The Place for Ministry

“His disciples asked Him privately, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ ” (Mark 9:28). The answer lies in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. “This kind can come out by nothing but” concentrating on Him, and then doubling and redoubling that concentration on Him. We can remain powerless forever, as the disciples were in this situation, by trying to do God’s work without concentrating on His power, and by following instead the ideas that we draw from our own nature. We actually slander and dishonor God by our very eagerness to serve Him without knowing Him.

When you are brought face to face with a difficult situation and nothing happens externally, you can still know that freedom and release will be given because of your continued concentration on Jesus Christ. Your duty in service and ministry is to see that there is nothing between Jesus and yourself. Is there anything between you and Jesus even now? If there is, you must get through it, not by ignoring it as an irritation, or by going up and over it, but by facing it and getting through it into the presence of Jesus Christ. Then that very problem itself, and all that you have been through in connection with it, will glorify Jesus Christ in a way that you will never know until you see Him face to face.

We must be able to “mount up with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31), but we must also know how to come down. The power of the saint lies in the coming down and in the living that is done in the valley. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) and what he was referring to were mostly humiliating things. And yet it is in our power to refuse to be humiliated and to say, “No, thank you, I much prefer to be on the mountaintop with God.” Can I face things as they actually are in the light of the reality of Jesus Christ, or do things as they really are destroy my faith in Him, and put me into a panic?

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

Always keep in contact with those books and those people that enlarge your horizon and make it possible for you to stretch yourself mentally. The Moral Foundations of Life, 721 R

Independent Man

Jerry Gibree knows what it means to walk by faith.

Jerry Gibree watched his left hand with both bewilderment and intense concentration. He was trying out a state-of-the-art prosthesis that translates muscle impulses into movement, but it wasn’t exactly instinctive. Thinking clench opened the mechanical fingers; open made the wrist twirl. This would take some reeducation.

Adjusting to a new hand and leg promised to be challenging, but Jerry welcomed the opportunity to regain a measure of self-sufficiency. At 66, the war vet had lived his life undaunted and self-reliant—an embodiment, of sorts, of his native Rhode Island’s iconic statue, the Independent Man. Until the accident.

A text message from the leader of our home group interrupted that peaceful Wednesday afternoon: Pray quick for Jerry. He has been hurt and 911 on the way. More when I know.

A very long short time later, a second message arrived: Marge just called sobbing. Sounds very serious. Maybe a crushing injury to leg and/or hand?? All I could understand was she didn’t know if he was going to make it.

Then a third: Went to OR at 3:40. Keep praying his leg and hand can be saved.

In storms that tore through Atlanta on June 13, 2013, straight-line winds had toppled a dozen trees and hung up several more at the Gibree home in suburban Roswell. Damage in the area was so extensive that tree services were booking three weeks out. Waiting, however, wasn’t an option—since their daughter’s family shared the property, leaving the yard in precarious condition was too dangerous for the children.

Jerry Gibree
And, as it turns out, for Gibree himself. Though the retired fireman had extensive experience in construction (which included dismantling their Tennessee pre-Civil War log home and rebuilding it in Georgia), removal of the stricken trees proved unpredictable—and just a hair shy of fatal.

Because the house was undamaged, Jerry initially considered cleanup no big deal. He spent the morning of the 19th clearing the yard, and when his wife Marge and their daughter Kerrin called him for lunch, he declined, preferring to complete the final area. But after the women returned to a project in the basement, the suspended tree Gibree was working on dropped and rebounded.

He didn’t see it but heard his leg snap like a dry pine branch. Then, as the tree went by, it caught his wrist and peeled his hand back.

The basement was out of earshot, but Kerrin’s husband Bill had been delayed in leaving for work. Perceiving repeated staccato cries of “Help! . . . Help!” he ran out to discover his father-in-law’s dire predicament. Despite profuse bleeding, Jerry somehow never lost consciousness, and the paramedic training that had saved others’ lives now helped save his own. He sent Bill to fetch Kerrin and leather belts—and explained how to slow blood loss with tourniquets and elevation of the wound. Maneuvering the smashed leg up onto the fallen tree was a gruesome task for Gibree’s daughter, but it kept her father alive till rescue workers reached the scene.

