When we get to heaven, we not only want to be able to say we’ve matured into the character of Christ, but also that we ministered like Jesus. There are 10 important characteristics we must develop in order to follow the Jesus Model for Ministry, and in the last few weeks we’ve talked about these three:
- Identification: We must know who we are.
- Motivation: We must clarify why we are in ministry.
- Concentration: We must focus on what is important.
This week I want to discuss the fourth characteristic—Dedication: We must keep our lives pure.
Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the truth.” He didn’t say, “I tell the truth,” or “I have the truth.” He said, “I am the truth.” The principle we can draw here is that integrity is the basis for any legitimate ministry. Jesus is exactly who he says he is, so if you want to minister like Jesus, you need to constantly ask yourself, “Am I exactly what I appear to be, or is my home life and ministry life like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?”
I may fool you, but I’m not fooling God. And neither are you. This is an issue of dedication: we dedicate ourselves to God and, therefore, we attempt to live a holy and pure life of integrity.
The Bible says, “Those who make themselves clean from all those evil things, will be used for special purposes, because they are dedicated and useful to their Master, ready to be used for every good deed” (2 Timothy 2:21 GNT).
Jesus says when you keep yourself pure, then you are ready to be used by him for any purpose. If I keep myself clean, then God can use me. God can overlook a lack of intelligence. He can overlook a lack of gifts and abilities—he knows what he gave you. But God will not use a dirty vessel.
When I allow sin to stockpile in my life, when there are relationships that are not right and I let them go on and on and fester, when there are habits in my life that need to be changed and I know it, those things keep God from being able to use me. A dirty vessel is set upon the shelf. It doesn’t take brilliance for God to use you; it takes cleanliness. That’s what it means to be dedicated.
Acts 24:16: “So I strive always to keep my conscience before God and man.” Paul says, “I want to serve the Lord with a clear conscience.” Make that your prayer to the Lord. Pray: “God, I dedicate myself to you. I will serve you with a clear conscience. I am not perfect, but I will not wear any masks in my ministry.”