How Deeply Do We Christians Really Care About Global Missions?

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How Deeply Do We Christians Really Care About Global Missions?

This is a parable about how we so often focus in certain areas with the Gospel and yet we neglect the vast majority of the people in the world. Years ago someone told me, “The Good news of the Gospel is ONLY Good news IF it reaches them in time. I believe this old story from 1979 should shed light on the Churches failure to reach the Unreached.

 This is a Mission’s Parable about Lost People and Putting Global Evangelism Statistics and Numbers in Perspective.

  

   Are you familiar with the parable Jesus told about the lost sheep? Here’s one on a similar note except that it’s about the RUINED apples from a potentially PLENTIFUL harvest.

    Once upon a time, there was an apple grower who had acres and acres of apple trees. In all, he had 10,000 acres of apple orchards.   One day he went to the nearby town. There, he hired 1,000 apple pickers. He told them:

   “Go to my orchards. Harvest the ripe apples, and build storage buildings for them so that they will not spoil. I need to be gone for a while, but I will provide all you will need to complete the task. When I return, I will reward you for your work.”

    “I’ll set up a Society for the Picking of Apples. The Society — to which you will all belong — will be responsible for the entire operation. Naturally, in addition to those of you doing the actual harvesting, some will carry supplies, others will care for the physical needs of the group, and still others will have administrative responsibilities.”

    As he set up the Society structure, some people volunteered to be pickers and others to be packers. Others put their skills to work as truck drivers, cooks, accountants, storehouse builders, apple inspectors and even administrators. Every one of his workers could, of course, have picked apples. In the end, however, only 100 of the 1,000 employees wound up as full-time pickers.

    The 100 pickers started harvesting immediately. Ninety-four of them began picking around the homestead, (Local Missions). The remaining six looked out toward the horizon, (Global Missions). They decided to head out to the far-away orchards.

    Before long, the storehouses in the 800 acres immediately surrounding the homestead had been filled by the 94 pickers with beautiful, delicious apples. The orchards on the 800 acres around the homestead had thousands of apple trees. But with almost all of the pickers concentrating on them, those trees were soon picked nearly bare. In fact, the ninety-four apple pickers working around the homestead began having difficulty finding trees which had not been picked

  As the apple picking slowed down around the homestead, Society members began channeling effort into building larger storehouses and developing better equipment for picking and packing. They even started some schools to train prospective apple pickers to replace those who one day would be too old to pick apples.

  Sadly, those ninety-four pickers working around the homestead began fighting among themselves. Incredible as it may sound, some began stealing apples that had already been picked. Although there were enough trees on the 10,000 acres to keep every available worker busy, those working nearest the homestead FAILED to move into unharvested areas. They just kept working those 800 acres nearest the house. Some on the northern edge sent their trucks to get apples on the southern side. And those on the south side sent their trucks to gather on the east side.

    Even with all that activity, the harvest on the remaining 9,200 acres was left to just six pickers. Those six were, of course, far too few to gather all the ripe fruit in those thousands of acres. So, by the hundreds of thousands, apples rotted on the trees and fell to the ground.
     One of the students at the apple-picking school showed a special talent for picking apples quickly and effectively. When he heard about the thousands of acres of untouched faraway orchards, he started talking about going there.

    His friends discouraged him. They said: “Your talents and abilities make you very valuable around the homestead. You’d be wasting your talents out there. Your gifts can help us harvest apples from the trees on our central 800 acres more rapidly. That will give us more time to build bigger and better storehouses. Perhaps you could even help us devise better ways to use our big storehouses since we have wound up with more space than we need for the present crop of apples.”

    With so many workers and so few trees, the pickers and packers and truck drivers — and all the rest of the Society for the Picking of Apples living around the homestead — had time for more than just picking apples.

    They built nice houses and raised their standard of living. Some became very conscious of clothing styles. Thus, when the six pickers from the far-off orchards returned to the homestead for a visit, it was apparent that they were not keeping up with the styles in vogue with the other apple pickers and packers.

    To be sure, those on the homestead were always good to those six who worked in the far away orchards. When any of those six returned from the far away fields, they were given the red carpet treatment. Nonetheless, those six pickers were saddened that the Society of the Picking of Apples spent 96 percent of its budget for bigger and better apple-picking methods and equipment and personnel for the 800 acres around the homestead while it spent only 4 percent of its budget on all those distant orchards.

    To be sure, those six pickers knew that an apple is an apple wherever it may be picked. They knew that the apples around the homestead were just as important as apples far away. Still, they could not erase from their minds the sight of thousands of trees which had never been touched by a picker, (This is the DEEP, DEEP burden on my heart.  People in the MILLIONS are dropping into hell without EVER hearing the Gospel.  Oh my soul is so heavy as I look into the faces of those people whose countries i try to evangelize.  Don’t they deserve a chance to hear the Gospel at least once?).

    They longed for more pickers to come help them. They longed for help from packers, truck drivers, supervisors, equipment-maintenance men, and ladder builders. They wondered if the professionals working back around the homestead could teach them better apple-picking methods so that, out where they worked, fewer apples would rot and fall to the ground.