Jerry stayed conscious all the way to the trauma center, where son Seth met the entourage. The last thing his father told him before being taken to the O.R. was, “I think I’m dying.” That was an accurate read on the situation: Gibree flatlined three times during the 10-hour operation. But thanks to a skilled team of four surgeons—hand, orthopedic, vascular, and trauma—plus 38 units of blood, he survived day one, still in possession of his crushed limbs.

He remained in critical condition and was kept in a drug-induced coma for 10 days. During that time, doctors found it necessary to remove his left hand; the following week it was decided his leg wasn’t salvageable, either. With surgery taking place on July 4th, Independence Day acquired new meaning for the family.

Those of us who knew him well had trouble imagining what life would be like for Jerry, who was always wielding either a home-improvement tool or spot-on—and sometimes gruff—sense of humor.

“You know, none of this is bad. If this is what God has for me now, I’m fine with it.”

Not many days after the amputations, I asked him how he dealt with waking up to such changes. Jerry lifted what remained of his arm and said, “You know, none of this is bad. If this is what God has for me now, I’m fine with it.” Seeing the turn of events as the Lord’s plan, he was sure God had good purposes in mind.

Marge likewise faced the tragedy with trust. Already one with a solid routine of quiet time and Christian music, she doubled down on devotions and prayer, which kept her moored during those turbulent days of progress and setbacks. “Every morning through the whole thing,” she said, “I would either hear a song or read something in Scripture that set me for the day.”

For friends and family, it was impossible to witness the Gibrees’ acceptance of their situation without wondering how we would respond to such life-altering circumstances. And the couple’s faith, which encouraged and challenged our own, was about to get a wider audience.

Technology—and a Megaphone

Kerrin and Seth started a CaringBridge website so that after her quiet time, Marge could summarize Jerry’s status and whatever message of hope was keeping her afloat that day. Not only did the family receive powerful support through readers’ replies, but journaling also confirmed what Passion City Church’s Louie Giglio teaches—that when Christians stay focused on the cross, their suffering becomes a “megaphone of hope” to the world. Logging more than 16,000 visits, the blog elicited over 30 pages of guestbook replies; many bore out the loudspeaker idea, like the note by a new believer who gained a sense of peace from witnessing Jerry’s faith in action. “Such an amazing thing to put all control into God’s hands,” she wrote. “Just hearing what faith can do in the most frightening, horrific circumstances has strengthened my [own].”
“I can see God weaving a tapestry of our lives. We have a long battle ahead, but with God, all things are possible.”

Marge’s journaling ministered near and far, as her words connected with people via prayer lists at churches around the country. The correspondence was overwhelming. Day after day, she received replies testifying to how God was using her family’s circumstances to impact not just friends and relatives but also strangers she’d otherwise never meet. The messages frequently mentioned being inspired by the Gibrees’ attitude, thanking them for sharing the beauty of their life in the midst of pain. One person wrote, “It MEANS something to know [that], like the heroes in the Bible, you can stand strong in faith, yet weak as a human. It means those ‘stories’ are not just stories, but the truth. It solidifies my faith in Jesus and allows me to accept my walk with just a little more humility.”

Blogging also gave Marge an opportunity to piece together how God had been working over 50 years to prepare them for this time. Three weeks after the accident, she wrote about a pattern coming into focus. First, her lifelong friendship with Jeanne Marie Campbell—a young neighbor left quadriplegic by polio—made Marge comfortable and knowledgeable about caring for someone with disabilities. Next, Jerry expected to make a career of air traffic control, the work he’d learned in the military, but was forced to take time off after returning from Vietnam with hepatitis. When a fireman academy opened nearby, he changed direction and instead became a paramedic. Then in 2003, 11 years after moving their log home to Roswell, Jerry built an adjacent garage, which he converted in 2009 to a dwelling designed for the needs of old age. When the Gibrees moved in, Kerrin and her family took over the big house. “I can see God weaving a tapestry of our lives,” Marge wrote. “We have a long battle ahead, but with God, all things are possible.”

