Archive for the ‘Ministry’ Category

THEY SPAKE WITH BOLDNESS

Acts 4:31 – “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness!”

 INTRODUCTION:  Acts 3:1-8 – “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God”. Peter and John went into the temple. Peter, by the name of Jesus, had just healed this man that had been lame from His birth. Then Peter starting preaching in the temple. We pick up this story in chapter 4 at the conclusion of Peter’s message and the reaction of the priests and the Sadducees.

We need to boldly proclaim the word of God in our community. We should not be afraid to witness for our Lord – He gave us access to “All power” we therefore have no reason to be scared about “Go Ye” (Mathew 28:18-20 – And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.)

We are going to look at several questions and we are going to get our answers out of God’s word.

WHAT DID THEY GET IN TROUBLE FOR?  (Acts 4:1-3And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.  And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.) – THEY GOT IN TROUBLE FOR TEACHING AND PREACHING THE WORD OF GOD!

A time is coming when we may get into trouble for preaching, teaching, and living by what the Word of God says. In fact, it is already beginning to happen in this country. I read, not long ago, about a baker in Colorado and another one in Oregon. Two homosexual men in one case and two lesbian women in the other case came into the bakery wanting to order a cake to celebrate their wedding ceremony. The bakers, who believe what the Bible says about the sin of homosexuality, refused to make a cake for them. They would bake a cake for other events for them and had, but they just could not bake a cake for a homosexual wedding. They are now facing criminal and civil prosecutions and verdicts, all because they did not bake a cake, all because they acted on what they believed.

Are you willing to act on what you believe come what may?

  • Would you still be willing to preach God’s Word, teach God’s Word, be a witness of God’s Word, believe and act upon God’s word if it meant a prison sentence?
  • Acts 4:31 AND THEY SPAKE THE WORD OF GOD WITH BOLDNESS”
  • Notice in Acts 4:4 the prison bars did not stop the power of God’s word and His message. They laid hands on them, put Peter and John in prison, but that could not stop God. I love verse 4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.”
  • What are you willing to sacrifice for God?Your plans, your dreams, your freedom?How about your pride? Your comfort zone? Are you willing to sacrifice your Saturday to get His Word out to our community?

WHAT AUTHORITY DID THEY HAVE TO PREACH GOD’S WORD? (Acts 4:7And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? ) – Notice the question that was asked of Peter and John.

Now notice Peter’s response, look at Acts 4:8-12 – “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

So what authority or by what power did Peter and John preach and teach and witness? – The same authority and the same power we preach and teach and witness by. By the power of God through Jesus Christ His son, enabled by the Holy Spirit himself who lives in all of us that are Christians. Go Ye into all your community preaching and teaching Jesus Christ and compelling them to come in!

Don’t hesitate to proclaim the word of God, and to be a witness for Him. We have all the authority we need. God will bless your efforts. I know I am nervous every time I knock on a door. I just trust God and pray as I am knocking on the door for Him to give me the words to say, and you know what? Sometimes I stumble over my words, but the Lord blesses our efforts. We are commanded to go. The Lord will take care of the increase. (I Corinthians 3:7 – So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.)

WHAT DID THE PRIESTS AND THE SADDUCEES SEE?Acts 4:13Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled;“ – They saw boldness. Peter and John had boldness. They boldly proclaimed the word of God.

Do you have boldness? Do you need boldness? Well just ask God for it and, if you are of a sincere heart, He will give it to you. (Mathew 7:7-8 – Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.) We get our boldness to share God’s word through Jesus Christ His Son. (Ephesians 3:11-12 – According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.)

WHERE HAD PETER AND JOHN BEEN?Notice verse 13 againNow when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”)

  • They had been with Jesus. Have you been with Jesus today?
  • Can people around you tell you have been with Jesus?
  • Can people tell you are a Christian?
  • If we are saved, we should have testimony of our Savior. It should be obvious to those around us that we are a Christian. It should be obvious that we have “been with Jesus”.
  • Is it obvious to those around you that you are Christian and that you have a relationship with Christ? If not, you need to ask your Lord for forgiveness and work at being a better witness for Him.

WHAT WAS THE RESPONSE OF PETER AND JOHN? Acts 4:16-18 – “Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.”

