A Word From OCOSBE Members
|Posted by John "BJ" Hall on March 15, 2017 at 5:10 PM||comments (0)|
By Evangelist John BJ Hall
Romans 7:13 (NASB77)
“…sin might become utterly sinful.”
The sense here is, that by the giving of the command, and its application to the mind, sin was completely developed; it was excited, inflamed, aggravated, and showed to be excessively malignant and deadly. It was not a dormant, slumbering principle; but it was awfully opposed to God and his law.
This all took place at the Garden of Eden and when Moses gave the Law to the people. Romans 5:20 says, "The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."
The Laws purpose was to teach us what sin is. Giving us the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong. When a baby takes another babies toy he doesn't know anything about stealing. He only knows possessing the toy is "good." When his knowledge is increased that the toy is not his and that he has hurt someone by taking it..."sin has increased."
As one grows older he begins to understand more and more about what is right and wrong. In that sin has become more sinful. The only way to change this is for someone to intervene and pay the debt on behalf of the sinner.
Enter Christ. He came as the only one who never sinned and died on the cross to pay the debt that He did not owe. Sin became even more sinful when our sins nailed Him to the cross. And GRACE abounded even more as He said, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."
Today, you can allow Him to pay the debt that you could not pay. All you have to do is call on His name believing that He is the only begotten of the Father. Ask Him to forgive your sins and come into your life as Lord and Savior.
I Know My Son
How I have failed you Lord.
I know my son.
I have done that which is evil.
I know my son.
I have always failed.
I know my son.
How could you ever love me.
You know, My Son?
But He is so pure and I am so vile.
I know my son.
I do not deserve such grace.
I know my son.
I will only fail again.
I know my son.
How can You forgive me then?
You know, My Son?
You are so kind to me, my Lord!
I know my son.
You have done so very much!
I know my son.
I can never repay this price!
I know my son.
But, how and why, my Lord?
You know, ... My Son?
© Copyright 1985 By Passages Ministries, Contact us for permission to use poem..
|Posted by BJ on February 2, 2017 at 6:00 PM||comments (0)|
Oklahoma Baptist State Evangelism Conference 2017 was a blessing to all who participated. Some of our OCOSBE members were sick and unable to attend. And one of our speakers woke up with a fever the morning he was to preach. (We are praying for you Bro. Bobby Dannatt.)
I want to take this opportunity to thank Mike Russell for not only putting together a great music program, but also for stepping up to the plate to preach for Bro. Bobby.
We recorded a video of those who preached. If you would like to receive a copy of the video please contact me.
I also want to thank our retiring Secretary/Treasurer Jeannette Smith for her tireless work behind the scenes and her gentle spirit as she served so willingly.
Craig Hobbs has been a great help to me not only as we prepared for the conference, but also his encouragement and assistance as I learned the things necessary to carry out the position I was elected too. Thank you my brother for your assistance during this year.
I know that 2017 is going to be a great year for serving our Lord. It is my prayer that for each of us, the Lord will open new opportunities of service and ministry.
Remember: It's ALL about Him. It's NOT about me.
John BJ Hall
|Posted by BJ on December 30, 2016 at 9:55 AM||comments (1)|
By Evangelist John BJ Hall
As we stand on the brink of a new year I'm convinced that more than ever we need a breakthrough in the church - I don't mean that we need new gadgests or programs — no what we need is a Spiritual Breakthrough - we need Revival, Renewing, Re-awakening and Re-commitment.
In our text for today — the apostle Paul was winding up his first epistle to the Corinthians with some practical advice — he tells them in 15:58 to stand fast in the Lord, in the first part of chapter 16 he mentions an offering to be taken for the relief of the poor, and then he tells them of his plans for the immediate future: 1 Corinthians 16:7-9 (NASB77) “7 For I do not wish to see you now just in passing; for I hope to remain with you for some time, if the Lord permits. 8 But I shall remain in Ephesus until Pentecost; 9 for a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
What I want to focus on is the last verse - Paul saw an opportunity - an open door - and for us - that is exactly what the new year offers - an opportunity - an open door- a fresh start - a new beginning. Paul described his door as a GREAT door and an EFFECTUAL door. By that he saw it as an opportunity for achieving Great things for God - making a difference - being Effective.