    Those six sometimes wondered to themselves whether or not the Society for the Picking of Apples was doing what the orchard owner had asked it to do.

    While one might question whether the Society was doing all the owner wanted done, the members did keep very busy. Several members were convinced that proper apple picking requires nothing less than the very best equipment. Thus, the Society assigned several members to develop bigger and better ladders as well as nicer boxes to store apples. The Society also prided itself at having raised the qualification level for full-time apple pickers.

    When the owner returns, the Society members will crowd around him. They’ll proudly show off the bigger and better ladders they’ve built and the nice apple boxes they’ve designed and made. One wonders how happy that owner will be, however, when he looks out and sees the acres and acres of untouched trees with their unpicked apples.

Original version appeared in Let’s Quit Kidding Ourselves About Missions, Moody Press. © 1979 by The Moody Bible Institute. Edited and revised by Howard Culbertson.

My Dear Friends, “Untold Billions REMAIN Untold”

 

What will you do more than what you are currently doing to reach the World for Jesus Christ?  Please email me at JimKilgoreMinistries@gmail.com  We are Going Global with the Gospel!       

Please visit our Mission’s Ministry page at https://www.facebook.com/JimKilgoreMinistries

 

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HOW CAN WE DO MORE FOR MISSIONS? Understanding Faith Promise Mission’s Giving

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HOW CAN WE DO MORE FOR MISSIONS?   Understanding Faith Promise Mission’s Giving

 

How can we increase our ability to do more for missions? How can we do our part to send more Missionaries to the field so they can start winning souls?   How can we “find the money” to support missions?     These are questions that good Pastors and Church leaders are asking continually.

So often these good Pastors are requested by many good, sound, and Biblical Missionaries to come and present their ministries to their Churches.   More often than not, this is the dreaded reply, “Brother, I would LOVE to have you, but we are experiencing tough times and we simply do not have any extra money for missions. As a matter of fact, we are struggling to maintain support for the ones we already have committed to.”

I am sure that most of these Pastors are troubled with telling us Missionaries these facts. So what is the solution? When I was a pastor I held a Faith promise Mission’s Conference each year. The results were amazing. Each year we were able to do two things. First, we were able to increase the support of our existing Missionaries (many Missionaries lose a lot of support while they are on the field), and we were able to ADD new missionaries to our Mission’s Team.

On my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/jim.kilgore1), I raised a heart-searching question that I think is vital for missions advancement.

Two Crucial Questions to Ask of Yourself, and of Your Church

 

*   What exactly are YOU and your Church doing for Global missions?

*   Second, have you increased your efforts for Global Missions in 2015 from 2014?

 

The way this can happen is by holding Yearly Faith Promise Mission’s Conferences. This did so much spiritually for our Churches.   Tithes increased as people learned the Biblical basis for giving; Mission’s dollars dramatically increased year after year; and even our offerings increased as a result of our faith Promise Mission’s Conferences. A side benefit was that our Churches came as close to revival after such a meeting as ANY meeting we ever had on our yearly calendar.

FAITH PROMISE GIVING is relatively new to some Christians and many people have misunderstandings about its meaning.  In this study, we will teach on the Biblical basis of faith promise missions and answer some key questions that people have asked. Hopefully, this will prove of assistance to all.

 

WHAT IS FAITH PROMISE GIVING?

Answer: Faith Promise Giving is trusting God, by faith, to enable you to give extra money, above your tithe, to the mission program of your church.

 

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF FAITH PROMISE GIVING?

Answer: According to II Corinthians 10:15-16, it accomplishes a 3-fold purpose.

     *   It increases the faith of the believer and the church body collectively.

     *  It enlarges the mission outreach of the church accordingly

     *  It reaches more people with the gospel of Jesus Christ that are in the regions beyond.

 

HOW DOES FAITH PROMISE GIVING WORK?

Answer: God gives us the plan of Faith Promise Giving in II Corinthians 9:6-10.   This is it. You pray and ask God how much He would have you to trust Him to give to the work of missions. As God impresses a certain amount upon your heart that He would like to give through you, then you promise to give that amount by faith. THAT IS FAITH PROMISE GIVING!! The promise is found in  II Corinthians 9:6, “He that soweth sparingly, shall reap also sparingly, but he that soweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully.” In verse 8, God said, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound in every good work.” God will simply use you as a channel in order to give what He would have you give to the work of world-wide evangelization through your church.

 

WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FAITH PROMISE AND TITHING?

Answer: Tithes are taught in the Bible and are based upon your known income; they are to go to the work of the local church. A FAITH PROMISE GIFT is NOT your tithe nor part of your tithe. FAITH PROMISE GIVING is letting God use you as a channel to place extra money into His work!  You ask God how much HE wants You to trust Him to provide through You.  When He places the amount upon your heart, you make your promise to Him by faith!!! New participants can start at any level.

[Involvement is what is most important. Even if only a small amount per week, you are doing something regularly for worldwide missions!  HOWEVER: You shouldn’t give to Faith Promise unless you are first tithing.]

 

WHAT IS THE BIBLICAL BASIS FOR FAITH PROMISE GIVING?