  • They threatened Peter and John, and told them not to teach or preach in the name of Jesus again.
  • The day is coming, if it has not already, that you will be told to keep your faith to yourself. You will be treated rudely by someone. You will have a door slammed in your face for witnessing for your Lord. You may be cussed at or ridiculed for being a Christian, or as the case of the bakers in Colorado and Oregon, you may face prison time and enormous fines for your beliefs.
  • Acts 4:31- “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness!”
  • Are you willing to speak the word of God with boldness come what may?

WHAT WAS PETER AND JOHNS RESPONSE? Acts 4:19 -20 – “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”I love their response: “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” They were not going to intimidate Peter or John. Want to know why? Verse 13 tells us – because “they had been with Jesus”

  • They were saved by the blood of the Lamb of God. They had been with Jesus. They were obeying His command of “Go ye”. They had boldness from God.
  • They could not help themselves, they had to speak and teach and preach about Jesus, just like they had to breathe air to live, and they had to teach Jesus!
  • Is this the way you feel about your Lord?

WHAT WAS THE CHURCHES RESPONSE?  – Acts 4:23-29 – “And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,”

  • Peter and John gave a testimony of what had happened to their church.
  • The churches immediate reaction was to turn to God in prayer.
  • They quoted scripture in their prayer to God.
  • They praised God in their prayer.
  • The last thing they did in their prayer was to ask for something.
  • It wasn’t for some material need or possession; there was nothing selfish about their request.
  • They prayed for more boldness so they could do a better job of spreading Gods word to their community and the world.(Acts 4:29 – And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,)

CONCLUSION: What was the end result of all of this? – The end result of their boldness? The end result of their going and sharing the gospel of Christ? They were blessed twofold. (Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.)

  • A multitude believed.
  • How did a multitude believe? By power of God’s word and by the early church obeying Jesus command to “Go ye”
  • How did they obey that command? The Bible tells us how Paul obeyed that command in Acts 20:20 – “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house,” – Paul went house to house.
  • Acts 5:42 – “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” – Not just in the Temple or the Church but in every house, they went house to house.
  • Unity in the Church – God blessed their church for going and witnessing to those around them with unity. “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul” – Do you want unity in your church? – Start a vigorous soul-winning and witnessing ministry.

The Lord will give us the boldness we need to share His Word with those around us. He will bless our efforts. He will bring the increase. He will bless our church with multitudes saved. He will bless our church with unity. And all we have to do is just obey His command in Mathew 28 and “Go”!

It is a commendable thing for one to desire to preach the gospel. Yet not everyone should preach or can preach according to the Bible. James wrote, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.James 3:1. Preaching the gospel and handling the Word of God in a public speaking setting is a very serious matter. It takes a person who is serious about the task and it should not be taken to lightly.

How does one who has a desire to preach become qualified to preach the gospel? Many denominations require that their preachers (or pastors/ministers) complete some sort of training at a college or seminary. There is nothing wrong with getting training to preach the Gospel at a Bible college, in fact I would recommend it; but if we really want to know what to expect of one who desires to preach the Word of God, shouldn’t we then just examine the Word of God for what it says on the subject? The New Testament provides us with a description of a person who is qualified to preach the gospel.

**** Disclaimer: In talking about this, I am in no way referring to all teaching that a Christian might do. All of us can teach in some capacity (1 Peter 3:15). We are all responsible to do what we can with the opportunities we are given. We are all responsible to fulfill the Great Commission in the best and most efficient way we can (Matthew 28:19-20Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.) But preaching the gospel is more than the teaching or sharing we might do in everyday situations. Preaching is the public, open proclamation of the Word of God. It is the type of preaching for which one may be financially compensated and the type of which one should have a clear calling to do, a calling the Bible tells us is never repented of (I Corinthians 9:14 – Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. & Romans 11:29 – For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.). Having a clearer picture of what we are trying to determine, we can get into our question: Who is qualified to preach the gospel? ****

A PREACHER MUST (according to the Bible):

Be a man – Today we see more and more women ascending to leadership roles in churches. Yet the New Testament clearly and unequivocally prohibits this. Paul wrote, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” I Timothy 2:11-12. He told the believers in Corinth, “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.I Corinthians 14:34-35. This is not to say that women are inferior. It is rather simply to say that God has placed the responsibility of preaching the gospel upon the shoulders of men and not of women.

