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Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah – Jeremiah 31:31 (NKJV)

God Promises a New Future with His New Covenant

Judah and Israel were expected to rejoice with singing and dancing, according the Lord. He declared a bright and bountiful future for them along with a new covenant between both Judah and Israel with Him. This included prosperous crops planted “on the mountains of Samaria” (v. 5, NKJV). The entire future looked pleasant for “the remnant of Israel” who the Lord was bringing back to the land of their forefathers, the land of promise given over to the children of Israel.

The new future promised to Israel and Judah hinges upon a “new covenant” between God and them. “At that time,” declares the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.” (v. 1, NASB). According to the Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: “A covenant was an agreement between two parties that laid down conditions and guaranteed benefits, depending upon a person’s keeping or breaking the covenant.” Additionally, it says: “Covenants between God and the people he created, however, differed from purely human covenants. They were not agreements between equals, because God was always the one who gave, and people were always the ones who received.”

Tune in for Live @ Lunch Bible Study Wednesday at 11 AM PST

Live @ Lunch Bible Study Continues with the Jeremiah Journey

This week we’ll continue with the #JeremiahJourney and explore the new future promised by God with the new covenant He made with Judah and Israel. Last week’s Bible study lesson on chapter 30 focused on the promise of a new covenant coming forth. What we did not get were the enumerated details that God included in this current chapters. This chapter is filled with promises of a hopeful and plenteous future of God with His people in a time of harmony and bliss.

This sounds like almost too much, huh? Is this really in the Bible like that?

Jeremiah is the type of biblical text that challenges the reader to keep an eye out for anything odd or out of place. This chapter is no different, especially as you encounter Jeremiah’s brief explanation of his “vision” in verse 26 and the usage of Ephraim as an address about the house of Jacob and an inclusion of the Northern Kingdom starting at verse 15.

What are to Make of Jeremiah Awaking from a Deep Sleep (v. 26)

Consider that Jeremiah awakens in somewhat of a stupor in the midst of God laying out His declaration of the future of the remnant of Israel. He says that his sleep was god to him, even referenced it as “sweet” in another translation. Commentaries widely vary on their interpretation of this verse, including one where the church is substituted for Israel in the latter days and the rejoicing is rooted in the prophecy of the incarnation of Christ. Somebody please tell me that I go that wrong. Otherwise, we’re back to addressing replacement theology and all that comes with it. I mean even covenant theology is scrutinized by Dr. Reluctant online. Bob on Books gives a thorough review of another book on Jeremiah and its theology presented by a book like The Theology of Jeremiah: The Book, the Man, the Message by John Goldingay

Ephraim: Son of Israel and Cameo Appearance in Jeremiah Chapter 31

God even includes a mention of Ephraim in a section of this chapter. To novice Bible readers, this might seem like a vast departure from the subject of Israel and Judah without some explanation. Ephraim was the second son of Joseph, son of Jacob AKA Israel. Oddly enough, the favoritism that plagued Jacob’s fatherhood with his own sons extended to how he dealt with Ephraim and Manasseh. This ends up with Ephraim receiving rights of the first born and bypassing Manasseh, all of which was against Joseph’s own wishes. Based on this switch of roles, Ephraim is referred to as Israel and symbolically represents the tribes of the Northern Kingdom. Read more about this odd relationship and role for this “son of Jacob” in our weekly Bible study discussion guide.

Pray and Don’t Lose Heart

Get your FREE copy of the August 2021 Prayer Calendar from Life Path Multimedia Ministries. Join us in an effort to pray more in these days as we see a drift from the things of God towards the ways of the world in our churches and among our family and friends. It’s not a new thing that we’re facing, but it also has an age old cure in the effectual fervent prayer of those who seek the Lord’s intervention on today’s matters of heaven and earth. Prayer is just one of our weapons of spiritual warfare available to help us and strengthen us.

Download the Prayer Calendar for FREE
In case you missed last week’s livestream: watch it here!!

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Now why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth who is prophesying to you?

Jeremiah 29:27 (ESV)

Playing a Role Out of Position

Reading the rebuke of Shemaiah from the Lord sounds like a laundry list of misgivings and mistaken moves on Shemaiah’s part. When God has to go on a roll to run down all of your transgressions, He is not just having a tie to vent. Believe in all honesty that He is setting up things to take you down and set you straight.

