Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

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Enoch prophesied about the Lord’s judgment – Jude 1:14-16

Jude

 

Enoch prophesied about the Lord’s judgment – Jude 1:14-16 – 01/08/2016
 
Thank you for reading this Bible study on the book of Jude. This bible study is part of a series on the book of Jude, in order to see the full series please check out our “epistle” page or alternatively please check out our page dedicated to the book of Jude for other studies in this book.
 
Let’s start in verse fourteen of the first chapter of Jude…
 
Jude 1:14 (ESV) It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.
 
Jude speaks straight from the Old Testament and quotes from the book of Genesis and confirms a genealogy that points back all the way from Adam. He references Enoch who we are introduced to in Genesis 5…
 
Genesis 5:1 (ESV) This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man  when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. 4 The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters. 5 Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died. 6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he fathered Enosh. 7 Seth lived after he fathered Enosh 807 years and had other sons and daughters. 8 Thus all the days of Seth were 912 years, and he died. 9 When Enosh had lived 90 years, he fathered Kenan. 10 Enosh lived after he fathered Kenan 815 years and had other sons and daughters. 11 Thus all the days of Enosh were 905 years, and he died. 12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he fathered Mahalalel. 13 Kenan lived after he fathered Mahalalel 840 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 Thus all the days of Kenan were 910 years, and he died. 15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he fathered Jared. 16 Mahalalel lived after he fathered Jared 830 years and had other sons and daughters. 17 Thus all the days of Mahalalel were 895 years, and he died. 18 When Jared had lived 162 years he fathered Enoch. 19 Jared lived after he fathered Enoch 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Thus all the days of Jared were 962 years, and he died. 21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. 22 Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.
 
The first thing that strikes me about that genealogy list is that Enoch lived 365 years and is not listed as dying, he stopped walking with God on this earth when God took him. So what happened? Did he vaporize? Was he raptured? Paul sheds a little more light in the book of Hebrews chapter eleven…
 
Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
 
He was taken up so he did not see death, his body was not found. That really is about as much as we need to know on that score. We know from history that Enoch was a prophet and there were early writings that were revered by the Jewish people but were never accepted as inspired scripture and Jude would be referring to these works.
 
Is this a problem? I don’t actually believe so! I went to see a group recently called “The City Harmonic” play in a local church in Exeter (see link) and they have in one of their songs  called “Solid Rock” they use a quote from a Scottish poet called Robert Burns that states the following…
 
“The best laid plans of mice and men, so often go astray”
 
They are not basing a foundational doctrine of a church or movement on the words of a secular, winebibbing, womanizing freemason, but they do recognize that there is some truth in that statement and in the same vein Jude references something that will be well known to his audience but he also quotes the book as to avoid any loss in translation of his point or the possibility of some Gentiles coming along and having not read that book looking in and questioning what he meant. Does it mean the whole book of Enoch is inspired testimony? I don’t believe so but the quotation is to help illustrate a point, it is not the actual point itself and I prefer not to get too deep into rabbit trails that really do not help understand the true meaning and context of these Holy words!
 
What does floor me is the prophesy that even as far back as Enoch, there were men declaring the coming of Christ, there is no actual new information or doctrine that is mentioned only here in the bible, what is important is the earliness of that prophecy. The prophecy was in the following parts
 
•       The coming of Christ with ten thousand (v14)  – Jude is like a “mini book of Revelation” here when he declares triumphantly that the sinful life that these people know will come to an end and Christ will come again to redeem his people.
•       Convict the ungodly (v15) – If you are still in your sins when he comes or when you die (whichever comes first) then you will be tried according to your sins. With no reconciliation to God you will be found wanting in the scales and you will be convicted of your sins. If you are convicted prior to death you still have the option of repentance, if you wait until after then you make your own choice.
•       Execute judgment on all the ungodly (v15) – If you are convicted of your sins then what follows next is the judgment. I would urge that you check out the book of Revelation to see the alternative to Heaven and communion with God. There will be a judgment on all of the ungodly people and a decent family line or previous genealogy will not save you.
 
V16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.
 
