Are We Models for Other Believers?

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As a result, you became a model for all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. – 1 Thess. 7
 
What words of encouragement Paul gives to the Thessalonians!  They have become models for believers everywhere. They are known throughout all of Greece for their faith in God!  So, when Paul and his companions arrive at a new place, the people there are already aware of who they are because of the good things they are hearing about the church in Thessalonica.  They already know the story of how the people in Thessalonica have turned from serving idols to serving the true and living God.  Because of Paul’s message which is being delivered with the power of the Holy Spirit, they now wait for the return of Jesus, the One God has raised from the dead, the One who would come and rescue them from the coming wrath!  Do the churches that we attend have that kind of reputation in the world today?  Is our local church seen as a place of safety and comfort? Or would people find more fellowship and feel more welcome in a secular setting? Do we do a good job of greeting newcomers and make them fell comfortable in our pews? Are we more like a wide-open hospital tent in a war zone or an emergency room only for believers?  Pick a number, any number.  If that many newcomers came to our church today, would we have enough members willing to pray with each one individually and explain the message of salvation to them?  Or would we need a triage to assign the degree of urgency to each case so the staff could handle it? No, we couldn’t do that since we all have the same disease and we are all affected to the same degree and in the same way.  So, would any of them have to leave without having an opportunity to talk to the Doctor? Am I personally able and willing to introduce them to the great Physician? My prayer for each of us is that we are not only able but that we are willing to do that. The fields are white with harvest.

35 You say, don’t you, ‘In four more months the harvest will begin?’ Look, I tell you, open your eyes and observe that the fields are ready for harvesting now! – John 4:35 ISV
 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-10-2018

Today Is The Day

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1 As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says,‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.”I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. — 2 Cor. 6:1​-​2 NIV

Now is the time!  We are not promised the rest of today, much less tomorrow. As we go through our day, let’s take the time to look around..  As we look at each person God puts in our path, we should ask ourself this question:  Should I speak to this person about Jesus?  If we feel that little nudge from the Holy Spirit, don’t hesitate. Speak!  Buts, what ifs, and all those negative thoughts come from the devil. There is no guarantee that they will accept what we are saying, never has been, never will be  We are not responsible for the results of our witnessing. It is our duty to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. There is a guarantee that God’s word will do exactly what it is supposed to do.
 

10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,and do not return to it ​ without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.​ — Isaiah 55:10, 11 NIV​

We are sent to rescue the perishing.  Sometimes that requires talking with them

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20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. — James 5:20 NIV
Post 06-15-18

“All For His Glory”

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31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble,whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.—1 Cor. 10:31-33 NIV

Every word that we say and every action we take has an effect on everyone in our circle of influence, whether that circle is small or large is not the question. Every thing we do and/or say should be seasoned with love, kindness and mercy. Otherwise, how can our words and actions glorify God?  If we exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, we will not be a stumbling block to those around us.  Notice that Paul says he “tries” to please everyone in every way. We are not to violate our conscience simply to please someone, that would be a sin for us and a stumbling block for them.  We are not to seek glory or earthly rewards for ourselves. Instead, we live a lifestyle that glorifies God and builds up our rewards in heaven. But when there is a conflict of conscience, every choice we make must please God and not man.

3 For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5 For we never came with words of flattery​, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others,
–1 Thess. 2:3-6a ESV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 02-27-2018

Each One Teach One

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20 I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me. 
-John 13:20 NLT

 

When we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we are freed from the bondage of sin, but if we are serious about our repentance, we become bond servants to Jesus Christ. A bond servant is not a slave, he is one who chooses to serve his master because of his love for the master. We should serve Jesus not out of bondage or fear, but simply because we love the One who chose to give His life for our redemption from sin. Jesus had set the example of being a servant to those around Him. He expects us to follow that example because a servant is not greater than His master. It should give us joy unspeakable to serve a risen Savior. Again, Jesus lets us know that He is aware that He will be betrayed and that He knows which one will betray Him. The disciples could not imagine that one of them was the betrayer. If we accept Jesus then we accept the one who sent Him and that is God the Father. He was also telling the disciples and us that we will be accepted when we are sent out by Him. Jesus fulfilled His mission, the disciples fulfilled their mission and the Church has carried on since then. Now, it is our turn. Let us not be the generation that fails to continue to spread the Word of God. When Jesus sends us out, He has already prepared the way. We might not get to see the results, but God’s Word never fails.

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 10-29-2017

What is My Daily Testimony?

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22 “Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?” — John 1:22 NLT

John the Baptist stayed faithful to His calling. He was sent to prepare the people to receive the Messiah. Because of the message he was preaching, people would ask, “Who are you?”, his answer was “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, clear the way for the Lord’s coming.” John’s boldness in standing for the truth eventually got him beheaded. The same thing is happening, on a daily basis, to our Christian brothers and sisters around the world. Does our daily lifestyle cause people to wonder who we represent?  Every second of every die, our words and actions are a testimony.  Would the world know that we represented Jesus by the way we walk and talk? Do our actions deny or affirm that we know Jesus?  If we were confronted with the choice: “Deny or die!”, what would our answer be? Would it be: “I am a follower of Christ, I have come to tell you about the Lord’s return”? Or would we hang our head in shame and walk away?

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 08-02-2017

Where He Leads Me, Will I Follow?

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57 As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”  – Luke 9:57 NLT
 
We all know the old hymn, “Where He Leads Me, I Will Follow”.  We sing it quite often in worship services across the nation regardless of the denomination.  It is a great invitational song for getting people to commit to the mission fields. But I wonder if we really hear the words that we are singing or if we are just making noise. I think we need to change the song for a while and sing “Where He leads me, will I follow?”.  Will I go on a mission trip? Oh no, can’t spare the time for that.  Will I visit those in prisons? Nope, not my calling.  Will I visit the sick in the hospitals and pray for their healing? Again, I just don’t feel the call.  Will I feed the hungry? Well, you know I give to charities to do that. Will I walk across the street to witness to my neighbor? You know, they might be offended, really need to be careful there.  Will I ask a lost family member if we could pray together? Well. they are not going to listen, they know I’m not perfect.  Don’t I need a calling to do those things?  Well, here is our calling,
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matt. 28:18-20

 

HEAR IT!  HEED IT!  NOW!

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 07-09-2017

Always Be Ready

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Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. -2 Timothy 4:2 NLT

We should always be ready to tell others about Jesus Christ. God puts people in our paths every day that need to hear the good news of salvation. Wherever we go and whatever we do, our lifestyle is sending a message. What is our lifestyle telling people? When people watch us, can they tell that we are ambassadors for Jesus Christ? Do our friends know that we are Christians by our actions or would they have to ask to be sure? Check everything you hear and compare its validity to the scriptures. There are false prophets that have slipped in among us and teach false doctrines, “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. If what you are listening to does not validate your salvation and encourage you to live a holy lifestyle, then you need to turn and run from it.

But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.–1 Timothy 6:11 (KJV)


Do the work of an evangelist. Remember, the mission field starts in our homes and goes out from there.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 04-12-2017