Making Strides; Losing Ground

The battle, in fact, was about to intensify. In October, a fungal infection—likely contracted from the tree’s bark—showed up in Jerry’s left femur. Besides halting progress with his prostheses, this development also necessitated three-hour I.V. treatments 78 days straight. Not only were the side effects uncomfortable and enervating, but the relentless infection ultimately caused three further “revisions” of the amputation, rendering the artificial leg unusable.

Despite this protracted setback, Jerry was accepting of the additional surgeries, having undergone at least 20 orthopedic operations prior to the accident. “I’ve got a lot of spare parts, that’s for sure,” he said, itemizing a plate in his neck, fused vertebrae, and a knee replacement, ironically in what is now his remaining leg.
Gerry Gibree 1
“What’s your most difficult challenge?” I once asked him. “The hardest thing is always the next thing,” he said. “Right now, it’s trying to get comfortable with the [leg] prosthesis. They constantly have to tweak something—I call it ‘a thousand little adjustments.’”

But then he reconsidered. “Something tough? My pride.” He’d never viewed that as one of his failings, because he wasn’t a boastful person. The accident, however, made him realize pride takes many forms. Jerry was always glad to do things for others. “But boy,” he said, “I have trouble accepting help.”

With the ever-present twinkle in his eye, he chalked it up to being from Rhode Island. But perhaps there’s more truth than Jerry realizes to identifying with its famous statue. The smallest state has a rich spiritual history. Roger Williams—the original inspiration for the Independent Man—established Providence as a refuge for freedom of worship. With “Hope” as the state’s motto and the anchor its symbol (see Heb. 6:19), Rhode Island’s heritage suggests the real value of independence: the freedom to live with properly placed dependence.

The ordeal brought that into focus for Jerry, so he has crafted a mission statement for his ongoing recuperation: “May I not become a victim of my seeming improvement or progress.” Because he fears falling into Israel’s pattern of drifting from God in times of self-sufficiency, he is able to say, “The accident may be the best thing that ever happened to me.”

By Sandy Feit

Photography by Andrew Thomas Lee

http://intouch.org/read/magazine/features/independent-man

So, Where Are The Nine?

LUKE 17:11-19
11  While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee.
12  As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him;
13  and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14  When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed.
15  Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice,
16  and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan.
17  Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they?
18  “Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?”
19  And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.”
20  Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed;
21  nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

 

Jesus was traveling along the border between Galilee and Samaria.

  • Galilee was Jewish;
  • Samaritans, who were despised by the Jews, lived in Samaria.
  • We don’t know exactly where they were — Jesus was near the border.
  • This explains why a Samaritan was in the group of lepers.

 

Leprosy’s a terrible disease — a person’s skin begins to rot and fall off.  Many lepers lose fingers and toes.  It’s very painful and stinks. (pictures)

A person with leprosy is covered with ugly, pussy sores.

Leprosy was a common disease in Jesus’ time — there are parts of the world today where people have leprosy — India, China, Japan, parts of Africa, the West Indies and South America.

Leprosy’s very contagious. It’s easy to “catch” leprosy.

  • Just touching someone with leprosy or touching something he’s touched could give the disease.
  • Lepers had to live outside the community.

 

God instructed Israel:

Leviticus 13:46 (NASB) “He shall remain unclean all the days during which he has the infection; he is unclean. He shall live alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.

If Marty found she had leprosy, she couldn’t be in here with us, she’d have to leave the building and even leave Sun Valley!

She couldn’t hug me or our children or grandchildren, because they might get the disease.                                                                                                                                      .

– Wouldn’t that be sad?!

Leprosy wasn’t just bad for a person’s body — it was terrible for them to enjoy friends and family — they had to live alone.  (No Thanksgiving!)

Lepers got so lonely they’d find other lepers to live with.                                                            .

– That’s why these ten men were together. They all had leprosy, and  weren‘t allowed to be a part of their family or community.

In some parts of the world today, groups of lepers live together in “leper colonies.”

