“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another…” Colossians 3:16
Reading this text and doing what I have been doing for the last few weeks has reaffirmed in my mind the fact that ministry is indeed overflow. Here’s what I mean. We are called as Christians, according to texts like Colossians 3:16, to speak the Word of God prayerfully to other people and beg God for that word to bear fruit in that person’s life. This applies to both preaching and personal ministry. As such we must be dwelling in God’s Word to the point that our heart is full and even overflowing with the beauty of what God is doing in our own lives.
In my particular ministry setting I often go from strategic meetings to teaching a class to mentoring a specific individual. Often there is not much space in between these kinds of meetings, and thus I am largely dependent on how God ministered to me early that morning as I spent time in Bible study and prayer. If my time is dry and God does not do a work it is much more difficult for me to assist others in their walk with God that day. I am not saying it’s impossible, but one must consider that there is a direct correlation between their walk with God and how effectively they can minister to others.
As such, I have for many years gotten up early in the morning and before my Bible is opened I pray four things from the Psalms: incline my heart to your testimonies, open the eyes of my heart to behold beautiful things from your Word, unite my heart to fear your name, and satisfy me this morning with your steadfast love (this is an acrostic called IOUS derived from John Piper, and I have it written in the front of my Bible). This prepares my heart to receive what I need from the Word so I can be prepared to teach and admonish others in turn.
So this morning I was struck by two things as I read Hebrews. The author exhorts us in Hebrews 3:1 to “consider Jesus” after he had just proclaimed his divinity in chapter one and the greatness of our salvation in chapter two. This left me to ponder the person and work of Jesus this morning and thus I hope to remind myself and others of the hope we in Christ. I was also instructed that we should exhort one another day after day so we are not hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Heb 3:12-13) and as such I hope to continually root out my own sin and encourage others to do the same.
These items will be the theme of my day, and this is the “overflow” that will spill onto others as we cross paths. Certainly we must know and apply the whole counsel of God in ministry, but my prayer is also that we may continually have fresh words from God that are ministering to us specifically by the Spirit so we can encourage others also. Look to overflow today.