What do we know about Shemaiah?

Shemaiah the Nehelamite, a false prophet who went with the captives to Babylon and who opposed Jeremiah (Jeremiah 29:24, 31-32). Shemaiah means “God heard” in Hebrew. Nehelamite, according to topical Bible research, means “dweller of Nehela.” However, “no such place-name is found in the Old Testament.”

He sounds like a self-appointed prophet among the Babylonian captives who took offense to the letters sent by Jeremiah. His words call for such a madman to be restrained and confined “in the stocks and neck irons,” according to verse 26. He challenges Zephaniah to answer why he has not rebuked and handled Jeremiah as of yet, especially after he said for the Babylonian captives to settle in and make the most of their time in captivity since it would last 70 years.

Not only was this man out of position, but he was totally taking on a man called by God to share His message, not a madman with a message of his own.

Leave It to God to Handle False Prophets

We’ve seen God do it before. We should not be surprised to see God do it again. He uses His servants the prophets to deliver His message to the people, while He handles false prophets with swift justice. He did so with Hananiah, the prophet dying within the same year of his false prophecy in the previous chapter.

Did you really think Shemaiah was going to get away with such an outlandish move as putting Jeremiah on blast like he was the false prophet?

Not one bit.

God sets things straight by making it plain. “Behold, I will punish Shemaiah of Nehelam and his descendants. He shall not have anyone living among this people, and he shall not see the good that I will do to my people, declares the Lord, for he has spoken rebellion against the Lord” (v. 32, ESV). Despite what the false prophet believes and says, he is dealt with by God in a way that shuts down his own message.

The best part of it all comes at the tail end of the verse and chapter where God says “for he has spoken rebellion against the Lord.” It is what it is. It is God having to rectify what some fool says another one believes without even comparing it with what God has said already. It is pure foolishness passed around and taken in like bad medicine. People are warned that they reap what they sow. Such is the case with Shemaiah. You think somebody needs to be corrected? Okay, let’s let God handle that and see who gets handled for pushing falsehood and rebellion among God’s people.

Jeremiah 29 is the foundation for this week’s livestream Wednesday at 11 AM PST

Let the lesson of Shemaiah help you learn more about how God deals with falsehood. He does not spend a lot of time on it. He does not offer many words for it. He speaks on it and against, and then it is handled by Him. In fact the Lord has warned us about these false prophets. I think most of us who know the Lord can live with that rather than trying to figure out what God is doing to make things right.

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So a prophet who predicts peace must show he is right. Only when his predictions come true can we know that he is really from the Lord. (V. 9, NLT)

False Prophets Seek to Fool the People with Lies Again and Again

False prophets talk what they talk up until what they say is proven wrong, and then they either disappear in shame or they find a ready excuse as to why what they said did not transpire just yet. Jeremiah’s response to the prophet Hananiah is a clear example of subtle rebuke. He points out that many prophets existed long before both he and Hananiah became prophets. He explains in plain words that a prophet is proven from God when what he predicts comes true.

One of the best online discussions on false prophecy via Allen Parr

Read this week’s Bible study discussion guide and discover more about the false prophecy of Hananiah. See how Hananiah the Gibeonite proclaimed that God would break the yoke placed on the people of Judah by the king of Babylon within 2 years.

2 years?

But Jeremiah had prophesied that their enslavement would last 70 years. How in the world could Hananiah explain this conflict with his contemporary? Other prophets proclaimed the Lord’s message in other regions and these same prophets were further confirmation of what each other said. That wasn’t the case with Hananiah.

Just Who was Hananiah?

Dig deeper into the character of Hananiah and discover just who he was and what type of prophet he was during his times. See how he went to extreme antics such as breaking the wooden yoke from upon Jeremiah, so that the priests and the people looking on could see what he predicted God would do with the yoke of bondage and captivity said to come under Babylonian rule. He even spoke again after destroying Jeremiah’s yoke, speaking boldly before his audience.

However, God spoke to Jeremiah and directed him to go to Hananiah with this message: The Lord has not sent you, but the people believe your lies. (v. 15, NLT). He goes on to warn the false prophet that he shall die that same year due to his “uttered rebellion against the Lord” (v. 16, ESV).

