"Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
Today, we would like to reveal to the loved participants of Salvation’s Call Ministries our Mission Declaration. Many of you have wondered and asked; so the time has finally come to reveal the purpose, mission, and the future of the ministry. After developing a core group of eCongregants, we feel it is extremely important that you know what you are a part of. By joining us you will become a part of history as not only a virtual ministry has been established, but also the vision of a seminary/Bible School, physical campus, and mobile campus where God’s children can freely worship and pour their hearts out to God. This vision shall be carried out through a four phase process that will take a move of God to accomplish. The vision will require a lot of effort, sacrifice, prayer, fasting, and most of all faith. Where great moves for the Kingdom of God are made, we can expect resistance and spiritual warfare. Abraham once had a great vision which continued on through his legacy (Genesis 17:1-8). Like Abraham, we have to willing to be a part of something bigger than ourselves to see this vision carried out.
It’s often said, “Where there is a will, there’s a way.” That is true only if it’s God’s will (Proverbs 3:5-6). If an empire is built on man’s ambitions it is torn down and destroyed along with his hope. If it is built on God’s will, it is a stable cornerstone that will only budge at God’s command. The vision of SCM has been on the mind of the pastor for several years, but was not put into action until May of 2016 when the virtual campus Salvationscall.org was created. This site was part of Phase 1 of God’s work at SCM. The purpose of the virtual church was to provide a place of worship, growth, and service to people who can’t attend a physical church in their areas for various reasons. We have found that people who are affected by disabilities have found this ministry very effective for those purposes. After the first couple of weeks of working out small detail corrections within the site, visitor numbers greatly increased. We now average between 180 to the high 300’s in unique visitors every week. That gives us almost 1,000 unique visitors a month reading or listening to God’s Word and worship. Although the virtual campus has been a great success so far, we have a lot of room to grow. We would like to be at 1,000 visitors a week by the end of the year in 2016. The biggest obstacle we have getting there is our funding and infrastructure. In order for the site to reach their numbers it requires several items such as: very specialized knowledge of various methods of web traffic, content, and time. Most, if not all of these obstacles will be overcome when the funding required is provided. SCM is putting its faith in God and believing for these resources at His appointed time. We could use your help making this phase come to pass through your generous contribution of written material, suggestions, and much needed monetary support. SCM’s current biggest source of funding and material is from the Pastor own blessings out of what God has blessed him with, but this is unsustainable in order to achieve the results that we seek. We ask and pray that as you grow with us along the way, that you will find it in your heart to give as you feel convicted whether this be through monetary or material contribution. Purchases through our sponsors also helps towards the financial support of the ministry while providing needed services for our members.
The second phase covers the foundation of a low-cost Seminary and Bible School. Part of the Great Commission is to create Disciples of Christ and teachers of the Gospel (Matthew 28:16-20). Therefore, it is the passion of the pastor that everyone have the opportunity to increase their understanding of God’s Word through the founding of a Bible School and Seminary at SCM. The first classes offered will be via virtual campus and will be attended by students online through the seminary site. There will also be physical classes offered at a later time through the physical ministry building of SCM, after the building phase has been established. The various topics of theology, books of the Bible, and various church leadership situations are a few of the many class subjects we intend to teach at the Seminary. Creating leaders with the influence of God’s Word and conviction is part of the mission of SCM. These classes will ensure a well-rounded Biblical foundation to accomplish tomorrow’s leaders of the Church. In order to see the great outpouring of God’s people, we need a spiritual renewing of God’s servants first where it will overflow into the body of Christ. This is done through a great Bible education and instruction on how to be a servant of the Church. Ministerial Ordination will be conducted through the ministry and seminary upon satisfactory requirements by potential ministers. There are many options for degrees through Bible Colleges all around our country, but few offer sound doctrinal education while keeping cost at a minimum. SCM plans to offer highly discounted courses and degrees for its church members to increase the opportunity for growth and service within the ministry.
