Monday, May 15, 2006

A Day of Prayer

INDIA: Pastor Hospitalized After Easter Service Attack
May 12, 2006


The Voice of the Martyrs

VOM sources inside India report Pastor V.P. Paulouse’s church was raided by 15 mob members. While leading an Easter worship service and prayer meeting near Mangalore in Karnataka state, the church was raided by members reported to be from the Bajrang Dal (youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, or World Hindu Council). Entering the prayer hall with their faces covered, the extremists beat the pastor with cricket bats and also turned their assault on other believers, including his wife and daughters. The Hindu mob vandalized the hall’s furniture and equipment, worth more than 150,000 rupees ($3,500 U.S.).

In the April 16th attack, Pastor Paulouse sustained numerous injuries and was admitted to the Mangala Hospital in Mangalore, where The Voice of the Martyrs provided for all of his medical expenses. The 15 assailants severely fractured his left hand and leg, which were set in casts. The 65-year-old pastor’s head and feet were also badly injured in the attack. Many wounds were found on his head, including one gash that required eight stitches to his forehead. Other injuries were also dressed at the hospital, including the extensive damage to his toes. The attackers beat several members of the congregation, specifically targeting his family, who sustained wounds from the violent rampage.

The Bajrang Dal organized the attack because they do not want Christians in their area conducting prayer meetings. Pastor Paulouse’s ministry covers three villages in south Karnataka state. Despite Hindu opposition, he shepherds 60 believers in the region. He has been discharged from the hospital and his stitches were removed, but his doctor has told him to continue his bed rest. His cast remains on but should be removed sometime this month.



I posted this because we become to introverted and think we are so bad off. While I never wish to downplay our own struggles, let us take a moment to pray for those who are dtanding up for the Gospel even to the point of being beaten and death. May we remember those who are in chains.

Hebrews 13:3 Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Testify

Not to us, but to your name be the glory. Those are lyrics from Chris Tomlin's song titled “Not to us”.
A few of the lyrics are here
the cross before me the world behind no turning back
raise the banner high
it's not for me it's all for YOU

Ok here we go. In the book of Acts chapter 3 the following account transpires.

And on the same day Peter and John went up into the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man, who was lame from his mother's womb, was being carried. And they laid him daily at that temple gate which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered into the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And fastening his eyes on him, Peter with John said, Look on us! And he paid heed to them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, Silver and gold have I none, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk! And taking him by the right hand, he lifted him up. And immediately his feet and ankle-bones received strength. And leaping up, he stood and walked and entered with them into the temple, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. And they recognized him, that it was him who sat for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. And as the lame one who was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering.(Act 3:1-11)

Let's break the beginning of this story open. Look first at where Peter and John are heading. They were off to a prayer meeting. Obviously they felt it important to be in prayer. Over in Psalm 55:17 it says

Evening and morning, and at noon, I will pray and cry aloud; and He shall hear my voice. (Psa 55:17)

So it is important to make prayer vital in our daily lives, not just at church, or whenever we want. It must be vital to our relationship.
In v.2 we see a lame man sitting at the gate of the temple. A few things of great importance can be gleamed from this text. First off he must have had some good friends to carry him to the gate everyday and then to pick him up after the day has come to a close. Secondly, he was not in fellowship with God otherwise he would have been in the temple in prayer. He was simply trying to survive and get money to take care of his needs. Now I have a question that I want you to ponder for a moment. How many people on their way into he temple gave this man some money? Why was he in front of the temple? Think about it for a minute.............



OK so now that we have chewed on the why let me ask you this. How many people walked by him and said, I don't have any money? How many simply looked away because they did not want to engage this man. How many times do we do this ourselves? Look at v.4. It says that Peter fixed his eyes on the man and spoke to him. He had not silver or gold but he gave him something better. Peter intentionally engaged this man. He did not ignore him, he testified to the truth. Look what happens when this happened. The man went leaping and praising God in the temple. Now I am sure this caused no small ruckus. Everybody has now been made aware of this miracle now and so Peter John are standing on the porch outside. All of the people it says were filled with wonder and amazement and came running out to meet Peter and John. I will stop here but I want a few things to come from this.


1. Peter and John engaged the culture. Had they not had compassion for this man very easily they could have turned the eye like so many of us have done. But think about this.

Then they will also answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to You? Then He shall answer them, saying, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into everlasting life.(Mat 25:44-46)

2. Peter and John were obedient. They did what was pleasing to God and look at the fruit of their obedience.

You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its savor, with what shall it be salted? It is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and to be trodden underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under the grain-measure, but on a lampstand. And it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.(Mat 5:13-16)

Has they not been compassionate and obedient they would have lost an opportunity to testify about Jesus. That encounter sparked this man to run and leap through the temple testifying and now the people inside the temple are running out to hear Peter and John get ready to testify. There was a song that I used to sing called it only takes a spark to get a fire going. Please ask, no better yet plead with God to set you on fire so that you can testify to the life transforming message of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of sins to all who put their trust in him.

So let me ask you this and please do not gloss over. Take some time to reflect before God this day before reading any farther.



What do you burn for? Do you burn for the lost, the poor, or are you more concerned with the things of this world like your bank account, your house, those things that seem important. Take a moment to look at things through the light of eternity. Do not listen to the preachers, the Christian counselors, listen to Jesus.


If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me, he cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he may have enough to finish it; lest perhaps, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish, all those seeing begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not first sit down and consult whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So then, everyone of you who does not forsake all his possessions, he cannot be My disciple. Salt is good, but if the salt has become tasteless, with what shall it be seasoned? It is not fit for the land, nor for manure, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
(Luk 14:26-35)



Now how do your priorities look? I ask you again, what do you burn for????????




Martyred missionary Jim Elliott spoke these inspiring words.

"God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you, LORD Jesus."

Please testify today. Remember not to us, but to YOUR name be the glory. Please together with me this day let's glorify our Father in heaven. Let's point someone to the savior.
Jeff

Monday, May 08, 2006

A call to Harvest

We have a job to do. Let's get busy

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Challenge

Here is the challenge. If God has ordained all since before creation, why evangelize. If God predestined us before time, why bother? Your responses please.