I'm convinced that we too want to be effective for God - we want to make a difference in our world - we have a deep longing for Christ to be glorified and lifted up in our lives and in our churches. I believe that God will bless and do "exceedingly abundantly more than we ask or think" IF we are willing to be filled with His Spirit and bold enough to go through the OPEN DOOR that He places before us. (But remember — it won't be easy — Paul said in v.9 that there were "many adversaries." And there will be for us too.)
WHAT OPEN DOOR IS BEFORE US? WHAT IS THIS BREAKTHROUGH? COMMITMENT
Many talk about New Years Resolutions - which usually fizzle out & fade. What I want to suggest is not a New Years Resoulution — but a New Year Re-dedication — Recommitment.
As I prayed and sought the Lord's will — seven things came to mind — seven pillars of our faith — that, if we Re-commit ourselves firmly to them — will guarantee Victory, Fruitfulness and happiness in this new year.
By the way — before I talk about commitment — let me make sure there's no mis-understanding — Commitment is not just talking about religion. The story is told of an entertainer many years ago who would string up a tight-rope from one end of Niagara Falls to the other. Hundreds of spectators would come and watch him perform — he'd walk the tight rope — do tricks, and even ride a unicycle from one end to the other.
One day a man witnessed this display and was totally impressed. He clapped and cheered and even shouted, "You're the greatest!" The artist replied — "you believe I'm pretty good, huh?" Oh yes, the man said. "Then please, come let me ride you on my back as I cycle across to the other side!" TALK about commitment is one thing - ACTION is better.
1. Make a fresh Commitment to the BIBLE - the word of God.
Read it daily, study it faithfully, hear it preached often, talk about it with your friends and family, memorize portions of it, Read it through in a year - but most imortantly - HEED it and OBEY it.
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." - 2Tim.3:16-17
"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. - Josh.1:8
2. Make a fresh Commitment to PRAYER!
"The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth." - Ps.145:18
"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." - Rom.8:26
"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." - Col.4:2
"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." - Mt.26:41
O what precious promises are made to us if we will but pray - why then do we neglect it so? Why do we sell ourselves short & rob ourselves of victory by neglecting this most important gift? "O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer." God grant us to be committed to prayer!
3. Make a fresh Commitment to the CHURCH.
The church is the body & bride of Christ. She is His most precious, beloved and prized possession. To forsake the church and be a "lone ranger Christian" is to shoot yourself in the foot and severely hinder your effectiveness. WE NEED the Church!
"Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently." - 1Pet.1:22
"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love..."
4. Make a fresh Commitment to the GREAT COMMISSION.
We must evangelize or fossilize. The love of Christ must constrain us to love the lost - both around the corner and around the world. Jesus's last words plainly tell us what we're to be all about:
"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." - Mt.28:18-20
5. Make a fresh Commitment to CLEAN LIVING - PURITY.
A devotion from "Our Daily Bread" suggested that we can't make New Year's Resolutions without first Resolving the sins of our past. Thank God there is grace and forgiveness available to all. Let us humble ourselves & confess to God our trespasses and He will forgive. (1Jn.1:9; Ps.51:1-3; 17)
If we regard iniquity in our hearts - we will not be blessed; we will not have victory; instead we will be miserable. The new year will be a dud. Let's start right. God's word plainly says:
"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." - 1 Jn.3:3
We're thankful, Lord, that when we fall
We can begin anew
If humbly we confess our sin,
Then turn and follow You. - Sper
6. Make a fresh Commitment to your FAMILY.
This is every bit as important as the other commitments I've mentioned. Your family is a blessing from the Lord. Treat one another right! If not - I guarantee the new year will not be happy at all.
IF you make time for your family - quality time - love and cherish one another - worship as a family - I guarantee the coming year will be a super year.
7. Make a fresh Commitment to GOD (Father, Son & Holy Spirit)
This of course is most important - what is the chief end of man? To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God..." "Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind & strength..." "whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord..."
Seek to Experience God in Worship/Prayer
Abide in Christ through faith & Prayer
Be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit
*** May be that some reading this have never made an initial commitment to Christ - let me encourage you to start the new year off right by receiving Christ as your Savior. There is a page on my site called The Most Important Question follow this link and you will find out how to know Christ.