We could also look at this requirement in a different light. A gospel preacher must be a man, but simply being a male does not qualify one to preach. He must also act like a man, as Paul told the Corinthians to do I Corinthians 16:13 “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” This involves maturity, discipline and the willingness to endure the hardships or push back from what is preached and not waver in their convictions on the Word of God II Timothy 4:5 “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

Know the word – Paul instructed young Timothy to “preach the word” in II Timothy 4:2. It is a simple thought and qualification – one must know the Word before he can preach the word. We must speak “as the oracles of God I Peter 4:11. The only way this can be done is to know the Word. The apostles were guided into all truth by the Holy Spirit (John 16:13 – Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.), but not everyone was guided as directly as they were. Timothy was told to study in order to learn how to accurately handle the Word of God (II Timothy 2:15 – Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.). This is what we all must do, what we all need to do, and that is study the Words of God revealed to us by the Holy Spirit and put down for all eternity onto the pages of the Bible.  One who wants to preach, one who feels a God implanted desire to preach must know the Word of which he is to be preaching. He must be a diligent student of the Word of God, He must also have a deep respect for the Word of God.

Be loyal to Christ – Paul said he could not serve Christ while trying to please men (Galatians 1:10 – For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.). Yet some seem to be loyal to other preachers or groups, we need to be loyal to Christ; nothing wrong with fellowshipping with or having respect for other preachers and groups, but our loyalty belongs to Christ and His Word.  This misplaced loyalty leads them to ignore the sins and errors of these men. We can see this with the different reactions of Peter and Paul to the party of the circumcision (Galatians 2:11-14). Those of the circumcision were a group of Jewish Christians who taught that Gentiles must be circumcised and taught to keep the Old Testament Law. Peter feared them (Galatians 2:12) and did not expose them. As a result he led others into sin (Galatians 2:13) and he himself “was to be blamed” (Galatians 2:11). Paul, on the other hand, openly confronted Peter for his sin (Galatians 2:11) and exposed the false teachers (Galatians 2:4-5; 5:2-4). If one desires to preach, he must be loyal to Christ above all others.

Be ready to preach – All Christians should be ready with an answer for the hope that is in us (I Peter 3:15 – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:), but this readiness needs to be especially true for preachers. Because God called preachers have a greater responsibility (James 3:1). Paul told the saints in Rome “I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.” (Romans 1:15). A gospel preacher must be ready to do what Paul did, preach or “declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). Preachers today must be ready to do the same. They must teach the whole of God’s Word, even the parts that others find unpopular, controversial, difficult or that go against long held traditions of men. Will a preacher necessarily have all the answers on every topic? No, of course not, but a preacher must be willing and able to study to find the answers he does not yet know when the question arises. A man qualified to preach the gospel must be willing and able to preach whatever is revealed in God’s word.

Be humble – A preacher is supposed to be trying to draw others to Christ and not to himself. Paul told the Corinthians he worked diligently to win them to Christ (II Corinthians 11:2). A Preacher must be trying to show others truth and not simply trying to win arguments. A preachers responsibility is to lead others to accept the truth. Humility is also necessary because a preacher must be able to realize that he could be wrong. We are all fallible humans; you are and preachers are, non preachers need to keep that in mind. Though a preacher may strive for perfection, in the end he is human just like everyone else. If a man cannot admit mistakes, or weaknesses then he is not fit to preach the gospel.

Not hinder the gospel – A preacher must not live in such a way so as to cause a hindrance to the gospel. Paul told the Corinthians, “but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.” (I Corinthians 9:12). He must live blamelessly and uprightly, “Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:” (II Corinthians 6:3).

SOME THINK A PREACHER MUST (according to man or tradition):

Must be an excellent speaker –Many want a preacher to be or think a preacher should be someone who speaks eloquently. This is not what the Bible puts emphasis on though and we should not put emphasis on it either. The emphasis should not be on the delivery of the message but rather the message itself. What someone should be looking out for is does he preach the Word, does he have a good working knowledge of Scripture, does he do a good job of explaining and teaching the Bible? These things are more important then if he is a good orator or not. The Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 2:1-2 about this “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Must be formally educated – There are many good Bible colleges out there. Many churches make it a prerequisite that their Pastor, or someone on their Pastoral  staff, have certain types of degrees from certain preferred and approved, by them, schools. This is never required, or even hinted at, in the New Testament. We cannot require more than God does. And we must not think less of men who have not had such training. The Apostle Paul did not follow Jesus around and see His example and hear His teaching while He was living on the earth as the other apostles did. Even so, he was “not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.” II Corinthians 11:5.