Our third phase of the ministry will be the physical ministry campus. It will house the physical church building, the ministry offices, production studio for online classes and videos, classrooms, and ministerial/student housing. Of course this phase is a long term goal and will probably be under development many years. A few phases may complement one another such as the online courses and the physical campus. As the campus progresses in facilities, so will the development of the Seminary. The third phase will require the most resources, therefore the most time. As the phase comes alive, so will the blessings to our members for years to come.
The fourth and final phase will be many moving parts such as the mobile ministry and evangelistic team. These divisions of the ministry will be responsible for outreach into areas not commonly known for its outreach and tent revivals. Part of the ministerial development will be a team of evangelists who travel to various churches to preach revivals. This will help develop the evangelist needed for a great awakening in our country. Many concept names come to mind, but I personally like “Holy Rollers: Mobile Evangelism Team”, no pun intended ;). This phase includes a great deal of sophistication and will require funding as well, making it another long term vision for the ministry.
We challenge you today to become a part of this great family at SCM. If you see an area of ministry where you have a passion to serve and be a part, do not hesitate to contact us today. As mentioned, our biggest needed resources at the moment are expertise and funds. If God would have you contribute in any way, send us an email or simply go to the donate link on our page and submit your gift. Once again, thank you for joining us as always!
God Bless and Shalom,
Salvation’s Call Ministries
Genesis 17:1-8 (KJV)
17 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Matthew 28:16-20 (KJV)
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
If you are reading this today and are disabled, you have been told or made to feel at some point that you were a mistake. You have felt left out, abandoned, frustrated, depressed, and discouraged. You have also gotten the short end of the stick in the labor market as well. With everyone sticking hands out for help in today’s economy getting help isn’t easy either. Physically impaired people are told you have the ability to work by government agencies, but then aren’t hired because companies believe they can’t use a person tied to a wheelchair or walking device. With all the new laws that the government has made lately, you would think that they would want to enhance your life rather than complicate it. The world leaves you with very little options to really think highly of yourself after so many rejections. However, there are some things I would like to point out about how God feels regarding anyone with disabilities no matter their physical set back or mental impairment. God never makes mistakes in his design. With that being said, you were “created in God’s own image”. Your weakness are upheld by His power and your strengths reveal His character. What many in the world often forget is that right after children, God often placed an emphasis on those who were disabled by many conditions and circumstances.
First, I would like to apologize if anyone has ever told you that if you’re disabled that it was a mistake by God. The only flaws are those which man identifies as a flaw according to his standards. God doesn’t make mistakes, only testimonies. Disabilities are often unique to a person because it is a part of their personal testimony. Whatever your situation may be, there is potential for the love of God to shine through. Even if someone can’t comprehend exactly who God is, the joy and grace shown in their lives are often rays of hope to everyone who come into contact with them on a daily basis. Although I’m not disabled myself, I had the awesome experience of being highly involved in a special needs class while I was growing up. My family member who was a part of that class asked me to come with him to an event one day. I had no idea that God would use the opportunity to help me understand disabilities that would one day be represented at Salvation’s Call. We have visitors from around the world who range from every day Joe’s to those who are not able to leave their residences at all. It is a wonderful opportunity to serve such a widely represented ministry and I thank God for it. Serving those children at that school and being with them gave me such joy and a sense of importance. It wasn’t really about what I was doing for them, but rather being around them made me feel good. They would always smile no matter how their day had been. Those children thought everyone was important regardless of their social standing. They didn’t care whether I wore name brand clothing, was rich, or poor. They liked me for who I really was. There was another man who once walked the earth, but now resides in heaven that displayed these awesome traits. His name was Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t care who you were or what you had, but rather how much faith you had. He understood as our creator that every man was created in God’s image. Most of all, He knew the sacrifice it would take to provide salvation for even the lowliest of men. He understood that people had infirmities not because God makes mistakes; but that there was sin, death, and sickness present in the world since the fall of Adam. He turned those infirmities and conditions into testimonies. Scriptures such as John 5:5-8, where Jesus tells the man with infirmities to “Rise, pick up your bed and walk”. Your situation certainly contains a testimony this day!
