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-- © GodSpeak International 2001 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Rodney Hogue <RodHogue@aol.com> http://www.restorationdepot.org
Teresa Seputis <ts@godspeak.net> http://www.godspeak.net
Editors: Teresa Seputis & Bob Hawley
Transcriber: Nichole Marshall

Prayer-School Course #17

Getting In God's Order

Lesson Two

God's Primary Purpose for the Church:
Relationship, Maturity And Service

By Rodney Hogue

In the previous lesson, we started to examine the five purposes that God has for the church. Whatever God called you to do will contain elements of these five things. They are: worship, evangelism, relationship and accountability, maturity and service. We already looked at the first two. So let's examine the other three.


God has called us into relationship. When we are in relationship to Him, that is the vertical relationship. But He has also called us to be in relationship with one another.

When God has a call on your life, that call will include relationship, because God is "into" relationship. Acts 2:42 says, "They joined with the other believers and devoted themselves to" -- it mentions four things there and one of those things happens to be "fellowship." When He was with His disciples, He said, "So now I'm giving you a new commandment, Love each other, just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples" (John 13:34-35).

When Jesus tells them to love each other, that implies a relationship with each other. Whatever God has called you into will include other believers. He won't call you to be by yourself. He won't call you to be independent, instead He'll call you to be interdependent upon one another. God made His church a body of believers who are to be knitted together in covenant relationship, fulfilling the purposes of God on this earth. Therefore you need other believers to fulfill God's purpose, and they need you to fulfill their purpose.

We actually need one another. We're dependent upon it, and if you feel God has called you to do something independent of anybody else, then you didn't hear God. God doesn't call anybody to be a "Lone Ranger." Even the Lone Ranger wasn't alone, he had Tonto and Silver. Look at the Apostle Paul, you don't find him going out by himself He was always with somebody and always related to somebody when he got there. That's how it works.

You need relationship for a couple of reasons. One is because you need to be encouraged. Everybody needs encouragement. You won't stand or last if you don't have encouragement and therefore God gives you the church. It says, "So encourage one another and build each other up just as you are already doing" (I Thess. 5:11).

Whatever God's called you to do, somehow, there will be the encouraging of one another. You'll be building up one another. You'll be strengthening one another. You'll be a blessing to the saints. And then there's that "A-word": accountability. We are to be accountable to one another. Covenant relationship demands accountability. There's always accountability in the Word of God. You can't discipline somebody who isn't in an accountable relationship.

You also need that kind of close-knit relationship so people can speak into your life. We have a very difficult time receiving somebody speaking into our lives if we don't have a relationship with them. We need relationship so we can speak into other people's lives and so they can speak into ours. Let me illustrate. If you're walking down the hall of the church and some guy taps you on the shoulder and begins to bring a correction to you, you will say, "Who are you? Where did you come from?" You aren't going to say, "I receive that brother."

You receive, you're corrected, you're built up and edified when you're in relationship. In a covenant relationship there's going to be accountability. That means somebody is going to be accountable for your soul. They will know and care for you and you will know and care for them. That relationship, that caring, is what gives them permission and authority to speak into your life.


God is into growing: us growing, us maturing, us becoming like Jesus. Ephesians 4:15-16 says, "Instead you will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church. Under His direction the whole body is fitted together perfectly, each part does its own special work. It helps the other parts grow so the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love."

This passage says we need to become like Jesus in every way. All aspects of our life are to become like Him. We're to look like Him. His character. His nature. We're to imitate Him. We're to have the character of Christ and we're to be mature.

Maturity is never measured by how much you know. Some people think that if they just know more they will be more mature. Maturity isn't what you know. Maturity isn't in the amount of time you have been a believer. It isn't how long you've known the Lord because you can know the Lord for a long time and not be mature.

Maturity is the stature of Christ in your life; how much you look like Him, how much you behave like Him. That is what maturity is. And God wants you to be mature, He wants you to resemble Jesus in every aspect of your life and walk.

Whatever God calls you to do, He will to use it to bring you to maturity. He will also to use you to bring maturity to other people. Look at Eph 4:15 again. It tells us that as each part does its part, it's own special work or it's specific job in the body; that all of the other parts of the body grow. So whenever you're doing your part, fulfilling God's purpose for you other people around you grow.

