“For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 117:2
Coming into the church broken has not been easy. But going against the Bible’s warnings can incur judgment and delay our growth. The purpose of this video is to share lessons I have learned the hard way to spare you the pain of making the same mistakes:
“Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” 1 Peter 4:19
1) Respect your elders.
Tough… popular culture says no. The Word of God says Yes.
“Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.”
1 Timothy 5:1
2) Submit to authority.
Don’t touch (rebuke) the Lord’s anointed (1 Chronicles 16:22).
Advice to my younger self: Do not sign on to work within a ministry or organization unless you are aligned with the leadership and willing to follow the rules. If you sign on and later realize it was not what you expected, follow the rules as best you can until you are able to move on. Respectfully asking questions is ok.
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
3) Don’t judge.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”
4) Don’t envy. (compare yourself to others)
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
5) Trust the sovereignty of God.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
6) The Lord will avenge.
“Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
7) Forgive. It’s in your best interest.
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
The Lord chastises those He loves. If you have erred similarly, apologize, repent (Matthew 5:24- first make it right with the person, then with the Lord) and move on.
“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.”
“And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ They immediately left their nets and followed Him.” Matthew 4:18-20
“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.'” Mark 16:15
“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
“…’Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'” – The Lord Jesus (Matthew 18:3)
“Jesus answered… ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'” John 3:3
Have you repented and been born again into the family of God? => How to give your life to Jesus and know peace.
“By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” Hebrews 11:7
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Do you have faith like Noah?
“Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
As your parents always said, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”
“Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness…” 2 Thessalonians 3:6
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
A dog can be a good idea for those coming out of addiction. The Lord used him to show me unconditional love and to teach responsibility. Snoopy was with me through a lot. 🙂
“And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.” – Acts 17:32
Immediate responses to the gospel could be classified as: (1) Yes, (2) No and (3) Maybe Later.
Thailand’s capitol Bangkok and beach towns Pattaya and Phuket are high priorities on the evangelism hit list because they are popular hubs for LGBT+ culture and prostitution.
We live and witness in Bangkok. Seeds were scattered in Pattaya (closer to Bangkok) earlier this year. This week, I hit Phuket for the first time.
Conversations typically begin with small talk, then testimony, then often the gospel. Additional armament includes tracts in Thai and the Bible in virtually any language via Bible app.
We try to connect with as many on Facebook as possible and post Scripture regularly so that they will be exposed to the Bible and lines of communication remain open.
Majority of folks engaged: Thai Buddhists
Most common response to the gospel: ‘You (Westerners/Americans) believe in Jesus. Thai people believe in Buddha.’
Example seemingly appointed engagement:
Transgender male-to-female- met outside her workplace. In response to testimony, she said, “So you are a real man now, not just a gay.” Pouring down rain, she asked me to come back to discuss- shared the gospel and tract, read the Bible, discussed previous exposure to Christianity and clarification of salvation requirements and Christian living. Asked me to send her things on Facebook (ex. Scripture) and basically ended with- ‘I will hear you again on this matter.’
In general, the lay of the land is a city with:
1) An area(s) known for transgender male-to-female (“ladyboys”)- strip bars, massage parlors and old fashioned street prostitution.
2) An area known for gay bars- resembles what is common in US cities.
3) A pedestrian-only street(s) that is a mixed bag- hosts party/sex tourists from around the world.
All 3 of the above areas and everywhere in between contain ladyboys soliciting outside massage parlors. The Lord’s timing is perfect. It is rainy season. Business is down, and folks have a few moments to spare.
Prostitutes speak the language of sex, so God works from there. Some say my eyes look kind and they feel good talking to me. You and I know that is the Lord.
Sharing Christ with jeering prostitutes can seem pointless. Nonetheless, this is what we are called to do- if for no other reason than to give each human being, created in God’s image, an opportunity to repent and get through the gates. The Lord has gone so far as to resurrect men and send them back into the pit on a rescue mission. Having been warned of coming judgment, all will be without excuse.
“Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.'” – Jonah 3:1-2
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 3:2
Eyes welling up with tears as we shake the dust off our feet, we reflect on those who have rejected Christ, peer down at our watches wondering how much longer we have… and utter, “Even so, Come, Lord Jesus.”
Back in Bangkok Sunday afternoon, the Lord led to join a medical clinic. Specified assignment was to “play with the kids”. That was part of it and was certainly a blessing, but I knew better- that the Lord was doing something else. Our assignment is always to lead people to Jesus. So we scouted the area and found that it was also a ministry for juvenile (and adult) offenders. In the common area was a 14-year old playing guitar with his friend. The third seat in the small circle was empty. I sat down. After the ‘where are you from’ small talk, we got into business. He said that when he got locked up, he asked Jesus to help him and started to believe with his head but that he had never prayed to repent and give his life to Jesus. So he did! Please pray for “G”.
After many “No” responses, the Lord rewarded with a “Yes”!
THIS IS THE WHY- why the believer in Christ remains on the earth after coming to know Jesus- to fulfill the Great Commission.
Join the fight. Pray for training wheels. It’s scary at first, but the Lord gives the passion and leads. His heart is for evangelism. Be bold. Get close to the heart of Jesus.
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.‘” – Jesus (Mark 16:15)
As an old friend of mine used to say, “We serve an awesome God, brother.”
Praise the Lord!
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20