Beth Moore wanted to visit a leper colony but couldn’t make herself go in because of the horrible sights and smell of rotting flesh.

People with leprosy had to stay away from well people and warn them not come near.

 

That’s why these ten lepers were standing at a distance, outside the city, and crying out to Jesus for mercy.

.   – They called Jesus Master — they knew He was a healer and He could do.

.   – They didn’t approach Jesus because of the crowd following Him.

 

God told Israel how to deal with leprosy (Lev. 13).

  • Anyone diagnosed with leprosy had be examined by a priest. (Lev 13:2-3).

 

If the diagnosis was positive — Leviticus 13:45 (NASB) “As for the leper who has the infection, his clothes shall be torn, and the hair of his head shall be uncovered, and he shall cover his mustache and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’

 

He’d remain unclean as long as he had the disease.

  • He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp” ( 13:45-46).

 

The leper was considered utterly unclean — physically and spiritually.

Jews thought God used leprosy as punishment for a particular sin, and was far worse than any other disease — a mark of God’s anger.

Leprosy was an automatic death sentence — if you had leprosy you were doomed.                                                                          .   – Only 3 people were healed of leprosy in the O.T.:  Moses (Exodus 4:6),             .     Miriam, and Naaman — they were cured by God.

Because people believed God inflicted leprosy for sins people with leprosy were despised and weren’t allowed to live in any community with their own people.

They were removed from society so they wouldn’t defile or infect anyone.

The Jewish Talmud instructed lepers to stay about 300 feet away from people.

They’d yell “Unclean! Unclean!”  to keep people away.

Lepers lived in colonies with other lepers until they got better or died. This was the only way to stop the spread of leprosy.

Towel hanging on post – Isaiah 64:6

Sometimes relatives left food for them to find.

The Bible tells of another leper in Matthew 8:2-4 (NASB)
2  And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
3  Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
4  And Jesus *said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

Notice Jesus touched him………….It was forbidden to touch a leper.

The lesson:  sin defiles us in the sight of God, but through Christ, we can be healed of the plague of sin that separates us from God.

God hates sin; it’s repulsive to Him.

Sin keeps us from fellowship with God.                                                                                                                       .   – God is Holy and detests all sin — sin will keep us out of His Holy Heaven………

But you can be saved from sin by Grace through faith in Christ (Eph. 2:8-9)

You can stand in God’s presence knowing you’re accepted into God’s Kingdom and praise Him for the Grace He gives to you.

Another lesson we learn from the leper in Matthew’s Gospel is just like that leper, we can confidently approach Jesus with all our sin and defilement.                                   .   – When we plead for cleansing and forgiveness, He’ll not turn us away.

He forgives our sins and never remembers them against us anymore — Psalm 103:12 — He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. 

Jesus came to save us from something worse than leprosy!                                                        .   – We need to say thanks.

Jesus healed ten lepers, only one returned to thank Jesus!                                                               .   – He got far more than just healing of his body.                                                                 .   – He experienced the salvation of his soul as well!

Jesus told them to show themselves to the priest.

As they turned to do that, the ten lepers noticed their leprosy was gone. They’d been healed!

Their skin changed from being full of sores and disease (show the cloth that is dirty, tattered & torn) to being clean and healthy (put that cloth down & hold up an identical, brand new clean piece.)

                                                                                                                                                   Only One Leper Showed Gratitude!

What happens next — Luke 17:15-19.

When one of them saw that he was healed, he came back. He praised God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him. The man was a Samaritan.

 

When Jesus saw the Samaritan, He immediately wondered about the other nine men who had also been healed.

 

Jesus asked, “Weren’t all ten healed? Where are the other nine? Didn’t anyone else return and give praise to God except this outsider?”

  • Then Jesus said to him, “Get up and go. Your faith has healed you.”

 

It’s hard to believe only one of the ten came back to thank Him.

  • The other nine men knew they were healed, but they didn’t take the time to say, “Thank you.”

Probably when they saw they were healed, they ran home to their families and friends. After all, they’d been far away from them for some time.

Can you imagine their excitement?                                                                                                                          .   – Think how happy their families were to see them again?