In that same year, in the seventh month, the prophet Hananiah died. (V. 17, ESV)

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Why We Won’t Get Fooled Again (or So We Think)

Jeremiah explained how to know that a prophet is genuinely sent by God in verse 9. The formula is fairly simple. In order to know if the prophet is truly sent by God, what he predicts has to come true. The truth cannot help but get revealed as part of God’s will and His large scale plan. If what a prophet has to say does not come true, then he is viewed as a false prophet.

So, what about the people who believe the lies of false prophets? Paul tried to explain it to his son in the ministry, Timothy, with these words: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but having itching ears, they shall heap to themselves teachers in accordance with their own lusts. Jude says this about them in verse 19: “It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit” (ESV). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned His audience: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

People will fall prey to the misleading messages of false prophets because it sounds good and the sermons make them feel good about themselves. Despite the messages lacking the spiritual and biblical substance to withstand any form of testing, people will accept the lies over the truth. People will follow the false prophet rather than the simple, faithful preacher who comes straight out and simply says: “Thus saith the Lord.”

Join us Wednesday at 11 AM PST for Live @ Lunch Bible Study and the Jeremiah Journey Week #28.

The spiritual warfare that we engage in forces us to fight attacks from all sides, especially those who Jude says have crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness. Our warfare will require us to defend the Good News and “contend for the faith” despite the people being swayed by the trickery of those with golden tongues of eloquence and painting pictures of celestial pipe dreams pouring out from heaven.

Will we ever rid ourselves of those who preach out of selfishness and gain? Will we ever get rid of those who proclaim a new gospel due to their egotistical exhortations that claim that God has bestowed a special message for you but only through them?

I cannot say whether we will or not see a day when this comes to the end, but I can say that we can continually build up our discernment. We can keep ourselves rooted and steeped in the Scriptures. We can test everything by the Scriptures and the Spirit. We can stay cautious in following any particular doctrine just like the Bereans when they heard Paul speak. We can gird ourselves with the full armor of God and trust in Him to handle the wayward wordsmiths who weave tales of false hope and empty promises.

I like what I am reading on WordPress from many bloggers out there, especially when we see help for those seeking to become a Christian. From topics like spiritual warfare to others like spiritual renewal, there is a world of writers and bloggers seeking to contend for the faith and help each us make more sense out of all that we face day by day.

But the Gospel is Preached

I believe that Paul had the right attitude in Philippians and its opening chapter of this letter from prison. In verses 15-18, Paul breaks down that there all sorts of folks preaching the Good News due to his own imprisonment. He spoke openly of how he accepted and rejoiced that the Gospel was preached despite some doing it for the wrong reasons. That was the cause for him to rejoice, even while he sat behind bars.

 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. – Philippians 1:18 (NIV)

Can we have a similar perspective?

Can we see things in a similar light?

Paul did not fight earnestly to stop folks from preaching the Good News for profit or selfish ambition. He pointed out that he was fine and okay with it all since Christ is preached.

We may know that the doctrine is faulty and based on some man-made additions to the sacred text that explains salvation as simple as believe in your heart and confess with your mouth (Romans 10:8-9). But we also know that God hasn’t called us all to play the role of Jeremiah. God hasn’t told us each to confront false prophets. If that is your ministry, may God be with you as you carry out from confrontation to confrontation. For all others, place your focus on where the Lord has led you by His Spirit and in His service, and make your work provide a lasting impact on the lives of others, especially those who have yet to come to know the Lord.

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Do not listen to the false prophets who keep telling you, ‘The king of Babylon will not conquer you.’ They are liars. – Jeremiah 27:14 (NLT)

Then I spoke to the priests and the people and said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Do not listen to your prophets who claim that soon the gold articles taken from my Temple will be returned from Babylon. It is all a lie!  – Jeremiah 27:16 (NLT)

False prophecy is not just a modern issue. The Bible breaks that down for us. It gives us an unabridged look at what God calls lies from liars, prophets whom God did not send with any such message at all.

Look at verses 14 & 16 of this chapter of Jeremiah. God is laying it out there. He is exposing them for what they are and what they are not. He calls them liars and He calls their prophecies lies. He warns the king, the priests and all other people to not listen to these “false prophets.”

