PRINCIPLES FOR SERVICE

Principle 1:  You must be a Christian.

It seems almost silly to mention this, but it is the first thing that must be true in your life. If you have not trusted in Jesus as your Savior, God cannot use you to your fullest in a ministry to Him. How can you show the love of God when the love of God in not in you? How can you lead others to Christ when you haven't made that decision yourself? If this is not so in your life, you should consider why you are wanting to be involved in this ministry. This is a ministry of service to Jesus. Service starts when we give our life to Him.


Principle 2:  You must be a clean (empty) vessel.

This means that your sins must be confessed. I John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (NIV) Before you are a clean vessel, you must empty yourself of the garbage inside.

But being a clean vessel also means being an empty vessel. It is vital that you empty yourself so that God has room to work in you. Paul told Timothy that we must purge ourselves of all impurities so that we can be for the Master's use. Look at the verse in 2 Timothy.

2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, meet for the master's use, prepared unto every good work. (ASV)

And the good news is, when we do this, we are prepared unto every good work.

Paul knew about being a vessel, too. God had chosen him and used him in mighty ways. Consider what God told Ananias concerning Paul's use as a chosen vessel.

Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, "Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel." (ASV)

God used these men in mighty ways, and He will use you ... when you become His vessel. But you must be clean, and you must be empty. Then He can use you in mighty ways.


Principle 3:  You must be filled with the Holy Spirit.

This is particularly vital if you have emptied yourself. Now it is time to fill yourself with something else. God's Spirit will cause you to be successful in ways you haven't even imagined yet. That is how important being Spirit-filled is.

Ephesians 5:18 says, "And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit." (ASV)

God has called us to be filled with His nature, His essence, His love, His Spirit. When we are, He can do mighty things.

Just look at what happened in the first century. That was a Spirit-filled church, and they had massive results!

Part of being Spirit-filled means submitting to His will. We must take our example from our Savior, who faced death on our behalf and still said, " ... My Father, if this cannot pass away, except I drink it, Thy will be done." Matthew 26:42 (ASV)

Jesus was willing to submit to God's will for Him. If we are to be Spirit-filled, it means being willing to submit to His will, instead of ours. Being Spirit-filled is a matter of submission.

Incidently, when you are filled with the Spirit, there is no room left for the flesh, or for the devil to take control. You become controlled and directed by God. That's what being filled with the Spirit is all about.


Principle 4:  You MUST Pray.

Without a doubt, this is probably the most neglected part of our Christians lives. Perhaps that is why we "flounder" around in our service to God. When we don't talk with Him, He can't reach us.

The Bible is full of commands to pray. These are not just suggestions or good ideas. These are commands! Take a look at just a few scriptures that tell us what importance prayer has for the Christian.

1 Chronicles 16:11 Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always. (NIV)

Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (NIV)

Luke 18:1 Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (NIV)

John 16:24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. (NIV)

Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (NIV)

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray continually. (NIV)

James 5:13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. (NIV)

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (NIV)

Prayer is the communications link with the very one who created us. Prayer is the instrument God uses to effect change in our lives. And Prayer DOES change things.

As you pray in regards to this mission trip, there are several areas you need to remember.

  1. Praise God for the opportunity you have to take this trip.

  2. Pray that your funding will be taken care of, and that the funding of every team member will be found.

  3. Pray that the church where you are going to hold the Medical Mission will prepare the way for you.

  4. Pray for the people that you will come in contact with on this trip. Ask God to lead them to Him, and to open their hearts.

  5. Pray for those who will become Christians as a result of our efforts that they will mature and grow in their service to God. Pray that God will give them "double protection" from Satan after you leave.

  6. Pray that God will use you, stretch you, make you more mission-minded as a result of this mission.

  7. Pray that God will make you bold in your service to Him. That He will use you in ways you have never had the confidence to be used before.

  8. Pray, Pray, Pray!!!

And do it every single day! Organize group prayer sessions. Pray when you are alone, pray when you are together, pray at work, and pray at play. Pray all the time.


Principle 5:  Expect God to work in your life and the lives of others.

Sometimes when we get involved in something as grand and as large as a Medical Mission, we think God will use us, but we think He will use the others on the team better than He will use us. We go into the work not expecting much from ourselves. We cannot fall into this trap.

We must go into this expecting God to use us for His service. We must go into this knowing that we have what it takes to be used by God. And by the way, if we follow the first four principles laid out above, we will be prepared to be used in mighty ways for God's service.

Remember the parable of the talents. Here, God clearly shows that some are given lots of ability, some are given average ability, and some are even given little ability. But the message of the parable was not on the size of our abilities, but rather on how we use them. We are given our abilities by God. Now we must expect to be used by God. He has given you all you need to be used for Him.

Remember, too, that God is in control. When we ask Him to work in our lives, then we must expect Him to do so. In fact, to do otherwise is to displease Him. Look at what James has to say on the subject.

James 1:5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. (NIV)

When we are asking God to help us with this Medical Mission, we must believe that He has the ability to work in our lives and answer our prayers.

Remember, too, that it is God's desire that this Medical Mission be a success. Take a look at a few scriptures that bear this out.

Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it. (KJV)

1 Timothy 2:4 [God] would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. (ASV)

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (ASV)

God will work through you in this Medical Mission. He expects something to happen. You can count on something happening. God WILL act on your prayers and your actions.


Principle 6:  You must expect opposition.

A basic law of physics is: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." This is certainly true in regards to the efforts of God's people. We are involved in a battle, and with any battle the enemy is going to do all he can to oppose us. Satan will not rest. He will not stop. He will come after you in every way he can.

Read what Paul says in Ephesians 6 concerning this topic.

Ephesians 6:12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places]. (ASV)

Paul knew that the proper term to describe this was "wrestling." This term implies hand-to-hand combat, one-on-one battle with the opponent. While we are fighting to bring people to Christ, Satan is going to be fighting to draw them away.

Even though we must expect to be opposed by Satan, we don't have to expect to lose to him. In fact, we have already won the war. Jesus assured that at the cross. We may lose some battles, but the war is already won.

How will you do in this battle?

Know this, if you decide to serve God through this Medical Mission, Satan will come at you with every weapon he can muster. Family will tell you that you shouldn't go; you will have trouble raising the funds (or will think that you will have trouble raising the funds); you will get sick; your job will suddenly need your attention; you will find yourself in sin; the phone will ring; the doorbell will ring; your car will break down; the kids will need braces; and all kinds of things will happen so that you are hindered from doing this service for God. Satan WILL come after you.



Understand this, too! These hindrances are not from God; they are from Satan who is going to try to stop you any way possible. He will use people, family, circumstances, attitudes, friends, employers, even fellow church members to stop us. HE WILL STOP AT NOTHING! At that time, we must put on our armor and resist.
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (ASV)

Don't let Satan render you useless in God's service. You have made a decision to serve God in a wonderful way. The victory is ours through Christ. Don't let Satan steal your victory.



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