These nine other men were so, so happy to be healed, they didn’t return to Jesus to publicly GIVE THANKS. They didn’t “praise God with a loud voice and throw themselves at His feet” like the leper who did return to thank Jesus.

When Jesus gave His life for you and me, His Blood healed us from a disease much more hideous than leprosy.

  • A disease only God can cure.
  • A disease that will destroy our soul for Eternity……….
  • Sin spoils everything? Sin spoils us too! Like a terrible disease, sin ruins us.

 

Sin is a great spiritual need that requires healing.

We seem to recognize physical needs better than spiritual needs. When we’re hungry, we eat. When sick, we go to the doctor. When we’re tired, we sleep.

Each of us are plagued with sins like hate, anger, greed, lying, and selfishness.

Just like leprosy destroys the physical body, these sins destroy our souls and need to be healed.

Jesus wants to heal them! He wants us to call to Him for help, just like the ten lepers called to Him for help.

And like the one leper who returned, we should worship, praise, and thank God at all times.

We can do this when we’re alone, but God also wants us to give thanks to Him publicly and with other believers.

The ten lepers in were given a great gift. The problem was, nine of them didn’t receive it with true thankfulness.                                                                                                                                                                      .   – Sure they were happy they’d received the gift of healing, but they didn’t           .     CHOOSE to thank the gift-giver.

  • When Jesus asked, “Where are the other nine?” He was asking, “Why aren’t they giving thanks to God?”

He might ask us the same question: “Why aren’t these people giving Me thanks?”

Jesus has given us the free gift of Salvation. We didn’t have to do anything to earn it.

Even though sin deserves to be punished, Jesus took that punishment for us when He died on the cross.  That’s the biggest, best gift you’ll ever receive!

The problem is, many people accept the free gift of forgiveness and never show their THANKFULNESS to Jesus.

God’s message is clear: we should have a heart filled to overflowing with thanksgiving to God, AND we should tell God and others how thankful we are!

God has done so much for us! He deserves our thanks!

Psalm 107:1-2 — Give thanks to the Lord, because He is good.  His faithful love continues forever.

 

That’s what we who have been set free by the Lord should say.

 

Jesus was publicly crucified to heal our sins. We should take time to publicly thank Him for that amazing gift. We should live a life of thankfulness, just like the one leper who returned to give thanks to Jesus.

 

We should do what Colossians 2:7 tells us: “Grow strong in what you believe, just as you were taught. Be more thankful than ever before.

 

This week is Thanksgiving.  Do more than eat a big meal and watch football on TV.

 

BE THANKFUL TO GOD FOR HIS ABUNDANT MERCY!

 

 

by Bill Woods

Overwhelmed With Gratitude

Stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at evening. 1 Chronicles 23:30

At fifteen, Martin Greenfield was seized by Nazi soldiers and sent to Auschwitz, where he was put to work scrubbing Nazi uniforms. When he damaged one of them, he was beaten. “A nice man pulled me aside,” he said, “and taught me how to sew and [to make] a simple stitch. It was my first tailoring lesson.” Martin was eventually liberated by American soldiers, though his family perished. Immigrating to the United States, Martin became a tailor. Today he’s known as the best suit-maker in the America, and among his customers are presidents of the United States. The primary attitude in Greenfield’s life is thanksgiving. “Everything I am or will ever be I owe to God and the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of the US Armed Forces who fought and died to liberate me…. I am overwhelmed with gratitude.”1

Our Lord Jesus came to liberate us from sin, death, and hell. He equips us to serve Him and uses us to bless others. He clothes us with righteousness. Everything we are or ever will be, we owe to Him. Let’s be overwhelmed with gratitude and say “Thank You” to Him every day.

We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction. Harry Ironside

The Way to Permanent Faith

Faith Watertower
Indeed the hour is coming…that you will be scattered… —John 16:32

Jesus was not rebuking the disciples in this passage. Their faith was real, but it was disordered and unfocused, and was not at work in the important realities of life. The disciples were scattered to their own concerns and they had interests apart from Jesus Christ. After we have the perfect relationship with God, through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, our faith must be exercised in the realities of everyday life. We will be scattered, not into service but into the emptiness of our lives where we will see ruin and barrenness, to know what internal death to God’s blessings means.