Answer: In II Corinthians 8 and 9, we find the principle of giving by faith. It is referred to as a grace. II Corinthians 8:3 says they gave “to their power” and then “beyond their power”. “To their power” refers to the regular tithe. “Beyond their power” refers to giving more than they could afford or beyond their limits of ability. They gave and trusted God to supply “all their needs” II Corinthians 9:8.

 

IS A FAITH PROMISE GIVING A COMMITMENT CARD THAT IS SIGNED?

Answer: NO. A commitment is made between you, your church, and God. Once you make that commitment, you are obligated to fulfill it. The Faith Promise is made between you and God and the only person who will knock on your door is God. No attempt is made to collect a FAITH PROMISE. It is a matter between you and God.

 

HOW DO I MAKE A FAITH PROMISE COMMITMENT TO JESUS CHRIST?

Answer: Faith Promises are usually made at the close of the mission’s conference. After praying about it, each person marks the amount (weekly) that they feel God wants to give through them. These cards are turned in unsigned and are used by the church only to determine how to plan the giving for the coming year. Do not ask others how much they give.

 

WHEN SHOULD I GIVE MY FAITH PROMISE? BY THE WEEK OR WAIT UNTIL GOD GIVES IT TO ME?

Answer: Scripture teaches us that we should purpose in our heart and then we should so give. Paul says that it is giving by faith and trusting God to meet your needs. Luke 6:38 says, “Give and it shall be given unto you; Good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, shall men give unto your bosom. For with the same measure that you mete withal, it shall be measured to you again.”

 

Faith Promise Giving Causes One’s Faith in God’s Ability to Increase

 

It motivates the believer to trust God more in every phase of their lives. It leads to the kind of faith that says to the mountain, “Be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea, and it shall be done.” “Should I try Faith Promise Giving?” God invites you to experiment. II Corinthians 9:13 says, “While by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God…unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto ALL MEN.”  

 

You Can Help Us Reach the World for Christ Through Faith Promise Missions Giving

For those who have already been involved and are continuing a pledge: the challenge each year is to grow in faith. Please consider an increase in your promise for the sake of lost souls, and as a step of ever increasing faith!

I would encourage you to prayerfully consider what God might have you to do, as a Church, or as a Christian that believes in starting Churches in many different countries across the world.  

 You may help support this ministry, and the pastors starting churches with us by following this link to our website and going directly to our “Contribution’s Tab.” 

www.JimKilgoreMinistries.com.

 

Then you may support this ministry and or support a National Preacher.   We need your help to start more Churches.  

In early 2015, a Pakistani Evangelist told me that he had 100 men that feared no one but Jesus Christ, and who would live for soul-winning and starting Churches ready for my word to assist this ministry. I need YOUR financial assistance to move forward in a country that is 96.4% Muslim.

 

Will you help us today to reach those that are not being reached for Jesus Christ? We have an open door, but doors in these countries do not remain open long. NOW is the time to walk through this door in Pakistan.  

Again, please visit us at:   www.JimKilgoreMinistries.com.

 

 

Untold Billions REMAIN Untold

Revival: We Will Pray, or We Will Fail!

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Revival:  We Will Pray, or We Will Fail!


Psalm 85:6 is a prayer for revival.  It asked God, “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?

I firmly believe that America needs a revival.  You need a revival.  I need a revival; Our Churches are in desperate need of a revival.  Most families are in dire need of a revival. We need revival! We must have revival! Revival is no longer an option.  It is something we must have!

 

Questions Each Christian Must Seriously Ask and Answer
 
  • Do you REALLY want to have a revival? 
 
  • Are you willing to pay the price to obtain a Heaven-sent revival?
 
  •  Are you willing to humble yourself, and pray, and seek His face, and turn from your wicked ways? (II Chronicles 7:14).
 
  •  Are you willing to allow the Holy Spirit to perform spiritual surgery upon your proud, and independent heart?  
 
  • Are you willing to submit to the painful process of Biblical repentance of allowing the Holy Spirit to Break up your Fallow ground?   

Hosea 10:12:
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. “  Fallow ground is ground which at one time was fruitful, and productive.  But over the years a certain hardness has settled into the soil and now the ground is barren and fruitless. This is the true condition of most of our hearts, my fellow Christian.   If we REALLY want to have revival, we must start his process individually before it can sweep across America Nationally.  We can no longer say that America is sinful until we see the exceeding sinfulness of our own person sin that has contributed to the demise of this GREAT Country (Romans 7:13).
Some Are Questioning, Will God Send a Revival to America?
 
The answer is an emphatic ‘YES’.  God can, and will send revival when you and I are willing to pay the price to obtain one. 

There Are Many Reasons Why God Has Withheld Revival From America

 

1.  The reason we’re not having revival may be that we have not been praying for one.  Or, if we are praying for a revival, are we praying with the faith to believe that God ‘Can’ send the revival we so desperately need?  James 4:2 reminds us that “we have not because we ask not.”

 2.   James has taught us that when we pray.” we must ask in faith, nothing wavering…    (James 1:5-8).  1 John 5:14,And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”  We know that it is God’s will to send revival, so we may ask boldly and confidently, expecting God to grant our desire, (Psalm 37:4). 
 
