Red Mike

Galatians 6:10a As we, therefore, have opportunity, let us do good unto all men.

A few weeks ago my pastor gave a message on reaching out to someone (he used the fictitious character of Red Mike as his example) in our lives that though we might have interacted with for a long time we had not witnessed to them. It could be anyone: friend, family, neighbor, etc.

When I came across this story I thought it illustrated the “Red Mike” theory much better than I could in a short note. I hope it strikes a chord with you; it did me.

“A writer in the Sunday School Times tells how, during a season of revival, a friend was praying one evening for a certain unconverted neighbor. After this manner he prayed: “O Lord, touch him with Thy finger, Lord!” The petition was repeated with great earnestness, when something said to him: “You are the finger of God. Have you ever touched your neighbor? Have you ever spoken a single word to him on the question of salvation? Go now and touch that man, and your prayer shall be answered.” It was a voice from the throne. God’s servant arose from his knees self-condemned. He had known the man to be impenitent for a quarter of a century, yet he had uttered not a word of warning. Hundreds of opportunities had come and gone, but the supreme question of life had been set aside for such topics as “the weather,” “the latest news,” “politics,” “trade,” etc. His first duty as a Christian had been left undone.”

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It’s Got to be More

Psalm 42:1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

I heard a portion of a song on the radio the other day. I don’t know who the artist was, the name of the song, or even the exact lyrics. But a portion of the chorus stuck with me.

The point of the song, as I understood it, was speaking about our Christian lives and what they should be like. It said something to the effect that “it’s got to be more like falling in love, not just something to believe in. More like giving my heart, not just following a cause”. (I’m sure the actual words were a bit different, but you get the general idea.)

I can’t help but to think how true this thought is. Our walk with Christ isn’t/should not be just about a cause or tradition, an idea or mere belief. No, our lives are anew in Christ Jesus. We are new creatures after our new birth. Our walk of faith is one of reality, of an intimate, personal nature with intimate, personal, Living Savior. Our souls should truly, as the psalmist wrote, pant and long for God’s presence and touch in our lives. If we are lacking that deep yearning we need to find an alter of prayer and stay there until He shows us why it is lacking. And then cry out to Him so as to set our relationship right with Him so we can re-kindle that passion. When it all boils down, this is all about love: Love for Christ, love for another.

God bless,

Greg

Why Go to Church?

Yesterday I was asked “what are people joining your church?”  I answered the question, as a reply to the comment (here), but it has made me ponder on the bigger aspect of why go to church?  There are many reasons, including following the example of early Christians in the New Testament.  Scripture tells us not to neglect the gathering of the saints (Heb. 10:25).  As I said, I’ve been thinking on this since yesterday and today I got some ‘enlightenment’.

My pastor sent me an email that had a great analogy of why we go to church.  It was so obvious to me that God sent this to me that I had to share it.  The following is how I received it:

Why Go To Church?

A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday.
“I’ve gone for 30 years now,”  he wrote, “and in that time I have heard something
like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them.

So, I think I’m wasting my time and the preachers are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.”   This started a real controversy in the “Letters to the Editor” column, much to the delight of the editor.

It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher: “I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this.. They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today.

Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!” When  you are DOWN to nothing… God is UP to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible!  Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment!

All right, now that you’re done reading, send it on! I think everyone should read this! “When Satan is knocking at your door, simply say, “Jesus, could you get that for me?”

I don’t think I could have explained it any better.

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Our Cause

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Tuesday night we had another wonderful, Spirit-filled service at the Bethlehem Association’s annual week-long camp meeting.  The message was brought by Bro. Bobby Adams and was taken from the text of 1 Samuel 17:17-53, on the story of David and Goliath.  Bro. Bobby focused on the fact that David had a reason for his fight against the giant, as we, today, still have reasons for our fight as Christians; we still have a cause.

Bro. Bobby outlined the message with several points which I will sum up as this: We have to do what is right in God’s eyes, stand up for our Christian freedom and the Lord and His Word, fight to save people and, finally, be great warriors for God.  From this great message I heard one statement that really stood out to me.  That is what I’d like to share with you.

Bobby said something to the effect of Christians ought not to go along to get along.  That is a pretty powerful statement if you really think about it.  And it had so many applications in our lives.