Do not overly concern yourself with the attributes or abilities you lack, but rather your strengths which God can use for the building of his kingdom. That’s right, I just told you that you are a highly valued asset to God’s Kingdom. Did you think the Great Commission was only for people who could walk without assistance or see without a service dog? If a blind man tells me that, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18), of course I am more willing to receive it. Here is a man telling me that what I see is temporal, but the things of eternal I can’t see. The same could hold true for you, that your strengths speak volumes regarding real life applications of God’s Word. He just didn’t tell the man to take up his bed and rise as He did in John 5:5-8 just to heal him, but to provide a testimony giving glory to God. People most likely sought and obtained salvation that day because of that man’s testimony. Of course, having a testimony does not necessarily mean we will be instantly healed. I have personally struggled with a medical condition that I now understand as a “thorn in my side” as was in Paul’s to keep me humble. I have had many hours sitting in doctor offices and hospitals, but it keeps me humble and centered on Christ. God knew if he made me perfectly health I would have ran off to the military years ago and stayed. That was my life career goal, but due to medical restrictions I couldn’t even be drafted if the whole world was at war. You may have wanted badly to be another occupation or even to just be able to walk on your own, but God is using your weakness in body to bring out His glory in your testimony. If we submit to His will for our lives, systematically He will begin to allow the revelation of what you were made for to come to past in your life.
When all else fails and you feel worthless to the world, remember that God places the “least of these” at the top of His priority order (Matthew 25:40). This means when you feel low down and the “least”, God is with you the most. Wherever you are in life, no matter how far you have fallen is never too far for Jesus to reach out his hand to pull you up. God loves you dearly as his child, willing to sacrifice “His only begotten Son” to see that we have a means of salvation. Do not forsake this opportunity based on your infirmities and weakness for Paul says, “therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Then again in verse 10 he says, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” Be strong in your weakness, hold on to Christ, because you’re the child of a King!
John 5:5-8 (KJV)
5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
2 Corinthians 4:18 (KJV)
18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (KJV)
12 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
2 Timothy 3:1-17 (KJV)
3 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their's also was.
10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Enough with the name calling and political persecution! I’m not even talking about rights this week. I’m talking about labeling me a “Republican” or “Ultra-Right wing conservative” as the media loves to say, just because of my faith. These days if you’re not right, you’re left. That contrasts greatly with the rest of the new norms in society which says if you’re right according to the Bible, then you must be wrong for the world (2 Timothy 3:1-17). The meaning of words, phrases, and names tend to change dramatically over time. While you may have been able to refer to most Evangelical Christians as conservative 50 years ago, the same application certainly isn’t present today. The whole meaning of the term “conservative” has changed dramatically. While the spirit of rebellion rips this country into shreds, the media is more concerned with making the picture of all Christians around the country appear as Westboro Baptist Church. Does this make us liberal because we are not necessarily conservative according to man’s standard? Absolutely not! There are many contradictions to both ends of the political parties for a Biblical Christian. I belong to only one party affiliation. That party has no biases or political views. It has no committees or board members. There is no speaker and there is no grand jury. There is only one judge and Juror. His name is Shofet (the Hebrew name for God as, “judge of all the earth”). His party is the trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost). This party does not sway in opinion or by social pressure, nor does it change its views when pressured. There are no contradictions or extremes within this party, only righteousness and glory. While absent from the sight of men, this trinity party may not be acknowledged now. However, upon its return “every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord”. His Father is the creator and His Spirit is the witness. His law and standard are His Word. People hate the very thought of us, yet they are intrigued by the mysteries of God.
