Tag Archive | Witnessing

Going forth with Weeping


The current state of the World instills fear in the hearts of many people.  There are wars and rumors of war. There are frequent mass murders. Persecution of God’s people is on the rise in America.  The Wicked One is using the President of the United States to crush Judeo-Christian values.  The increase of wickedness has spawned a segment of society that is ruthless and sinister. “What does all of this mean”  was the question my Grandson asked.  The answer can be found in the Bible, especially in Ezekiel 38, and 39, as well as Jeremiah 50, and 51

10599703_10201598204076038_7797987108210311549_nThe world stage is being set for the return of Jesus Christ for his Church, those folk who have accepted him as their personal Savior and have had their sins forgiven.  One day the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first,.Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Those Christians who have died will have their souls lifted out of their grave and those who are still living will ascend up into the clouds to meet Jesus.

The world will then be in complete chaos.  Planes that were piloted by a Christian will plummet to the earth.  Multiple injuries will be sustained from accidents of vehicles driven by a Christian. Surgeons performing major surgery will be taken out of the operating room as startled attendants watch.  The Holy Spirit will be removed from the world.There will not be one saved man upon the face of the earth. The Anti-Christ will rise up and bring world wide calm. Sin will become more rampant as Satan sets the stage for his rule of a one world government.  The One World Church, the Catholic Church will rise up only to be crushed by Satan. Those who did not take heed to the warning given by a caring friend will suffer great persecution by being martyred for not taking the Mark of the Beast. These truths are indeed terrifying to say the least but the greater issue is the pain and agony within the Believer’s heart for those friends and loved ones who have not accepted Jesus as their Savior.

Teary eyeTears come to my eyes as I recall those whom I love who have rejected the Gospel, even after being witnessed to several times. Among those are some family members and some very special friends. One particular friend stated that he accepted God, but in the months after his ‘profession’ he continues to participate in those sins which God particularly hates.  He seems to have no desire to attend a Bible preaching Church or to share his ‘conversion’ with his family and friends. Another friend became so angry that he will not even speak to me.  Unless God intervenes through my persistent prayers, these two friends as well as some of my immediate and extended family will not be rescued when Christ calls his people out of this World.  God has given me hope in that he stated that those who goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

So today and everyday I focus on praying with tears in my heart and frequently from my eyes, for those whom I love. My heart earnest prayer is that these folks will see that they are a sinner deserving of eternity in the Lake of Fire and will realize that Jesus shed His blood on the Cross of Calvary taking upon himself the sins of the World.  God says in His Word that he sent his only Begotten Son( God in the flesh) to save sinners like you and me.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord and ask for forgiveness for their sin, shall be saved.  Should you choose to do so, please feel free to share you salvation experience,

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Religious Freedom Upheld!


Bible and malletFollowing four years of battling with the city of Minneapolis, a Wisconsin man will be back next year at the city’s annual gay pride festival in Loring Park, handing out Bibles with no restrictions. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an injunction allowing Brian Johnson, who has distributed Bibles at the event since 1998, to continue to do so while his case against the Minneapolis Park Board goes forward.

After handing out Bibles at the event with no complaints for 10 years, Johnson was told by the festival organizers in 2009 that he would not be able to continue because of his opposition to the homosexual lifestyle. That year Johnson and his family, from nearby Hayward, Wisconsin, were preparing to walk through the festival venue and offer Bibles to participants when a festival official ordered them to leave. “A police officer allegedly told Johnson that the park was ‘private property’ that day, and Johnson was arrested when they didn’t leave,” reported the Star Tribune in 2012. Charges against him were later dropped, but the prohibition against his Christian evangelistic outreach continued.

The city’s gay-themed Pride Fest has been an annual event for the past 30 years, with crowds of over 200,000 participants crowding Loring Park and surrounding areas near downtown Minneapolis for concerts, food, and exhibits of unique interest to homosexuals. Johnson said that the venue is ideal “to reach as many people as possible” with the Christian message.

In 2010, when the festival organizers again turned Johnson away, the Minneapolis Park Board appeared to side with him, ruling that his presence and activities were protected by the First Amendment. Festival officials sued the Park Board, leading U.S. District Judge John Tunheim to suggest a compromise. “In theory, Twin Cities Pride could designate ‘free-speech zones’ on the Pride Festival grounds in which anyone who wishes to distribute literature or display signage may do so,” Tunheim wrote in his ruling in the conflict.