REMEMBER, PAUL SAID THAT THERE WERE MANY ADVERSARIES - ENEMIES.
We too have adversaries that would keep us from going through these doors. Obstacles, pitfalls, enemies - call them what you will - they are real, none-theless.
1. The devil and demons are REAL.
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith...." - 1Pet.5:8-9
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." - Js.4:7
Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world....
2. Procrastination will keep you from the above 7 commitments - don't delay!
3. Wasting Time - will keep you from going through the door.
4. Stinking Thinking - the "I'm so helpless" stuck in a rut mindset will keep you from going through the door. Remember - "I can do all things through Christ..."
5. "Nobody else is Committed..." - this isn't true - and if it were, it's no reason for you not to be!
Are you ready to make the most of the doors that the Lord opens to you? Are you ready to go through it as a GREAT and EFFECTUAL door - or will you let it come and go just as another day - like all the others before? Let's go through the Door - press on in spite of the adversaries. You'll be glad you did!
|Posted by BJ on December 3, 2016 at 4:45 PM||comments (0)|
By Evangelist John BJ Hall
The summer had been so harsh. It seemed the trees could not survive another day. Many leaves had already turned brown and fallen to the parched earth. The grass crunched underfoot as one walked. It seemed that one would suffocate by merely taking another breath. Eyes burned as a cutting wind blew dust that apparently came from everywhere and stuck to everything.
It was so hopeless that many felt their only choice was to move as far away as possible and start over. Thus began the Great Dust Bowl.
Had God forsaken them as well as their land? Would this great state ever produce the rich crops of days gone by? There were no ends to the questions as it seemed God poured out His wrath.
Then one day the rain fell softly. At first it was as though mud was falling from the sky. The air was slowly refreshed, as it washed the dust from the leaves. They awakened as the drops formed and soaked into their delicate flesh. One could almost hear a sigh of relief as a gentle breeze blew through the boughs of each tree. The water caressed the parched earth, soothing the cracks that had formed during the long dry season.
The refreshing came, as newness of life, though these same leaves would soon slowly change into the vibrant colors of fall. Such a beautiful site as the flora slowly prepares its patchwork quilt for a long winter’s rest.
There came a time in which I was certain that I could not survive another day. Nevertheless, God, in His love and mercy, saw my parched soul and sent His own tears to first cleanse, then sooth and refresh. Then the breath of His Holy Spirit gave a refreshing, as newness of life. Even as I observed the refreshing, a subtle change was taking place within me.
Yes, my life would change as it always had. Some changes are perceived as harmful and others as uplifting. One’s perspective frequently is the key. I am trying to learn how to look at these changes from God’s perspective. For there seems nothing is more certain than change and change so often leads to conflict.
The colors of my leaves have already begun to change. It seems too soon, yet they are changing still. No wondering why a man’s latter days are more brilliantly colored than that of his youth, for he should be growing closer to the Father and more reflective of His Glory each passing day.
Someday the refreshing will be complete. Someday the Son will come to take me to the Father. There I will find complete rest, joy unspeakable and full of Glory. Until then, I will attempt to reflect the colors of heaven to those who dwell on earth.
© Copyright 2001 by BJ Hall. Assigned to Passages Ministries. All Rights Reserved
|Posted by BJ on November 12, 2016 at 11:40 AM||comments (0)|
No matter what your political leanings are, after the election November 8, 2016, many are asking “What now?” What can we really expect from the new administration? How will this change impact my life?
What a new presidency (no matter what party) provides is a new opportunity, a fresh start, an open door, a new beginning. To face these new opportunities we need an anchor so that the swelling sea does not overwhelm us. In changing times we need an anchor for the soul.
One anchor for the soul is the premise that God exists. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
Another Anchor for a soul is a personal trust in Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "You believe in God, believe also in Me." He said, "Now trust in Me." He became human, God in the flesh, to save us from our sins. He had a unique birth. Mary was His human mother and God was His Father. An angel of the Lord said, "She shall bring forth a son, you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). And He had a sinless character for the Bible says that He "committed no sin" (1 Peter 2:22).