Here is what trips me out, when I read this sentence I immediately feel awful because I have done most if not all of what Jude complains about here. I am a convicted whiner, I have grumbled, I have followed my desires before Gods and tried to dress it up in a holy cap and gown, I am loud mouthed, I have boasted and I have tried to leverage to gain advantages.
 
So why am I even typing this? I know I have been a mess up in the past, but I have also been convicted and unlike the conviction above, I learned and when I see folks like this I pray for them. Please notice that most of the issues that stem from these folks behaviors stem from one of the smallest organs in the body, the tongue! Here is how they were in error…
 
•       They were grumblers – They did not use their words to edify, nowadays we don’t even need to use our tongues and with the advent of smart phones and social network our grumbles or rants can go viral if it catches the mood of the people.
•       Following their own sinful desires – They had their own MO, they had their own agenda and the will of God was very low on their priority list, because they had not set their spiritual compass to a spiritual true north they were always facing away from the direction God intended them to be in. The phrase “my ways are higher than your ways” was alien to them.
•       They are loud-mouthed boasters – They had great swelling words, they were the man with the plan and nothing to back it up, they were the popular ones who were seen as the visionaries but they were looking to advance their kingdom before Gods.
•       Showing favoritism to gain advantage – They would never be seen with the people that would not gain them any advantage in ministry, they were trying to be the leaders friends, if there was a small group they would only attend the one at the pastors house because one held at just another members house would not advance them in ministry or help gain an advantage on the man next to him. They were the schmoozers of the church world; you notice them by their lack of ministry works and wanting to just be seen with the “right people” or have their name in the church bulletin being in charge of something.
 
If you recognize yourself in any of these then please do what I did and repent and seek forgiveness, I say this as someone who had to learn those lessons in a knucklehead fashion so please know that it can be done.
 
God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to
TTE
TGBTG
SDG
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WE ARE EXETER – The City Harmonic Concert October 29th 2015

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WE ARE EXETER – The City Harmonic Concert October 29th 2015

Those crazy Canadians

If you ever get the chance or opportunity to go see the band “The City Harmonic” then I would advise that you please do, they are much more than four “Weird Canadians” (Their words and not mine) from Hamilton, a place that is as well known for its steel industry as it is it’s football team (Tigercats) and based on the testimony I heard last night this formed a big part of the history  of why they were touring North America with their “We Are” tour, and in the latest leg of this tour when last night they visited my home town in Exeter, CA.

Back to the Great Commission

There are not many bands that come through here (Small population of just over 10,000) so we have to give much kudos to Michael Guzman of the Church of God, Exeter for being able to make Exeter one of the stops on this great tour and for the band for making the tickets so affordable. On a personal level this confirmed so many things that God has been speaking to me that we should as Christians be working together for the glory of God and fulfilling Matthew 28 and going out and making preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ the number one priority. Michael was keen from the start that this be Exeter’s event and not a Church of God event and all of the relevant publicity spoke of “Churches together” and I find this great and I will explain the reasons why below.

Unified evangelism

The Gospel of Jesus should be brought forward in a unit as opposed to a pincer movement! I know that is Army terminology but there is an element of truth in the fact that there is “strength in numbers”. If that means further ecumenicalism then I would have to say to those who are scared of working with those outside of their particular flavor of Christianity the words of Christ himself when the disciples warned of someone who was doing the work of Christ in Jesus name but was not part of their particular group…

Luke 9:49 (ESV) John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”

Reinvent the wheel?

People have issues in doing joint projects due to minor differences in theology. Here is tge thing, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time, many churches will be doing similar things. Let us look at it from a non-Christian point of view; a non-Christian does not understand the subtle differences between Baptist theologies or they couldn’t pick a Lutheran out of a lineup or a Calvinist from a Catholic and all they know is that it is “Christian” in religion and in definition and they will not care what branch of Christianity that this viewpoint belongs to and will often times use something a denominational leader says as something to beat the whole of Christianity over.

Cheap as chips?

Let’s use an analogy that is a little fun but gets the point across well. Let us replace the denomination name with flavors of chips. So rather than stating I am a Baptist or Presbyterian, we will state I am Salt and Vinegar or I am Barbeque, which by definition are all potato chips but again they are different flavors. (A good question to ask would the “cult of potato chips be Cheetos or Funyins eaters?) Would we split over a chip flavor as easily as we split over a preferred order of service on a Sunday or in the case of Seventh Day Adventist the day of the week that you prefer to go to church?