Must be popular – This seems to be necessary, at least for one to preach at a larger congregation. But were any of the apostles popular? How about Jesus? Was He popular with the people? On the contrary, by popular opinion, the people demanded His crucifixion (Matthew 27:20-23). Popularity is not the proper way to gauge the worthiness of one to preach the gospel.

Must not be divorcedA divorced man can preach the Gospel if the divorce was a biblical one and he is otherwise qualified. You will not find one verse in the Bible that says otherwise. If you think you have you are guilty of inserting your own man made exception clause into the Word of God while ignoring the exception clause given to us by God in His Word (Matthew 5:32 & Matthew 19:9). The Bible must agree as a whole to all other parts of the Bible. If your interpretation of one part of the Bible disagrees with a clear passage in another part of the Bible, then you my friend have a wrong interpretation of that particular passage. Dr. C.I. Scofield used to say “Never use a doubtful or obscure passage to contradict a clear and positive one.” If your thoughts don’t agree with the Bible on a particular subject, then repent of your thoughts, if your traditions you adhere to do not agree with the Bible on a particular subject, then repent of your traditions and go with the Bible. You will be right every time.

IN CONCLUSION:

We have looked to the New Testament to see what God’s Word says about the requirements of a gospel preacher. In short, he must be able to present the Lord’s message in its entirety, in its purity, regardless of the situation or opposition, in humility, and without distracting from it. One who is able to do these things and is called by God to do so should make a good gospel preacher, as long as he keeps himself right with God, even if he may not meet all of man’s requirements. One who is not able to meet the Biblical requirements, even though they meet mans requirement, should abstain from preaching until he meets the Biblical requirements. After all, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” James 3:1.

BALAAM AND TODAY’S CHURCHThe account of Balaam in the Old Testament serves as a warning to today’s church to not disobey God; to build up our faith and to build up our hope. (Romans 15:4 – For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.)

the way of Balaam (II Peter 2:15-16) – In this passage Peter is warning the church of the dangers of false teachers secretly entering the church and leading people astray into apostasy. Peter promises that God will judge these people; but he also warns believers to exercise spiritual discernment to make sure they are not led astray by these false teachers. (II Peter 2:15-16 – Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.)·

the way of Balaam – is the way of false prophets and hirelings seeking opportunities to increase wealth and reputation, willing to sell out anything for filthy lucre’s sake (for monetary gain). These false prophets and teachers are interested in satisfying their own worldly cravings of money and using the guise of religion to do so and to entice people into sin. (John 10:11-13 –  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.)

A hireling does not really care about being a “good shepherd” watching out for his flock, but instead is more concerned with protecting his reputation, position and income stream. A true under shepherd and not a hireling will work at guarding the flock against wolves from within (Acts 20:30 – Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.) and wolves from without (Acts 20:29 – For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.) no matter the cost to his reputation, position or income.

Now to look in the mirror, when are we walking in “the way of Balaam” in our life? – When we deliberately rebel against the revealed will of God and try to change it to our liking. When we have selfish motives in doing “religious things”. When we cause others to sin so we can profit from it. When we do “religious work” for the money and not because God called us to it. When we volunteer to help out in a ministry so we will look good to others. When are only motivation for doing something “for God” is a feeling of we have to, so we can look like a “good Christian” to others; instead of doing things for God out of a desire to please Him, serve Him and worship Him.

So the challenge is to search out our hearts and our core motives for everything we do that is supposed to be for God; and then making sure we are actually doing it for God. This will require us to be honest with ourselves. Challenge yourself to do this self examination. Make sure what you are doing for the Lord will be gold, silver and precious stones tried in a fiery furnace and not just wood hay and stubble that will be burned up and consumed as worthless because of our wrong motivations. (I Corinthians 3:12-15 – Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.)

RELATED POSTS:

The Doctrine of Balaam & Wordly Christians

Balaam and God’s Will

 

God’s Enabling

Posted: June 1, 2016 in hope, Ministry, Quotes
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I Timothy 1:12 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;”

God enables His servants and puts them into the ministry; but they have to be willing, faithful, and surrendered vessels. Be a willing vessel and don’t miss out on what God intended you to do with your life.