How many times have you seen or heard (or maybe even been guilty of) someone not speaking up and out against something that is just a polar opposite of what you believe or know is said in God’s Word just not to not stir up any controversy?  I know I’ve head it, seen it and been guilty of it.  The direction our country, and Bro. Bobby asserted, our churches are going in is a direct result of God’s people not standing up for their beliefs on too many occasions.  I can not say that I disagree with him.

I have to say, if we are letting things slide by that are biblically wrong just to ‘get along’, we are doing a terrible disservice to our Lord.  And if we aren’t standing up for Him and His Word, how can we expect to fight for people to be saved, let alone be great warriors for God?  It’s simple: We can’t.

There’s an old song that says “onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war” and the Bible teaches us we are at war against the forces of evil.  Scripture entreats us to don “the whole armor of God” and to “fight the good fight”.  We need to stand up, suit up and speak up for Jesus.  After all He has done for us, it is the least we can do for Him.  But more so, if we love Him not doing so should deeply disturb us.  I am sure it does Him.

1 Samuel 17:29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?

Most Righteous God,

I pray You will grant me the courage to always fight the good fight and stand up for You and Your Holy Word.

Greg Wolford

©2009

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Our First Love

Monday night I was able to attend the opening night of our church’s Associating Revival.  It was great night of praise and worship.  And the preacher, Gethsemane’s own Bro. Steve Nida, brought a powerful, Spirit filled message.  I draw my thoughts for this writing from that message.

More than once Monday night the question was raised about why we don’t see our churches filled, lost people coming to church, and the children of God shouting and praising the Lord as we once did.  There were a few responses from a few different folks on these thoughts.  But I think Bro. Steve delivered the answer in his message that is most fitting: The collective-church has lost its first love, the deep love of Jesus.

If we, God’s children, aren’t deeply in love with and consumed by this love for our Lord and Savior, how can we expect the ‘world’ to have an interest.  If Jesus isn’t first and foremost in our lives how can we praise Him as we ought to?  If we aren’t seeking to be more like Him everyday how hard are we really working to build His kingdom?  There are many more questions we could raise here but I think you see where I am going with this.

Do we at times fall short of doing what we should?  My hand shoots up first on this question saying, yes, I do.  I am as guilty or more so than anyone else of not always doing what I should for His kingdom, not always putting Him first at all times.  Guilty on every charge I have mentioned and of ones not mentioned.  We all need to do more for Him.  In fact, given what He did for us, I don’t believe we can ever do enough for Him.  But we ought to try a little harder each day.

If we truly want to see revival, our churches filled and folks being saved, we, Christians, have to fall back in love with Jesus to the point of total submission to his call.  He didn’t save us to sit around and wait for his return.  He saved us for the next life and in this life we are to serve Him in what ever way He has called us.  And make no mistake; He has called you for a reason.  Are you working toward that reason? If you aren’t or aren’t sure what He wants you to be doing, I’d say dig into the Bible and put in some serious ‘knee-time’ (and ask someone to pray with and for you about this).  He will direct you to what He has for you to do for the up building of His kingdom.

Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Lord Jesus,

I can never thank You enough for the sacrifice You made for me.  I pray that I will have the fire of love for You burn hot and bright in my heart.  So hot and so bright that others can’t not see it in me.

Greg Wolford

©2009

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Live Your Witness

An Antebellum era (pre-civil war) family Bible...
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I received this from a Brother yesterday.  It goes along so well with some of the reading I’ve been doing on being a ‘living witness’ I thought it was something I just had to share.

A Christian

Several years ago, a preacher from out-of-state accepted a call to a church in Houston , Texas . Some weeks after he arrived, he had an occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change.. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, ‘You’d better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it.’ Then he thought, ‘Oh, forget it, it’s only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a ‘gift from God’ and keep quiet.’

When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, and then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, ‘Here, you gave me too much change ..’

The driver, with a smile, replied, ‘Aren’t you the new preacher in town?’

‘Yes’ he replied.

‘Well, I have been thinking a lot lately about going somewhere to worship. I just wanted to see what you

would do if I gave you too much change. I’ll see you at church on Sunday..’

When the preacher stepped off of the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, held on, and said,

‘Oh God, I almost sold your Son for a quarter.’

Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read. This is a really scary example of how much people watch us as Christians, and will put us to the test! Always be on guard — and remember — You carry the name of Christ on your shoulders when you call yourself ‘Christian.’

Watch your thoughts ; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.

Watch your character; it becomes your destiny…

The Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not PROTECT you….

Stay FAITHFUL and Be GRATEFUL!

2Co 3:2-3  Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:  (3)  Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

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