Align with those on the same mission

At this point I would have to state that it is important to align ourselves with people who are on the same mission as us and not “join forces for the sake of joining forces if the ones you seek to align with are not on the same mission as you” and I have to confess that I am a big fan of the Apostle Paul, a man who started off his journey persecuting Christians to the point of death as Rabbi Saul of Tarsus, then he had a blinding light and was brought to task by his Lord on the road to Damascus (Acts 9) and then spent much of his written work appealing for unity in the body. A favorite writing of mine is as follows…

1st Corinthians 1:10 (ESV)  I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

You could say the same truth lies at the door of the modern Western church as it did when Paul wrote to the church in Corinth. Bear with me for a second and you will see where I am going with this, replace the word “Paul”  or “Apollos” with your brand of church for example “I am a Methodist” or “I follow Calvin” and you will see how relevant this is to the modern day believer, we are instructed to be of the “same mind and judgment” and let us do that, let us preach the gospel straight from the pages of the word and let the Holy Spirit impact the lives of the people we touch. Let the revival start with me, with you the reader. Let us strengthen our homes, let us be like Joshua and let there not be a decision “As for me and my house WE WILL serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15)

Families on and in mission

Here is where the gloves come off and we need to read the truth that we need to be families ON mission and families IN mission. Please know that we are not perfect and we will fail, we will sin, we will fall and we will fail but we will love! John 13:35 states that this “is how we will be identified as his disciples, by our love for one another” This could be as simple as having people over, this could be mentoring people in the word, this could just be as simple as doing your job to the best of your ability and being a Christian in the workplace in every transaction you do. There will be times where the mission of Christ is strong and there are times that you have to focus more on the family but we should be “working at it all to the Lord heartily and not to a human master” (Colossians 3:23) We have to use the skills that God has blessed us with and use it all to the glory of God. My wife is a gifted musician and leads our house in worship on a Sunday evening and I love that she has the heart to do so, I know that I am stronger when I am doing what I am called to do by the Lord, I have the gifts of encouragement, teaching and mentoring.

What about the concert?

Getting back to the concert, it was beautiful to see the great local choir made up from many local churches, great to hear of the pastors and leaders who met together to coordinate to help move the needle for Jesus in our small community and was great to see the three pastors who came up and prayed over the community that this not just be a concert but actually be a small part of an ongoing movement to spark revival in the City of Exeter and beyond. And that is my heart, like these Canadians I come from a “Steel town” in that beautiful land called Scotland and my first job was an apprentice welder in a place very close to the original Hamilton in Scotland. I recognized the place that they came from and the heart that they had to get the churches and the people of God together and get all of us Christians pointing in the same way as regards to evangelizing our local area. When Jesus stated the great commission and gave us the task to “go out unto the world and preach the gospel” there was no caveat that stated “only if they have the same eschatology or hermeneutics”. The music was wonderful and most definitely a joyful noise to our Lord. The words were impactful and certainly pierced any remaining hardness in my heart and swept away any inhibitions that I had about being on mission in my small town. I genuinely felt God speaking to me and it was a true oasis in the desert as it was a break from real life and a good opportunity to have that mountaintop experience and realign priorities that may have got messed up otherwise. The question I have is why are we not on that mountaintop more? Let us get back on point with what God is trying to do in our lives and be that blessing to others and let the Lord replenish us from that stream of endless living water.

What flavor of Christ are you?

I find it such a shame that we lead into conversations about our faith by stating our particular branch of Christianity (and example would be I am a Presbyterian) before we identify ourselves as Christians and because we have become so entrenched in our differences we do not even think that the church across the road may be willing to pull our resources and do a community outreach. We have to start thinking in terms of changed hearts as opposed trying to get people in the doors on a Sunday. These are words of lamentation and I am working through my own issues and my own baggage that I have self-loaded in this area.

Quantity or quality?