“Those whom He puts into the ministry He fits for it, whom He calls He qualifies” – Matthew Henry

Ezra 7:10 “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord , and to do it , and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”

To Ezra the law of God was more important than the teachings of the day. Gods Word took the preeminence in his life. Ezra sought to learn the law of the Lord. He searched the Scriptures seeking knowledge of God. Then he set about to teach and share what he had learned about God with others.

Is God’s Word that important to us? Are we purposely seeking to learn His Word so we can then share the good news of Christ with others? – Have you prepared your heart to learn of God and live for Him? Are you seeking out the truth of God’s Word? Are you seeking to grow spiritually?

The lack of spiritual growth in the life of a Christian is a very dangerous thing. It can lead you to live a life of foolishness, it can lead you to make dumb and dangerous decisions that can have drastic and life altering consequences for you. The lack of spiritual maturity is sad and dangerous because there may be blessings to be enjoyed in Christ that only the mature or maturing Christian can truly understand and enjoy. The spiritual immature do not fully understand or grasp the incredible importance of their standing with Christ. Staying spiritually immature is dangerous in that in leaves those people wide open to falling for the “wiles of the devil”.

Are you preparing your heart to seek and to learn the Word of God? Are you acting on what you have already learned of the Word of God? Are you teaching and sharing what you have learned from the Word of God with others?

DO YOU HAVE BLOODY HANDS?

Ezekiel 3:18-21 “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.”

We need to make sure we are sharing the truth of God’s love and forgiveness with others. It is our responsibility to share the gospel with others. It is our orders we are to follow, we are commanded to share the gospel with others. (Matthew 28:18-20 – And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.) If we do not fulfill this responsibility we will have blood on our hands from those we should have; but did not share the gospel with. Do not stand at judgment one day and watch someone be cast into hell that you had the opportunity to witness to and did not. Don’t take the chance of having blood on your hands!

Matthew 5:13-16 “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Jesus is not content for Christians to just be one of the crowd or blend in with the world. We are commanded to influence those around us toward Him. Salt is noticed when it is added to something. People should notice we are Christians and we should be changing the status quo toward Christ. Light makes things easily seen. Our influence should be readily noticed.

It is now time in our nation to take a stand for right. To stand out in a crowd for Christ. It is time to make our light, our salt our influence noticed in the world and pray earnestly it is not too late.

We need to remember we are Christians and are commanded to live out our life as such. We are comflagmanded to be like Christ, to be reaching out to the sinner in need of a Savior instead of acting Pharisaical to them and judging them about their sin. We are told not to judge! We need to always remember to speak the truth of God’s Word in love. This does not mean we cannot speak strongly against sin, but it does mean we need to always remember to love the sinner as Christ does. We need to be seeking ways and opportunities to minister to them and demonstrate God’s love to them.

J
ohn 3:16-17 “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

As Christians, we need to live in a way that others will know we are a Christian, but also, we should live in a way that supports the Gospel; and we need to arm ourselves with the knowledge of the Gospel. (Ephesians 6:11 – Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.) We should strive to live and teach as Christ would. We need to remember that we, no matter how persuasive, can’t force anyone to believe what they claim not to believe. Conviction is the Holy Spirit’s job not ours.

We need to live and walk true to our talk. If you are a Christian act like one, minister like one, work like one, witness like one and pray and fellowship with the Lord like one. We need to not be hypocritical in our Christian walk, we need to be true, loving and ministry minded Christians. We need to live life trying our best to be like our Savior.

I John 2:6 “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”

