The Marks of a Minister
(Jeremiah 15:10-21; 16:1-21; 17:1-18)
Missionary John Williams
By Luke S. Walmsley
What are the marks of a true minister of the Word of the Lord?
Throughout the Bible and all human history, prophets and preachers have carried God’s truth to the world. How might true ministers be best described?
The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah wrote the words of Jehovah, outlining both a portrait and a promise for a true minister of God’s Word.
“This is how the Lord responds:
‘If you return to Me, I will restore you
so you can continue to serve me.
If you speak good words rather than worthless ones,
you will be My spokesman.
You must influence them;
do not let them influence you!
They will fight against you like an attacking army,
but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall of bronze.
They will not conquer you,
for I am with you to protect and rescue you.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
Yes, I will certainly keep you safe from these wicked men.
I will rescue you from their cruel hands.’”
(Jeremiah 15:19-21, NLT, emphasis added)
According to the Lord, are not the marks of a true minister repentance (returning to the Lord) and the speaking of godly words? God calls His ministers, which include all saints of the living Lord, to influence others, rather than being influenced themselves.
Doesn’t this passage seem to point to the words of Jesus, when He prayed for His disciples in John 17? He clearly stated that those who belong to Him may live in the world, but we do not belong to the world.
If all believers are called to be ministers (or missionaries), wherever the Lord has placed us, then these characteristics ought to mark us as well.
May God draw us ever closer to Himself, molding us more and more into His own image, so that we may minister effectively in the world until He returns.
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.”
Will you pray with me?
You have called us to commitment
In gratitude for Your grace.
All Your children
To Your ministry
Remind us to repent
When we stray from You.
Spur us to speak truth,
About Your plan of salvation.
To our land,
Turn hearts to truth.