3.   And yet is still possible to ask, and to even ask in faith, yet not obtain.   James 4:3 makes this very clear, “Ye ask , and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”  This is simply praying with selfish motives.   In revival we need to be concerned about the Glory of God and not so life will be easier for us as believers in America. 
        At this point, I want to ask you, why do you want to have a revival?  What are your real reasons for desiring revival?  What are your motives for seeking revival?
4.     Sin will prevent God from doing that which is obviously His will to do, which in this case, is to send a revival to us.     

God said to Moses, after he had heard the cry of Israel in bondage, Exodus 3:7 And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows.”
Yet years later, speaking this time through the Prophet Isaiah,  but about the same people, God had this to say about their prayers:  “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear,”  Isaiah 59:2.    
We must now take time to do what David did in Psalm 139:23-24 and invite the Holy Spirit to search (ransack)  our hearts and for Him to reveal any and all of the wickedness in our hearts.Here we see the position of God with regards to the prayers of his chosen people Israel, both prayers were made by his people, and it was a cry unto the Lord, but we see God being favorably disposed to one, while to the other one he hid his face.For every prayer that is presented, God, who is the Omnipotent one has the ability, the power and the resources to fulfill them (Philippians 4:19, Jeremiah 32:27). 
But such prayers must first of all get his attention. Even the enemy of our soul knows this simple truth, and this is why his attack on the prayer life and the prayers of believers is either to get them out of their prayer closet through discouragement, or simply to set up road blocks in order to intercept and derail their prayers.So our job is to remove those barriers and clear the way for God to listen to, and then move in response to our prayers.  James 5:15 has reminded the believer that  “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”   We need to have prevailing prayer which is prayer that gets that which is asked of God.
 
In a revival, the hearts of God’s people are broken in repentance and genuine humility, the Lord’s people come together in love and service, and the Lord’s work of ministry, giving, witnessing, and missionary activity moves forward at lightning speed.

Oh may we all pray this prayer so fervently, and yet so sincerely from the depths of our hearts:

Lord, Send a Revival,
Lord, Send a Revival,
Lord, Send a Revival,
And let it begin in me.

A friend of mine in Alaska and I have recently started a new Facebook Group Page athttps://www.facebook.com/groups/1604847593061820/),  which we have called: “We MUST Have Revival in America.”  You may join us by hitting Like on our page.  We will keep you informed on topics concerning revival and updates on what is happening across America.

Christian, Know Your Enemy

 

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Christian, Know Your Enemy

I Peter 5:8, “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

The Child of God must come to terms with a truth that is of paramount importance. The Christian life is not a playground, it’s a battleground. The Christian is a very definite target in the center of the battlefield, and yet most aren’t even aware that there’s a spiritual war going on. We have an enemy to face every day that we live.

Our greatest adversary, Satan, is on a mission to destroy God’s people and discredit the Cause of Christ. He is as a roaring lion and not as some playful pet. He wants to devour you, so you must be aware and alert at all times. 

Paul, in writing to the Church at Ephesus warned: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,” (Ephesian 5:15).  But who is this enemy hat has waged war on the Believer? 

 

Three Facts About Your Enemy

 

First, Ezekiel 28 makes it clear that Lucifer was a Created being, an angel, given the assignment of guarding the mountain of God, and had somewhat to do with music. He is created, and thus is limited. He is not like God. He is not all knowing, all powerful, and cannot be every at the same, as can God.

Second, Satan is not only a Created being, but he became a Corrupted being.  Ezekiel 28:15,  “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”  Ezekiel 28:17  “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness… “    He is a fallen powerful angel who led a rebellion of a third of the angels of Heaven and now seeks to destroy all that is good and God ordained.

 

Finally, Satan is also a Condemned being.  Ezekiel 28:16, “I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God…”   Isaiah 14:15: “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

As a believer, you have a choice to make. You may choose to live a life of victory, or you may choose to live your life in defeat.  Satan’s goal is to have the Christian live a life of continual defeat.

 

WHAT IS A DEFEATED LIFE?

 

  • It is a life without fruit. We are commanded by the Lord to bear fruit. Jesus said, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:8).

 

  • It is a life without power. If the power were present, the life would not be defeated. Jesus said, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me. . .” (Acts 1:8).

 

  • It is a life dominated by the flesh. The Corinthians were defeated Christians. Paul called them “babes in Christ.” They were carnal, not spiritual.

 

  • It is a life directed at times, by Satan. Are you saying that a Christian’s life is never directed by the evil one? If so, you are speaking against the Word of God. Simon Peter said to Christians, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. “—I Peter 5:8,9.”

 

The defeated life is dominated by the world, the flesh and the Devil. These are the three enemies that work for the constant defeat of a Christian. The devil will continue to put pressure on in different forms. He does this in three ways.

 

Christians Must Understand How Satan Uses Two Main Tactics to Defeat Them

 

Our EXTERNAL enemy is the World, society apart from God. Our world is in no way friendly to the cause of Christ. Rather, Christians are viewed by the world as the problem, not the solution. The world caters to the lust of our flesh, our eyes, and pride. Media caters to these three, as does entertainment, and certainly advertisers.

