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January 13, 2020

 

A Message for Ministers

My Dear Friend,

     The apostles’ call was twofold: first, “to be with him [Jesus]” (Mark 3:14); second, to be sent forth in His power and authority “to preach” His good news and minister His good works (3:14-15).

     They began obeying the first call immediately: "And they went into an house [with Jesus]" (Mark 3:19b). Some weeks, or perhaps months, later, when their habit of daily intimate fellowship with Jesus was well established, they began obeying the second part of the call: "And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two, and gave them authority over unclean spirits" (6:7; see Luke 10:1-2, 17-19).

     This “being with Him,” therefore, was not a single encounter with Jesus, as many people experienced during Jesus' ministry, but a constant, close association in a sustained personal relationship with Him. They were to “continue to be with Him” (Amplified Bible), or “be his companions” (Phillips). Out of this inexhaustible spiritual well of sustained union with Jesus their ministries would overflow with spiritual power to the people.

     Matthew Henry’s summation is excellent: "He ordained them that they should be with him constantly, to be witnesses of his doctrine, manner of life, and patience, that they might fully know it. They must be with him, to receive instructions from him, that they might be qualified to give instructions to others. It would require time to fit them for that which he designed them for. Christ’s ministers must be much with him."

     The order here is crucial. They must practice the first duty before they can execute the second. Since the apostles were also disciples, their call is also our call. We may not be apostles but we are all called to be disciples. So we, too, are summoned first to "be with Him” and second to preach, teach, or witness in His divine power as He leads.

     It is crucial that we understand we must follow the order of obedience laid down in this verse. If we try to go forth in His name without being with Him, we will only fail and misrepresent Jesus - and mislead His people - in the process.

     Because the apostles obediently spent plenty of time with Jesus, when they later took over His ministry and message His characteristics were seen in them, so much so that it was evident to even their worst enemies that they “had been with Jesus” (Acts 14:13). No coincidence, Acts 4:13 is spiritually (and phraseologically) linked to Mark 3:14. Jesus called the apostles to “be with Him” and it was later acknowledged that they had indeed “been with Jesus.” So, the purpose of Jesus' twofold call was fully realized in the apostles.

     We should also see here that Jesus called them to sustained time in His presence (Mark 3:14) so they could later minister in His power (3:15). So their power came from His presence. Just as all power radiates from the sun and all life on earth soaks up its power as it shines, all our spiritual power comes from soaking in the spiritual light-beams of the Son of Righteousness’ presence (Malachi 4:2). Indeed, the more quality time we spend in His presence, the more spiritual power flows through us as we minister in His name. The Bible confirms this.

     Moses’ sustained fellowship with God made Him a powerful leader. David’s habit of seeking God in the wilderness filled Him with God’s strength. Paul’s extended season of communing with Jesus in Arabia enabled Him to testify, teach, and write with divine authority. John's time in His presence on Patmos filled his heart with the most powerful prophecy ever released: Revelation!

     To this day, whoever spends plenty of time at Jesus’ feet will walk and minister with plenty of His power. When they speak, He speaks through them. When they pray for the afflicted, He is present healing the afflicted. When they confront demons, His authority releases captives through their faith commands. Whenever they give counsel, He is guiding His sheep through their wisdom. When they speak of the signs of the times, He is discerning and prophesying through them. When they teach the Scriptures, He is expounding His Word through them with life-sustaining inspiration.

     My fellow ministers, popularity comes from mingling often with the people, but power comes from meeting often with the Lord - studying the Bible, praying, and worshiping regularly in His presence. Popularity is pleasant, but His power in our lives and ministries is paramount. We must have it! God's people must have it! It is indispensable. Vital. And these days it's all too rare.

     May we live and flow in it, or rather, in Him, for His people's sake!

Being with Him,

Greg Hinnant
Greg Hinnant Ministries

       Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC 27261
1-336-882-1645