WHOSE EYE’S IS IT RIGHT IN?8767-deep-blue-eye-design

I Chronicles 13:4 – “And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.”
Whose eyes is your actions right in?
Whose eye’s are your words right in?
Is it right in your own eyes?
Is it right in your friend’s eyes?
Is right in the world’s eyes?
Or is it right in the Lord’s eyes?
During the period of the Judges the ark of the Lord had been captured and carried away by the Philistines. Because possession of the ark caused them nothing but trouble they placed it on a cart and sent it back to Israel (I Samuel 6). From that time on it had remained at the house of Abinadab at Kirjath-jearim. Now we pick up where David is attempting to bring it back to his capital city of Jerusalem.
Who did David consult before he attempted this? – Did David enquire of the Lord like he had in time past? (I Chronicles 13:1 – And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader.)
David consulted with every leader or person he could find to get advice from, but He left someone very important out of the equation. He did not ask God. (Proverbs 8:17 -I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.) How often do you talk with your friends, family or even co-workers about a decision you need to make but you don’t talk with God about it? We need to be getting our direction and guidance from the Lord. His will and His word need to take the preeminence in our life. Not our will or our friends will. (Colossians 1:18 – And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.)
Let’s look at David’s history about seeking the Lord out about decisions:
I Samuel 23:2 – Therefore David inquired of the LORD…
I Samuel 23:4 – Then David inquired of the LORD yet again….
I Samuel 30:8 – And David inquired at the LORD…..
2 Samuel 2:1 – David inquired of the LORD….
2 Samuel 5:19 – And David inquired of the LORD…..
2 Samuel 5:23 – And when David inquired of the LORD…..
2 Samuel 21:1 – David inquired of the LORD…..
I Chronicles 14:10 – And David inquired of God….
Every time when he had a big decision to make, a big heartache he needed comfort from or a struggle or persecution he was going through David “enquired of the Lord” and received the direction and answer to prayer he needed. But this time he did not “enquire of the Lord” instead he “consulted with the captains” and the end result was not good. The end result of this bad decision was failure, heartache, death, and discouragement. When we go off without praying to the Lord about something first we risk ruin. The Lord won’t fail you when you pray and “enquire of the Lord” for direction in your life. He will answer you in His timing. (Philippians 4:6 – Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.)

Whose eye’s was it right in? – That action you are taking or that decision you are making, is it right in the Lord’s eyes or is it right just in your eyes? (I Chronicles 13:4 – And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.) We need to take our time and make sure decisions are right in the eyes of the Lord. We need to be concerned with doing things right for the Lord, and doing things right by the Lord in our life. Do not trust your own wisdom in making decisions. (Proverbs 3:5,6 – Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.) Turn to the Lord our Heavenly Father for instruction and guidance. Turn your problems over to Him. He will never leave you alone in your cares. (Hebrews 13:5c – for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.) – The Lord will always be there for you. You are never really alone if you are a Christian. Make sure you are confident that it is right in the Lord’s eyes before you make that decision. (Proverbs 3:26 – For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.)
A right thing. (I Chronicles 13:6 – And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, to Kirjathjearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God the LORD, that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it.) What David was attempting to do was a good thing to do. If he would have just done it God’s way. So many things we do can be considered a good thing to do, but only if it does not contradict God’s word on the matter.
A right thing in a wrong way. (I Chronicles 13:7 – And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart.) God had given explicit directions on how to transport the ark. Other parts of the tabernacle could be carried on carts but not the ark. (Numbers 4:15 – And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation.) The ark was never to be carried on a cart but born on the shoulders of the sons of Kohath. Why? Because the ark speaks of Christ and the Gospel is to be carried by us (Christians) to the rest of the world. (Mark 13:10 – And the gospel must first be published among all nations.) Giving out the gospel is the individual responsibility of every Christian. (Acts 1:8 – But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.)

There should be no shortcuts taken in giving out the Gospel of Christ to a needy world. If we are doing something for Christ it should be done in a top notch, giving it our all way. Taking God’s word out to the world is not an easy thing to do. It requires hard work, dedication to doing it God’s way and not our way. (Romans 12:1,2 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.) Each Christian needs to do his part and not leave his part up to someone else to do in addition to their own part. The Apostle Paul says “For every man shall bear his own burden.” Galatians 6:5. “All of us have to put our shoulders to the wheel to get the Word of God out to a world that desperately needs it. God doesn’t write the gospel in the sky; it has to be passed along by His children.” – J. Vernon McGee.
So The End Result of Doing things our own way and not God’s way leads to failure, displeasure and maybe even death. (I Chronicles 13:9-10 – And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.) Good intentions do not justify bad actions. The end does not justify the means.
Why was Uzza killed? – Because they were transporting the ark their way instead of doing it God’s way. (Numbers 4:15 – …. but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation.) Uzza interfered with what was happening. He directly disobeyed God’s word. Don’t interfere and cause a hindrance to the Lord’s work.