The Park Board and festival organizers agreed, resulting in the Park Board prohibiting unapproved materials from the main festival site and requiring Johnson to be isolated with his Bibles to a “no pride zone” that rendered his presence at the festival irrelevant, said attorney Nate Kellum of the Center for Religious Expression, which is representing Johnson in the case.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the compromise “would have confined Johnson to distributing the Bibles at a booth in Loring Park outside the festival area as well as leaving them at a ‘material drop area’ within the festival grounds.”

Kellum noted that the compromise site set up for Johnson “was a tract of land in a corner of the park where nobody would ever go because it was not part of a festival.” In similar fashion the material drop area amounted to tables under an unmarked canopy where no one would think to place literature. “The government should not be exiling free speech, it should be protecting it,” Kellum said of the “compromise” his group is challenging in the suit on behalf of Johnson. “It’s ridiculous to say that the only place where people can hand out Bibles is an area where there’s no one to hand Bibles to. The Constitution simply does not permit the board to relegate free speech to isolated regions where no one can receive the message. That’s not free speech at all. It’s pure censorship.”

While a U.S. district court ruled against Johnson, saying that the city was within its rights and had sufficiently accommodated his ministry, Kellum appealed the ruling to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the lower court and opened the way for Johnson to continue next year in offering Bibles to festival participants while his suit against the city is heard in court.

The appeals panel noted that while Johnson said the Bible identifies homosexual behavior as sin, “he tries to avoid the subject of homosexuality when passing out Bibles at the Festival, and he does not believe that homosexual or heterosexual temptations, in and of themselves, constitute sin.”

In a press release concerning the case the Center for Religious Expression noted that the 8th Circuit had previously granted Johnson an emergency injunction against the city that allowed him to distribute Bible at the city’s 2012 and 2013 gay pride events. After considering the merits of Johnson’s case more fully the appeals panel reversed the lower court decision, which will give Johnson unfettered freedom to continue his longtime Christian outreach at the homosexual gathering.

“We are pleased that the appellate court recognizes the fundamental freedoms at stake for Johnson,” said Kellum. “In a public place during an event open to the public, Johnson has every right to share his views and contribute to the marketplace of ideas — just like everyone else.”

Kellum said that as Johnson’s suit against the city moves forward he feels optimistic that the court will rule in favor of his client. “I do think the 8th Circuit has signaled how the law is interpreted,” he said. “We feel very optimistic.”

Joel Nichols, a professor at Minneapolis’ University of St. Thomas School of Law, located just blocks from the pride festival venue, agreed that Johnson’s suit has merit, explaining that while the city can impose reasonable restrictions on the time, place, and manner of public speech, the restrictions cannot result in blocking the message from the speaker’s intended audience. Nichols told the Star Tribune that if Johnson’s activities aren’t disruptive, “he’s clearly allowed to be there.”

According to the Star Tribune, “Nichols said if [his booth is] tucked into a corner, then Johnson has ‘a pretty good claim’ that he’s not being treated equally. And if the Park Board has a policy allowing free speech but makes an exception for this event, Nichols said, ‘then he really is being discriminated against.’”

 

Compliments of New American Magazine

Mr. President:


I love America, I love this Land; founded on the Word of God; the Nation of the free;  Mr. Obama, be assured, we will get rid of thee!  If not, let it be known, that We the People will not bow to your god, nor submit to your philosophy that is contrary to the Holy Writ.  As soldiers of the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ we have a divine right to Liberty coupled with the command to stand against evil even if means sacrificing our life:  “Give me Liberty or give me Death” is as true today as it was in the day of Patrick Henry.  The focus of your administration has been detrimental to the liberties of the people of this great land.  The freedoms which have been given by your liberal lackies to those who practice abortions, homosexuality, and anti Judeo-Christian values are an obomination to God.

The handwriting seems to be upon the wall of your reign in office.  We are commanded to hate the sin, and not the sinner,  therefore, Mr President, we will continue to pray for your salvation.   What is needed in your life is for you to admit that you have sinned against a Holy Living God, then genuinely confess those sins and ask the Lord Jesus to come into your heart.  God will begin a new life within you will he will continue until the Day of the Lord.   Mr. President, the Lake of Fire is a literal place reserved for those who follow Satan and reject God.  The choice is yours!