I know you are wondering, “How on earth can there be any contradictions with Christians regarding being too conservative?” To understand this though process, we must first figure out what the original definition of being conservative was. This is where we run into problems. There is no actual definition of a conservative according to most within its ranks. Most of the time, the line is swayed according to the social norms of the time period we are in. Many conservatives 50 years ago considered their standards to be the ten-commandments, but now it’s just being further right than the next left-wing liberal. Personally, I will not live by a standard which tends to change drastically over time. My standard has to be a true line, dividing east from West and North from South. It should never be confused as to what belongs where and who I should be as a person by standard. A good example of today’s conservative values includes lowering income taxes, while at the same time hiking up D.M.V. fees and taxes on your car. These “conservative” economic policies benefit no one except the top 1% of our population. It keeps the wealth where it is thought it should be while those starving and struggling never see even a glimpse of hope. Many people aren’t poor because they chose to be according to my experience, but rather because they were born in it. While America remains a fraction of what it could be as the “Land of Opportunity”, it is a very slim chance that most poor men will ever see one million dollars of income. In order for the sea turtle population to sustain, there has to be many successful offspring from one nest. If there were only 3 eggs laid like some bird nests, this would be an issue due to predators. However, sea turtles often lay dozens of eggs making the chances of survival strikingly higher than that of any species who didn’t in their situation. Our opportunity for success in this country is much similar to the success of a turtle generation. If we intend to have success stories in the future, we need plenty of chances at opportunity to “be free” in “The Land of The Free”. When comparing this standard of practice from today’s conservative to those of the scripture it tells us, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed”(Proverbs 19:17 ESV). This means that we should be willing to give freely and not concern ourselves with how we will make profit because God will “repay him for his deed”. Instead our ranking “conservative” politicians see our welfare system as a burden and source of motivation to get the average American out to the voting polls to cast their ballot for them. If the church was doing what it ought to do in the first place and making the Biblical standard the one for their lives Snap, section 8, and Medicaid would never be necessary. The people of faith could cover all the need there is in our country, but instead we hold to values that weren’t right to begin with. I have always believed in hard work to pay for the needs of my family, however I do not expect that just because I work hard that those who are less fortunate should have to go without. Being lazy and being incapable are far two different things. Today’s conservative politician would like you to believe that our assistance programs designed by the government are handouts to “capable hands”, which may in some cases be true but those loopholes should be fixed.. What hurts me is to hear a good majority of the conservatives in my area who wish to eliminate these programs, but offer no substitute. If we do not want what the government provides for the poor and needy among us, then we need to have a solution as they will never go away (Deuteronomy 15:11). I could call out contradictions one after another, but it is obvious there are too many to be voiced here today. This is the very reason why our standards and even political stance should be grounded on the solid foundation, “rock” and “horn of salvation” (Psalm 18:2).
Being Christian also does not mean being liberal. Being extremely left can be just as dangerous as being extremely right. Being liberal or conservative is not two points of extremes on two opposite corners, but rather a circle of behavior which when leaning one way to far could actually land you right back on the other side. While I certainly believe in the free will of people as we were created that way for a reason, some libertarians believe that there should be no government really at all. On the other hand some liberals believe there should be so much government ridicule and over-site, that there isn’t any government left to judge. This would cause the exact same outcome happen because the establishments that are there will be preoccupied with policing themselves rather than the people they were created for.
So what is the Biblical standard for being a Christian in today’s political climate? The answer is within the pages of your Bible itself (Psalms 119:1-12). It seems that after years of study and discussion on these matters, God is good and just. He wants us all joyful, healthy, blessed, and secure in our faith. While receiving salvation by professing faith in Christ as Lord provides us with three of those, the security in our faith depends upon us. To be secure in our faith, we must follow God’s guidelines rather than mans. If we choose the latter it will leave us with shame and guilt every time, thus producing insecurity rather than security. To be a secure Christian is to be a healthy one and we can’t be a secure Christian unless we are grounded by the scripture in our faith. With the 10 Commandments as our main standard of living, we should hold ourselves accountable for our own lifestyles. Looking to solve the world’s direction is not our responsibility, but looking after mankind should be. We should feed the hungry, house the homeless, and care for the widows without being told to or handled via third party through our government. Now instead of caring for our fellow brethren, the funds are siphoned, embezzled, and used for the budget concerns of our politicians; who have conned all of us into voting for them time and time again. The revolving door of politics has us squeezed once again. I believe that the Mark 12:17 scripture goes far beyond taxes into the world of political affiliations. If we as a body of believers held out on voting until they gave the people of God what they desire in a candidate, then they would have no choice but to provide us with the results of our liking. The Christian people aren’t powerless, we do have some leverage. If only we could join together as the old church did in the book of Acts, we would coerce things in a whole new direction for this country. Until then, do not let the affairs of this world swallow your faith. Remain vigilant, hopeful, faithful, fruitful, and fight the good fight until the end of your days. As always, thank you for joining us. God Bless and Shalom!
