I had the pleasure of spending time with a dear friend yesterday evening. I enjoyed hearing about God’s faithfulness and the expanding ministry God had entrusted him with. It was awesome.
One thing that has been on my mind most of yesterday; even before our time together was this verse of Scripture in Joel 3:14, “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” This word decision means concision, or, threshing. It refers to the sharp threshing instrument. In other words this is a life altering decision. There are multitudes facing this type of decision.
Where is the Church on this? We have set before us the example of Jesus Christ Himself being a soul-winner; but, do we follow His example. My friend is doing everything he possibly can through the power of the Holy Spirit and His enabling to win as many people as possible.
Where are Christians on this? We have set before us a challenge from Jesus in verses like Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15; but, what are we doing with them? I am afraid that most Church members are trying to tip toe through the tulips and make it safely home with little or no impact.
This is not what Jesus has called us to. He has called us to minister to the “multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision:”. These might be in the grocery store or gas station; but, we are called to take the gospel to them no matter who they are or where they are at.
I have a quote on my wall from Chuck Knoll that says, “Champions don’t beat themselves. If you want to win, do the ordinary things better than anyone else does – day in and day out.”
My guess is that you are wondering how this quote and our current series connects. I hope to make that bridge quickly. Here goes.
I was watching a basketball game the other evening with family. I watched in horror as our team went down by nineteen (19) points. This was nearly horrifying. Then we watched as they just point by point chiseled away at this deficit. The next thing we knew they were ahead by two. From there it went back and forth.
Now, if you and I are going to see God’s Glory come back we have to take the the counsel of coach Chuck Knoll. We have to do the ordinary things better than anyone else so to speak. What I mean is that we need to get back to the basics. We must meet with God everyday in prayer. We must meet with God everyday in Bible study and I think we must go out and introduce other people to our Heavenly Father in witnessing. These are basic; but, needed things in our lives.
So, how are you doing?
II Chronicles 5:1, “Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God.”
When I was dispatching for a living we often would use games and other things to build unity and sharpen our skills. One such exercise had one dispatcher seated facing away from a dry erase board. The other dispatcher was standing at said board with a marker in hand awaiting instructions. The person seated was given a piece of paper with something written on it. Their “job” was to “dispatch” or give instructions to the other person who was to draw on the board based upon the instructions. This was a hilarious activity; but, made a real point.
I usually considered myself a top notch dispatcher until the last couple of years as my health and outside issues began to drain my abilities. Yet, with a top notch skill level my turn was a disaster. My paper read “elephant” and I nearly passed out when I read it.
For Christians communication is vitally important also. Just like a dispatcher, someone’s life could hang in the balance of our communication. What if you communicate the gospel wrong? That human being could spend eternity in hell because of our lack of communication. Especially if we fail to communicate. We need to be like Phillip in the book of Acts 8:34-35, “And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.”
Dear Christian friend, are you able to intelligently communicate the gospel to someone? Their eternal life could depend upon it.
Last night at Church we watched a movie titled “Sheffie”. It is a movie about a Preacher named Robert Sheffie and it is a true story. If you want clean, Christian entertainment that will build you up then you need to purchase the movie.
In this movie Robert Sheffie faces all kinds of opposition; but, he continues faithful to the end of his life. It is a fantastic true story. My favorite part is where Sheffie prays for a moonshiner that an oak tree would fall on his still and crush it. The man laughed and said that there were no oak trees within 200 yards of the place. Yet, a thunderstorm comes in the night and lightning strikes an oak tree on the side of the mountain and it tumbles down and lands right on the still and crushes it.
Here was a man that was wholly surrendered to the LORD. I wonder if there would be found a man today like Robert Sheffie? Look at Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;” Will you be that man or that woman who will pay the high price and willingly serve God and win others to Christ? Jesus is always looking for men and women to take His message to the world and even to those around us. Will you go?
As I was watching the news last night trying to keep up with this roller coaster of a winter storm I saw a piece on Russia and the threat they are becoming. I thought about how at any second we could be snatched into eternity whether we are prepared or not. I know you might not like to think about this; but, let’s face it, it could come true before you finish reading this or even before I finish writing it.
Just because we don’t want to deal with something does not lessen the truth of it. Refusal to deal with an issue can be for many reasons. Maybe we are sluggards. Look at Proverbs 6:6, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:” The word “sluggard” means disinclined to work or exertion. this should not be a part of the life of a Christian. This especially should not be a part of the Christian life. I mean, we need to be a bout our Father’s business of telling other people about salvation in Christ. They hear and obey the Gospel before it is too late. God forbid if we are too lazy to share the truth with them. Stop this so-called lifestyle evangelism and start confronting people with the truth and do what God has called us all to do.