So, why does God care? They have not been listening to Him or His messengers and servants, the prophets. Why go the extra mile and break down how these “false prophets” have led the people, even the priests, to the point where they are accepting false prophecy over God’s truth?

God’s PLan and Will Shed Light on Falsehood

Expect God’s Word to withstand every test imaginable. Then, in turn, expect any false teaching, prophecy or just straight lie to diminish once the truth has been revealed. The very substance of any falsehood is disintegrated by the power of the truth. As the truth comes forth and makes itself known, the false prophets hunker down and cower back for fear of the wrath of God for their outright lies.

That’s not exactly what you see today. The ones who seem to profess and peddle their wares of a somewhat sinless existence in a Utopian-type of earthly Christendom do not seem to get punished for their wayward words. Yet, we see some taken down a notch for the other things that their falsehood has allowed to play out in their lives. We see men and women stripped of their seat in the pulpit. We see them lose members left and right as scandal and corruption are revealed. We see their marriages slip into dark places as their professions of falsehood even take over their personal lives, including their vows. Sadly, it not simply a black eye for false prophets. It becomes a black eye for the faith in the eyes of the world.

We talk about this falsehood this week as we study Jeremiah chapter 27. Join us this Wednesday at 11 AM PST for Live @ Lunch Bible Study as we continue our study in the Book of Jeremiah on YouTube.

How Could God Allow Such a Thing?

Let’s not get lost with our holy hindsight here. What we saw play out with some pastors recently is merely cleansing of what needs to take place in all of our lives. That same cleansing humbles us from thinking too highly of ourselves and surpassing even the pride that Lucifer in trouble so long ago.

The deeply-buried secrets and lies that were exposed in the John Gray scandal disrupted so much good he has done in his ministry and with God’s Word. Yet, we all have read it and most probably have repeated it where it says: All have sinned and fallen short. . .

People see what occurred in the ministry of Hillsong and its exposed abuses of volunteers and mistreatment of women claiming to have been harassed by leadership. Yet, what we witness is the destruction of that ministry’s witness to the unchurched and unsaved due to its flaws. Like Sha’Carri Richardson recently tweeted: “I am human.” We all have our flaws and issues, sin buried deep within our members and even some oozing out of very flesh with the stench of evil and wickedness coming along with it.

God allows it to be present, to be seen and felt. He sheds light on it every now and then as a reminder of what our focus should be when we place our faith in anything besides Him and His glory. Shame on us in the ministry for not being more responsive to when a brother or sister falls due to losing their way. We should beat out the angels coming to rescue and providing them comfort to recover and regain their strength. We should be like a SEAL team making a clandestine rescue mission under the auspices of the Christian banner. If anything, we should hold to the truth while extending a hand of support and restoration for those misled by lies, even those that have passed across their own lips.

Heaven help us to be more forgiving as we forsake false prophecies and forgive false prophets.

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Audio clip from Coffee & Chat with Rev Bruce Episode #4

When we talk about community leadership, Christians can tend to shy away or step up. There’s usually no middle of the road when it comes to Christian leaders actively engaging in community leadership. Usually, it is one extreme or the other.

Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds – Proverbs 27:23

For those who choose to get involved in community leadership, the challenge can be the lack of focus or attention to the flock. There are plenty of life hacks for getting a work-life balance, but that was not the case for two pastors that I have studied over the years.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King struggled as the pastor of his flock. Not that King was not cut out for the position of a pastor but he also led the SCLC and was on the front lines of boycotts and other strategic activities related to what we have come to know as the Civil Rights Movement. While King was fundraising for SCLC and its efforts throughout the South, what condition did he leave Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery?

The challenge is real when Christian leaders evolve into community leaders, even national leaders. Unless you have a dynamic system in place within your church, you will struggle to lead in both areas. Know the condition of your flock. In a mega church era, do not get to the place as a shepherd where you do not recognize your own sheep or their condition. Make it a point to stay in touch and on top of what is happening with your folks.

Daddy King recognized the pressure and struggle that his son faced. He implored his son to give up Dexter Avenue and return home to Atlanta to continue his work with the SCLC and maintain his ministry ties under Daddy King’s leadership at Ebenezer. Without the shift, we may not have known the iconic orator and leader from the Civil Rights Movement.