Philippians 2:10-11 (KJV)
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Deuteronomy 15:11 (ESV)
11 For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’
Psalm 18:2 (KJV)
2 The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
Psalm 119:1-12 (KJV)
119 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of theLord.
2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
12 Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes.
Mark 12:17King James Version (KJV)
17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him
Images Courtesy of: BuffettWorld.com (Trump) and CNN.com (Clinton).
I have something I need to admit. Something that bothered me not only for you to know, but myself even. My family has always been one that prided itself on cleanliness, and a welcoming atmosphere to visitors. I must say that I have begun to let them down in this aspect tremendously. This admission is that my floor is possibly the dirtiest it’s ever been. My kitchen table is most likely begging for relief from the cabinets as most of their contents sit on it in wait of someone to heroically place them away. Our cars look as if we live in them. Our Bibles are full of old study guides that should have been long organized and our clothes often stacked instead of folded. Accomplishing all this wasn’t easy. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the hardest things I have ever done. How did I manage to get so sloppy compared to the old me you ask? Simple, did what I was commanded. Now, instead of shrugging in shame or hopelessness I nearly wear these small inconveniences as a badge of honor. It’s not that we never clean, make time for these tasks, or don’t want to do them. It’s rather a matter of priorities in life. Do you model your life priorities according to what society says they should be, or do you allow God’s Word to be a model of order for your best interest? Does HGTV dominate your mind and time so that now you focus on making your living room appear as one you have seen? Do you spend time digging into your Word making it a priority to teach to your family over a spotless home? So what would be commanded from the God I serve to put me in this situation of needing a good spring cleaning, detoxing, or visit to the car wash? Taking time out of our busy lives to show God that He is still number one in our lives by worshiping Him would be my first reason. Secondly, I would tell you that ensuring the future of my children and wife are my second concern. And thirdly, just as I want to be a light to my family I should also be to my neighbors here on this earth with us. Understand that I do not tell you these things to in any way lift me up, but to show how when we allow God to shape our lives He uses it for His glory.
Taking time out of our hectic schedule has never been an easy task. When my first son was born we honestly put things that we could on the back burner. We were able to get them accomplished in our free time while he was gone. He slept long enough most days that it was almost as if we already had a teenager in our house. Getting to work was fairly easy. Going out was also slightly challenging as we had to consider what family and friends would say about our son’s attire and appearance (many times we are expected to perform at a level of perfection as if we have Jesus’ name on our forehead). Although it added another person to our duties as a family, we managed pretty well. Then came round 2! This new guy made a fuss even in the womb. He made my previously perfectly healthy wife pre-diabetic or whatever the term is these days for pregnant women who get their glucose checked every day. She had cravings that were a little outlandish at times and mood swings that I now know were actually his. Life outside of being a parent almost hit a stand still. So where would God fit in all this? I realized from reading scripture at some point or another in my life that I absolutely could not under any circumstances put honoring Him on the backburner or leave Him out of our lives completely. God was the whole reason we had this second promise child as he was prophesied to arrive before He ever become in his mother’s womb. We had to make our family life fit around God’s timing. What we discovered was that even though we had to put some things off that may seem more important at the moment to us, God honored that decision. Even though there were still dirty Sippy cups in the sink, floors to be mopped, and carpet to be vacuumed, God made a way. It’s not at all uncommon to find my dishes washed by my sister-in-law, who’s only responsibility is to watch the kids for 45 minutes until I arrive home from my second shift job. It’s also really awesome to have been gifted with a rather large family when it all hits the fan and we need help with the kids and so on. With that being said, we continue to ensure that the God we served and who has blessed us with such an awesome family is highly praised at the end of the day (Exodus 20:3). What good parent wouldn’t want to show their family what the importance of worshiping the one true God really is? “In this house we will serve the Lord”! (Joshua 24:15)
The spiritual welfare, education, health, and blessing of my family come second in life after God himself (1 Timothy 5:8).. When making tough choices we often have to base decisions on where the situation at hand is located on the pyramid of priorities. Is this something that can wait? What are the long-term effects of either putting this situation off or handling it right now? How will this reflect back on me or my family? Is this the will of God or something that mine? When we consider all the questions that have to be asked, we can then rank each situation by the level it falls on our priority scale. So what should those levels consist of? First off, God’s Word provides us with at least the top 3-5 priorities that should be followed in our day to day living. First is our faith and worship in Him. Within each one of us, God built from within the desire to worship and serve Him. Knowing how Christ died on the