People today do not care about our God. They explain Him way and do all they can to suppress all knowledge of Him. This is so serious! One of the big reasons people deny God is so that they are not accountable to Him. I mean, if He does not exist then I am not accountable. The sad thing is that they will stand before God one day because He does exist and they will eternally regret their decision to not trust Him for salvation.
What are we doing about it? We have Church programs. We have spaghetti dinners and invite the town’s people in for a feel good time of “fellowship”. Far too many Churches today do not even make an effort to go out into the community and reach out to those who live around the Church. People are truly dying and going to a real place called hell and we sit on our pew and do nothing about it. We should be ashamed of ourselves!
God is looking for someone to stand up and share the gospel with people and see them saved and added to His Church. There is an epidemic of sin in this world and we are not doing anything to combat this. Look at Numbers 25:11, “Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy.” Here was a situation where God’s wrath had come down and judged His own people. While the so-called religious people sat by one man stood up and did something about it. That man was Phinehas.
The other day I overheard a conversation between my wife and my mother. My wife was sharing about our experience ministering at Good News Mission this past Friday evening. It was an amazing night to say the least.
Tears began to run down my cheeks as I heard her telling about the service. She was telling about how her hands and arms were literally sore because she had played the piano harder than she ever had before in her life. I know that by the time the song service was over I was so exhausted that I was not sure how I would ever preach. As Tara sang the song, “The Touch Of The Master’s Hand” the men were responding with applause and shouts of “Amen!” and the like.
When I stepped up to the pulpit I knew God moved in at that moment. I opened the Word of God and preached my heart out for twenty (20) plus minutes on the truth of the existence of hell. The men were deeply moved.
As I mused on this evening and listened to my wife recount the events to my mother I thought about how it must thrill the heart of our Father to hear us tell His story. The Gospel is a glorious story of love and redemption. I thank God for Pastor Sherman Essex for sharing this with me so that I might be saved.
What story are you telling? Was it the story of the one that got away at the lake last year? We all love to talk about our children and their success and accomplishments. There are far too many people that say they are born-again that never share the true story of Jesus and His love for all mankind. Look at Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
On Friday night 22FEB13 a story aired on the news of an 18 year old young man who was walking ten (10) miles one way to a job interview. It is amazing in the day and age we live in that someone that age would walk anywhere. This young man quit school a couple years ago to get a job to care for his younger siblings after the death of his mother. Wow! He does now have his G.E.D. He was cutting through a parking lot of a Cajun restaurant when the owner spoke to him. He asked the man how far it was to where he was going. The man told him that it was six (6) or seven (7) miles. The teen kept walking. Some time later the restaurant owner left to run some errands and the teen was still walking toward his destination in the ice storm we had. The man picked him up and took him where he needed to go. He told the teen if this did not work out for him to come to his restaurant and he would have a job in the kitchen. Wow!
This teenager had a better work ethic than a large part of the Church. We dress up and go to services and look like a Christian; but, when was the last time it cost us to share the Gospel with someone. That is too long. Christian friend, we need to get to the business that God has called us to. No matter what you calling may be you and I need to get going on it, now.
Jesus said in Mark 10:21, “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”
The other day I received a friend request on facebook from someone that I do not know. I checked on her friends and the one person we have in common is her Pastor and I love him dearly. He is awesome! Carol shared her testimony with me and so I had to share in part with you, my readers because it is a true testimony of the love of God.
Carol said, “… I am a new christian and 63 yrs young. I started going to church with my best friend of 49 yrs. I was brought to the Lord in September, baptized In October. I love the church my fellowship family and I smile all the time now. I finally found what I had been searching for. Pastor _____ is great I just love every one. I was raised. Catholic but for over ten yrs I felt empty till the day I walked Into _____ Church. I knew then I was done searching I found what was missing. And I have been praising the Lord ever since.”
I am going to to share with you again the verse that I used in yesterday’s blog post. Here is Jeremiah 31:3, “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” He just told you that He has loved you with an everlasting love; but, have you received it?
I took the above picture at an orchid farm about an hour from home. The flowers were beautiful. In this picture you see a thank you letter written to the owner by a 3rd grade class. Around it were many ribbons for winning various competitions. They deserve every one of them. Their orchids were stunning and some near breathtaking.
Soon I realized something. I sat photographing beautiful flowers and even had brief interactions with the owner; but, not once did I share with him how to be saved. I did not even give him a gospel tract. I sit here typing this absolutely ashamed of myself. God forgive me!
What if this man dies and spends eternity in hell? I pray that God will not let that happen. I pray that I have another opportunity to see him and share with him the love of Christ for him. The Scriptures remind us of the futility of this world’s goods versus that of salvation. Look at Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? The answer to that question to that question is, “Nothing”.
How about you? Are you amassing all the world’s accolades with no care for eternity? If you would like to know Christ as your Saviour please contact me as I would love to show you how to know for sure that Heaven is your eternal destination.