Our theme for this week was “Workers Together with God.” The theme was drawn from II Corinthians 6:1-10. We had nine messages and three vignettes which exposited and explored our theme. Imagine what it would have been like to spend time with the Apostle Paul, and to ask him questions about his relationship with God, his relationship with other workers, the character needed in the ministry, and the challenges every missionary and pastor face. These messages were the answers, as Paul may have responded.
Paul’s Relationship with Barnabas – Dalton Heath:
Opposites often attract each other. This is true in marriages and ministries. God orchestrates this in order to give balance. Such was the case with Paul and Barnabas. They differed in personalities. Barnabas was an encourager, compassionate, and full of consolation. Paul on the other hand was evangelistic and bold in the faith, not afraid of controversy. They differed in education. Barnabas, as an ex-patriot Levite from Cyprus, was likely not highly educated. Paul, as we know, had the highest training of his day. They differed in ministry skills. Paul was well known even before his conversion. Barnabas is always in the background. As a Roman citizen, Paul was likely more skilled in Grecian culture. Yet God had a purpose for each of them in the ministry. We must be careful not to allow little irritations of life to give occasion to violent explosions. Missionaries are usually highly motivated and intently focused. Don’t let those factors influence you to assume your work is more important than that of others.
Paul’s Relationship with God during his Years of Preparation – Danny Whetstone:
Paul had an impressive resume before meeting Christ, but it was all in the flesh. It is little
wonder that he was so zealous for Christ after salvation, when we see how zealous he was prior to salvation. If we think we can accomplish much in the flesh, imagine what can be truly accomplished with God on our side! Paul often tells of his adversities, but only with the goal of sharing about how great God was to bring him through. Attitude often determines the outcome. We know the end of Paul’s story, and how God brought him through adversities, but we don’t know the end of our own story. How will you handle the adversities that come your way? Click here for audio file.
Paul’s Relationship with God during his Years of Propagation – Barry Goodman:
As workers with God, we must remember that the real work is accomplished when we work with God, in His way. Never forget that you are working for God, not the other way around. As Paul propagated the Gospel, he was positionally right, principled, and believed the message was personal both in his relationship with God and with others. Paul illustrated three “nots” we must have in our own ministry. He was not ashamed of Christ. He was not afraid, for he knew Whom he believed. He did not accept glory for himself. Paul gloried in his infirmities, only so that Christ could be glorified as He enabled, enveloped, and encouraged Paul and others through the trials. Click here for audio file.
Paul’s Relationship with God during his Years of Preservation – Russell Bell:
We must remain excited about what the Lord has done and continues to do in our life and ministry. Paul was excited about his conversion. He confessed over and over who he was in the past and who he was after salvation – a saved saint who was still a sinner but for the grace of God. Paul never quit communicating the message that we have one God and one Mediator. He was confident in the gifts God gave him, the Spirit of victory, power, love, and a sound mind. Paul reflected on his call to preach, and also remembered the conflicts he had faced. He was a fighter, but also a finisher. He did not give up in the fight. Lastly, Paul focused on his Captain, the Lord Who stood with him, strengthened him, spoke through him, saved him, and sealed or preserved him. May we too rejoice in the Lord’s preservation! Click here for audio file.
Paul’s Relationship with Aquila and Priscilla – David Landers:
This relationship demonstrated the providential workings of God. God had worked in Paul’s life to bring him to Corinth, just as He had been working in the lives of Aquila and Priscilla to bring them together to this place. Often we desire to go where the Gospel has not been preached, yet God will in that place lead us to someone already saved, to be an encouragement to us. This pair had a desire to serve and minister together. The power of God was evident to change their lives and enable them to lay aside their goals to travel with Paul. Click here for audio file.
The Conflicts of a Ministry Worker – Frank Camp:
We will not be in ministry long before we face situations that can create conflicts. The key is to remember that we are working with God, and that He has put us in this situation for a purpose. Conditions that can cause conflict do not need to. Some of these conditions are brought into our lives by our Sovereign God seeking to condition and grow us. Some are brought by sinful men trying our consecration. Sometimes we face conditions that are self-imposed as we labor, watch, and fast in order to complete our ministry. Instead of allowing these situations to create conflict, we can turn them to opportunities to trust God and develop our patience. (Is. 28:16) Click here for audio file.
The Character of a Ministry Worker – Gene Krachenfels:
After a blizzard of troubles, our character is revealed in these qualities. Qualities of our mind reveal our choices, to think with pureness, poise (knowledge), and patience. Qualities of our heart reveal our concern to do right before God by being sweet, submissive, and sincere. Qualities of our service reveal our compassion for others as we share the Word of God, doing the work of God in his power, and using the weaponry God has given to equip us. Click here for audio file.