Personally if I was a pastor, I would rather have 40 committed, connected family like believers in my church than 400 folks who barely knew each other and do not operate in any small groups, individual ministry or mentoring in order to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry” because that 40 who are reaching out and being missional, teaching the converts and then sending them out to witness to others will be much more efficient in the work of the ministry in the area where God has planted them. I love small groups, so much so that I have one in my house on a Sunday evening, we go between 3 and 17 dependent on what night it is. We follow the example of our Messiah Jesus who had a small group of 12 disciples which he invested in, he mentored for three years and sent them out to change the world, as his disciples we should do likewise.

Closing benediction

My prayer is that you read this and get excited to partner with me to change my small town; I would still like to partner with you if you live in a different town. My priority is revival in three places…

My home – I want to be like Joshua, my house will serve the Lord
My neighborhood – I want to be a light to my neighborhood and preach the gospel to whomever God sends my way
My town – Exeter is a lovely place but imagine Exeter on fire for Jesus? Wow what a thought and I want to be a good and faithful servant to the mission the Lord has given me.

Exeter is where I live now and I would go so far as to say it is my home town, Scotland will always be where I grew up but the Lord has given me Exeter as a mission field. I have no idea why I landed here except through God’s will but I know there are people who share my desire to make a change in my city.

One thing I know is that my Christian brothers and sisters in Exeter is that we are more similar than we are different, it is right that we should be praying for our brothers and sisters regardless of where they congregate on a Sunday, we all have the same Savior and WE ARE ONE. WE ARE ALL ON THE SIDE OF JESUS and WE ARE EXETER.

I pray this was a blessing, an exhortation and I have no desire to lead a movement, simply be a motivator or facilitator in moving the needle towards helping my town find Jesus Christ. If you find this a blessing, like, share or comment on this article or feel free to publicize this on whatever social media platforms you use. I love you all and want to see my small city on fore for Jesus.
TTE
TGBTG
SDG

See also

A vision of clarity for the church (part 1)
A vision of clarity for the church (part 2)
A vision of clarity for the church (part 3)

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What are the benefits of a small group bible study?

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What are the benefits of a small group bible study?

Matthew 18:19 (ESV) Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Words of Jesus)

Those of you who know me will know that I have been blessed to be hosting a Bible study in my home and despite my presumptions about how I was going to bless others with some good verse by verse, line by line and precept upon precept teaching that was not at all what God had planned for us.

Yes that has happened, we have been going through a series that we created called “Why does God allow pain and suffering?” and we also did a three part series which included baptism, Lazarus being raised from the dead and lastly the account of Philemon. But it has not been what I thought it would be in my mind’s eye and God had a much better plan for the group than I did. For me it was confirmation that his ways are always higher than my ways and sometimes that is okay.

The word is still being taught but these people are bringing themselves. I did not know them before God brought us together but he has orchestrated people who are raw, honest and if they are struggling they will tell you so, if they need you they will let you now and when they bless you they truly do, some bring food, some bring gifts and others bring their heart and I feel blessed to be a tool that is used by God in this manner, none of this is me and I am not integral to this at all, but I am open to whatever God will ask me to do in facilitating and leading this group and I am blown away by the koinonia that is being formed and the community that is being built for his glory!

A recipe for a good small group has to have the following…

a) Covering in prayer
b) Honesty
c) Trust
d) Sound doctrinal teaching from the bible
e) Strong leadership (maybe more than one so that the conversation is not one sided)
f) Accepting others as themselves
g) Love for one another
h) Community minded (actually wanting to spend time with each other)
i) Buy in from everyone

I would include worship in there but that is personal preference.

No small group is perfect

We are all imperfect people and we are not perfect, no small group will have all these elements and even if it does, there will be people who place themselves on the fringes and different personality types will gravitate towards the personalities they are attracted to. We have to love one another regardless.

So what are the benefits?

The benefits are many – here is my experience from a teaching and a member standpoint.

Member

a) You can “chime in” when you have a question, the group can afford to go as slow as the slowest member.

b) You can help (with the leaders permission) to assist someone with doctrinal issues (either in the group or externally)

c) You go so much deeper than you could ever go in a Sunday message; some groups I have been in have spent 90 minutes going over the riches in 3-4 verses.

d) You are forced to think about the scriptures in a more intensive, more inductive way.

e) You grow together, relationships are formed and it becomes an actual community.

f) You get “real time” with people who maybe are not showing their “Sunday smile”.

