1 Thessalonians 2:2 Do You Dare To Tell The Gospel Message?

We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. 1 Thessalonians 2:2

Giving out information on something is usually safe. Hundreds of thousands of businesses promote their products or services everyday in thousands of different ways, without a lot of harsh opposition.

However, there are some groups that openly oppose some products or services. These groups can sometime be very harsh in their disagreement, even to the point of breaking the law to stop the product.

Paul points out that they had been previously treated badly in Philippi, but with God’s help he was able to speak the gospel message to them in spite of severe opposition.

In some places, the gospel message can be spread without much opposition. Most of the people in those places are willing to hear it, whether they agree or disagree with the message.

However, in a majority of the world, there is a strong disagreement with the gospel message. The opposition is strong enough that the life of the messenger will be seriously threatened. Some nations do not have a strong death threat against the gospel message, but will ridicule and try to discredit those who speak it.

Regardless of the level of threat against the gospel message, believers need to get the message out to everyone. Severe opposition should never stop a believer from talking about Jesus and what He has done.

God will pour out His Holy Spirit on a believer to have the boldness and strength to speak the gospel message in spite of severe opposition and/or persecution. The believer needs to go in with the strength and boldness of God and dare to spread the gospel message.

No matter what your position in life is, one thing God has called you to do is be His witness by spreading the gospel message. As you do this there will be times that you will have to face some opposition. This opposition may be just light ridicule or it may be physical harm.

Regardless of the opposition, be bold in the Lord and pass the message on. People are dying without knowing Jesus and you may be the one who can tell them. It may be your message that may change their life.

Dare to tell people about Jesus.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will be bold in spreading the gospel message about Jesus; that God will give you strength and favor being a witness; and that God will turn lives around through your message.

Scarred (book review)

Title: Scarred
Author: Dave Roever, with Kathy Koch, Ph.D.
Publisher: Roever Communications
Date: 2015 (original in 1995
Pages: 224

Scarred (book review)

This story is a true story about Dave Roever, when newly married, was a soldier in the Navy during the Vietnam War and what occurred afterwards. While in Vietnam, he had helped lead men into areas to scout out where the enemy were. On one of the missions, he had a hand grenade in his hand that was shot by an enemy soldier. Upon the shot hitting the hand grenade, it blew up in his hand and he had the full impact of it. It blew a large portion of his face and one hand off.

At first everyone thought he was dead, but then realized he was not. Dave was quickly removed from the area to a military hospital. Upon surviving, he was moved to the USA for more hospital care. After many months of care in the hospital, he survived and was able to leave and go home with his wife. Later he was able to have and raise several children with his wife, against what the doctors had predicted.

Much of this story focuses on the struggles he had with how he looked, his anger about what happened and how God changed his heart and used what he went through for His glory. Today he goes around speaking primarily to children, but also to adults, about how to accept what they look like, and how to get through troubles in life. He talks about how God worked on his heart and strengthened him to be the man he is today. He has gone back to Vietnam several times and was in Iraq ministering to both civilians and those in the military.

This book is a simple read, but is packed with a lot of emotion. One can often identify with him in knowing the pain of physical and emotional suffering on different levels. He encourages the reader to trust and follow God. There are several pages of pictures of him before and after the injury.

I have personally had the honor of meeting Dave Roever a few times in the past. His story has always remained consistent and encouraging. I highly recommend reading this book, especially if you have some physical or emotional challenge in your life. Dave will also challenge your faith and trust in God.

Philippians 3:10 What Do You Really Want To Know?

I want to know Christ–yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, Philippians 3:10

Knowledge is something that most people are searching for. Search engines are one of the greatest tools on the internet, that are used billions of times every day by people around the world.

People are wanting to know how to do nearly everything and anything. They want to be able to understand nearly everything. One common thing many search for is how to really live a life that is full of purpose.

As Paul talks about the need for faith over works, he points out that he really wants to know Jesus, both his resurrection and his sufferings, so that he may be more like Him.

Churches are filled with people who have placed at least some faith in Jesus. These people want to be saved from their sins and from judgement. While this does save them, many stop right there and don’t go any farther with their walk with God, not really wanting to know the power of the resurrection bringing out a new creation, nor knowing and understanding the sufferings Jesus went through.

The moment suffering starts, most will cry out to God asking for it to be immediately stopped or else they get mad at God and walk away. Instead of embracing suffering for Christ, they turn angry and bitter. During times like this, instead of growing in their faith and becoming more like Jesus, they become more like the world.

Going through suffering for the sake of Jesus, will help a believer grow stronger in his faith in God. He will see God’s hand strengthen and provide for him in ways that could not be seen or learned without suffering. It will make him more like Jesus.

As a believer in Jesus, you must ask yourself what you really want to know about Jesus. It is easy to know the stories of Jesus from the bible, but that does not give the same knowledge as going through the same types of sufferings He did.

To fully understand and appreciate what Jesus did, you must be willing to walk the same path He did. Be willing to lay down your life for others to know Jesus and go through pain and suffering to get the message out.

What do you really want to know?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will know the power of His resurrection; that you will participate in His suffering to spread the gospel message of salvation; and that you will become more like Jesus every day.

Matthew 5:4 Comfort Will Come

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4

No matter where a person goes in this world, there is almost someone who is mourning there. They may be openly mourning, to where it can be publicly seen or it may behind closed doors, but many people are mourning.

There can be a thousand reasons as to why the person is mourning. Most often they have recently gone through some tragedy in the life. Or it is out of remembrance of some loss in their past. Usually it is out of personal loss or pain, not that of others.

As Jesus was speaking to the crowds, He tells them how some will be blessed. One group that will blessed and gain comfort are those who mourn.

Mourning is a deep sorrow and weeping over some great loss or pain that is occurring. It is very common for people to mourn their own personal losses, however, this type of mourning can sometimes be a selfish mourning.

While believers may mourn over some personal loss, their heart is for others and the kingdom of God. The believer who has his eyes set upon God and His word, will see the corruption and sin that is rampant in his city, state, region, nation and this world. He will also see the sin that is in his own life.

Along with seeing all the sin, he will also see the pain and suffering that people are going through because of sin. There would be no pain or sickness if there were no sin.

Upon seeing all this sin, he will mourn, crying out to God for forgiveness of all. As he weeps before God, God in His great love, understanding the pain and suffering, and will reach out to him and comfort him.

The believer is weeping, not just for himself, but for others and this world on God’s behalf.

As with most people, you have probably experienced pain or loss. You have also seen it in others that you love and care about.

Keep in mind that all of the pain and suffering is due to sin. Allow yourself to see this world through God’s eyes and mourn the great numbers of people heading to hell because they do not know Jesus. Weep and mourn that people are dying and do not even know it.

God will see and bring you comfort. He will guide you in what you can do today.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will see the world through God’s eyes; that you will mourn over the sin of this world; that you will live a holy life unto God; and that you will feel God’s arms of comfort around you in times of loss and pain.