Jesus had a very unique ministry. He performed many miracles. He turned water into wine. He healed those who were sick. He made the lame to walk. He made the blind to see. He died a unique death on the cross. He was tried by the Sanhedrin, whipped by Pilate, mocked by the scribes and chief priests and suffered a physical death. Paul says, "For He made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (1 Corinthians 5:21).
They took His body and put Him in a grave, but the grave could not hold Him. The angel said, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay" (Matthew 28:6-7). I can take you to the graves where my grandparents, father and mother are buried. However I cannot take you to where He is buried.
During the French Revolution, somebody said to Bishop Talleyrand: "The Christian religion--what is it? It would be easy to start a religion like that." "Oh, yes," Talleyrand replied. "One would only have to be crucified and rise again the third day." A personal trust in Jesus Christ is a safe anchor for the soul.
Another anchor of the soul Is the presence of The Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit is to teach us God's Word. John says, "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears he will speak; and He will tell you things to come." The Holy Spirit helps us understand God's Word so we will know how we are to live our lives. He is our Comforter for Jesus said, "I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you" (John 14:18. He comforts in time of sorrow for He is our "Helper, who will abide with us forever" (John 14:16).
The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin. "When He has come, He will convict the world of sin...because they do not believe in Me" (John 14:8-9). He helps us realize our need of trusting Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is present in our lives when we trust Christ. The Bible says, "Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His...For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Romans 8:9, 14).
Another safe anchor for the soul Is to have the promised assurance of Heaven. Jesus said, "I will call you home at the end of the journey." Remember Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you." This teaches us that heaven is a real place. Heaven is the fulfillment of all our spiritual hopes. We have desired to understand more about God and heaven will be the fulfillment of this hope. Heaven is a deep and abiding fellowship with God.
Augustine, a Christian, said, "Our souls are restless until they find rest in Thee." In heaven we will find our true rest in Him. Heaven is homecoming. We read in Revelation 21:3-4, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain." This does not mean that little selfish family reunions will be held continuously, but that these earthly ties of love and friendship will be deepened and strengthened in the family of God.
The greatest assurance is that heaven is where Jesus is. We will have fellowship with Him who died for us throughout all eternity.
|Posted by BJ on October 18, 2016 at 8:35 PM||comments (0)|
By Evangelist John BJ Hall
As I sit here, at my computer, writing this article my antivirus program is chugging away in the background. Its task is to scan for any virus that might have slipped in while I was looking for some information on the internet. My computer has a firewall, but occasionally some new virus will slip through.
I also have an antivirus program for my heart. When Jesus came into my life He inoculated my soul from sin. 1 John 1:7, 9 “but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin … 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
That inoculation from sin does not make me perfect. It makes my spirit have the ability to fight off and resist the temptation that leads to sin. Just as with my computer there are new viruses being developed by bad people, so there are new temptations, or new ways for the temptations to present themselves.
As a result I need booster shots to keep my anti-sin program up to date. I get those booster shots as I fellowship with other believers in Bible study, worship and prayer. Hebrews 10:23-25 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.”
There also needs to be a firewall which constantly scans incoming information, preventing prying eyes from stealing my personal information and even from damaging the very heart of my computer. Our firewall for the soul is the whole armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-18 “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15 and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. 17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”
Is your anti-sin package up to date?
|Posted by BJ on October 1, 2016 at 8:30 PM||comments (0)|
By Evangelist John BJ Hall
There once was a neighbor who was incredibly nosey. She would sit in her house and watch the mailman leave mail at her neighbor’s house.
Nearly every day when her neighbor came home from work she watched as the neighbor anxiously opened a letter. The letter was always in the same pretty blue envelope.
Each day her neighbor would open that blue envelope and she would laugh, and laugh. Then suddenly she would cry. Then she would look surprised and invariably she would end in laughter.
The nosey neighbor watched this happen, day after day. One day she decided she just had to know what was in that envelope and who it was from. She watched the mailman close the box, lower the flag and go on his way. Then when he was just out of sight, the lady ran across the street and took out that blue envelope, took it to her house and steamed it open.
She read it and didn’t find anything of interest and it was signed with initials only.
