Friday, August 01, 2014


I once heard Dr. John Tiller, the former pastor of the church I now serve say in a sermon, The greatest ability is availability.  It doesnt matter how much potential you have until your performance fulfills it.  Then, I think of what leadership guru John Maxwell said, People dont care how much you know until they know how much you care.  Jesusas in all thingsexhibited the leaders availability absolutely.
This is THE FORCE OF OUR SERVICE.  As we make ourselves available to be used of God, we see Him work through us in incredible ways.
·         Jesus was available TO THE DISTRESSED.

Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths.  And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority.  Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth?  Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”  But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him.  Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”  (Luke 4:31-37) 

Now, whether we encounter those who are actually possessed by demons, or more likely oppressed by spiritual forces, the grim reality is  so many are under Satanic bondage these days.  What shall we do?  Will we reach out to them in compassion, and declare to them the power that will set them free?


·         Jesus was available TO THE DISEASED.

And the report about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region.  Now He arose from the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. But Simon’s wife’s mother was sick with a high fever, and they made request of Him concerning her.  So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them.  When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.  And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!” And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ.  (Luke 4:38-41) 

We have a ministry to the sick.  Elders may be summoned to anoint with oil and pray for the sick.  Physical infirmity may hinder spiritual productivity.  Sometimes God is most glorified through giving grace to press on despite our weakness, and sometimes He is most glorified in giving grace to bring healing—even miraculously.  But, whatever a Sovereign God decides, he has chosen to use us as channels through which that grace can flow.
·         Jesus was available TO THE DESPERATE

Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them; but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.”  And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.  (Luke 4:42-44)

These people were desperate for Jesus.  Wherever He was and whenever He was there, they sought Him out.  That is true of people everywhere.  He moved from place to place.  His mission was urgent.  Lives are filled with hopeless desperation.  Is there any hope?  Does anyone care?  As God’s church we offer hope to the world, but a church will not be encouraged to this task without the example of her leaders.
If a leader shuts himself up in an ivory tower far from the hurts of people, then he has forfeited his right to church leadership.  Shepherds must be with the sheep if they are to help them.  Ours is a day of celebrity preachers who don’t counsel the distressed, visit the diseased or take time for the desperate.  What would Jesus do?  You can see here by answering the question, “What did Jesus do?”  Go, and do likewise.


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