Please read the passages below and be ready to
discuss the questions.
Matthew 4 :1-11
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit
into the desert to be tempted by the devil.After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.The tempter came to him and said, "If
you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."Jesus answered, "It is written: `Man
does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of
God.' “ Then the devil took him to the holy city and
had him stand on the highest point of the temple."If you are the Son of God," he
said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "`He will command his
angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you
will not strike your foot against a stone.' “ Jesus
answered him, "It is also written: `Do not put the Lord your God to the
test.' “ Again, the devil took him to a very high
mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor."All this I will give you," he
said, "if you will bow down and worship me."Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan!
For it is written: `Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' “ Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Before Jesus entered into His ministry, He rejected
three self-centered motivations that often plague a person’s ministry.Based upon this passage, what were they?
1) Bread vs. Stones--Seek:____________________________________________________
Jesus’ motivations for ministry were different.What were Jesus’ three motivations for His
ministry according to Matthew 4:12-25?
When Jesus heard that
John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and
lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun
and Naphtali-- to fulfill what was said through the
prophet Isaiah: "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of
the Gentiles-- the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those
living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."From
that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is
near." As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They
were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow
me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once
they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other
brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John.
They were in a boat with their father Zebedee,
preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and
their father and followed him. Jesus went throughout Galilee,
teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and
healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him
spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various
diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having
seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.
Those who belong to
Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.Let us not become conceited, provoking and
envying each other.
Do our motivations for the sake of “ministry” ever
fall away from the focus Jesus intended?How?When?Examples or comments
God did this so that
men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not
far from each one of us. `For in him we live and move and have our being.' As
some of your own poets have said, `We are his offspring.'
According to Acts 17:27-28, where does proper
ministry motivation come from?______________
How can we be sure to focus on God when our desire is
to focus on us?
How does this apply to ministry “competition” or“burn-out?”
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one
claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything
they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the
resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no
needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses
sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet,
and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus,
whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at
the apostles' feet.Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira,
also sold a piece of property.With his
wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought
the rest and put it at the apostles' feet.Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that
Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have
kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?Didn't it belong to you before it was sold?
And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think
of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God."When Ananias heard
this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had
happened.Then the young men came
forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.About three hours later his wife came in, not
knowing what had happened.Peter asked
her, "Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias
got for the land?" "Yes," she said, "that is the
price."Peter said to her,
"How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the
men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out
also."At that moment she fell down
at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried
her out and buried her beside her husband.Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these
events.The apostles performed many
miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to
meet together in Solomon's Colonnade.No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by
the people.Nevertheless, more and more
men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.As a result, people brought the sick into the
streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow might
fall on some of them as he passed by.Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing
their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.
According to Acts , if our motivations are right with God, will we be
‘successful’ in our ministry?What if
our motivations are wrong? Who needs to
Luke When the devil had finished
all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
Temptation and testing can wear away our motivation
or desire for ministry.According to Luke 4:13, Jesus was probably tempted throughout His
ministry and we know that we also will be tempted daily.Often times, this testing takes the form of
“Clergy or Ministry Killers”--
well-respected members of our congregation who for whatever reason get
“bent-out-of-shape” over something we have said or done in our ministry.Often times, they simply do not agree with us
or they are in opposition to our ideas and personality.How can this hurt our motivation for
ministry?What can this lead to?How can this be a blessing?
A group of Epicurean
and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked,
"What is this babbler trying to say?" Others remarked, "He seems
to be advocating foreign gods." They said this because Paul was preaching
the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. Then they took him and brought
him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to
him, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? You
are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they
mean." (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their
time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.) Paul
then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and
said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around
and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with
this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown
I am going to proclaim to you.
It is normal to become defensive when we are under
But according to Paul’s example, how should we deal
with potential “clergy killers?”
What should be our FIRST line of defense?___________________________________________
James Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives
many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that
we who teach will be judged more strictly.
Why is it so important that we do not become
James 1:3Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
What else can “testing” bring us according to James
1 Corinthians 2:2-5
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ
and him crucified.I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.My message and my preaching were not with
wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so
that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.
Was Paul always the “best” preacher; was he always
effective at his ministry; did he ever fail? _______
Could God use a “clergy killer” to change our
motivations toward His?Explain ________________
God’s desire is for our ministry motivation to be in
line with His AND for us to be successful in our ministry.He does not want us to fail; therefore, He
also offers us these motivating promises:
James 4:10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
1 Corinthians 10:13b
…And God is faithful;
he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are
tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
And we know that in all things God
works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his
Jesus looked at them and said,
"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Praise our God that when our “motivations for
ministry” are under attack, we can stand firm in the knowledge that He has a
plan for us and if we seek Him, He will maintain or restore our ministry
motivation to be in line with His.May
God bless your ministry today and everyday.