Knew it – but Blew it – Hobab


As a youngster, I always looked forward to summertime and family reunions on Grandpa’s  farm.  My cousins and I would thoroughly enjoy climbing into the haymow,  running into the pasture and getting into all sorts of mischief.  Each year we would reminisce about last years antics and then proceed to make new ones to be shared the following year.  My Dad and his five siblings would relate their accomplishments of the year, new babies would be fussed over and the women folk would dish up one of the hardiest down on the farm meals that would cause any mouth to salivate.   Reunions can be a sad time as well, such as in the passing of a loved one or the  deployment of a family member in the military.  God records in his Word, a family gathering that not only entails the sadness of loved ones moving to another country, but also the heart wrenching disappointment of a particular family member choosing to remain behind.

The story begins in the Wilderness of Paran.  Moses had led the children of Israel out of Egypt and they were in route to Kadesh-Barnea.  As the Cloud of God rested in the wilderness of Paran, Moses and his family took advantage of the opportunity to have a family gathering of sorts.   Moses of course, was present as well as his wife Zipporah, their children,  Miriam, the sister of Moses, Jethro, her father and Moses’ father-in-law, and Hobab.  This is the only place in the Bible that this person is named, and he was the brother of Zipporah.  Their father was Jethro, the Midianite.

During the festivities of the gathering Moses has the opportunity to share with Hobab about their journey to the place where God said that He would give them.  It would be interesting to know if Hobab responded as most unsaved relatives and sort of tolerated the conversation so as not to cause any ruffled feathers, or perhaps the man was one of those head nodderers who sat there with a sly grin on his face.  Irregardless how Hobab responded, Moses took advantage of the opportunity to share His God with his brother-in law.  During the conversation, it is recorded in Numbers 10: 29, that Moses asked Hobab to come with them.

The world’s people can come up with a plethora of excuses why they do not want to journey with us to heaven.  Some are just down right ridiculous.  In verse 30 we learn that Habab stated that he would not go, but that he would depart to his own land, and to his own kindred.  Hmmmm!  Now wait Hobab, your sister and your father are going with Moses, and they are kindred.!   Moses pleaded, “Leave us not, I pray thee, forasmuch as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the Wilderness, and thou mayest be to us instead of  eyes.”  Hobab had talents that could be used for God, and as a result he would receive any goodness that the Lord bestowed upon Moses and his family………….

Hobab sustained his answer.  What could possibly keep him from journeying into the Promise Land with God’s people?  Well, let’s check out some historical practices in those days.  Jethro, Hobab’s father was not just any ordinary Midianite.  He was their high priest.  The custom of the Midianites was that when the High Priest stepped down, his oldest son would become the new High Priest of the Midianites.  Hobab was the oldest son, and he knew that when he returned to his people there would be much celebration and praise as he accepted this coveted position among the Medianites.  The wealth and fame that would be his was just too much for him to sacrifice in order to accompany Moses on their  journey.

Isn’t this so typical of the unsaved in today’s world.  Instead of accepting the opportunity to spend eternity with the Lord Jesus, they hold onto their fortune, fame and friends.  Hobab knew that he had a golden opportunity to begin a new life with his father and sister, but he chose to return to his heathen lifestyle.  Can you imagine how Moses must have felt when he returned to his tent to face his dear sweet Zipporah?  How he struggled in sharing with her that her brother had refused to journey with them?  Perhaps tears of sorrow trickled down the cheeks of this dear lady as she contemplated the fate of her rebellious brother.  There are those today, who can relate to the sorrow and heartache that Moses and Zipporah experienced, when a love one refuses to accept Jesus as their Saviour.

The Bible does not specifically state what ever became of Hobab, but we do know that in Numbers chapter 31, the  children of Israel under the direction of Moses, after God spoke to him, armed themselves and warred against the Midianites as the Lord commanded; and in verse 7 it states that they slew all the males., and the Kings, and others.  Hobab?

“UNPOPULAR PREACHERS”


“UNPOPULAR PREACHERS”.     A very good article shared by my friend at this site –

http://jpfinn7.wordpress.com

How Beautiful are Your Feet?


There is a song that carries the message “How beautiful, How beautiful, How beautiful are the feet, that spread the Gospel message, How beautiful are the feet.”………………Much to my delight the composer gleaned the theme of this song from scripture!  How exciting!  Romans 10: 15, ……….”How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel…..and bring glad tidings of good things”  The Lord is so inclusive that He has a purpose for the seemingly most taken for granted appendage of our mortal body.   God  has made it quite clear that we are to use our feet to go into all the world and fulfill the great commission.  Unfortunately there are those who have defective and/or deformed feet that are not being used in obedience to the Lord in witnessing the Good News.

