Mission Conference Time
This week at Friendship Baptist Church we are hosting our 22nd annual Faith Promise Mission Conference. It is the highlight of the annual calendar for our church. Four missionaries are here to share their burden and vision for the work that God has called them to do. Their ages vary and their fields are diverse yet it is evident their burden is great. One of the last things our Lord did while on this earth was five times, in five different books to give the Great Commission. This should be the operating manual for every local church. The command to take the Gospel across the street and around the world is very clear; read Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47, John 20:21 and Acts 1:8. UNTOLD MILLIONS ARE STILL UNTOLD. Let us do something about that!
2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Someone has said that only two things are certain in our lives; death and taxes. When you minister to senior adults you learn early and often there are going to be sad Good-Byes. Death is not normally a welcome guest. It inflicts sorrow and difficult memories for those that it touches. Recently one of the faithful ladies of our ministry went home to be with her Lord. She had suffered through a couple of years of ALS also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Until she lost her ability to communicate she displayed a vibrant faith in God. She was always very upbeat. Her posts son Facebook encouraged many. As I stood before several hundred people at her funeral I was able to share some of these truths with those who attended. Saying good-bye at a time like this is often difficult. This time was different. A gracious lady had fought a valiant fight and who had been confined to her bed and wheel chair then as her daughter said, “She stood up and walked into the presence of her Lord”. Good-Bye Moleta !
1 Thessalonians 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 20For ye are our glory and joy.
As the apostle Paul writes to the church at Thessalonica he constantly reminds them of the special place they have in his heart. He tells those young believers that they are his hope, joy and crown of rejoicing. Of all the churches where Paul ministered; Thessalonica was the most personal. His time with them was short but the fond memories continued to flood his heart. Our desire should be to form bonds with other believers that will linger with us. When we get discouraged their memory warms our heart. The family of God should not be confined to just those we see each week at church. Those who prayed for us and led us to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ should always be with us. Build relationships that last for all eternity. We need them!
John 21:15 Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?
The apostle Peter was known for “putting his foot in his mouth” as the old expression says. Peter told the Lord he could always count on him, even when others would fail Him. However, a short time after that promise Peter denied his Lord three times . In the final denial he even cursed to demonstrate he was not a follower of Jesus Christ. He then went out and wept bitterly. From the human point of view that would finish the ministry of Peter. However, not much later Peter stood and preached on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and 3,000 people were saved and baptized in one day.
What does that teach us? First of all we serve a God who will forgive even when our sin is grievous. There can be profitable service after failure if we get our heart right with God and allow Him to use us once again. Do not let the Enemy discourage us. Let us serve the God of the second chance.
On the day Jesus was crucified, large numbers of people stood at the foot of the cross, watching while others marched by the cross observing the Roman rite of execution by crucifixion. It was a slow and agonizing method of death. The religious leaders mocked Him. The Roman soldiers after nailing Jesus to the cross knelt at the foot of the cross gambling over His single earthly possession, a seamless robe. The large crowd followed the leadership of their religious leaders and railed against the man on the cross.
On either side of Jesus was a convicted thief dying to pay for his crime against society. Both of them began to join the crowd and mocked Jesus. However, one of the thieves later turned to Jesus and asked Him to remember him. Jesus told him he would join him in Heaven that very day.
In our society this significant event is both a national holiday and a religious event. Some like the soldiers, religious leaders and the one thief never recognize the significance of the man on the center cross. But for us who know the truth of the story and have received Christ as our Savior we have the assurance we will one day see Him face to face. I hope you have that same assurance
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God….
This morning I started reading the Old Testament again. I am always struck by those first four words found in the Scriptures. For the believer each day should begin with God. Every ministry ought to begin with God. Every relationship should begin with God. Sometimes we get in a spiritual hurry and get ahead of God. That will not happen if in the beginning we seek and invoke God’s help for our journey. Genesis tells us that God created man in His image and likeness. When we became believers we were given the responsibility to show people what God looks like. We are the only sermon some people will ever read. Let each of us make sure the picture of God we display is clear and true.
A young lady who received a book from a young man, read it and said, “What a tiresome book!” The young man said, “Did you notice who wrote it?” She looked at the front page and saw that her lover was the author. She began to read it again, and at the end she said, “I never read a greater book.” What made the difference; her relationship to the writer.
Many people find reading their Bible a tedious time. I believe that may be the case because their relationship with the author is not what it should be. When we open the pages of the sacred Scriptures it helps to realize the one who saved our soul and rescued our life, lives within us. He wants to communicate to us through His Word. Read the Word with that thought in mind and you will be amazed how it speaks to your heart.
We should set a side time every day to allow God to speak to us through His Word.