cross for me makes knowing Him my top concern. Without Christ it wouldn’t be possible to have grace and mercy. Thank God for that. The second priority is the care of our immediate family. This includes everything from Bible study, work to make money in order to live, and even daily hygiene tasks such as giving the kids baths at night. No task done for the blessing of our family is a small matter to take for granted. Each moment you spend with children are critical in that we are forming the foundation of their life experiences not only spiritually speaking, but how they view themselves in society the rest of their life. If the only ministry you have time for is night time Bible stories and prayer at the end of the day, by all means serve those kids with God’s blessing and all you got. A good friend and mentor told me a statement once I will never forget. He said, “A child doesn’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. This truth is the same at home as it is in the youth ministry facility at your local church. Adults work according to the same order. Most of us found God through the service of another who cared about us when we were in a time of need (Matthew 28:19-20 & Galatians 6:10). I know this is true in my life when reflecting on my decision to truly follow Christ. In the beginning I was the center of service, only to do the same for many others later in my spiritual walk. I hold my third priority to be reflection and education (2 Timothy 3:16-17). I make it a priority to read/study daily, and share what I have learned to others. Sometimes the only studying I get is through my preparation for lessons through the online ministry, which is why having this ministry is not only vital for those it serves, but also to me who gives most of the content as a willing vessel from God. There are seasons as I wrote about a while back in our life that come and go. These seasons may require adjustments in our schedules changing the amount of time we spend on a priority for just that season, but we must never fail to evaluate the priorities in our lives from time to time.
Our fourth order of priority which also contains the last section of my writing today, is evangelism, service, outreach, and any other element dealing with service to God (1 Corinthians 3:9 & James 2:14-17). In case you were wondering; yes I said that service comes after family, our relationship with God, and our spiritual development. The youth, singing, or outreach ministry comes after God and family because without those two we wouldn’t have a physical ministry to serve. What good is your ability to hold the attention of a group of teenagers if your relationship with God is lacking and no good is coming from the service? This would be a total waste of time. The same holds true for sacrificing our children’s spiritual development, while building another man’s child. God will hold us accountable if we forsake our own families if we neglect them. Besides, most of what I have learned to be effective in youth ministry has been lessons I have learned from my own kids. If I wasn’t a parent, I would be about as effective as a telephone booth in 2016 with our youth group at church. Without Bible study and reflection my teaching would fall on deaf ears and be “counted all as lost”. The only person I want directing my study and service is God and without hearing him through study/reflection I am lost. The family is a higher priority than service because your family stands as a model to the type of service you can provide for God’s people. Show me a man who neglects his family and never takes time to sow into their futures and I will show you a man who is headed for a brick wall spiritually and physically. In a small section of time a man can find himself alone, feeling helpless, and spiritually dead all because he neglected his family. What good would service to God be if a man has lost everything that is really important in the process? I had a pastor once ask me to promise him, to never place the church’s priorities or matters of service over my family’s. With that being said, there is always a season in which we find ourselves buried in the requirements of physical labor and work, but we should never neglect the long-term needs of our spouses, children, or other immediate family that requires us to fill that gap. While in seminary, it was not uncommon to hear our instructors tell us that as long as we made an “A” at home we were allowed to make a “C” in the classroom. I hold this advice to still be truth in everyday life. Don’t be the best minister/employee in the world at the expense of your family. At some point, there will be a change that will tip the scales to bring you off the pedestal that you stand. Unfortunately, in ministries and homes all around the globe it is an all too familiar sight. However you decide to prioritize the rest of the elements in your life is up to you. Just remember that you can be whatever you want to be in life, you just can’t be everything all at one time. I chose to give up owning a home and traded for a small apartment because of the many distractions that come with being a homeowner at the moment compared to my priorities. Obviously we counseled with God first, but in the end it opened up a ton of long-term time and made our lives flexible for the service of God. Your priorities in life always tell God and others what is most important to you. We say we love God, but I watch daily as others pour their hearts and finances out into their hobbies, jobs, and anything besides God. He waits to see where we place our trust and when we fall in the hole that we dug for ourselves, He is often gracious enough to give us a hand to pull us out. Be a good Christian first, a good spouse/parent next, and a good servant of God after. You will never regret placing your priorities where God commands. I would like to add that we should not worry about those priorities and physical needs which fall lower on the scale. If the sparrow knows that God will meet its needs, sure we should know these things (Matthew 6:26-34).