Let’s take into consideration those feet which are encumbered by callouses…………the callouses of indifference toward lost souls.   Oftentimes callouses numb the area of the foot on which they have evolved.  And so it is when it comes to soul-winning, the person is numb, insensitive it you will,  to the need of the lost souls.   These callouses need to be soaked in the living water so that they can be scrubbed away by the pumice stone of conviction.   Keeping our spiritual feet free from hardened callousness will help us to become sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit when He brings someone into our pathway who needs to hear the Gospel.

Some feet have ingrown -toenails……………..painful memories of past experiences in witnessing.  We need to  understand that this hostility is toward God.   There will be times when doors are slammed in your face; curse words are spewed out in rebuff of your witness and of course those who” gave at the office”  if you catch my drift.  The Bible says that we are not to become discouraged if the world hates us. The reason for this is because in John 15:18, Jesus tells us that if the world hated him, it will hate us.

Then there are the toe-nails on our feet that are plagued and disfigured with fungus…………..the fungus of sin.  Sin causes us not to be in fellowship with the Lord.  When this fellowship is broken we become useless vessels and the Lord cannot work through us.   Although fungal infections are difficult to get rid of, God has promised in his Word that if we confess our sin he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.   Thus the joy of our salvation is restored and we desire to please God by sharing with others His glorious Gospel.

Hammertoes are a physical deformity………….the spiritual  deformity of  being conformed to this world.  God specifically states that we are to come out from among them and be separate.  We were not created to have fellowship with unbelievers and when this is our bent then we develop spiritual hammertoes, deformed by the pressure of worldly shoes.   Our feet are to be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.  The ‘shoes’ of the world are ill-fitting and thereby cause deformity to our spiritual feet.  making us less effective in our gospel witness.

Bunions  are caused by pressure…………. the peer pressure of what others will think.   What will my unsaved friends or acquaintances think if I knock on their door?  Many Christians have dealt with this issue.  Romans 1:16 reminds us that we are not to be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.   We are to love our friends and acquaintances so much that the fact that they are on their way to hell would overshadow our timidity.  One person held onto the thought  that friends would not be able to point their finger from hell and cry in a painful voice “You did not tell me!”

Our feet are to be beautiful, spiritually healthy in spreading the Gospel message.  God did not make then just to wear stylish shoes.  They were designed to go into all the World and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Women in the Word – Woman of Samaria


66436_503757426332165_1534000282_n (1)In Bible times the water well was sort of meeting place where people from surrounding towns would meet and fellowship as they were drawing the needed water for the day.  God records several instances in the Bible where significant events took place at a well.  Moses met his second wife, Zipporah at her father’s well in the desert.  Isaac’s wife, Rebekah was found at the well of Mesopotamia, and Jacob fell in love with Rachel at the well of Haran.  Our story today begins at the ancient well of Jacob as the Lord Jesus stops on his journey to Galilee.

It was the middle of the day and the journey was a long and tiresome walk.  Much to the surprise of his disciples, the Lord Jesus chose to travel through the Land of Samaria. (John 4:40)  The Jews and the Samaritans had a racial hatred that kept them apart; they were devout enemies.  God always has a purpose and a plan for the decisions that he makes and chosing to travel through Samaria was no different.   Once they arrived at the well, Jesus sent his disciples into the nearby village to purchase bread.  This is one of the few times in the Scriptures that we see Jesus alone, by himself.  He was alone in the desert when tempted by Satan and he was alone in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to his crucifixion.  As with those incidents, there was something very moving and appealing about this particular event in the life of our Lord.

Our story continues as we see Jesus sitting alone at this well, staring down into the cool spring water.  His concentration is broken when he hears the sound of sandals walking upon the stone pathway.  When he looked up he saw a woman with her water pot on her shoulder approaching the well.  This was indeed an unusaul site in that not only was she alone, but it was in the hottest part of the day.  In Bible times it was the custom for groups of women to go out to draw the days water early in the morning, or at the evening hour, when it was cooler.  They would chatter among themselves, perhaps sharing highlights from the previous days events.  However, this woman came alone, in the hottest hour of the day.