One fast-food chain in America desires to appeal to what they call, “Thee Young Hungry Guy (YHG).   Their target in advertising are the men ages 18-40. Therefore, in their attempt to draw them into their restaurants, they often use semi-nude women in their commercials, who at times moving around with sexual gyrations to capture the interest of this ‘YHG’. This is what our External enemy does.

 

Our INTERNAL enemy is our Flesh, the old sin nature. Once we got saved, the Spirit of God came to live within us (Romans 8:9), and now there’s a war going on inside us! The battle is over control of the new Believer. Our text states that each Christians faces the world, the flesh, and the devil. Let me describe our enemies in the following manner:

The lust of the flesh is an overwhelming desire to do something. The devil preys on the Christian’s mind here. Paul said, what I want to do I don’t do, and what I don’t want to do I find myself doing!   The pride of life is an overwhelming desire to be someone or something. The devil preys on the Christian’s emotions here. The lust of the eyes is an overwhelming desire to have something.

The Devil preys on the Christian’s will here. So Satan focus on the Christian’s mind, will, and emotions in order to defeat him. Satan knows that he cannot take away a Christian’s salvation, for this is an Eternal transaction (Romans 6:23; Matthew 19:16; John 3:15-16; John 10:28; Titus 1:2). Therefore, he goes after the next best thing, the Christian’s testimony.   This is what Paul seemed to fear in I Corinthians 9:27 when he penned these words, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

 

Our INFERNAL enemy is the Devil. He’s real, he’s on the earth, and he has quite a following, both demonic and human, (I Peter 5:8).

 

Avoiding Two Common Mistakes as You Deal with the Devil

 

First, do not maximize his influence. Don’t pin everything on him. Satan can tempt, but he cannot FORCE you to do anything against your will. Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Second, do not make the mistake of minimizing his influence. Many Christians become easy prey because of ignorance of the devil’s devices. He does not possess the same powers as God. He is powerful, but he is limited.

 

 The first time Jesus came to earth, there was a flurry of demonic activity everywhere. And Jesus is coming again, and Satan knows his days are numbered, and his time is short. No wonder the Bible predicts another big surge of demonic activity, increasing up to the end! His eventual fate is sealed. Revelation 20:10 makes it very clear where the Devil will spend his eternity, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

 

 

 

The News You Never Expected To Hear: Allowing God To Walk You Through The Devastation!

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The News You Never Expected To Hear:  Allowing God To Walk

You Through The Devastation!

(Part Two of Two)

 

Facing devastation, tragedy, catastrophic situations of any kind, can be extremely difficult. But in the midst of heartache and pain, you can find the hope and courage to go on. With God’s help, and the encouragement found in the Bible, you will receive the necessary strength to overcome.

You may be thinking, I just do not believe that I can get through this. How will I be able to possibly face this devastation?  This can trigger a series of emotions fear, depression, even feelings of despair. 

Questions may inevitably begin racing through your mind.  Why me God?  God why has this happened to me?  To my Family?  Why at this time of our lives?  God, will I die from this?  Is there any possible way that we can recover from this grave set of circumstances?  What will happen to my family if I do die?  How will they be cared for?  

Each one of these questions were honest questions that my wife Cathy and I had to ask during the early days of our hearing the news that we never thought that we would ever hear.  As I said before, she never once complained about what God allowed to come into her life for her, her concern was always for me and the three children.  

God Never does anything TO us; God Always did things FOR us

 Cathy knew that God Never did anything TO us; God was Always doing things FOR us.  She knew that God would have a clear purpose in allowing cancer to strike her body.  She refused to resist and fight God.  II Corinthians 4:8-9 was a great comfort to her.  “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”

Her faith was completely in the one that able to deliver her if it would His will, yet she had the attitude of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:20-21. “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.  For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”  She wanted to live, as we all do.  Yet she was focused on her eternal life with Jesus Christ.  No, you could not threaten her with heaven! 

You must focus on God’s Promises rather than Man’s Explanations

No one really knows why God has allowed this tragedy to enter into your life. Like Job’s friends some might say it is because of some sin that you are being punished for.

I have learned in my nearly 45 years of being a Christian that I cannot live by mere explanations, I must have Promises from God’s Word to comfort and encourage me as I pass through the deep waters of life. Explanations have little value by way of satisfying the soul, yet promises are what will sustain you you’re your darkest moments. Let us take note of some precious, yet very powerful promises from God’s Word.

1.  You must understand that nothing takes God by surprise. He Sees and Understands Your Pain.   

  •  Psalm 34:15: “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” If God’s eye is on the sparrow, He’s most certainly watching you, watching your every step, feeling your deep hurt, ready to walk you through the devastation.
  • Isaiah 43:2-3 reminds us, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned ; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.”