Numbers 20:12 – “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.”
• Moses directly disobeyed God and because of that the Lord would not let him into the promised land.
• Don’t cause your friend to get distracted while God’s word is being taught. Don’t be the reason they don’t here the lesson they need.
• Don’t be the reason your friend spends eternity in hell. Don’t put your way over God’s spirit moving in their soul. Let the death of Uzza teach you something about being irreverent (disrespectful) to the things of God.
• God is a Holy God.
• God’s word is Holy.
• God’s house is Holy.
• Everything about God is Holy and it is all to be treated with the utmost respect and reverence. (I Peter 1:15-16 -But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.)
• When Gods word is being taught we need to be respectful and honor His word and the teaching of it. (Psalm 99:9 – Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy.)
• When God’s people are requesting prayer we need to be silent and listen to those requests and pray for each other. (Jude 20 – But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,)
• When Gods word is being read we need to silently and intently listen to His Holy Word. (Romans 7:12 – Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.)
Doing things our way brings us displeasure. (I Chronicles 13:11 – And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perezuzza to this day.) When we fail doing something our way we often blame God. (I Chronicles 13:12 – And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?) David asks “How am I going to do this for God” – Well if he had just done it God’s way in the first place all of this heartache, displeasure, fear, and discouragement would not have happened.
We need to make sure when we are making a decision in life or taking an action that we are doing it right in God’s eyes. We need to make sure whatever we do that we are doing it God’s way. If we do something our way it will just lead to failure, disappointment, regret, and maybe even death. But God’s way leads to joy, victory and life eternal with Him! (I Corinthians 15:57 – But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.) Whose eyes are your actions right in? Whose eyes are your words right in? Whose eyes are your friends right in? Whose eyes are your plans right in? If they are right in just  your eyes you are heading for trouble, sorrow and maybe even death; but if they are right in God’s eyes you are heading for a fulfilled joy filled life living in the heart of God’s will.

treeSoul winning is the most effective work.
John 1:41-42 – “He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.”
Andrew did not win 3000 at Pentecost, but he was the one who won the one that won 3000 at Pentecost. We don’t have to be the soul winner that gets the prize for winning the most soul’s, we just have to be willing to win the one like Andrew did.

 
A man went into a shoe store in Boston one day and won a boy to Christ, that boy went on to win countless thousands to Christ. Now there are probably untold millions in Heaven or on their way to Heaven because of that boy who worked in the shoe store. That boy was D.L. Moody, we don’t have to be a D.L. Moody but we should try to be the one, like Kimball, that wins the one like a D.L. Moody who wins the countless thousands to Christ, now if you would trace the Christian family tree down the line, from Moody, there are probably millions in Heaven as a result of Mr. Kimball winning just that one little boy in the shoe store to Christ.

If we are Christians we are to be soul winners.
The bible says in Genesis 1:11-12 that everything will reproduce after its’ own kind. So if we are Christians we should be producing Christians, or in other words in some way or somehow we should be influencing others to make salvation decisions for Christ. Proverbs 11:30 says the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life. Our fruit is a tree of life, the souls we win are part of a tree of life. Like a family tree we have, the souls we win become part of the eternal tree of life of Christians, the man that won me to the Lord is my Father in Christ in this tree of life. We are to win souls and reproduce other Christians, the Bible says everything is to reproduce after its own kind, so the people who we lead to Christ become part of our eternal tree of life. Paul said in I Corinthians 4:15 – “For though you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel.”

 
Proverbs 11:30 – “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise”

Daniel 12:3 – “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever

The Bile says hear he that winneth souls is wise in Proverbs 11:30 and in Daniel 12:3 it says the wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and in Daniel it says “and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” We will be rewarded for winning souls to Christ not with just wisdom though that is reward enough in itself, but with other rewards as well. Turn many to righteousness is another way of saying winneth souls. And in Proverbs 11:30 the fruit of the righteous or saved is a tree of life, or a family tree of other Christians we have led to the Lord. I think these two verses really go well together they help explain each other.
“Our main business, brethren, is to win souls. Like the shoeing-smiths, we need to know a great many things; but just as the smith must know about horses, and how to make shoes for them, so we must know about souls, and how to win them for God.” Charles Spurgeon.

 
The Musts of a good Soul Winner
He must have the right tool for the job – his Bible.
He must have a good Christian character.
He must be living his faith.
He must believe in the message of salvation – he should be saved.
He must believe in the power of that message to save people.
He must be burdened to see people freed from the bondage of their sin.
He must be a praying Christian, praying for the lost to come to Christ.
He must be willing to take on the role of a servant to help win the lost, as Christ did.
And finally, he simply just must go, go out and seek to win the lost for Christ. Fulfill the Great Commission.

 
“Soul-winning is a service which brings great benefit to the individual who consecrates himself to it.” Charles Spurgeon