By the way! I just thought I would let you know that my wife just did a good cleaning yesterday. Matter of fact, it helped inspire the message that you saw today. So don’t come over tomorrow trying to catch a glimpse of my dirty carpet because there will still be vacuum lines on the floor. I just might have to call you out on your dirt for checking out mine! ;)
Thanks for reading, God Bless and Shalom!
Exodus 20:3 (KJV)
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Joshua 24:15 (KJV)
15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord
1 Timothy 5:8 (KJV)
8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Galatians 6:10 (KJV)
10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV)
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
1 Corinthians 3:9 (KJV)
9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
James 2:14-17 (NKJV)
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Matthew 6:26-34 (KJV)
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-10 (KJV)
3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
Today as I watch how the events across my country unfold, I am appalled. These are our American people committing horrendous acts of violence and hate. It is one thing to morally decay and not be able to control our fleshly desires, it is another to fade to the point of ruthless killing. Not that any sin is held in higher regard than another, but to rather point out the level which we have fallen seems to be at an all-time high. Our government has once again shown us that they can never be our saviors from this world. We continue to beg for leader after leader knowing the next will only bring the same fate as the last (Ezekiel 7:25). How much longer will we hold on to our idols? How much longer will we wait idly by before our burning fire lighted by God himself burns to hot within us to sit and wait for another judge to save us (Lamentations 5:1-8)? Where is God in all of this and why does he allow it to happen? Why are innocent men having their lives taken at such a high rate (Zechariah 8:10)? Why are the crimes so vicious and cowardly? The answers have been here all along, but nobody would listen when things were smooth sailing. Nobody wanted to pay attention to that old preacher when he told you that it would happen. What is the “that” I speak of? It’s the topic I spoke on in our last article The End Is Sooner Than We Think. Since we have established who and where God is, the question we have to ask ourselves is where do we stand?
God hasn’t gone anywhere in this (Deuteronomy 31:6 & Psalm 23). As a matter of fact, He was standing beside the shootings as they went down. He standing beside the victims’ families as they mourn. He is standing beside all the officers involved in the many incidents all around our country. He was beside the young man who lost his life because he would not cooperate and He was even beside the young man that was shot by an officer for reaching for the wrong place at the wrong time. God is with us all as we process this from around the globe today. He is with us because we are human and inside each one of us, He placed His seed of desire to be with Him in our hearts. God doesn’t discriminate if we are white, black, Latino, badge, or no badge (Galatians 3:28 & Genesis 1:27). What He sees when looking at us is the crimson stained red blood of His sacrifice on the cross for us. He suffered for each one of us individually as well as corporately. By His stripes we are healed. By His death, the keys of death and hell were taken back. By His resurrection, we are promised eternal life if we believe and accept. Sin will be present in this world until the second coming, as will tribulation and turmoil. The reason we have suffering today is all because of man’s sin. Due to our limited understand as mankind, sometimes we do not understand the eternal effects we have on life because we each face death due to the fall of Adam. What actions we take affect not only us, but man for generations. Our sons and daughters fates get either lifted up or knocked down every time we make a decision for the good or bad. The seeds we sow are those which do not simply go away. There is constantly a threat from the enemy in the spiritual realm, which is the reason our actions tend to affect this world long term. Our words and actions transcend realms from this world into the next. When we speak power to the infirmities and death we empower them, just as when we speak the blessings of God we speak life in them. Our words tell the conditions of our hearts. If we stand for God, we will speak of him to those around us daily. If we proclaim the Lord boldly and confidently, when turmoil arises others will trust us for guidance who are not even believers. The true question is, are you confident enough in your faith to no worry about the turmoil around us? If you are not guided by the light of Christ today God knocks on your heart. All you have to do is answer, pick up your cross, and follow him.
