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What is Ministry to the LORD? by Pastor Melissa Scott

I want to talk about ministry to the Lord. What is it?

What is involved? I think I know my heart, and I’m sure you know yours. I want God’s priority. I want to put first what He puts first, and I don’t have to go back more than two days to find what’s been first:  more doing in outer court than inner court ministry. I challenge you to take the same look. What is this ministry to the Lord?

I wish I could make it more glamorous. If I could define it that you had to starve for three days, sell your home, go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and climb a mountain to a certain place, I’d probably get more candidates than the less glamorous thing I’m going to talk about. There is nothing mystical about ministry to the Lord.

Pastor Melissa Scott explains that there is a first item: “They shall come near to me.”

Now what was involved in that in the Temple?

In the Temple you had to physically change your place. You had to stop what you were doing in the outer court, turn your back on it or at least walk away from it, and move through a barrier into an inner court where God alone became the object of focus. You had to exercise your will to turn off the line of human need; turn yourself, and bring yourself into the inner court. Now I don’t think you have to go any place to minister to the Lord today because He is wherever you are, but it is nonetheless a specific and precise turning of the mind’s attention and a deliberate tuning out of the pressures of human need and a specific tuning in of God Himself.

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God Takes Delight in My Miserable Gifts by Pastor Melissa Scott

As C. S. Lewis says, the mystery of grace is that God who needs nothing would
covenant a plan that would let us stumble along and share with Him in His Kingdom, and would covenant a plan where God would take delight in my miserable gifts to Him when He created it all.

Pastor Melissa Scott goes on to say, it is an act of grace. Nabal was given the opportunity of his life, but he missed the opportunity. He failed to understand with spiritual ears attuned that his was the great opportunity to share with God’s true king.

Nabal was so wrapped up in what he saw and what he had that he missed the opportunity. God smote him, and he died; he never made it into the kingdom.

There are rich people today who can no longer listen with a simple, sensitive ear to God’s whisper, God’s tug on their heart. They are pulled so many directions because of their riches that they build a shield and miss the opportunity when God comes by.

Businessmen would empty their pockets to pay the bill to send Elijah to Mt. Carmel, where all the excitement was going on and the activity was obvious; but they wouldn’t give him a penny to send him to Cherith, where the brook dried up. He was just as much in God’s will going both directions.

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Some Giants of the New Testament by Pastor Melissa Scott

Henry Ward Beecher once advised young preachers to be careful about trying out their budding theology on their congregations, lest they have to spend the rest of their days explaining they didn’t really mean what they said in that neophyte stage.

He made the point that some things take the seasoning of experience. The truths of God’s Word do not change, but experience is a great teacher. I have learned to respect the words of a seasoned warrior.

Peter, Paul, and John are the giants of the New Testament, and when these three men in diverse places with diverse experiences and with diverse backgrounds speaking to diverse people all say the same thing as their last word, pay attention.

We are majoring on “God’s repeatables,” the things God says more than once.

Now let us look at the diversity before we come to the word.  Each of these men comes from a different starting point. Watchman Nee, the Chinese theologian, asked what was Peter doing when God called him? He was fishing.

What was Paul doing when God called him, as a trade? He was a fire-breathing, hot-headed crusading member of the Sanhedrin set forth on the Damascus road to take Christians into bondage, but in terms of trade and background, he was a tentmaker. Now what was John doing? He was mending nets. Peter became the fisher of men, preaching to large crowds: he pulled in the net. Paul continued to be the tentmaker of the spiritual house: he wove the fabric and put it together. And John became the mender of the tent: he is noted as the pastor and the apostle of love who held it together and mended the tent.  That means that God knows where you are at when He calls you and He has need of you. In the body of Christ, each one of us has a place. God will use what you have.

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Find The Name That Fits by Pastor Melissa Scott

Pastor Melissa Scott

Pastor Scott Teaches on The Names of God

 

I have been in valleys, and I have been in darkness. Years ago I decided I would preach Christ and I said I would never, ever bring any of my personal problems or personal crises to the pulpit. I have learned over the years to hide behind the Word and to hide behind Jesus. But the fact still remains for some many years when I had nothing but the Lord and His Word, I learned it was enough. The years have not been easy.  I set out to do the Lord’s work in my own strength. I had to come to failure and had to be driven to a point where I had nothing but God to learn what F. B. Meyer said, that when you run out of your inadequate resources, then and only then do you begin to tap the abundant and neverfailing resources that reside in God.

