The ministry of the Gospel will always be people work. The Christian life is dynamic, and building a Christian home or overseeing a church requires many skills and disciplines. Above all, the grace of God is needed because what is being built or overseen is not a building or a structure, but individuals whose hearts need to be brought together in unity. As leaders in our homes or churches, the ministry of the Gospel will bring times of great joy and excitement. We are wise to cherish the memories of our children growing up or watching people come to trust Christ as their Savior. Despite these wonderful times in life and ministry, the ministry of the Gospel, whether at home or at church, will inevitably place Christians in situations that can cause discomfort, bring sadness, create confusion, or lead to bitterness. These are the times when our faith struggles the most, and our lives must become more clearly focused on the Lord Jesus Christ. Because we are sinners and often forget the example of the Lord Jesus, these 10 reminders of His love, His humility, His sacrifice, and His grace will encourage the wise Christian to follow His lead during discouraging times when dealing with people we are trying to lead. Of course, that means we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him by the grace of God!
1. People are illogical, unreasonable and self-centered. Love and trust them anyway. “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Do good anyway. “But where unto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children.” “The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children (Matt. 11:16, 19).
3. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. The crowds who cheered Him on Sunday and called Him King were the same who cried, “Crucify Him!” “And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come night, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives…Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest” (Luke 19:36-38).
“But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him” (John 19:15).
4. The service you render today will be forgotten tomorrow. Serve people anyway. “And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?” (Luke 17:17).
5. Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway. “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nah; but rather division” (Luke 12:51).
“I tell you, Nay; but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:5).
6. The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men with the smallest ideas. Think big anyway. “And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined.” “And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest” (Luke 22:22, 24)
7. People pretend to love the “little” people but sell their souls to the “big” people. Fight for the “little” people anyway. “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 19:14).
8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway. “Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kiss him.” “But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled” (Matt. 26:48, 49, 56).
9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help. Help people anyway. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” “And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong” (Luke 27:17, 21).
10. Give the world the best you have, and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway. “Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?” “They said, Barabbas” (Matt. 27:17, 21).