2.  You must understand that God invites you to pour out your heart and soul unto Him.

  • Hebrews 4:16; “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  God invites you to approach Him boldly, or confidently.  He promised that at his throne of Grace that he will provide you with the grace you need to help in your time of need.
  • Psalm 34:17, “The righteous cry , and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.”
  • Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
  • Jeremiah 29:13: “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

What wonderful and precious promises we have before us. As someone once said, “God’s Word provides a soft pillow for our troubled hearts.” You’re probably hurting so badly that all you really want to do is cry. And that’s okay! Even the Lord Jesus Christ wept when faced with the tragedy and sorrow of death (John 11:35). He was so deeply moved within because of the sorrow resulting from Lazarus’ death that He began to weep.

3. You must understand that while friends and family may Help, you must recognize that God is Your Real Hope.     Psalm 73:26 reminds us, “My flesh and my heart faileth : but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.”

When you consider all that you are facing, ask yourself, “Is there anything too hard for God?” (Jeremiah 32:17). Absolutely nothing! No matter what is going on in your life, you can trust that He is in control, and is working everything out for your good (Romans 8:28).

When you wake up in the morning and wonder how you will face the day, God is working it out. When you wonder how you can get through and overcome this difficult time, God is working it out. And when you lay down at night, wondering how you will face the challenges of tomorrow, whatever they may be, God is already working it out. God knows intimately the concerns of your heart (Psalm 139:1-3), and can provide all the peace, strength, and courage you need. So don’t give up! Confidently hope in Him. Hope … and persevere!

You must focus on asking the Right Questions of God

 1. God, how can I use these devastating circumstances to truly Glorify you? Matthew 5:16 exhorts us to, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” I Corinthians 10:31 states, “Whether therefore ye eat , or drink , or whatsoever ye do , do all to the glory of God.”       This takes the focus off of us and places our focus where it rightly belongs, focusing on God.

2. God, what are you trying to teach me from this adversity?

3. God, how can I use this these upsetting circumstances to become a blessing to others? A song I often sing as I face dark dismal days is the hymn, “Others.”

Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be,
Help me to live for others,
That I may live like Thee.

4. God, are you trying to provide me with a new ministry?  In 1939, Dr. Bill Rice and his wife Cathy had their baby girl, Betty, became gravely ill with spinal meningitis. Betty survived a close call but lost her hearing as a result of the high fever.

In the following years, Dr. Bill preached the gospel across the country, but even his own daughter could not hear it. The Rices were dismayed that they could find no one who could help them communicate the gospel to Betty. So, with the aid of pictures and a black board, Cathy Rice began to teach her daughter the Bible, beginning with the creation story and culminating with the gift of God’s Son.

God used Betty’s salvation to open their eyes to the great need of unreached deaf people across the country. The Lord convinced them that if they had a burden to reach deaf people, they should do something about it. They would reach out to the Deaf as they “did the work of an evangelist” in churches across the country.

This is a great example of allowing God to use your devastation for HIS glory. God does have His reasons for allowing adversity in our lives (Romans 8:28-29). Our role is to work with God rather than against his plan in our problems.

Many years ago a little girl was totally blind. She was blinded as an infant as the result of an accident. She lived to be over 90 years old. She became well-known in the American church. She wrote many popular Christian songs and choruses. Her name was Fanny Crosby. When she was only eight years old, she wrote:

Oh, what a happy child I am, although I cannot see.
I am resolved that in this world, contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy that other people don’t.
To weep and sigh because I’m blind–I cannot and I won’t.

The News You Never Expected To Hear: Allowing God To Walk You Through The Devastation!

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The News You Never Expected To Hear:  Allowing God

To Walk You Through The Devastation!

Part One of Two

Facing devastation, tragedy, catastrophic situations of any kind, can be extremely difficult. But in the midst of heartache and pain, you can find the hope and courage to go on. With God’s help, the help of caring family members and friends, and the encouragement found in the Bible and other resources, you will receive the necessary strength to overcome.

You may be thinking, I don’t know how I could ever get through this. Or you may be battling powerful feelings of despair, suffering, confusion, fear, worry, and even anger. These are all normal responses to tragedy.

The First News That I NEVER Expected To Hear

The words that my wife and I NEVER expected to hear came during 1991. My wife was doing a breast exam and was shocked to feel a lump during her examination. Needless to say, it was the longest night of our lives.

The next day, Cathy called the doctor, and scheduled her appointment. They got her in and a few days later the results of the testing came in. We were at home together when the telephone rang. It was someone from the doctor’s office.

I was standing close by waiting for Cathy to relay the report that all was well. Then I saw a look of absolute horrific look that paralyzed her face. Then there was a blood-curdling scream that came from my wife as she dropped the phone, and stumbled back six feet, hitting the wall, then sliding to the floor in obvious agony of soul.

The news that she had just been told was, “Mrs. Kilgore, you have Cancer!” Oh my, our lives were about to be changed forever. This was definitely news that we NEVER expected to hear at a relative young age of 37. My wife handled the news, after this initial shock in a way that I can only wish that I would had. She was my life.

Cathy truly honored and glorified the name of Jesus Christ each step of the way following this life-changing news. She never once uttered a word of complaint against God not doubted God’s love and personal care to her. Her faith was unshakable! She became a exceptional example for our children, and myself as to how to allow God to walk a person through the devastation that enters into their life.