The Contradictions of a Ministry Worker – David Fulp:
Our passage shows that Paul faced trials, and had been given the tools to deal with them. It then sets forth a series of paradoxes that seem to contradict, but through which Paul expressed truths we must learn as we seek to avoid being a stumbling block to others. We must never compromise our message. We must always stay in the fight. We must always learn to be content, which is a life-long process. Click here for audio file.
Paul’s Relationship with Timothy – Joel Dickens:
Paul’s relationship with Timothy illustrates the importance of having and being a mentor. If you are not training others, you are preparing for your ministry to die with you. Why is it important to have a Timothy, and how do we counsel a Paul? We must choose to show love to the individual, for the work of the Lord, and the Lord Himself. We must have humility, realizing that there are things we can learn both from our older mentors and from the younger individuals we will mentor. We must have patience as we see the faults in others, and remember that we have faults of our own. Click here for audio file.
A Ministry Worker’s Role – Tim Daniel:
As we serve, we must always be confident that we are working with Christ. Though our body and flesh can be a burden, we are empowered by the Holy spirit. We must be ambitious workers, desiring to be accepted both now and at the Judgement Seat of Christ because of our knowledge of Christ, the fear of the Lord, and the love of the Lord. We must be ambassadors, working for Christ. Ambassadors have attributes of being chosen, protected, held accountable, and called home before war is declared. Ambassadors speak with authority of the one who has called them. We must share Christ’s message of reconciliation. Click here for audio file.
A Ministry Worker’s Goals – Ernest Bauserman:
As a worker with God, our goal is to press towards the prize, and to do so without offense. Scripture is full of warnings that, while others will be offended by the Gospel, we must be careful not to cause undue offense ourself, so that the ministry itself is protected. While we cannot keep others from being offended, we must strive to ensure it is the Gospel that offends, not our attitude, actions, or approach. When you offend personally, others will be affected, and blame will be cast upon the work of God. Click here for audio file.
Workers Together with God – John O’Malley:
Our final question for Paul is this, “How did you get to the place where you could go on in life, where afflictions were a mere blip on the radar and not a cause for drama?” Paul’s philosophy recognized that he had a cause and a reason not to faint, and therefore he had to view his afflictions as a light thing. We can emulate his life when we claim Paul’s view of afflictions as our own. No affliction is too heavy when weighed on God’s scale. No affliction is too long when viewed on God’s clock. No affliction is too costly when paid through God’s payroll. No affliction is too much when we consider God’s plan. Click here for audio file.
Monday Evening – Bill Wingard:
God never sends, He always leads. In Genesis 46, God encouraged Jacob as he prepared to move into Egypt, an unfamiliar place that pictures the world. Jacob was preparing to see the fulfillment of dreams he had long thought were impossible, yet God promised he would soon be reunited with Joseph. In our life too, we will see that God always seasons His delays, and glorious indeed are the seasons that follow His delays in our life. We must fear not to go where God leads. Click here for audio file.
Tuesday Evening – Michael West:
Paul’s mission statement for his life is found in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ …” This was the passion of his heart, and an intensely personal commitment which reflected his purpose. Paul never got over the fact that he, a sinner, could be loved by God. He had a productive attitude (Gal. 5:22), which lead to productive actions (Phil. 1:11), and brought forth productive additions (Rom. 1:13). Paul had seen all heaven had to offer, yet he longed to live longer on this earth, so that he could bring honor to Christ. Don’t wait for time to take away from you your desire for earthly things. Live today as though Christ is truly the most important thing in your life. Click here for audio file.
Wednesday Evening – Fred Daniel, Jr.:
As we run for the prize, we must consider the track God has given. It is an agonizing race, but the track is approved for you. Though it holds annoyances, we must actively run with patience and endurance. We must consider the teammates God has provided. These witnesses testify from personal experience that they know God was faithful in their race and will be in yours. We must lay aside the troubles that can hinder. We must follow our team leader, Jesus Christ. He cut the track for us and has run it before us, showing that it can be completed. We must run for the tape, looking to Christ for the strength to reach the goal and win the prize. Click here for audio file.
Thursday Evening – Danny Whetstone:
God has promised to freely give us all things, gives only good things, and has told us that all things will work together for good. What things do you desire? Paul desired God’s purpose in his service. He longed to show God’s power in his stoning. Every Christian wants to see God’s power, but so few are willing to pay the price to see it displayed in their own life. Paul longed for God’s presence in the storms. May we desire the best things! Click here for audio file.