“But none of these things move me; neither do I esteem my life dear to myself, if only I may finish my course with joy and the ministry which I have obtained from [which was entrusted to me by] the Lord Jesus, faithfully to attest to the good news (Gospel) of God’s grace (His unmerited favor, spiritual blessing, and mercy).” Acts 20:24 AMPC
I don’t need to remind anyone of the current events taking place. Yet, as servants of the Lord and slaves to righteousness, our transformed mind and heart must be evident in our life. The actions we engage with every day testifies whether or not we are building God’s kingdom or our own. God through Paul writes to Timothy in 2 Timothy ch. 3 about there being serious and challenging times ahead for the Brethren. But my dear brothers and sisters… none of these things should move you.
Just because we have earthquakes, rumors of wars and pestilent outbreaks, doesn’t mean that this is the end. We are in the end times because of what Jesus said in Matthew 24:3-14 (please read this to understand the context of my words). Situations and circumstances will always bring us new obstacles to hurdle so that none of these difficulties will change or persuade us with how we should, as believers, respond with the mind of Christ and to NOT react with carnal/human emotion. A degenerate mind looks at the current events with an unsettling perspective verses a regenerated mind that has a Biblical perspective and therefore, is able to choose to have the same disposition that Christ Jesus had (Philippians 2:4-5).
I have had multiple privileges to walk the streets (with the necessary precautions to keep everyone I talk to safe) in Sandpoint, Idaho during our nation’s lockdown and have found the fields to be white and ripe for the picking. Sharing the Gospel without fear begins with obedience. As a preacher of the Word, it is my duty to fulfill the ministry that has been entrusted to me regardless of the hindrances yet alongside the Biblical wisdom and discretion that God has given me. God will always make a way for us to obey and to keep obeying that we may walk the path of righteousness.
During one of these encounters, I was with my friend, Wade who lives up here in Idaho. We were ministering at a skate park watching two kids perform skateboard tricks, like a “5-0 grind” but this quickly turned into almost having to call the 5-0 (police). The dad of one of the kids felt threatened by us and both the kid and this dad, charged at us ready to fight. The more Wade and I talked about the Word of God with them, the hostility increased, yet it was also the Word of God that immediately diffused the situation. Having the courage to commit and continue sharing the Gospel comes only from the power of God. This father and son falsely accused my brother and I of horrible things that day, yet none of these “threats” moved us. They shook us up a little bit but we knew with that confrontation, what we were to pray for. This family is under demonic influence. Their harsh reaction to God’s Word was not an attack on us, but rather, they were ignorantly rejecting the salvation of their Creator. Their physical threat was quickly dismantled for we do not wrestle with flesh and blood and therefore, we fight not like them, thus the Lord got the victory; for His Word was preached among those who are perishing. This family now knows the demonic wisdom that they’re training their teenage boy in for they were compared to the pure Biblical wisdom and failed the test. This broke our hearts but we rejoiced for these false accusers were put to shame (1 Peter 3:14-17). I was fully expecting to be punched in the nose at this time, as I have had many other opportunities in D.C. for the same, yet it is through the power of Lord and your prayers that has protected me thus far. I have personal convictions from the Holy Spirit where I know there will be a day where verbal attacks actually turns into violent physical altercations, but this was not that day. Upon reflecting the whole day God reminded me of the words Jesus spoke in Matthew 5:11-12:
” 11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. “
In Proverbs 16:7-9 we find King Solomon sharing heavenly wisdom that is to be applied to a person’s life. He says in verse 7, “When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” If the Lord looks upon the life of the one that is consecrated, that is set apart for His purposes only, and sees obedience, He will make even his enemies at peace with him. Since this is true for a person’s enemies, how much more for his friends or family? This favor comes from God and will endure through a tested faith. Ones who stand the test will be genuine in His sight.
