How Do You Measure Up As One Of God's Ministers?
Are you a minister of God? What are your qualifications?
Most would respond by saying that they graduated from a reputable Bible School and/or Seminary with a degree in Theology, for example, supposing that this accomplishment qualifies them to be an able minister. Others might attest that they have a Church or a preaching/teaching ministry to the Body of Christ which classifies them as ministers. But what criteria does the Bible set forth for us today?
Here is a Self Test, based on the Word of God, which everyone, who ministers in some degree for the Lord or feels that He is leading them in this direction, should take to evaluate their spiritual competency before God and men.
May all submit, in a spirit of humility, to the piercing Light of the Holy Spirit - allowing Him to reveal their true weaknesses and strengths.
Isaiah 52:11 says - "Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing: go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD."
1 Timothy 3:9 says - "Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience."
Have you separated yourself from idols, especially the Idol of Self?
How much does the world influence you and your ministry?
As a spiritual priest, are you keeping yourself pure from that which God considers as wicked and evil?
Do you have a pure conscience - a conscience void of offense toward God and men?
Are you on a perpetual watch for that which would debauch your conscience, corrupt your heart, or draw you away from the Lord?
Exodus 28:36,38 says - "And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD...And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead..."
Leviticus 21:6 says - "They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy."
Titus 1:8 says - "...holy..."
Are you aware that, as God's priest, you are consecrated to the Lord and His service and honor?
Do you have "HOLINESS TO THE LORD" engraven on your forehead at all times and in every place that you venture forth? In other words, are your keeping your thought life pure and holy before the Lord?
Are you teaching others the ways of righteousness and true holiness? Are you preaching righteousness in your congregation?
Have you - who offers the "bread" of God to the people - become defiled in any way by yielding to fleshly appetites, passions, or lusts?
How do you conduct yourself before the people?
Are you an arrogant and proud person with a spirit of dictation? Do you "lord it over God's heritage"?
Or are you modest, self-abasing, and willing to stoop to any service for the Kingdom of God's sake?
2 Corinthians 6:4 says - "But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience..."
2 Timothy 2:24 says - "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be...patient."
Do you display a right spirit while undergoing sufferings, afflictions, persecutions, and great difficulties?
Do you show forth a patient endurance of hardships, or do you complain and appear unsubmissive?
Are you faithful to the Lord and His people whatever comes your way - in troublesome times as well as in times of peace and comfort? Are you forbearing unto others in the midst of evils and injuries which attack your character and reputation?
Is your conduct at all times and in every place irreproachable - void of any guilt or shame?
Are you free from any charge of immorality or scandalous behavior?
Are you keeping yourself free from all false doctrine?
What are others saying about your overall character and demeanor?
Isaiah 6:8 says - "...Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me."
1 Peter 5:2 says - "Feed the flock of God...taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly..."
Are you prompt to deliver any message that God gives you for His people?
Are you ready and willing to engage in any service that you are called upon to perform?
Are you singular for the Lord? Have you "set your face like a flint" in doing His will no matter what sacrifices and hardships it requires?
Do you consider the work of the Lord as a burden? Or do you perform your duties cheerfully?
Are you more interested in obtaining the purses of God's people than their souls?
What is more important in your estimation - building up your bank account or establishing others in the faith?
Are you one who is guilty of fleecing the sheep?
Is the ministry a business, profession, or a money-making deal to you?
What occupies your mind - thoughts of offerings and building projects or winning your community for Jesus?
Do you conduct your affairs - while having no respect of persons?
Are you impartial? Or are you inclined to favor some because of their position, wealth, or friendship?
Are you prejudiced in any way - toward a certain group, race, nationality, or denomination?
Do you approach others in a condescending and authoritative way or in a meek and mild manner?
Do you rule others with rigor or treat them with tenderness and gentleness?
Acts 20:24 says - "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself..."
Philippians 1:20-21 says - "...Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
How do you handle difficulties, discouragements, and oppositions for the Gospel's sake?
Do they, in any way, deter you from the call of God on your life?
To the Apostle Paul, duty was more important than life. If one had to be sacrificed, it would always be his life. What about you? Are you that dedicated to your God-ordained mission?
What is your sole aim or supreme end in life? Is it to glorify Christ or Self?
What is more important to you - prestige, position, wealth, pleasure, comfort, and learning, or that Jesus would be exalted and magnified in your life?
When others meet you, do you want them to be impressed with or moved by the greatness of God in your life and ministry or your so-called greatness?