As with others in the Bible, God has chosen not to reveal her name, only referring to her as the Woman of Samaria.  We can conclude that she was not wealthy because the women of affluence did not draw their own water in those days.  From what is written we gather that this woman was not old, perhaps middle-aged.  Her face had lingering traces of a departed beauty.  From her conversation it is evident that she had a quick, engaging, and pleasing mind.  She had given herself to passion and now the fires of passion had burned themselves out in her.  Despised by her neighbors, she comes to the well alone, weary in body and depressed in spirit.

Upon seeing her, Jesus asked her for a drink of water.  The Woman of Samaria was able to discern by his appearance that he was a Jew and she expressed her surprise that he would even talk to her let alone ask for help.  The Bible does not indicate that she was in any way discourteous to Christ or that she intended to refuse to give hm a drink..  In fact, the woman’s way of talking must have pleased Jesus, for she did ask him why he, a Jew would ask for a drink of water from  her, a woman of Samaria.  Her honesty is revealed in that she did not attempt to hide the fact that she was a Samaritan.

Jesus answered by telling the woman that if she only knew who he was, and what he could do for her, she would ask him and he would give her living water.  The Samaritan woman did not understand that the Lord was referring to the Holy Spirit, for she asked him how that she was to draw this living water when he had nothing to draw with.  The Lord Jesus further explained to her that the water her referred to came from a deeper well and was so much better that with one drink of this water, one would thirst no more.  He emphasized that whosoever drank of the water from Jacob’s well would thirst again, but those who drank of the water that Christ gave to him would be from a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

This conversation had begun with Jesus asking the woman from Samaria a simple question, now it had evolved into her making a request of him.  She perceived that Jesus looked and spoke as though he could make good what he said, so she asked him to give her this water.  She liked the idea that she would no longer thirst and would not need to make the long hard journey each day from her village with the water pot on her shoulder.

The Samaritan Woman did not anticipate the response that she received from Jesus.  He asked her to go call her husband.  We are made aware of her penchant for telling the truth when she answered that she did not have a husband.  Jesus was impressed with her honesty and replied, “Thou hast well said”, I have no husband, for thou hast had five husbands and the man who thou are living with is not thy husband.  She was amazed that Jesus had knowledge of her history and her life.  She was certain that she was not dealing with any ordinary man for she said, “Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.”  A sense of reverence and respect for Jesus must have  overwhelmed her to the point that she was ashamed that he would know of her sinful life.  She must have desperately wanted to change the subject.

Jesus then explains to her that God is a spirit, and they that worship him must do so in Spirit and in truth.”  The woman was aware that the Messiah was coming which is called the Christ and when he did come that he would make known all these things.  Jesus then confessed that, ” I that speak unto thee am He.  By the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the woman acknowledged the truth of Christs Messiahship.  Her ignorant mind had grasped the secret of true worship and of Christ’s mission.  In the glow of her newborn faith, she had to tell others and share with them all that she had heard and experienced.

The disciples were somewhat astonished when upon returning they found Jesus talking to the Samaritan Woman.  In those days, women were considered inferior to men and men did not speak to women in public, not even to their wife, sister or mother, let alone a woman of such despicable character.  Jews especially never spoke to a Samaritan because of their long-standing hatred of each other.  However, Jesus disregarded these social barriers when he talked with the Samaritan woman. Upon seeing the disciples,  the Woman of Samaria hurriedly left, leaving her water pot behind.  She was determined to return and learn more from Jesus.  Full of her great discovery and with the passion of an evangelist she declared the truth unto the men who knew her only too well.   She invited them to come and see a man who told her all the things the she ever did.  Christ had awakened her to a new and better life, she was a new creature, old things had passed away.  The men of the city must have discerned the change in this woman  and because of her earnest witness many of those men went out to see Jesus.  For two days they listened to His teachings , and came to believe in him, and accept Him as the Christ, the Saviour of the World.  This was not only because of what the first native evangelist in Samaria had said of him, but also because they had heard Him for themselves.

The Woman of Samaria became such a witness and a testimony for Christ that when Philip came to preach in Samaria he experienced such a great revival of souls in Samaria that there was great joy in the city.  Christ had met the woman of Samaria at the well and eagerly reached out for her soul.  He appealed to her knowledge of her sinful nature; presented her with the remedy of the Living Water; then acknowledged that he was the one who could provide that Living Water.   This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ…………….He is still reaching out to souls today.  Won’t you accept the Living Water that Jesus has to offer?

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