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BUT THE ANSWER OF A GOOD CONSCIENCE TOWARD GOD

January 18, 2010
The morning of January 17 turned into the most incredible time that we’ve had thus far at the new fellowship. An awesome time in the Lord, coupled with a very timely message about sincere generosity and giving of ourselves to those in need. And like many of our pastors messages, this one touched on the error of the prosperity gospel, wherein the focus is placed on getting stuff for ourselves; not giving of ourselves to those in need. The message was in response to the tragedy in Haiti where many thousands have perished and thousands more are coming to terms with incredible loss. I subsequently found myself revisiting the book of James tonight, which explains how our faith will become manifest in our works. (Our actions will reveal what we are truly believing)
The most incredible part of the morning transpired when eight souls were baptized. This group consisted of two kids and six adults; two of whom are middle aged. (The six adults are actually three married couples) Their testimonies were incredible and most of them revealed years upon years of friends and loved ones praying for them. One of the men told of how his marriage had been about to fall apart without remedy until he was born of the Spirit. This morning, he and his wife were both baptized. To be honest, baptism is a topic that I almost intentionally avoid discussing because of certain controversies. (My statement of faith on this issue would not line up completely with any “official theological position.”)  Nonetheless, this was one of the most incredible baptism service that I’ve ever witnessed.
Two things were encouraging about this morning. First was the souls who have been recently saved. When we hear of another name being recorded in the book of life, it’s always a cause for rejoicing. It also causes us to overflow with thanksgiving unto the Lord Jesus as we reflect back to the moment when our name was written down in glory. The second thing was the testimonies about years of intercession, seed planing, and watering by other saints which led to these souls coming to Jesus. (II Timothy 2:24-26) I thought about the number of unsaved folks whose names are on my prayer list; many of which have been there for a long time. This morning encouraged me to keep praying for the priceless eternal souls around me who are still outside the ark of safety; no matter how discouraging their individual situations may become. The enemy is playing for keeps, therefore we need to be “praying for keeps.”
Sometimes there’s a tendancy to feel as though we’re not really doing much by praying. (At least I struggle with this.)  It’s erroneous; even sinful, to think like this. This perception stems from our old fallen nature which measures everything in accordance with physical endeavors that produce readily observable results. And yet, it’s in the prayer closet that strongholds are brought down. We don’t wrestle against flesh, we battle giants in the spiritual realm. Entities who chose to abandon their place in the presence of the Lord and are now trying to destroy as many souls as possible. On the flip side of this, fervent prayer doesn’t excuse us from the need to minister physically when we are in a position to do so. If our neighbor is hungry and we have the means to remedy this, we are called to do so in Jesus name. This was also touched on in the message this morning.
James 2:15-17 “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
Een so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”
Well I must be going for now.  Sunday was a very encouraging day and it was worthy of an impromptu posting. This church with whom we are currently fellowshipping is affiliated with a large pentecostal denomination, but they don’t appear to be status-quo-ish. This doesn’t mean that we can stop watching. If anything, we must be even more careful and discerning. This is clearly a season of separating between the sheep and the goats. In time, this will affect every fellowship; including New Hope. It’s imperative to be hearing from the Lord and ready to move in a moment; should He instruct us to do so. As was mentioned in the previous post, the Lord sees the whole picture; we can only see a cloudy fragment.
Blessings always in Jesus name.
Matthew 9:37-38 “The saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”
I Peter 3:21-22 “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.”
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7 comments

  1. Sometimes there’s a tendancy to feel as though we’re not really doing much by praying. (At least I struggle with this.) It’s erroneous; even sinful, to think like this.

    Excellent point, Timbob. How quick we are (at the devil’s prompting, I’m sure) to condemn ourselves for “not praying enough” or “not giving enough” or “not doing enough,” when “enough” is not for us to decide. If we do what Jesus prompts us to do, He will prosper it. If we do what He has not told us to do, we are engaging in dead works. We pour guilt on one another (but mostly on ourselves), when what we need to be doing is listening for that still small voice and following His instructions. His yoke is easy and His burden light. Thanks for bringing this out. 🙂

    Love, Cindy


  2. Cindy, I, too struggle with it as well.


  3. Hi Timbob,

    Im glad you’ve found a church where you are able to fellowship and share with others…what a blessing this is. 🙂

    Thank you for the reminder that the prayer of a righteous man avails much. You are right that our prayers tend to wane when results are slow to come – herein lies the call to persevere (note to self!) LOL!

    A few of us from our fellowship will be hitting the streets of Ipswich Queensland, this Friday night. Yay! – I’m soooo excited 🙂 Your post has reminded me that it’s the prayer leading up to Friday that will do much to open the way for Spirit lead appointments. I will pray for God to cause the hungry to come and receive.

    Blessings to you, and thank you for the encouragement to keep praying!


  4. you sound very happy with your new community, and that brings peace to my mind! I am so glad to see this!!


  5. Hi Cindy and Code. I tend to become literally overwhelmed every time I get out the prayer list. It’s actually a small notebook with laminating on the cover which I carry always. It contains specific needs, family members who are unsaved, co-workers, saints in other venues and people whom I meet on the streets who are at their wits end. Just today, I added Tom; a guy up in Kalamazoo who has been through one calamity after another.

    The list represents so many needs; many of them critical, that it’s a struggle to get to it all. It becomes much easier,however, when the Lord brings names and needs to remembrance. And what you mentioned in very true; the “enough” is not for us to decide. Nonetheless, there are a lot of souls and many situations that I pray about consitantly

    I hope that this is making sense. I just arrived home from work and I’m exhausted. But I wanted to say “hi” to everyone who has taken time to stop in. I’m minded to get around later in the week. Thanks.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.


  6. Hi Five Peas. I’m really excited about what will be taking place in Ipswich on friday. I read through here earlier today but was too short on time to respond. I’ve been praying about this outing; that the Lord will open hearts and that his word will go forth freely. I’m reminded of my church back in Virginia as they took street ministry very seriously.

    I love the quote that you mentioned on the other comment.

    “Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” (Tim Kizziar)

    WOW! I’ve been thinking about this all evening.

    Thanks so much for taking time to stop by. I’ll be praying about Friday. (So long as I remember that your Friday is our Thursday. lol)

    Blessings always in Jesus name.


  7. Hi Cindy Hansen. This has been a real blessing to have a community of saints again. The pastor really has a heart for souls and is eternally minded. It’s also a place where I can invite others to with confidence.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.



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