11. Strong In Grace
Whose strength are you leaning on - yours or God's?
Is the grace of God the motivating factor in your life and ministry?
Are you constantly aware of your need for it in order to persevere in the work assigned you?
Throughout the day, how often do you call upon the Lord for His enabling grace?
How strong is your flesh?
Which is stronger - your spirit or your flesh? Which do you feed the most?
Do you consider your body as a servant in subjection to the Holy Spirit?
Do you deny yourself in order to obey His Word?
13. Sober, Just, Temperate
Leviticus 10:9 says - "Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die..."
Titus 1:8 says - "...sober, just...temperate."
The Word of the Lord to Aaron and his sons was that they were to refrain from all inebriating and fermented beverages. As the priests of the Lord, they were to be "sober" at all times so that they could properly carry out their duties before God and the people.
Since all Christians are called to be "Priests of the Lord," the same word of admonition applies to us today.
How about it - has the devil deceived you into becoming a "sipping Saint"?
Do you drink alcoholic beverages like the devil's children in the name of "Christian liberty"?
Are you just in all of your dealings with others?
Do you have control over your passions, affections, and appetites?
How ready are you to receive and entertain strangers in your home?
Can those who are in distress and without family and friends call on you for help in time of need?
15. Apt To Teach
Are you willing and able, at any given moment, to communicate to others the knowledge and wisdom that God has given to you through His Word?
Are you constantly seeking to increase in knowledge so that you are "instant in season" - ready whenever God calls upon you or needs you to inform and direct another from His Word?
Do you deny yourself the pleasures and comforts of life so that you can study to be a "workman" for the Lord?
16. Studious & Meditative
1 Timothy 4:13,15 says - "Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine... Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear to all."
Paul exhorted Timothy to study - to study hard - to especially become familiar with the Old Testament books. He instructed him to read them privately and then be ready to read and expound them publicly.
Many are familiar with the New Testament books of the Bible and seem to skip over the Old Testament.
How about you? Are you a student of the entire Bible? Do you have a knowledge of God's Word from cover to cover - not excluding any books whatsoever for whatever reasons?
How much thought have you given to the work of the ministry?
How much value and worth do you place on immortal souls?
Are you fully aware of the grave responsibility entrusted unto you?
How important is your calling to you? Is it your sole concern?
Have you devoted your life to it? Are you absorbed by it?
Is it your principal work and business? Do you devote all of your time, talents, and attention to it?
Can others see your progress, advancement, and zeal for the Lord?
Or are you distracted by the pursuit of money, pleasure, or fame?
Are you keeping a vigilant watch over your own soul as well as the souls over which the Lord has made you an overseer?
Are you constantly on guard against the temptations of Satan, fully aware that you can be overtaken in a fault and lose your soul if you should neglect your duty?
Are you keeping a constant watch for false doctrine or error?
The Apostle Paul continuously remembered in prayer all the Churches which God had given him.
He was always bringing them before the Throne of Grace, petitioning the Lord for His Grace so that the saints would not faint but persevere in the race set before them.
How about you? How is your Prayer Life?
How important is Prayer in your life and ministry?
Are you faithful to daily remember in prayer all those over which the Lord has given you charge?
Or are you too busy conducting the affairs of your ministry? Then you are TOO BUSY!
19. Rules Own Family
How do you conduct your affairs at home? Is your home a picture of peace or utter chaos and confusion?
Do you govern your household well? Is your family in order?
Is everyone in their proper place, doing what is required of them by God? Do they understand their place as designated by the Holy Scriptures?
Do you enforce the rules of God's Word in your household?
To the best of your ability, are you seeing that all, under the roof of your home, are walking in accordance with the Holy Bible?
Philippians 1:7 says - "Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart..."
1 Thessalonians 2:8,11 says - "So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us...As you know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children."
Do you love the people over which the Lord has placed you?
Do you have a heartfelt concern at all times for their spiritual welfare?
How strong is your attachment to them?
Would you be willing to lay down your life, if need be, for each and every one of them?
After examining these 20 Scriptural characteristics which describe a minister of the Gospel, how did you do on your Self Test? What kind of grade would the Holy Spirit place on your life and ministry today?
What are your strengths and weaknesses? What major changes do you feel the Lord prompting you to make?
According to this evaluation, how would your Pastor score?
Let's use this message as a springboard of prayer for all of the God-appointed Preachers throughout the world so that they will all score 100% for the Glory of God and the advancement of His Kingdom.