Loving Jesus makes the difference

You can only do anointed ministry if you love the Lord.
Ministry happens in the overflow of the Lord’s presence.
Ministry happens in the love moment
Ministry happens without the involvement of our hands

You can only do anointed ministry if you love the Lord more than these.
Who or what are the “these” in this sentence.
Do you love me more than these other guys love me? That was the question Jesus posed to Peter in the days following his resurrection and preceding his ascension

We think about the disciples having to face, in the day, the ongoing persecution meted out to them because it was clear to everyone that they had indeed been with the Lord. You can’t really hide it even if you try.
It oozes from your pores.
It shines on your face
It’s in your touch.
It’s in your heart.
Everyone knew they’d been with the Lord, and their lives still weren’t safe.

*They would have to deal with the persecution and you see what happened to them in the early days- imprisonment, beatings, they were constantly under threat of death.

*They would have to deal with people who would come to join them. Don’t think there weren’t crazy church people back in the day. Not long after they got started, people were already arguing over communion and how it should be shared
They were already arguing over who had the best gifts.
They were already creating strife and divisions of class and gender
They were already church as we know it, without the benefit of cell phones or the Internet and social media.
Jesus knew they would have to deal with church people.

*They would also have to deal with each other. Again, divisions and conflict. Replacing leadership. Wondering how long they’d be operating until Jesus’ return.

*They would have to deal with newcomers who’d never been with Jesus, but claimed to know him better than they. Paul being one. Saul the persecutor. Saul who had threatened and set out with governmental permission to kill them.
Imagine Ananias’ shock and awe when the Lord told him to go find this zealot and embrace him with God’s hospitality.
Go where? Do what? Did you mean me? There’s another dude named Ananias down the road a piece and I think I heard he was especially gifted in this area.

*They were about to demonstrate the effortlessness of fishing if you follow the direction of the Master. Their haul was too much to handle. Especially in contrast to their earlier fruitless effort in the same water.
The only difference was Jesus.
As it would be as they ministered all over the known world under the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit.
The only difference was Jesus.

For us the only difference is Jesus.
Jesus set the standard. Jesus paved the way. Jesus made the difference.
Love the difference.
Love Jesus.
Love the One who makes us different.
Love the One who helps you live with the difference.
Love the One who helps you see the difference as a blessing.

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