“This is your ministry, and God has gifted you for this assignment: “A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.” (1 Corinthians 12:7 NLT)
As members of Christ’s body, we are his hands, his feet, his eyes, and his heart. He works through us in the world. But without the Love of Christ in our hearts, we are just additional noise in the world. I believe this to be true, but many days I wake up and wonder why I am here. What is my purpose? I read Paul’s words to the Corinthians and wonder what my ministry is, what purpose there is for my life. I guess that I’ve been searching for that purpose, that vocation, my entire life. I long to emulate Paul, and my Dad, who could turn any conversation into a lesson on Christ and how His Love could save us. Dad put Paul’s words into action with Christ’s Love in his heart and the enormous faith that he had.
“The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions…… This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” – and I am the worst of them all.” ” (1 Timothy 1:5-6,15 NLT)
I certainly fit verses 6 and 15. By the time I turned 18, I was turning away from the things of God, things I KNEW to be true, and spent my time in those meaningless discussions. I looked at the teachings of Buddha and other religions. I decided that Jesus was merely a good man, a teacher, and a prophet…. even though I knew better. Satanic things began to worm their way into my heart because of my rejection of Jesus. For years, I was stuck between the world and the faith in grew up with. Never underestimate the Power of PRAYER. My parents hated the way I lived, but they never stopped praying for me, and I know that their prayers are all that stood between me and the enemy. It took hitting bottom several times before I finally, truly, gave up and gave in to Jesus (I’m a slow learner sometimes, okay??)
There is a program called Celebrate Recovery that is offered in many churches, and it is based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholic Anonymous, only with Jesus added. It is not a program that is just for alcoholics, as I quickly learned. In fact, one statement stuck with me: “There are 2 kinds of people. Those who are IN recovery, and those who NEED recovery. “ I began going to support my husband, who was an alcoholic – among other addictions. Through CR, I discovered that I was an addict, too. I was a Codependent, my drug of choice was sex and requiring a man to be in my life. We call it a Relationship addiction, and it is a very real thing. There are many addictions of choice besides drugs and do alcohol. Yours could be work, shopping, food, cleaning; even exercise can be addicting. Cycling, running; these are very addictive. You (and I) can really take any day to day, “normal,” innocuous activity and turn it into an addiction. Actually, WE don’t turn it into an addiction; that would be the work of the enemy. Take something good, and turn it to evil.
My ministry seems to be in writing. I have spoken to groups on recovery and the need for Jesus in our lives, and I would love to do more speaking.
“The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. I thank Christ Jesus our LORD, who has given me strength to do His work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve Him, even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted His people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. Oh, how generous and gracious our LORD was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus. Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked. Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God.” (1 Timothy 1:5, 12-14, 19-20 NLT)
Like Hymenaeus and Alexander, I was handed over to Satan to learn not to blaspheme the LORD. Unlike Paul, I blasphemed and persecuted without ignorance, but our gracious GOD forgives me my trespass and sin because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for me. Hallelujah! You can these words for the Truth that they are:
“But GOD had Mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of His great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in Him and receive ETERNAL LIFE. All Honor and Glory to GOD forever and ever! He is the Eternal King, the unseen One Who never dies; HE ALONE IS GOD. Amen.” (1 Timothy 5: 16-17 NLT)