Adam Clayton Powell

Famous People: Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Biography by [Letitia]

https://amzn.to/2NTrxT9 https://amzn.to/2VNVsRc

No one epitomizes the consummate community and church leader like Adam Clayton Powell. Pastor of Harlem’s famous Abyssinian Baptist Church, Adam Clayton Powell became a city council member, community leader, and a U.S. Congressman. Powell fought hard against racial segregation and introduced landmark civil rights legislation.

Standing at a slim 6’4”, Powell was an imposing figure in the pulpit as well as the congressional floor. Yet, Powell had an appetite for controversy and was never known to shy away from a challenge. His persona was often the fodder for headlines and scandal pages, leaving the congregation of 14,000 members to wonder where their leader’s focus lied from time to time.

Politics and civic leadership have a place in the Christian realm. We just have to manage the amount of attention other things receive instead of the church. If you do not know the condition of your flock, as the shepherd, check yourself and see what you need to do to get that balance back.

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 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

– Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)

 

Today’s church is in a peculiar position.  It can be remembered as a masterful center of activity.  Or, it can be seen a near-dead dormant place of apathy with little to no action or activity.

For the church to harness the power of being interactive, its leadership has to see  the church as a beacon within the congregation and community that offers: CONNECTIVITY, COMMITMENT, & CONSISTENCY.

CONNECTIVITY

The experience on the customer end is all about ease of usage.  How simple is it to get connected with your church online? Is it just a Facebook LIve post at 11 AM EST every week? If so, then as a member who follows your church on Facebook, I should see it pop up on my Facebook alerts when you go live.  If I have to log into an online portal with username and password or jump through some other technological hoop, you got me doing way too much.

Make it simple for people.  One click access.  Embed your videos on your website’s home page.  Simplify access for people to connect with your church.

COMMITMENT

Any ministry effort requires dedicated folks.  Yet, during this season of uncertainty, commitment does not look different but it certainly feels different.  No matter if you have a full team of folks helping to create and coordinate the distribution`of your online content or something far more simplified than that.

Who’s managing the chat? Who is checking the mobile watcher experience?

A handful of committed folks from right within your congregation or community.  Your best sermons will never reach their potential.  The commitment of your tech and sound crew makes a huge difference in your broadcast.

CONSISTENCY

No one will watch if there is no schedule or announcement.  It helps your team with planning and preparing, but it helps your audience to know what to expect and when to expect it.

When you fail to be consistent, we k=leave room for all sorts of assumptions.  In times like these, it seems risky to assume that people will tune in without directives or any announcement.

Push out your schedule of broadcasts and meetings ASAP.  Give viewers and others some lead time.  Think days, not hours.  Announce what you plan to cover and when, then re-share it via social media or email.

To harness the power of the interactive church, you must keep these 3 in mind.  These are the cornerstones of an effective church interacting online.

 

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Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many,  and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’  But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’  And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’  Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ – Luke 14:16-20

The parable reveals how believers can make excuses about what they are not willing to do despite what the Lord is inviting them to participate in with Him.  You see, His “great feast” is by invitation only but of “those who were invited” they all made excuses.

The church resembles the world when we consider the work od the church.  We have more people sitting than serving.  He have more people taking in the Word than those taking action with the Word.  In fact, we don’t accept the world’s 80/20 principle.  In the church, we have adjusted the odds to 90/10, accepting it more as fact rather than a challenge for us to overcome with prayer, fasting, teaching, training, and mentoring.

Jesus spoke of the cost of becoming His disciple throughout this very chapter of Luke (vv. 10-11, 13, 26-27, 33).  He reminds us that our main aim in this life is to live a life of sacrifice for His sake.  We sacrifice by taking a servant’s position, seeking to satisfy others more than ourselves.  As His disciples (followers), we are to serve those who cannot pay us back just as we are debtors to the One who paid a price that we cannot pay back (Luke 14:14).  By doing so, we support others and serve the Lord by reflecting His example and meeting His expectation of us.

Since we have been called by Christ, let us not turn back or create excuses.  For every reason why we won’t or don’t do more, He hung, suffered, bled, endured and died to give us all the reason that we need not to quit or walk away from His calling on our lives.

Don’t dwell in a place of complacency or mediocrity.   Get back on track with the Lord.  Give Him all of you, all that you have to give Him since nothing was held back when He save you and I.