To continue in faithfulness is a quality trait that can only be wrought in God. For those gripped by fear, it is only the power of God that can change the heart and mind from serving these evil desires to wholly serving the Lord. Remedying these errors in our lives comes from a consistency of ongoing submission, absolute surrender and acknowledgment of Jesus’ Lordship over everything that we are. We have to start somewhere. In the lives of believers, it always starts with obedience and adhering to the WHOLE COUNSEL of God’s Word (Old Testament & New Testament).
From walking the streets to talking with neighbors, too many people seek something pleasing and gratifying for only themselves, and sometimes, including believers. During these uncertain times, there are many strange and tempting myths that exist to deceive others as those who write such articles and letters are deceived themselves. We are to mount a garrison of Truth around our ears, mind, eyes and heart. There is a plethora of godless chatter and irreverent stories that leave us scared, confused, empty and worried. With the help of the Holy Spirit Who makes His home in the hearts of believers, we must stay focused on what has been entrusted to us. We have a responsibility, especially in these last days.
Understand that no one comes into power or rule and nothing happens without God allowing it first. With this in mind, we can take great comfort in knowing that Jesus placed kingdoms, rulers and authorities in their place so that His will might be accomplished and scripture fulfilled. God through Paul writes to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:1-5 and 2 Timothy 4:3-4 about such things pertaining to the last days, where the apostasy will be of great proportions. The apostates fall into three categories, the wayside, boulders and briers from the parable of the sower in Luke 8:4-15.
The evidence that should exist in genuine Biblical believers comes from the example that Jesus says in verse 15, “the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the Word with a good and noble heart, hold onto it tightly and bear fruit with patience.” The apostate examples, that is of how not to live in this world, are as follows:
|Around the time a person hears the Gospel, the devil comes and carries away the message (because they allow him to) out of their hearts resulting in them refusing to acknowledge Jesus as their Savior & therefore cannot devote themselves to Jesus to be saved from their sins and have no hope.||When a person hears the Gospel and welcomes it with joy but have no depth of the knowledge of God. Therefore, they believe in Jesus for a while but in time (days, months, years) of trials, difficulties and temptations, fall away from what they were taught, withdrawing from the truth about what they heard of the Gospel and abandon their faith.||When a person hears the Gospel, goes on their merry little way, (“well I’ve confessed Jesus is my Savior, so I’m good, my ticket’s punched into heaven”), again without knowledge of their God, what they were taught becomes choked out and suffocated with the anxieties, cares, riches and pleasures of life, resulting in and producing no mature fruit but immature and undeveloped in their faith, or lack thereof.|
These three examples describe the apostasy that we see in the church today. The American business models and man-made organizational structures that infiltrate the pulpit are used by God to fulfill this apostate prophesy. As difficult as this reality is, the sovereignty of God still rules and reigns. This is further evidence for not only our comfort but joy and excitement to see His day approaching that much sooner! Hallelujah!
So how does all this Equip us for His ministry? I turn our eyes to Malachi chapter 3, verses 13-18…
13 “Your words have been arrogant against Me,” says the Lord. “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’ 14 You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning before the Lord of hosts? 15 So now we call the arrogant blessed; not only are the doers of wickedness built up but they also test God and escape.’” 16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name. 17 “They will be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” 18 So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.
There is a great opportunity given by God and to be honest, prayed for by many saints, that families would come together. With pertaining to the COVID-19 virus, we are not saying we prayed for people to get sick and potentially lose their life but God is making it for good in other ways by families being forced to come together. But the choice is still there, you may be together but are you spending this time together wisely? I’ve seen many articles talking about the best Netflix shows/movies to watch during quarantine, the best time killers, etc. I challenge you to spare no effort studying the Word of Truth so as to be proven genuine unto God (not man), during this trial and temptation that is gripping the world in fear. Teach and instruct your children in God’s truth and as many are now homeschooling, you have THE history book to teach from… the Bible! Come out of this adversity, pure, undefiled and approved genuine. We are living in this world to be little lights pointing to the life-giving light that Jesus is. Therefore shine your light bright so that all may see your faith exercised and those who see it will glorify God in heaven for His work done in the lives of His servants.
Continue to equip, edify and evangelize everywhere you go (or may not go)!
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