Leader

a) The studying of the scripture is done based on an inductive style and you glean a new understanding of the text, the fact of the matter is that you study differently when you are studying personally and you are studying to teach something.

b) You are blessed when people “tune in”, “answer your questions” and understand the simple truths of God’s word.

c) When you formulate questions, you are doing a form of self-apologetics, questioning and strengthening your faith that is good for your personal growth.

d) God strengthens you for the task ahead, if this was being done only in my strength it would have faltered shortly after it began.

e) God strengthens your family, my wife and I have never been this in unison and the “little things” are seen as that.

f) People who may be intimidated by “going to church” are less intimidated by coming over to XXXX house.

It works in big and small churches too

Small churches – You may see a bigger % of buy in from a small church than a big church as you have an existing community and this maybe an opportunity to either have fun, fellowship or study the bible in a deeper fashion, it could also be used as a “wading pool” for potential leaders/teachers as led by the lead pastor or leadership team.

Larger churches – once a church reaches a certain size and multiple services then it will be impossible to get around everyone at church on a Sunday morning so the logical solution is a “Community group/small group format” again this could be used to find out who is willing/able to teach but it will be pivotal to help relationships grow and allow folks to connect, grow together, mentor and network.

I don’t know what the perfect model is & I cannot teach!

There is no “this is the perfect model and you have to follow it verbatim” because different things work for different fellowships and people are different wherever you go. Who would have thought that he would had a guy who was born in Scotland with a heavy accent open his doors to a bunch of Californians and God would bless it in ways that were beyond anything we could ask for. It is his group not mine and he will do with it what he pleases and my only input is to be faithful to what he is telling me to do.

I am not a seminary trainer preacher, I am preaching by the will of God, the blessing of my church, a lot of study and a great love for people and a desire to see people saved and growing in a relationship with Jesus Christ. If anything my wife is the talented one, she leads worship and takes care of any kids that come and teaches a children’s church. We truly are stronger as a missionary team and I am blessed because I have been open to what God wants to do in my life!

God is calling me to start a small group so now what?

a) Talk to your pastor/leadership of your local church – I am hoping they will offer prayer support and be a backup should you need it. I am comforted that the leadership at my church (and a few others) is praying for the group as a whole.

Secondly I am hoping that if they have any issues with you starting a study that may or may not be connected to the existing fellowship then they may bring the concerns up in a loving way.

b) Cover it in prayer – It might seem obvious but check, check and triple check that you are doing what God wants you too.

c) Check your motivation – Again might be obvious but check why you are doing this, is it to save new souls/invest in others? Is it to become a Pastor one day? Are you more interested in being noticed than investing in people?

d) Get stuck in! – The harvest is plenty and the laborers are few, we could do with more good men (or women if you want to lead a women’s study) and regardless if you want to facilitate already churched people or whether you want to invest in those who either do not know Jesus or are thirsty for more I would say that once you find out where God has placed you and wants you to go after then do it as Colossians 3:23 says “do it heartily as to the LORD”.

I pray this wee article was a blessing, a challenge or an exhortation please share, like or comment as God leads you too. Also if you like the articles then please follow my blog at the top of the page or join our social media pages.
SDG
TGBTG
TTE

Will Christians ever run out of people to share the gospel with?

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Will Christians ever run out of people to share the gospel with?

Matthew 28:16 (ESV) Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Those of you who follow me on social media will be aware that my wife, my child and I took a short vacation to the central coast of California recently. I love going to the beach and visiting at the ocean as it has certain refreshing qualities that allow me to forget problems and issues that come by on a day to day basis. It is also good for us as a family to make good and happy memories with each other.

Often times, I vacation in Cambria and Morro Bay in California and this time was no different. I have history there as my wife and I honeymooned there and I have many happy memories in that small part of the Pacific coast. What was different is that this time I had the opportunity to visit with a friend of mine who pastors the Calvary Chapel in Cambria. What may be surprising is that the message was not the message I will tell today, but something that came to me on an early Saturday evening as I am making sandcastles with my daughter.