Are we prepared for this? It is certainly not of our own choosing, but God engineers our circumstances to take us there. Until we have been through that experience, our faith is sustained only by feelings and by blessings. But once we get there, no matter where God may place us or what inner emptiness we experience, we can praise God that all is well. That is what is meant by faith being exercised in the realities of life.

“…you…will leave Me alone.” Have we been scattered and have we left Jesus alone by not seeing His providential care for us? Do we not see God at work in our circumstances? Dark times are allowed and come to us through the sovereignty of God. Are we prepared to let God do what He wants with us? Are we prepared to be separated from the outward, evident blessings of God? Until Jesus Christ is truly our Lord, we each have goals of our own which we serve. Our faith is real, but it is not yet permanent. And God is never in a hurry. If we are willing to wait, we will see God pointing out that we have been interested only in His blessings, instead of in God Himself. The sense of God’s blessings is fundamental.

“…be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Unyielding spiritual fortitude is what we need.

by Oswald Chambers

Before you decide to leave the church

church missing thei535project

A few days ago I read several blogs from young Christians who were shunning the church, explaining how they have completely detached themselves from any involvement from the church completely. As I was reading, I began to really ponder on the fact that more and more Christians are leaving the church…and the more I thought about it the more distraught I became of the idea.

Could we possibly have a day where majority of believers abandon the church altogether and just sit home with their bibles and daily scripture statuses like everything is all good? While the thought of that makes my soul cringe, God gave me an illustration on The Church and its true purpose. (not “a church meaning a building, but “The Church” meaning the body of Christ). Just follow me for a second….

Put the idea of a hospital in your imagination. Who does it consist of? Doctors, nurses, receptionist, switchboard operators, security, tech team, the ambulance, and maintenance. Although its easy to think that all you need are doctors and nurses to run a hospital, in actuality without all these components running together you wouldn’t have a successful hospital at all. The purpose of the hospital is to house and treat the sick right? Without maintenance the hospital would be way too dirty to prevent disease, much less treat it. Without receptionist, the vital records of patients would never be kept. Without security the workers and patients alike would constantly be in danger, and without the ambulance they wouldn’t be able to reach the sick that extend outside the walls of the hospital. All of these positions, working together as the parts of the body works together, they ensure that the purpose of the hospital gets fulfilled. In essence, the hospital itself really isn’t the building at all, but the staff that labors inside of it!

Now, imagine these people….doctors and nurses and other staff beginning to leave the hospital altogether. “I can do my own thing at home, I don’t need to be here, this isn’t for me, I don’t like the other staff, I’m a doctor with or without it…”. Once more and more people begin to leave the hospital…it stops being a hospital because it can no longer fulfill its purpose. People with severe sicknesses will go to the hospital only seeing the doors closed shut because no one works there anymore! Emergency after emergency now falls on deaf ears because groups of people decided they didn’t want to work anymore. You see how bad that would be?

Whether you believe it or not, The Church HAS a purpose…to introduce healing to those who are suffering from the diseases caused by sin. Those that are lost and looking for peace should be able to come to The Church for their healing. People should be able to come among a community of believers and hear life changing testimonies, be part of earth-shaking worship sessions, and here pastors deliver the gospel that pushes them toward accepting Jesus and becoming healed. You think church is “unnecessary”? consider the apostles in Acts 2.

The Holy Spirit Through Numbers

  • Apostles faced a huge crowd of people as they preached the gospel
  • Through their unison with the Holy Spirit, they were able to all minister to all the different languages (about 14 different languages I believe)
  • Coming TOGETHER as the body of Christ can multiply your effect on the world

Peter’s Sermon

  • His sermon influenced 3,000 people to give their lives to Christ
  • Majority of people have given their life to Christ because of the convicting sermon they heard by a pastor
  • Jesus uses Pastors to convey his message to those who are seeking something other than what the world is offering them. Also, these messages refill the spirits of those already saved….we never get to a place where we don’t need to hear a word from The Lord.