Many of my family members, coworkers, and friends are really concerned with the direction of the world at the moment; but few are taking action. When these events are unfolding in the eyes of those all around us, God is preparing His church for a harvest. The big question is, are we prepared to handle such a harvest? As more events unfold, so will those prodigal children who have been without God for so long turn back. There are also those who will reject God because of the world’s present state, but we must not allow them to prevent the harvest of what comes today. The best way to do this is to simply share our faith and live as the scripture teaches. The light that you shine today just might spark the fire that could change this world for the better. The title of our message says it best. When there is unrest, we must always do our best as fellow believers to bring in the broken hearted. We should have a heart for the lost, a penny for the poor, rags to wipe for the weeping, and a hand for the fallen. We are not above our world if we serve Christ, but rather in it. This place may not be our home, but would you satisfy yourself by settling down in a jail cell? No. You would certainly not. Most newcomers to prison fight sleep day and night, and process thoughts of how they can find themselves quickly on the other side as possible. You know that cell may be where you sleep for a moment, but you also know you can be called at any time to be checked out if you could just find the right answer or lawyer. Today my friends, if you call Christ your saviour you may not have shackles around your legs holding you prisoner to sin anymore; however you are currently serving a sentence in this place of service to God who is not of this world. Your service needs to be on this earth, but your mind needs to be on heavenly things. This may prove difficult, but “with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26) Like a special forces unit sent in to rescue their fellow brothers and sisters in arms, we are called to get in and give the Gospel to the lost. We are in the Army of the Lord and we have been drafted. Will you run or will you fight for the outcome of Jesus: Love, peace, justice, honor, humbleness, and righteousness.? There is a lesson in this for all of us, but do our ears hear? Let us begin to speak boldly, and remind men that we are all a fallen creature (Psalm 32). Life or death, we all will be judged in the end. Instead of jumping to conclusions as the media would like us to, let us "lean not on our own understanding" and look for God's will to be done during tragic situations. Be slow to react to attempts at our emotions by the powers of darkness and allow God to shine the light of truth in every situation. God Bless and Shalom!
Ezekiel 7:21-25 (KJV)
21 And I will give it into the hands of the strangers for a prey, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil; and they shall pollute it.
22 My face will I turn also from them, and they shall pollute my secret place: for the robbers shall enter into it, and defile it.
23 Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.
24 Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be defiled.
25 Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none.
Zechariah 8:10 (KJV)
10 For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction: for I set all men every one against his neighbour.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (KJV)
6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Psalm 23 (KJV)
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Galatians 3:28 (KJV)
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus
Genesis 1:27 (KJV)
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Lamentations 5:1-8 (KJV)
5 Remember, O Lord, what is come upon us: consider, and behold our reproach.
2 Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens.
3 We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows.
4 We have drunken our water for money; our wood is sold unto us.
5 Our necks are under persecution: we labour, and have no rest.
6 We have given the hand to the Egyptians, and to the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread.
7 Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities.
8 Servants have ruled over us: there is none that doth deliver us out of their hand
Matthew 19:26 (KJV)
26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Psalm 32 (ESV)
32 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up[b] as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
6 Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
7 You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
or it will not stay near you.
10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.
11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!