If you believe God has called you to something but you are not growing through it, then it probably isn't God's will. If other people aren't growing from it, it probably isn't God's will. So judge it. Are other people growing? Are other people being built up?


Usually, service is the area we get pretty good at doing. This aspect is common, we know about it, it is familiar to us.

Many of us have been taught we were saved to serve. (That isn't true. That is not why we were saved.) God saved you to become His child. It's out of that relationship with Him that we serve Him.

In Luke 10, Jesus tells the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus came to their house and He brought His 12 disciples, and who knows whom else He collected along the way. Jesus got there and Martha's response is to serve. She loved Jesus and she wanted to meet His needs, so she tried to "get everything right" -- you know the kind of person -- they have to have everything just right, everything has to be in order. Martha was a serving type of person. She had a good heart. She loved the Lord Jesus and she was trying to get everything ready. And she needed a little help.

Of course, everyone else was in the other room listening to Jesus. Martha worked hard and got a little frustrated. Then she saw that Mary wasn't doing anything. That made Martha anxious and mad. She thought, "Doesn't Mary know that I'm in here doing this work by myself? Can't she see this?" So Martha went in and talked to Jesus. "Jesus, tell her to get in here and help me." Then Jesus looked at Martha and said, "You're worried about a whole lot of things, but there are really not that many things that are that important! In fact, there's only one important thing and Mary has chosen it."

What was Mary doing? She was doing that first thing. Worship! She was sitting at the feet of Jesus.

In this passage, Jesus gives us the perspective of service. Service isn't bad. In fact, service is good. However, service isn't the most important thing, and you must put it in order. Still, God has called us to service. We are to serve the Lord. When Jesus was being tempted, the topic of serving God came up. In fact, Jesus said, "It is written in the scriptures you must worship the Lord your God and serve Him only" (Matt 4:10).

The word "serve" is used many times in Scripture. The Bible talks about our service to the Lord. It shows that whenever you're serving somebody else, you're really serving the Lord (Matt 25:31-46). The passage talks about His second coming, where He will judge all humanity. In this passage He is represented as a king who is doing a judgment. Matthew 25:35 says, "'For I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was a stranger and you invited me into your home, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you cared for me, I was in prison and you visited me.' Then these righteous ones will reply, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and gave you drink or a stranger and show you hospitality or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visited you?' And the king will tell them, 'I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me.' "

This means that when you serve someone else, you are serving the Lord. Our service is to be to Him, but we serve Him by serving one another. So we're to serve others. Galatians 5:13 says, "Serve one another with love." Awhile ago, we looked at Ephesians 4 and that said "whenever we're in our place, doing our part with the body, whenever we're serving them, ministering to them, they grow, the body is united and the body functions." So, service is a part of it; we just need to keep it in the right perspective.


As we look at these five things -- worship, evangelism, relationship, maturity and service -- these are the broad things. If these things aren't found to some degree in what you're doing, then it probably isn't from God. When God begins to call you there are some things you'll major in more than others.

Look at the list and select the one that's prominent in your life. What do you see being displayed in your life most? Is worship the primary thing you are involved in? If you have a ministry of prayer, then that's probably worship. Some people have the gift of intercession and they focus primarily on prayer. Not everyone has the gift of intercession. A lot of times people have the gift of service and they work hard to get that prayer in because they're so busy serving the Lord.

Which one is number two on your list. Can you begin to see the burden God has put in your heart? What are some of the ways God has made you? What are some of the ways God has shaped you? You'll find that one or two of these are prominent in your life, but all of them will need to be displayed to some degree. None of us escapes it. If you have a call to service, God expects you to worship. If you have a call to evangelism then you also have to help people mature. Some people have the gift of evangelism and they're very good at winning people to Jesus, but they aren't very good at discipling them. Some people can get both combinations, but not always. Some people are good at discipling, but not at winning them to the Lord.

You want to see how has God made you? How has God shaped you? What these five become is a narrowing of the vision. Something to judge something by. You have some standards whereby you can begin to judge what God has called you to do. These five things don't change! God's purposes stay. How they manifest will change. However, these purposes are the things we can count and the things we can be sure of -- they don't change.

-- © GodSpeak International 2001 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from copyright@godspeak.org --

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