Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Woman After God's Own Heart ~ Chapter 18

A Heart Enriched by Joy in the Lord

Ephesians 3:19 ~ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

What can you do to be filled with all the fullness of God so that He can use you in ministry?
  • Spiritual Growth is Aided by Discipleship
    • we teach other women the "good things" we've been learning, that we mentor or disciple them, that we pass on all that God has taught us (Titus 2:3-4)
    • classes are ours for the taking (Bible studies at church or correspondence Bible classes)
    • books offer another avenue for growth and help you develop skills for ministering to women.
    • counsel from fellow Christians (trusted and godly person) is also a valid form of discipleship.
    • interviewing other Christian women
    • observation is another biblical means of growth.
    • reading plays an important role in spiritual growth.
  • Spiritual Growth is Aided by Goals
    • Goals provide focus
      • It's definitely true that if you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time.
    • Goals provide an opportunity for specific measurement
      • Setting goals that are specific helps you move forward in the direction you want to go.
      • So when it comes to making goals for yourself, stay away from the vague.
    • Goals provide encouragement
  • Spiritual Growth Depends on Choices
    • Once you've settled on some specific goals, you'll have to continually make the right choices if you are to reach those goals.
      • Choices based on priorities
      • Choices based on goals
  • Spiritual Growth Requires Time
    • God's perspective on time is different from ours, and we may question His use of time.
    • God alone sees us on bended knee in the heart-wrenching work of prayer, work He uses to prepare us for ministry.
    • Success comes when preparation meets opportunity.
    • God is responsible for presenting the opportunities--in His time, place, and manner--but we are responsible for cooperating with His efforts to prepare us.
    • That preparation happens when we spend time alone with our Lord.
    • Treat yourself to a privater retreat and wait on the Lord.
    • Let God prepare you to mount up with wings like an eagle so that you one day burst on the scene in vital ministry to His people!
  • Spiritual Growth Results in Ministry
    • You cannot give away what you do not possess.
    • Involvement in ministry requires that you be a full vessel
  • Spiritual Growth: Experiencing the Joy of the Lord
    • real joy comes from--time spent alone with the Lord as He enriches you and prepares you for the ministry of helping others.
God has done His part--He has saved you (2 Timothy 1:9), given you eternal life (1 John 5:11), blessed you with all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3), gifted you for spiritual ministry (1 Corinthians 12:11), and prepared a place for you in heaven (John 14:2).  And now He calls you to do your part--to catch His vision, to set aside time, to make growth in Him a goal, to spend time and energy so that He can prepare you for ministry, and to trust Him to provide you with opportunities to minister to and enrich His people out of the overflow of your own joy-filled and enriched life.

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