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ISDAMan
07-05-02, 11:47 PM
Hi all,

If any of you have tried to get to the site lately, you'll already know that it's down for the moment. I already know that the problem will take a few days. That's on top of the other computer problems we are having. I'm on a friend's as right now. So, pray for us, or the computer, or both. We'll have to see which survives.

In good news, back on fatherís day, I got to preach for the very first time and I have to say that it was a fantastic blessing. I was intensely nervous though. I believe that I delivered what God would have had me to deliver and everyone received me well. It was a message not only to the fathers but to the whole family as well. If anyone would like a free tape, drop me a line at ISDAMAN@UREACH.COM. Do not use any other email address at this time. We're still fixing problems.

Lastly, before we get to this week's FNS, I have some prayer requests and an update. Many of you know about my grandmother's stroke. Praise God, she is doing well. The doctors have confirmed that there is no brain damage. There was also a mass in her brain that is now completely gone. She has full use of her body and speech with only minor discomfort from time to time in her upper left side. GOD IS GOOD!!!

Please, pray for Trinity Covenant Church, & Winthrop St. Baptist Church, & Bethel Free Will Baptist Church in such that they have need of your uplifting as they seek to have greater outreach and display of Christ in the community through and in the lives of the church members. Please ask God to give them wisdom, love, and spiritual maturity, and integrity in leadership.

Please, pray for Pastor Reynolds and family. He is soon to start a church in RI, a very heavy Catholic area. I know this will be tough for sure because I now live in MA and work right on the RI border. The JW's also seem to have a foothold here in the New England states.

I want to ask you all to please, take a moment to think about why you're alive. Think about why you do the very things you do with your life.

Many of us, I'm sure, have seen the movie, "Black Hawk Down". It's a gripping tale with gruesome reality that has a ton of truth in it. I'm not just talking about the historical accuracy of the battle. I'm talking about little life lessons. This movie has lessons on being responsible, preparedness, loyalty, courage, order, and much more. Tops of them all, I think, is the lesson this movie teaches about love.

There is one particular character, and the movie as a whole, that proclaims that the real reason for a service member to carry on in battle is the man to the left and to the right of him. Now, my friend, the story tellers did not use the word, but, that kind of selflessness, the kind that will give it's own life, is nothing less than LOVE!!!

Having served as a Marine, I know that this is not something that comes naturally to the men. This kind of selflessness,... this kind of love,... the devotion,... the determination,... the intestinal fortitude to carry on in the face of suffering can only be seen in mature fashion by way of proper development.

For the church, this love is evangelistic. Christians keep sharing and witnessing and testifying and lending a helping hand because of the person who is in peril to perish to the left and to the right of them. For the mature Christian, there is a sense of urgency to reach out and do something for those in peril around them. For the mature Christian, ALL that is done in Christ is evangelistic.

Take a handful of churches that truly love and God and you'll find that there are some that have developed this love and there are some that have not. The ones that have will vary in their level of maturity. Yet, so long as they are making forward progress and being refined by the Lord, all is well.

What's scary is that the developing churches are less and less because the individual Christians that make up the church are less and less willing to be developed in love. These same Christians are less and less willing to be developers of this love. There is a festering lethargy in the church today. The thinking is that other peopleís relationship with God is not my problem. Sure, weíre not responsible for them. What we are responsible for is our display of Christ to them. We will answer to God for this. It is not enough to say that I did no wrong in the sight of other men. Thatís like the man who buried his talent in the dirt and had the nerve to think that he did good for it. Christ expects us to go out and make an effort to increase His kingdom!

When a Christian is not willing to go to church more than once a week, if you can get that much out of them, that Christian has little opportunity to enjoy the iron sharpening iron experience of fellowship.

When a Christian does not realize that his position in the church, no matter how small, is evangelistic, that Christian is likely to look inward upon himself and his own desires.
When Christians are looking at their own desires, they are not looking to Jesus to meet their needs as they fulfill the Lordís wishes in their lives.

These things scatter the hearts and minds of the children of God. Even the ones who do look to stay in the fight and evangelize and try to meet the needs of the people around them falter and stumble in their witness because of the lack of mature uplifting by the other members of the Body.

There are Christians, in error, witnessing in bars as they down beers and display the same exact lifestyle as the ones that they are sharing Christ with. Just recently a man told me that he knew of no better way to evangelize. Another Christian childrenís ministry leader told me that he believed that God told him not to have ANYTHING to do with ANY evangelistic ministry. Friend, God was working in me that day. Ordinarily, my blood would have boiled out of my body. There is no gift, talent, or position given by God, to His children, that He does not intend to be used to His glory and for the increase of His Kingdom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get that through your Head!!!

If I tried to tell you all of the junk that Christians have told me over the past three years, I think my heart would pop. Iím glad that Iím often forced to remember my own stupidity. I remember when I did not look to God to know what He expected of me.

I have found that what God expects is Christ. Because I cannot achieve that, for faith, He has given me Christ. As often as I remember, if I am wise, I will return to this knowledge to see again that I do not measure up and that it is God who is the giver of my salvation, my life, my freedom, and my purpose.

When Christians do not look to God to find out who they really are they will inevitably turn to the world and take up its definitions and measures of life.

Study God! Study the Word! Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together because love and relationship require time. Share and live the Gospel of Jesus as one who is always looking to God in all things. Be diligent to uphold these things in your church and you will see growth. There will be maturity and new Christians added if we will be resolved to be measured and defined by God. Who is willing to ask God to show them what He sees when He looks at them? Are you?!

Give ALL To God,
ISDAMan