She resealed the envelope and hurried to put it back in the mailbox. She just barely made it back in the house when the neighbor pulled into her garage and immediately went out to the mailbox. Standing there she opened the blue envelope and immediately cried. Then she laughed so hard she almost fell over.
Well, Nosey neighbor couldn’t stand it any longer. She opened her door and marched across the street and demanded to know what was so sad or funny in that letter. She said, “I read that letter and there was nothing worth crying over and certainly nothing even the least bit funny!”
Her neighbor said, “But you don’t know the person who wrote this letter. If you did, you would understand.
The Holy Spirit fills out and colors the words in the Book until they become the Word in your heart. Without the leadership of the Holy Spirit you cannot know the Savior and Lord revealed in Scripture. Until you know Him, His love letter to us is a closed book.
People who say, “Nobody can understand the Bible” do not know the author.
In the Old Testament He is desired, foretold, and pictured
In the New Testament, He is shown to be Prophet, Priest, and King
Do you know the Author?
|Posted by BJ on September 21, 2016 at 6:20 PM||comments (0)|
By Evangelist Ernie Perkins, Th. D., D. Min., Ed. D., Ph. D.
“There is no such thing as ‘a spiritual gift,’” I heard the seminary professor proclaim.
“Ernie, evangelism is not a spiritual gift,” my evangelist friend said as we sit together on the plane.
“Evangelism is not a spirit gift,” was the headline of the article. Each of these was a statement spoken or written with a great deal of conviction but I believe with an equally amount of error.
Whether one believes evangelism to be a spiritual gift or not, depends upon that person’s belief in the purpose of spiritual gifts. There are basically two interpretations for the purpose of spiritual gifts. Both interpretations would agree that Jesus in His incarnation is the only person who had all of the spiritual gifts; however this where the similarities end.
The First interpretation, and the one most Christians probably hold, is as follows:
The local church is the body of Christ in its community. Thus, various members have various spiritual gifts so that together they can do the work of Christ in that community and beyond. One pastor has stated that he would not have anyone teaching in his Sunday School whose spiritual gift was not teaching. This is an example of this interpretation. (I sincerely doubt that the pastor would also say that no financial gifts would be accepted by anyone whose spiritual gift was not giving.)
The second interpretation is as follows:
The foundation for this interpretation is the belief that God’s goal for each Christian is to become as much like Jesus on planet earth, as is heavenly possible. If this is true, and since the incarnated Christ had all the spiritual gifts, each Christian should strive to reproduce those characteristics in his or her life. All those that are not spiritual gifts are to become spiritual disciplines with the person working toward developing it as much as heavenly possible.
For example, giving is not my spiritual gift, but it does not disqualify me from my responsibility to be a giver, thus, I had to develop it as a spiritual discipline. To do so, I needed a teacher or teachers to demonstrate by their example of giving how to give. God gave me such a teacher in my wife of fifty-five plus years when He joined my life with the life of one whose spiritual gift is giving. Thus, for all the years my wife and I have lived together, I have had a marvelous teacher whom God has used to teach me to develop the discipline of giving that has become so strong in my life that some may think it is a spiritual gift . . . it isn’t.
If the major task of the church is evangelism, and I believe it is, then God intends for each of us to faithful share the message of salvation to a lost world. Each of us is to do evangelism. Few of us have the gift of evangelism and so we need teachers to help us develop this discipline.
There are such teachers. I have friends whose spiritual gifts include evangelism. These gifted people win more people to Christ each year by accident than I do on purpose. It is as super natural for them to witness with the goal of leading the person to a response as being an encourager is to me. Almost every encounter for some is an evangelistic event with a sharing and an invitation. It isn’t something they think about doing; it isn’t something they pray about; it is just part of who they are and what they are. They are just practicing their spiritual gift.
It is true that evangelism is not among the listed various spiritual gifts in the New Testament. Can one believe that the different lists name all the spiritual attributes that were in the life of the incarnated Christ? One cannot see all of who He was and what He was by the various lists of spiritual gifts.