Fellowship/Support

  • Toward the end of the chapter the newly saved people in the congregation began to fellowship with one another. Building friendships, making connections, and ministering to one another. Having believers you can connect with can greatly strengthen your relationship with Christ! (Lions often isolate THEN pounce, stop thinking you just too independent to stay with the flock…Satan will convince you be isolated so attacking you gets that much easier)
  • They also began selling their possessions and distributing them among those in the congregation that were lacking. The body of Christ was designed to support itself, those in church that are willing to help you can’t, because you’re too good to be there! Helping each other in need is what will make The Church powerful again, the body being healthy with Love circulating through its veins!

Now I know there are a LOT of corrupted churches out here…I know this. But there are also corrupted doctors and bosses, bet that wont stop you from going to the hospital when you’re sick, or to your job when you know them bills on the way! If you have been hurt and mistreated by a church, please, find another one! As a Christian you will never operate to your fullest potential in Christ while being completely isolated from the body of Christ. What use is your arm if it becomes detached from your body? What use are you to the kingdom detached from the body? Don’t let satan trick you into isolation

Acts 2:41-47

“Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common.  They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Peace

 

by FREDERICK GRAHAM JR.

https://walkingflame7.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/before-you-decide-to-leave-the-church/comment-page-1/#comment-26

How to Be a True Disciple of Christ

Courage Billy Graham

Being a true disciple of Christ means learning from God and putting His Word into action, the Rev. Billy Graham says.

Graham, a 97-year-old Baptist minister who founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, explains in a My Answers Q&A that to be a disciple of Christ means to be someone who “believes in Jesus and seeks to follow Him in his or her daily life.”

While in the Bible disciples actually knew Jesus in person, today a disciple is considered to be anyone who has committed themselves to Jesus.

Christian disciples have two responsibilities: to learn from God through His teaching, and to live out this teaching daily through their actions, the influential leader writes.

To be a disciple of Christ “means first of all that we want to learn from Him — and we will, as we study God’s Word, the Bible, and listen to others teach from it,” Graham writes, referencing Psalm 119:130 which states that the “unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”

The second responsibility of a disciple is to put God’s teaching into action on a daily basis.

“[B]eing a disciple also means we want to put God’s Word into action by seeking to live the way Christ wants us to live — with God’s help,” Graham says.

Dan Delzell, pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska, wrote on the topic of discipleship in an op-ed for The Christian Post, explaining that while some might think the title of disciple implies a higher level of dedication to God than a Christian, both are equal.

“If you are born again through faith in Jesus, you are a disciple of the Lord. There are no ‘second string’ disciples in God’s family. You are either born again, or not. If you are saved, it was the Good News which God used to grant you salvation,” Delzell writes, citing Romans 10:17 which states that “Faith comes from hearing the message.”

By being inducted into God’s family, you have earned the title of disciple, the pastor continues.

“It is not a message telling you what you must do in order to work your way into the position of a disciple. No one has ever been made a disciple by his works. Disciples do good works because they have been brought into God’s family by the power of the Gospel message,” Delzell writes.

Delzell adds that to try to differentiate between a Christian and a disciple would be to undermine God’s power in one’s life.

“If we make a distinction between ‘Christian’ and ‘disciple,’ we end up doing irreparable damage to both words. A person who is a Christian did not become one on his own. He was ‘born of God,’ (John 1:13)/ To say that some ‘Christians’ are not yet ‘disciples’ is to greatly minimize the work of the Holy Spirit in conversion … .as well as minimizing the Presence and benefits of having Jesus ‘dwell in your hearts through faith,’ (Ephesians 3:17),” the pastor writes.

This is not to say that there are not some disciples who could afford to strengthen their relationship with God.

“There is not one of us who couldn’t be living more like Christ. But that doesn’t mean that some born again people are disciples, while others are ‘only Christians.’ The Bible does not teach such a division,” Delzell says.

BY KATHERINE WEBER

http://www.christianpost.com/news/billy-graham-how-to-be-a-true-disciple-of-christ-164292/

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