BURDENDED FOR OUR COMMUNITY…

Today was a difficult day in the life of our church. At 4 p.m. we had the memorial service for Peggy Jose, one of the dearest Christian ladies anyone could ever meet. They say that you can tell how many people you have influenced by seeing how many people attend your wedding and how many people attend your funeral. And for Peggy, the place was packed! There was not an empty seat in the auditorium. A few dozen chairs had to be brought in and yet many others remained standing in the back as well as in the lobby. Peggy had influenced so many people for Christ- families, neighbors, friends, and co-workers- all of whom were at the memorial service today.

As the Gospel was preached, the lost were certainly moved as many asked about church and the Bible. To sum up Miss Peggy’s life in a verse, she “being dead, yet speaketh.” Even after death, her influence continues on. Oh, how we need more people to stand in the gap as she did!

After about an hour and a half, we began our Outreach Conference service. Tonight’s theme, A Burden for our Community. Our church’s teen ensemble opened with the song entitled The Offer Still Stands. They did a tremendous job. Just seeing over a dozen teenagers singing for the church was a challenge enough! How often we think that the offer of salvation only stands for those whom we choose. The offer stands for every person to ever draw breath. The choir sang one of my favorite songs written by Cary Schmidt- Gold, Silver, and Precious Stones. Then Brother Lester once again challenged our hearts through the preaching of God’s Word.

Tonight, he preached from Matthew 19-20, which was a parallel passage to the verses we read last night in Mark 10. The message answered what many Christians ask in their hearts when God begins to increase our burden. The question is basically, “What is in it for me if I follow God?” Has that ever happened to you? God burdens you to do something and you, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, enthusiastically surrender to God’s call- if but for a moment? For the very next second, the Devil places doubts in our minds and hearts. Devilish thoughts such as, “You can’t do that, you haven’t been to Bible college,” or “Someone else is more qualified for that.” My personal favorite is “If I do that, I will not have time for my family, my hobbies, my rest, my job, and so on.” Allow me to answer your question, with a question, “Is anything too hard for the Lord? Can He not give you the time, the treasure, the talent to accomplish His will? Why can’t you simply trust His Word?” To listen to the message in its entirety, click on www.desertgatewaybaptist.org.

I truly believe that Christianity would not be the laughing stock of the world had we done what Christ has left us here to do. I believe that religion would not be helping send people to Hell if we really witnessed the way Jesus did. I have had people tell me, “Well, Jesus did not have a family. He had all the time in the world! Besides He was God. He had to do all those and was never tempted to skip out on anything.” The Bible says otherwise. You can begin with Matthew 4, Luke 22, Hebrews 4, and so on.

Friend, you don’t have to be a Bible college graduate, a pastor or church staff member, a deacon, or a long-time Christian. All you need is “Christ in you, the Hope of glory.” I love what Paul tells us in Romans 8, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” What we need today is a group of Christians who would be burdened for their community. Reach the lost in your community.

Imagine, if every Christian would reach their communities for Christ, according to mathematical statistics, we would be able to reach six and a half billion people in forty years. Allow me to leave you with these verses as you prepare to win the lost for Christ:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
“With God, nothing is impossible.”
“Unto Him that is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask of think…”

If you still think it’s not your business to evangelize the world, listen to what the Bible says:

“And ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses…”
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

Friend, the lost needs you and I to share the Truth. Remember there is only one Way, one Truth, and one Life- and that’s Jesus. Who do you know needs Jesus today?

“The only alternative to soul winning is disobedience.” ~ Dr. Curtis Hutson



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