Ministry is Not Just for Clergy
…I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel
The apostle Paul is, next to Jesus, probably the most respected and influential leader in the New Testament. He has an almost superhuman status within the Christian faith, including elevation to sainthood within the Catholic church. Because we tend to emphasize his teachings, it is easy to overlook the essential, life-changing truth that God reveals to us through this man’s life: ministry is not just for clergy.
Summary: Owned by the Kingdom of God Corporation (TM), the Prayer Communications Network (PCN) is the oldest existing wireless communications plan, and the first such plan ever created. Once again this year, they have topped all other wireless network providers. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint combined do not match the upload or download speeds of PCN.
PCN's global cell coverage is impeccable. Their slogan boasts: "Our Difference is Omnipresence." I wondered if there was anything this company couldn't do!
To find out, His Inscriptions took advantage of a rare opportunity this week to interview a member of PCN's staff, a local representative for the New England Region. A rather impressive yet somewhat transparent being, he surprised me by stating that he preferred (for undisclosed reasons) to remain anonymous. What follows is a transcript from our interview.
The Bible is not unlike a good cookbook. On its own, it is just a book, and many people never remove it from their bookshelves to savor its delights. But when you choose to read and practice what's in the Bible, its words become delicious recipes for your life: enriching your health, enhancing gatherings with friends, and improving your ability to serve others.
I like to cook, and I love to entertain, and it brings me great joy to serve people in this way. We had friends over this week for a "just dessert" party, and it was a sweet evening filled with good conversation, a few laughs, and deepening relationships. So I wasn't surprised when the Lord began speaking to me this morning about cooking. I just hope you will forgive me for stretching the culinary analogy a little in order to make a point! Here's what He shared with me.
Have you ever wished there were some kind of "litmus test" to tell you if a prophet is for real? Or to discern whether a prophecy you've received is true? I have. In this noisy world full of voices, it's probably a good idea to have a "back pocket" checklist of some sort to help us sort things out! Will this make us faithless Christians or doubting Thomases? Actually, no. It will help us tune in much more accurately to what God is saying. Here's why.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 summarizes the essence of a biblical approach to prophecy. It says: "Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast to what is good." Likewise, the apostle Paul, discussing prophecy (1 Corinthians 14), says he desires that all should prophesy. He elevates prophecy to be among the highest of the gifts. He also encourages believers to judge prophetic words. (Notice that he wants us to judge the words, not the people giving them!)
The New Testament clearly favors the idea of God speaking to us today via the prophetic. It also gives us clear guidelines for how prophets should operate and how we can know if their words are true. Taking a look at five of these will give us greater confidence as we give and receive prophetic words.
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.