- Category: A Deeper Word
- Published: Saturday, 17 August 2013 18:59
- Written by Mark Neddeau
- Hits: 1858
The devil is ravaging the church with sickness, bankruptcy, family trauma in order to force us to internalize. In order to distract us from the power of the most High. But in our weakness, in our struggle, even in disability we must NOT leave the community without leadership and guidance to a great God! PREACH! TEACH! SHOW FORTH THE PRAISES OF HIM WHO CALLED YOU OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT
2 COR 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
It is so important to recognize that the devil and this world are working overtime to distract us from the true goal and work of the church. The scriptures have told us that "because sin shall abound, the love of MANY will grow cold" in these endtimes. It is happening right in our faces. It's time to call to attention the attributes you possess in God, and remember that those attributes were given to you for one purpose only: the saving of the lost! Because sin is spreading its wings and evil is on the rise, it is becoming more and more commonplace to hear prayer requests in church refocused on self. More often than not, better than 90% of all prayer requests in church focus on the requestor's family or self, rather than the community and the lost. Understanding that prayer requests are important, and some issues are urgent, we nonetheless mustn't lose sight of the fact that our communities are suffering the violence and loss in our lack of focus.
I cannot tell you how many community leaders my wife and I speak to on a regular basis, who have no pastor focused on the community needs. I cannot express my heartfelt anguish and Godly ire at the vast number of hospitals, nursing homes, and prisons that suffer through visitations of preachers, without the dedicated chaplaincy by them. In other words, hospitals see preachers regularly visit the sick of their own congregation or family, without the dedicated ministry and spiritual support of those not linked to the body of believers. I became Chaplain of a nursing home, and it was so rewarding! One particular event allowed me to use God's wisdom and love to help a young man choose to live and see a Christmas holiday with his family, after he had decided to stop medications and die! As Chaplain of the local police here, I cannot tell you of the impact we've had in turning fights, easing pain of loss, and representing the gospel to those who would otherwise never see it! Our church will host the memorial service of a young woman who hung herself. The family had no money to pay for a preacher or the chapel. But just because no one else took the time to commit to being available for funeral homes, just because no one else was available to the community, we have been blessed to support this lost and hurting family! God help us to see the need.
…JAMES 1:26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
How painful it must be to God to see church after church believe that they are doing something effective by sitting within their walls, waiting for visitors to come to them! How wounding it is to the community to have pastors and saints alike bearing the burden of those they are linked to, without ever committing their service to the lost and undone sitting in houses of pain, or feeling the abandonment of old age in a nursing home.
There is no question, friends, that God wants us to care for each other! Many scriptures discuss this. But an amazing transformation takes place when we return to the work that includes those outside our fellowship! The power of God begins to move when we take Him with us into the homes of orphans and widows - keeping ourselves busy with the work at hand, and allowing God to work miracles through us!
Imagine for a moment what happens when God's healing virtue flows through you into the body of an ailing and lost soul. That fluid motion leaves within you a stain of itself that becomes in you life and power, and gives you what you need to face your own circumstance! By taking our focus off our own problems, we actually free God to respond to our needs while we satisfy the needs of others. We are no longer so focused on our own selves, and thus let God do what he will through us, while we tend to the lost! God says he came to seek and to save such as are lost (Lk 19:10) - and so he has chosen us to be the vessels, the conduits, through which he can reach them. Our trouble is that we have become so focused on our family stress, just as the devil desires, that we can no longer be touched with the feelings of THEIR infirmities!
MATT 9:35 Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. 36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.…
GOD HELP US! Help us, Lord, to once again feel compassion for the lost! Help us to go to prayer closets and ask for their sakes, not ours! Help us to learn as Paul did that our infirmities allow you to be strong through us! It is so crucial not to let the devil, the world, or yourselves distract from the work of God! It is vital that we resurrect in this day the awareness that beyond our four walls is a lost city! Someone must take it to heart!
JEREMIAH 12:11 "It has been made a desolation, Desolate, it mourns before Me; The whole land has been made desolate, Because no man lays it to heart. 12 "On all the bare heights in the wilderness Destroyers have come, For a sword of the LORD is devouring From one end of the land even to the other; There is no peace for anyone.…
Can you say that you will take it to heart today? Can you say that you will kneel not just in prayer, but in physical action to lift a lost and hurting soul? Would you allow God to prick your heart today? Just because sin abounds and just because illness, or poverty, or whatever condition, has reared its head in your home, can you not trust God enough to look beyond it? Can you not trust just long enough to let God move in your life, as you move in someone else's? We know that you love the Lord, that is why you are on this site. We also know you have a burden to do something for God, but just don't know what. Today we challenge you to just select an area in your community where you know that there is need. Today we can urge you to just make yourself available! In your prayer requests, bring what you hear in the community to the attention of the church, and turn your requests outward, not just inward! Let the God you serve become the God that they seek. Let the answer you have become the answer that they will receive. We have seen with our own eyes the souls who come into our fellowship just because we were kind to them when they needed it most. Rise up church - and gather the standing harvest!
Elders Mark and Dana Neddeau