defects and all. Your limitations don’t disqualify you because God is the one who qualifies you. He forgives your sin and gives you His Spirit to live within you — He’s given you everything you’ll need to fulfill the purpose He has for your life. Don’t disqualify what God alone qualifies.

In Christ,

Ashton

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One Response to “Beyond Sunday”

  1. Nancy perry says:

    Thank you. It’s a pleasure to go to church now.You not only preach from the Bible but also from your heart. If I didn’t know any difference I would think you were Dr Stanley son. I watch him 3 times each week. Keep up the great work and I will be their every Sunday if Lords willing
    God Bless you and your family.

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