“Just As We Love You”

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12 May the Lord greatly increase your love for each other and for all people, just as we love you. -1 Thess. 3:12 ISV

 1 Thess. 3:10-13 ISV

Paul’s love and concern for the new converts that he and his companions have led to Christ is a great example for us to follow.  We may never be missionaries in  a faraway land, but we are missionaries in a land that is not our home. We are aliens and strangers wherever we are on this earth. Therefore, we need to have the same concern for those new converts in our own churches. Every church body needs Barnabases and Timothys to encourage and teach new and older converts. We need Esthers and Priscillas to teach self-sacrifice, humbleness and obedience.

15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”  –Esther 4:15-16 ISV

We need Ezras to teach leadership, fasting, praying and complete reliance on God.

21 There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. 22 I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.” 23 So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer. — Ezra 8:21-23 ISV

We need workplace ministers like Paul who witnessed while carrying on his occupation as a tentmaker and Lydias to encourage, support and provide for those laboring in God’s fields.1

4 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. — Acts 16:14-15 ISV

We are all servants in God’s army and God needs us to serve and stand firm wherever we are and complete the tasks He has called us to do, whatever that may be.He has a plan and a purpose for everyone He calls.Have you discovered your purpose in the Kingdom?  If not, talk to Him today about it and get started.

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

Use ‘Em or Lose ‘Em

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Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” — Luke 19:9 NLT
 
 

Jesus temporarily gave up all of His glory in heaven for one reason.  That reason was to come to earth, be born as a human, live a perfect, sinless life so that He would be sacrificed for our sins. Some of the people then, just as now, never understood that.  They were always trying to find fault with the things He did.  Jesus associated with and ate with sinners.  We must follow that example if we are to bring others to Christ.  Do we actively “seek” those who are lost or do we try to avoid situations where the Holy Spirit might nudge us to speak to sinners about Jesus and where they will spend eternity?  Do we hide behind the claim that we have not been called to be preachers or missionaries?  When we pray asking God to send workers into the fields of harvest, do we  exclude ourselves as being one of those who are subject to the call?   If we do, then are our prayers really sincere?  Since Jesus gave up everything to redeem us, what are we willing to give up to follow in His footsteps?  Is our attitude one of “save me and leave me alone” or “save me and use me to grow Your Kingdom here on earth and in eternity”?  To those that use the talents they have to expand the Kingdom, more is given, to those that refuse to use their talents to expand the Kingdom, what they have is taken away.

The talents that God has given to each of us are our Spiritual muscles, we either use them or we lose them. 
Post 04-20-2016

Living In Glass Houses

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1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. — 2 Cor. 4:1​, 2  ​NIV

When we hear the word minister or ministry, we tend to think of pastors. evangelists, missionaries and offices of that sort.  But, God has given each of us a ministry. Each one of us has been called to service by God. Our mission field is where we live, work or go to school.  Our congregations are our families, neighbors, fellow workers and/or fellow students. Just as surely as a pastor is responsible to proclaim the message of Jesus Christ and His resurrection to his congregation, we are to do the same for those God has placed in our circle of influence. Just as surely as a pastor should pray for those in his congregation, we are responsible to pray for those around us. Just as surely as a church staff should minister to the needs of the congregation, we should minister to the needs of those God has put in our “congregations”. Whether those needs be spiritual, emotional, physical or financial, we have a responsibility to use the resources God has given us to comfort others.   

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.– 2 Cor. 1:3, 4 NIV

​Our lifestyles should reflect the truth that we are letters sent from Christ written on hearts of flesh by the Holy Spirit and read by everyone who knows us.
2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. — 2 Cor. 3:1, 2 NIV
We should use every ministry opportunity to contend for the faith that has been entrusted to us by God Himself.​
3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.– Jude 3 NIV
Post 09-19-2015