Was it difficult? Absolutely. Was it hard on her? Unquestionably! But as difficult as this life storm was for Cathy, as well as your current circumstances, please remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! God is with you always. Hebrews 13:5 says, “…for he hath said , I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Jesus Christ loves you, and He cares about what is going on in your life. He hears your cries; He sees your pain; He understands your fears. Moreover, God is very near to those that are of a broken heart. Psalm 34:18: “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”

You Must Focus on God’s Promises Rather than Man’s Explanations

No one really knows why God has allowed this tragedy to enter into your life. Like Job’s friends some might say it is because of some sin that you are being punished for.  I have learned in my nearly 45 years of being a Christian that I cannot live by mere explanations, I must have Promises from God’s Word to comfort and encourage me as I pass through the deep waters of life. Explanations have little value by way of satisfying the soul, yet promises are what will sustain you you’re your darkest moments. Let us take note of some precious, yet very powerful promises from God’s Word.

1.  You must understand that nothing takes God by surprise. He Sees and Understands Your Pain.    Psalm 34:15: “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” If God’s eye is on the sparrow, He’s most certainly watching you, watching your every step, feeling your deep hurt, ready to walk you through the devastation.
Isaiah 43:2-3 reminds us, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned ; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.”

You may be wondering, Who can rescue me from this? Be encouraged! Even in the deepest of waters, God promises to be with the one who trusts in Him. He alone can truly rescue you and keep you from drowning.

Just as Jesus rescued Peter when He invited him to walk on water in the midst of a storm (Matthew 14:22-33). At first, Peter trusted Jesus and joined Him on the water, but as soon as he began to focus on the storm, and give in to the fear of it, he began to sink. Still, when he cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 12:30), Jesus stretched out His hand and rescued Peter.

What a great encouragement this should be to you today! Jeremiah 32:27 asks the question that perhaps you are now asking, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?” The answer is found in Jeremiah 32:17: “Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:” There is Absolutely NOTHING too hard for our God to do!

He can rescue you too from the deep water of despair! Jesus can still do the seemingly impossible! Matthew 19:26: “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

When you feel as though you are sinking deep in your sea of devastation, please look to the One that Walks on Water!

Untold Billions REMAIN Untold: A Case For Global Evangelism!

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Untold Billions REMAIN Untold: A Case of Global Evangelism!

 

The unreached are dying without ever hearing the good news! Why? Romans 10 provides the Biblical basis for our vast failure. Romans 10:12-15: “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 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!”

Consider the Following Facts About Missions

The facts I am quoting come from a great missionary Book, written by my friend, Jon Nelms. The book is titled: “The Great Omission.”   He says on pages 53 and 54 the following: “This planet, at least in missionary terms, has been divided into what is called “The Three Worlds”: World A, World B, and you guessed it–World C. Allow me to define them:

World A

• The truly “unreached world” of people who have never even heard the name of Jesus.
• Percentage of the global population: 28 percent.
• Percentage of missionaries targeting World A: 2.5 percent.

World B

• The “unevangelized world” of people who have limited access to the Gospel but are not yet considered Christian nations. The Gospel has penetrated their borders but has not reached the majority of the people. Given time, the majority of the people will be reached—perhaps within two or three generations.
• Percentage of the global population: 39 percent.
• Percentage of missionaries targeting World B 17.5 percent.

World C

• The “evangelized world” of people who have full and unrestricted access to the Gospel, regardless of whether or not they choose to hear or accept it.
• Percentage of the global population: 33 percent.
• Percentage of missionaries targeting World C: 80 percent.”

Does God still love the Lost? Has He changed or abandoned His plan for Global Evangelism? These are obviously rhetorical questions. God loves the World and every single person in it. He desires that all might hear the truth of the Gospel. God desires that EVERY person know that there is only one way to Heaven, and this way is ONLY through His Son, Jesus Christ. John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Acts 4:12 likewise makes this very clear, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved .”

Amazing Statistics Showing the Trail of Those Trying To Get To the Field

The last 15 years has revealed a 50% reduction in Americans ENTERING the mission force. “Of those who answered the call, 43% NEVER completed fund-raising “deputation.” WHY? There are many “Reasons.” Sometimes the Missionary grows frustrated and discouraged by what they face while on deputation. 75% of those who made it to the field came home within three years, and only 17 of every 100 who began the process, actually arrived and remained,” Gil Anger, Researcher. This of course greatly concerns me.

Yet, the latest estimates suggest that approximately 7,000 people groups are considered unreached. That means over 43% of the world’s people groups have no indigenous community of believing Christians able to evangelize the rest of their people group. Over 41% of the world’s population live in these over 7,000 people groups.

It is important to note that this does not mean every individual within an unreached people group has never heard of Jesus or understood the message of salvation. There is often a small percentage (less than 2%) Christ-followers in these groups, but the vast majority of the group has minimal, if any, exposure to the person of Jesus Christ and the Good News of God’s free gift of salvation.

In spite of lots of excitement about large numbers coming to Christ around the world, the fact is that 25% of the world which historically has had little or no contact with the gospel, (made up of mostly Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists) has not changed, and is not anticipated to change, unless something changes in the way we do things. The reasons for this are numerous, but the following statistics surely have something to do with it:

• “Only 2-4% of Christian Missionaries go to serve the 2 billion least reached”
• “Of foreign mission funding: 87% goes for work among those already Christian, 12% for work among already evangelized, but Non-Christian, 1% for work among the unevangelized and *unreached people. (Baxter 2007, 12).