 

“Let him trust in the name of the LORD.” God took the trouble to turn the focus meter in such a way that I could catch a glimpse. God just hid Moses in a cleft of a rock, and God let Moses catch a glimpse of Himself. But God, through Moses and others, spelled it out in bold lines what He will be to you. There are other names. When your darkness comes, will you find a name that fits? And then, trust; hang your body on it.

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Access by Faith by Pastor Melissa Scott

In Romans 5: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand.” This verse in the Greek conveys a picture of a sphere that is moving from one dimension of life to another, as though you move on a stage from out of darkness into the center of the spotlight; and now as you move around, you are bathed in the light of that spot.

Pastor Scott points out that Paul is saying we have access, not by works, but by faith; faith in God’s Word of promise that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) That promise is to every one of us.

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The Blessed of Psalm 84 by Pastor Melissa Scott

Let’s look at a chapter that I hope will become the place we will
go to again and again, because your own stage of growth determines
what you receive. It is the kind of chapter that is inexhaustible. I am not
here to just preach sermons; we are here to do a work of God together. I
am only beginning to be satisfied as a preacher when you walk out with
the Word of God so real that you can forget the preacher who spoke the
Word: the Word itself will take root.
Now, you probably already know that I am going to take you to
Psalm 84. I hope you will get used to it. We will come back to it again
and again, until this church and this people have made it their life, until
the Word that is preached becomes incarnate where we are.
Verse 5, “Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose
heart are the ways of them.” I pray God will rivet the truth home today.
“Blessed is the man…Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a
well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength,
every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.”
Blessed is the first word. Some of you who have listened to me
before have it circled in your Bibles. It is a unique word in the original
Hebrew. When I hear the word “blessed,” it is legitimate to think of
places where I have been blessed. Others will think of a particular time
when they received a blessing or a kind of experience that was a blessing
to them. But the word here describes a state of being. It is not a
sometime affair; it is a constant state of being blessed, with no quality of
the blessing changing.

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An Act of Grace by Pastor Melissa Scott

We live in an age where everybody wants to create a God they
can approve, but the facts are, that if God exists, it is more
important to be on His side than it is for me to somehow make Him
conform to my opinion.   

If He doesn’t exist, don’t mess with it; but if He does, this is
His Word and He says the ultimate proof of God’s right to put
everybody in one man is what happened after Adam. Did they die? 

They sure did: all of them are dead. Go find one of them still
living; they’re all dead.

Pastor Melissa Scott continues, therein is the proof, God can just
bundle us all up and put us in one man.  In Adam, for one’s sin, He
could let us all die; now for the life and death of One, He can
put us all in Christ, and treat us all as dead on the cross, and
now let us live in Him. It is an act of grace.

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Balance: Spirit and The Bible by Pastor Melissa Scott

Ezekiel 44 is part of a series of visions given to the Old Testament prophet that speak of a time of restoration. This particular chapter is in the middle of many such visions and has to do with the restoration of worship. It is one of those chapters in God’s book where a point is made in the extreme, but the book of God will balance it.

There ought not to be either…or’s in the things of  God.

Some people think all we need is the Spirit. Well, the Corinthian church proves the Spirit is not enough; they were “plutocrats in the Spirit,” but they needed the Word. Some people think all we need is the Word. You cannot have the Word more abundant or real than the Word made flesh and dwelling among you; yet with the Word Incarnate in their midst, the New Testament disciples were too weak to stand. On the day of Pentecost, to those who had obeyed and in whom the Word had been planted as a seed, the Spirit was added and the church was born in a day.

Both the Spirit and the Word are needed. The most difficult thing in ministry I have learned is staying in balance: balancing all of the dimensions of what God wants us to be and to do in Him.

