Lift Him Higher

A friend posted an interesting statement on FACEBOOK which I re-posted. Here it is:

When ministry becomes performance, then the sanctuary becomes a theatre, the congregation becomes an audience, worship becomes entertainment, and man’s applause and approval becomes the measure of success. But when ministry is for the glory of God, his presence moves into the sanctuary. Even the unsaved visitor will fall down on his face, worship God, and confess that God is among us.” (drrichardlmoore).

I re-posted the statement because I believe it to be true, but it was the last bit that connected with what I read this morning in my time of meditation. I’ve been doing advent readings leading up to Christmas and today’s passage was from John 12. These two verses particularly stood out: “Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (vss. 31, 32).

Jesus is once more announcing His death to His followers. Christ’s statement might have taken a few fertile minds back to the Old Testament event in Numbers 21 when a plague erupted among the Hebrews. Only by looking at the bronze serpent hung on a pole that had been raised in the centre of the camp could people be cured of the disease.

The Lord’s message to His followers is clear. Hold Him, and the message of the cross, up before men and He will accomplish what nothing else can: People will know that God is present and respond to that presence in worship, confession, and faith.

The “secret” to successful ministry is much simpler than the church growth gurus have led us to believe. It doesn’t sell books, enhance personal profiles, or build personal kingdoms. In fact, the guru goes bust, the messenger is muted, the medium fades to black. All that is left is Jesus.

Exalt Christ and His cross. Then just watch what happens. Salvation comes. And isn’t that what we are all about?

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