The beach is a curious place, regardless of when you visit it is never going be exactly the same, the creator God who fashioned the universe simply by saying it, the one who measured the heavens with the span of his hand sent a tiny (by his standards) wave to shape and reshape the shoreline of the beach.

Can we count the sands of the beach? Or the salt in the water that comes and moves the particles to and fro, refreshing them, cleansing them and placing them where God desires them to be at that appointed time? The answer is obviously no, but God knows the number.

We are like those particles, our lives have meaning and when we do what we are meant to and connect with our creator God then we fulfil what God has for us. Christians have one task in this world and often times we don’t do that well, sometimes we get caught in a sideshow. Sometimes we do the “holy things” and get involved in arguments that we believe are for God, sometimes they are sometimes they are not.

An example of this is from my own personal archives, I have been guilty in the past of posting on social media about an issue that will generate discussion; I justify it to myself as I am “getting people talking” but really I am generating discussion to flex my intellectual and theological reasoning muscles. Whilst it is good to share the gospel, doing so in such a prideful way is by far not the best way to introduce Jesus to them. These discussions can degenerate very quickly and are often a deterrent to people looking to search out God.

One job, you only have one job!

Revelation 12:11 (ESV) And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

Our job is to share the love of Jesus Christ by sharing with those that the LORD has given us opportunity to speak to. I make a big thing of learning the names of the checkout people at my local supermarket, building a relationship with them, cracking jokes, putting them at ease, wearing Christian T-shirts and always looking for a way to talk about Jesus in a way that will be receptive.

I am also called to host a bible study with my wife in our home, this world is hurting so bad and my wife felt a calling on our heart to talk about pain and suffering using biblical characters as examples, it is such a blessing to serve and to share with people. I have a great love for the people in the city that I now call my home and my desire is to introduce as many of them as I can to Jesus Christ.

I apologize if this sounds like a commercial for myself, it truly is not. The unfortunate reality is that many Christians (me included) do not take most of the opportunities that God places before them and if we as Christians were to do so, we could literally be the difference in people’s lives.

Personally, I cannot be saved for anyone else! All I can do is be the vessel used to carry the living water to the participant. The Holy Spirit will prick the heart of those hearing it and people have the same choice that Adam and Eve have, they can choose to follow God’s plan or choose to not follow God’s plan.

This world is not my home; I am just a passing through!

Here is the deal, this world is temporary! Once we pass from this life it is too late to talk about our “eternal future”. As much as I love my new home in my adopted country, if the LORD was to move me on, I would be personally sad but I would comply as the LORD has a plan for my life.

I take great solace and inspiration from the prophet Jeremiah, who was 40 years in ministry and no one listened to him. If that was me I would be very discouraged and questioning my mission left, right and center. Jeremiah did not, he just kept right on to the end of the road, he knew that God was using him and his life, he did not know why but he knew he was being used by God.

We have to be compliant like Jeremiah, we can’t want to do the work of God and move God along, God will do things in his time. When you are following God’s will obedience is key, we don’t always see the big picture so we don’t always see why God moves in the ways that he does.

What about the title?

Matthew 9:35 (ESV) And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

The answer is obviously no. As Jesus said, the harvest is plenty but people are not doing the work. When I think about the city that the LORD has placed me in or some 11,000 souls. I know that I cannot save one of them, but the LORD will put me in touch with many of them as I go around my daily life.

Pray for me (and one another)

My prayer for me is personal boldness, order in my life so that in season and out of season I will reflect the LORD in all that I do, take the opportunities that I am given to represent Jesus, give testimony on how he has changed my life and I pray for wisdom to say what needs to be said and not say what does not need to be said.

Folks, we need to get out there and engage the culture positively for Jesus Christ. I am reminded of a song I used to sing as a high school student back in Scotland…

“Be bold; be strong, for the LORD our God is with you”

God will always open doors for us, we have to stay on mission and always be ready to give a defense for the faith that we have in Christ Jesus (1 Peter 3:15) Sharing Jesus and allowing someone to make the choice to go to heaven is showing great love. I certainly do not hate anyone enough to condemn them to an eternity separated from God.

I pray this was a blessing and please share, like or comment below
TGBTG
TTE