There are differences between a spiritual gift and a spiritual discipline. Among those differences is this major one: a spiritual gift can never be lost, but one can lose his or her spiritual discipline by not using it. It is like a muscle in that unless it is used it become flabby and useless. This is the reason why we need to continuously offer our people opportunities for additional training and help in evangelism. Witnessing programs such as those developed by Campus Crusade, the Billy Graham Evangelism Association, and Evangelism Explosion are needed by the new Christian as well as by the older Christian. “Use it, or lose it” is a characteristic of any spiritual discipline, but especially by the discipline of evangelism. The crown of joy is the crown given to the soul-winner; thus, the devil will permit the Christian to have “joy” in any part of the Christian life if it will take him or her away from the task of evangelism.
A major danger of any spiritual gift is the tendency of the gifted person to use the practice of his or her spiritual gift as the measuring rod for the love that others have for Christ. My wife, for example, could easily become guilty of wondering, “how anyone can love God and not at least tithe.” Because it is so super naturally easy for her, it should be for others . . . if they love God as she does.
I have been on too many evangelism conferences where a fellow evangelist will proclaim, “If you love Jesus, you will find it easy to witness and share Christ.” For some it will never be easy, but for none does it take away from our Lord’s commission to do so . . . easy or not.
|Posted by BJ on September 11, 2016 at 4:55 PM||comments (2)|
By Evangelist Kevin Morris
On May 19th, 2016, my dad’s heavenly home was completed, and he moved in, no doubt mom was waiting to greet him as she passed in 2005. After the craziness that is planning the service and making arrangements, and tracking down all of the important documents since he was retired military. We then are left with the task of cleaning out the house. To say mom and dad kept everything that we ever did, would be an understatement. Homework from the 3rd grade, a church bulletin when I was a teenager with my name in it, anything and everything that was me, she kept.
You can’t but help pause and reflect on the days gone by. We were the 2nd house on the block, in a brand new neighborhood. As the years went by, and houses went up, we quickly grew to the point we had an official group of rebel rousers patrolling the streets in their various big wheels and tricycles. We did the usual stuff, “cops and robbers,” “cowboys and Indians,” but probably our favorite was playing super heroes. We had the Batman and Robin, Flash, and of course, yours truly was always Superman. I will never forget one of the best gifts ever was the Christmas that mom and dad got me an official Superman costume. Even though the costume had the big “S” on the front, you weren’t Superman until you put on the cape.
All these years later, being a minister in a world looking for answers. Being “THE” prophecy guy in a church of 275 and everyone wanting information on a daily basis. I find myself, if not physically, but still mentally waking up every morning and putting on the cape. I am reminded of one of my favorite passages in Jeremiah.
“Call unto me and I will show you great and mighty things you do not know.” Jer. 33:3
We must remember, we don’t have to wear the cape. We serve a God who doesn’t need a cape, because He knows all, plans all, and implements all. In reality at the end of the day, it’s ok to hang up the cape, and let God be God. We might be surprised at what He will show us if we let Him be God and not a superhero. And that, is my view from the edge.
|Posted by BJ on September 3, 2016 at 2:40 PM||comments (0)|
By Evangelist Kolby King
I don't think I've ever seen anyone cry so hard.
This past July I sat next to a 47-year old man who had attended one of our events. In the service I had shared about Jesus and Peter walking on the water.
"I just don't know how much of that I can believe," he said, with tears in his eyes. "I want to believe but how can I believe in a 'good' God when all I've ever seen is bad."
He continued to tell me about his childhood and how, as an adult, he had gone to prison for attempted murder.
"I even have a 9-year old daughter that I've never met," he said.
We talked. He struggled. God was moving in his heart. We talked about his life. We talked about Scripture, about how Jesus had called Peter to come and how Peter had stepped out of the boat. He didn't need to have all the answers to simply trust.
I walked him through the plan of salvation. He asked questions and then he told me that he needed time to think. I asked if I could pray for him and as I prayed, he began to sob harder than I have ever seen anyone cry. Tears literally dripped in a stream from his face.
I gave him my phone number and told him to call and let me know how he was doing. He talked to me the next day.
"Last night," he said, "I was washing my clothes and a pastor was there doing his laundry as well. We talked for three hours and I decided to surrender my life to Jesus Christ."
It's amazing how God puts people in the right place at the right time to share His love.