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Do you want Power? by Pastor Melissa Scott

 

For more of Pastor Scott's teaching visit www.pastormelissascott.com

Pastor Melissa Scott teaches every Sunday at Faith Center

 

Those of you in your life who want power, I am not talking about what we normally think of as power, but the ability to influence the lives around you for God and the ability to communicate to your loved ones. It will radiate out of your being, that peace of God and that trust, that can trust God no matter what; that can look up in the darkest hour and say, “I know He is able.” Well, you are never going to learn that until you find it out for yourself. As F. B. Meyer says, you never really tap God’s resources until you get beyond your own. You never learn what He can do until you get out of His way and let Him do it.

That is the message of Elisha at Jordan: he stepped off, and as they two went on, the mantle fell.  Some people would build a monastery out there, proclaiming, “I’m the man who saw Elijah go and the chariot of fire and the horsemen and the mantle fall.” They would build a spiritual shrine out of the mantle. They would spend the rest of their days having people come and look at them for the great experience they had. I don’t find anywhere Elisha even talking about his experience. He went back; and notice that when he got back to the Jordan River, the river did not give him any problems anymore. Once you cross whatever your test is, where you learn that you can trust God (and it can happen now) and you take that step, once you learn it, you never have to cross the same Jordan again.

Elisha smote the water and the waters rolled back, and then he went back into ordinary life. He went back. Some people think that to be spiritual you have got to look so funny that the world will be scared of you. Jesus brought God’s nature into ordinary life where men work. He didn’t have any church organ preludes; He didn’t have any emotional atmosphere. He walked right into the dusty streets where men worked and lived everyday life and brought the life of God there. That is exactly what He wants us to do.

Elisha went back and almost became a socialite. In his miracles, from healing the drinking water to rescuing a borrowed axe head, he took the new life back into ordinary life; and God wants us to do the same today.

God, give us a church full of people who will walk out and find out that God is able. Face the test. Tenaciously seek Him, and you will find Him. Then take His life wherever you go.

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Love by Pastor Melissa Scott

My focus today is on love, because I think the more we come to understand the concept biblically, the more we understand how we have commingled much of our thought process about love, Christian love.

When I first started reading those Scriptures about love, I actually read them wrong.  I read them as a verbal act; I didn’t read them as a noun.  You may not understand this right now, but you will eventually.  The love that is given to me of God is often referred to in the Scriptures as a noun.  It’s something that He has given to me.

In John’s gospel, when Jesus says, this is the mark of discipleship, this is the mark of a learner: “if you have” the verb, or “if you have love” the noun, “to one another.”  When you begin to see that, you’ll stand back and say, “Boy, I have really been cutting myself short from God releasing something in me that He’s already given to me.  I’ve just been getting in the way.”

Pastor Scott continues:  Let’s define this word “love” in the Greek.  In the English, we only have the word “love.”  You either love somebody or you like them or you hate them, right? But in the Greek, we have a word called storgae.  Storgae is that love, we’ll call it the parental love for a child.  In other words, storgae is familial love.

The word eros is from where we get the English word “erotic;” it is axiomatic and self-evident.  That is a love that is outside of the Bible.  You can read in Greek mythology about Eras or Eros, how it was deified, but that is not the Bible.

Next, we have phileo, which is that brotherly, and most of the time recriprocal love: “you do for me, I do for you.”  We get Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love from phileo.  There are many references in the Bible to phileo.

But when referring to God and God’s love toward us, the Greek word, agape or agapao, is used.  It is that unconditional, no strings attached love.  And when we speak of “Chrisitan love,” the element that is missing most of the time, is that people will engage in phileo within the church.  They will engage in “you do for me, I do for you.”  In fact, most of the modern teaching today is based on phileo, “If you give to God, God will give you back.”  I do not believe that.  I do not hold to those doctrines that to me only fuel a person’s greed.  I do believe that if we’re reading the Scripture right, the one that everybody likes to quote, John 3:16, “God so loved the world,” He so agaped the world, because He created it.  Now, we’re told in another place, “love not the world,” we didn’te create it; we have to live in it.

So, when you begin to define and look at these aright, something very radical becomes clear, that maybe I have limited view of God’s attribute of love, His nature.  The more I begin to understand about God’s love in His sovereignty, in His power, in His faithfulness, in His immutability, the more I begin to understand that God’s love cannot be limited to my frame, that God’s love is not influenced.  That is hugely important.

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