Why Are So Few God-Called Missionaries, Actually Getting To the Field?

The easy answer is that they were probably never called in the first place. Or, that it “must not” had REALLY been “God’s will” for the Missionary to go in the first place. Really? Are we truly serious by accepting these shallow explanations? Let me share some of the “reality” that faces the average missionary trying his best to get to the place of God’s calling.

Missionaries often face an avalanche of non-returned phone calls while seeking to introduce themselves, and their ministry. Of the relatively small amount of those reached, there is an overwhelming number of church leadership that will immediately say, “Brother, I would love to help you, but the economy is tight and we just cannot take on any more missionaries.” A Missionary simply wants the opportunity to come and share God’s calling for their life.

Our ministry is a Global ministry in which we travel all over the world, evangelizing, and we then start Churches from those saved. Last year God graciously allowed us to also help start two Bible Colleges as well. I can truly say, that without generous support, and those that are giving financially each month that this type of ministry would not be possible. God knows how to bring people together to accomplish HIS ministry.

I thank God that He has provided different Churches and Families that have helped me get to the field to win souls. They have come from the most unexpected sources. Three Families from Indiana and Georgia have purchased flight tickets and most, if not all the expenses of the Missionary Journeys. At other times, Sunday School classes from our sending church have raised money. We have a few different individuals that faithfully give each month, as well as three Churches. At other times, a one-time gift that was exactly what we needed was given to make the difference. We have even had three Facebook friends faithfully assist our ministry as they are able. Truly I can say as one great missionary once said, “God’s work, done in God’s way, will not lack supply.”

Missionaries are so varied in their looks, schooling, and church size they are coming from. Even their personalities are diverse. Some are shy and introverted, which may actually become a barrier in getting selected to share their call in a church. While others are very out-going and extroverted and may find a much easier time to receive “the invitation” to present their calling in a local church. Yet God is able to use us all for His Glory!

Yes, God uses many different personalities in missions and ministry. He used Peter that was quite the extrovert, while using Moses that had a speech impediment. He used a Jack Hyles that was often loud and highly motivating, yet he used a Jonathan Edwards that was a man that had poor eyesight and held his sermons close to his eyes as he read them. All were greatly used of God, yet we may make a decision to have or not to have a Missionary based on his personality.

No missionary I know of, is expecting a church to completely understand their exact calling, or be as ecstatic and exhilarated as they are with the call. However, they do expect each local church to give prayerful consideration of this calling, so they might present the need and their call.

The Great Commission has long become the Great Omission! Imagine the shame Hudson Taylor felt when a new Chinese convert raised the question, “how long ago did you say Jesus died??? NONE of my ancestors had ANY idea.”   This is completely unacceptable and we must ALL work together to reach the World for Jesus Christ!

We That Possess the Truth MUST Become Possessed By the Truth

 Here is what the Bible teaches that we must allow our hearts and minds to become possessed with, as we strive TOGETHER to win the multitudes to Jesus Christ.

1. We must really believe that all people are sinners. Romans 3:10; 3:23.

2. We must really believe that all people deserve to die and go to hell. Romans 6:23.

3. We must really believe that Jesus Christ died in every person’s place, shed His blood as the only payment of man’s sin, died, and was buried, and three days later, Jesus rose from the grave. Hebrews 9:22, I Corinthians 15:1-4.

4. We must really believe that Jesus Christ desires every single person to hear the Gospel and come to salvation which is only through him. II Peter 3:9; I Timothy 2;4; I John 2:2.

5. We must really believe that God has called each Church and Christian to take this Gospel of Salvation and teach it to the World. Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; John 20:21; Acts 1:8.

6. We must really believe that if any person will come to Jesus Christ, that He will saved them and take them to Heaven. John 3:16-18; Romans 10:9-13; I Timothy 1:15.

7. We must really believe that EVERY one without Jesus Christ WILL spend eternity apart from Jesus in the Lake of Fire. Revelation 21:8; Revelation 20:14-15.

8. We must really believe that God Takes No Pleasure in The Death of the Unsaved. Ezekiel 33:11.

9. We must really believe that God will hold the Believer, as well as the Church accountable for failing in Global Missions. Romans 14:11-12; II Corinthians 5:10.

10. We must really believe that our time is short. II Corinthians 7:29. Therefore, we must do all that we can while we can for the Cause of Christ!

The Calling and Command is clear and concise: Take the Gospel to the Entire World. What reason will you use for not Giving or Going in obedience to the Commands of Jesus Christ? Yes, Untold Billions REMAIN Untold!   This is not an Option to Consider; it is an Order to be obeyed!  

Will you allow the TRUTH to grip your heart this day so that it leads you to do more for Missions?  You possess the truth, but does the truth really possess you?  Until it does, the sad plight of those without the Gospel will continue to plunge into an everlasting hell.

 

The Mission of Jesus is to be the Mission of the Church!  

 

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