We have been called by the Master.  We have been called and we cannot turn back, not now and not ever.

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 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.
  -Titus 2:1 (ESV)

There is nothing that comes naturally to us in this new life.  Our rebirth as children of God leads us to enter into a new life with a blank slate.  We are to put off the old man who has lived within us for so long, so that we may put on the new man who is to be developed and nurtured within us as new creations in Christ.

Sometimes it works.  At other times, it just doesn’t work.  We fail when we fail to rely upon the Holy Spirit.  We tend to not mature as steadily when we focus more on what we will get out of it or gain from it rather than simply submitting to the will of the Spirit.  We lose out when we lose sight of the unveiled mysteries that God has revealed to us through His Word and by His Holy Spirit.

Paul admonishes Titus to teach what is “sound doctrine.” In doing so, he shares with Titus how to lead multiple generations in ministry.  He offers a strategy for incorporating the people by empowering his people to teach one another in the Christian life.

Titus is to “exhort and rebuke with all authority”(Titus 2:15 ESV).  He, as the pastor and spiritual leader of the church, is to lead, guide, direct and provide the means for the older men to minister and mentor the younger men as well as the older women to do the same for the younger women.  In essence, according to Paul’s instructions to Titus, everyone has a role to play within the ministry of the church, ministering to each other in unity.

Read Titus 2 in its entirety.  Read through it, then study it.  See what God asks of us as believers when it comes to ministering to one another.  Pray over it.  Subject yourself to pastoral authority for the good of all concerned.  Do not simply go along to get along.  Give of yourself, sharing your experiences and lessons learned.  Let God use you to minister to your brothers and sisters so that the entire body of Christ will be strengthened in “sound doctrine.”

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“More people are coming to Christ now than at any other time in history.” – Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church

The church has a real responsibility.  It is revealed in the Word of God.  It is real work.  It amounts to the work of people.  People make up the church.  Therefore, the work of the church has plenty to do with the people who come into the church and are touched by the church.

The church has a responsibility to the Lord for how it handles people.  Its ultimate responsibility is to answer to the Lord and His commands of them.  It represents the Lord on this earth.  Its works shed light into the darkness of this world and offers mankind a reason to glorify God the Father in heaven.

The church is called to reach people.  We reach people with people and through people.  We do the work that touches people and impact lives on this side of heaven.

The church is called to receive people.  The Lord adds to the church.  That part is on Him, but we have a responsibility, too.  We are to serve as wise stewards over what He provides for us.  We need to handle what (and who) God gives to us in a manner that blesses God.

“Jesus commanded us to make disciples.” – Ted Haggard

“People need to feel needed.” – Myron Rush

“God has ordained the church as a place of truth.” – Bob Russell

“Ministry is a marathon.” – Rick Warren

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Do the Work

 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.- James 1:22 (ESV)

“I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.” – Hudson Taylor

 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.- 2 Timothy 4:5 (ESV)

Simply put: we have work to do.  In fact, that really is an understatement.  We have plenty of work to do.  The Lord Jesus shared that the harvest is plentiful and the laborers (workers) are few.  We have plenty of work without a surplus of workers to match up with the work.

I am oftentimes saddened when I attend a meeting of people of faith and there is constant talk of what we do not have or who is not there.  It appears that the stated and printed agenda shifts somewhat to a mindset that literally undermine the work at hand.  We may only have so many people with so much work, but I have enough faith to trust God ho has all power. 

 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”- Matthew 9:38 (ESV)

Perhaps, we can take the words of Jesus literally and not see what the Lord did not say for us to do.  He said for us to pray.  He did not say for us to stop all of our work, pray for more workers, then sit around and do nothing until they arrive and are approved and appointed.  That is not what Jesus said for us to do.  He never said for us to stop our work because we have prayed for reinforcements.  He said pray, but He never said for us to stop working.

Like I said, we have some serious work ahead of us.  We have some work to do internally and externally.  We have some work to do inside of the church.  We have some work to do outside of the church.  We have enough work to do all the way up to the Day of the Lord.  Let’s not waste a whole bunch of time on matters that are totally out of our hands and out of our control.  Let’s busy with what is at hand and stay in prayer for what (or who) the Lord has yet to send our way as we continue to do our work.

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