Originally written by Leroy Brownlow. I find this article to be a constant reminder of the need to learn and focus on the right things. Continue reading “What We Need In The Church Today.”
“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
(2 Timothy 3:12–13, ESV)
Every person who has made the good decision to become a Christian; every person who tries to live a godly life, will eventually face persecution for their faith. It is inevitable, sad, but inevitable. Continue reading “Don’t underestimate your enemy!”
In this series of articles, our goal is simple: we want to write articles that will be beneficial to those who are weak in the faith. Articles that might reach someone who is struggling with their faith and being faithful to Jesus.
I know that this can be an overwhelming and difficult challenge. Living the new life in Christ is hard and there is so much to learn, it almost feels like too much to expect of anyone. Continue reading “The importance of a choice.”
I have found that we are good at telling ourselves little lies. These lies are subconscious attempts to help us feel good about what we are doing or attempts to make us feel better about what we are not doing. Continue reading “Actions speak louder than words!”
Success in any endeavor is almost always attributed to the team. No one person can secure the win, the victory; success, without the help and support of the entire team. Could a football team win a game without its defensive line? Could it succeed without the receivers? We all agree that no team has a shot at winning a game if the entire team doesn’t work together.
Success is always a matter of teamwork.
In Numbers 32, we have an important story of Reuben and Gad. As Israel traveled to the promised land and was winning battles against other nations; they reached a place where the land was perfect. It was everything these two tribes could have hoped for; a great place to live and a great place for all of their livestock. Looking around they decided that this was the place they wanted to settle and make homes. So, they approached Moses and said this land is perfect for us, we have lots of livestock, and this place is perfect for it. They wanted to settle in the land of Gilead, build their homes, and not cross the Jordan into the promised land.
Moses response was serious. He was outraged that these two tribes wanted to stop traveling and fighting with Israel and settle in this land. He said, how could you seriously sit here comfortable and safe while the rest of us have to march to war. He said that doing so would incur God’s wrath but also discourage the rest of the people. Two parts of God’s people wanted to quit the game, sit on the sidelines, and let everyone else do all the hard work. Never mind the fact that they were choosing to settle outside of God’s blessings they were abandoning the rest of God’s people.
Alone, they would have surely failed.
We need to be reminded that success for the Lord’s church is a matter of God’s power and the teamwork of the entire group. No one person should be able to sit on the sidelines and watch as the team keeps playing. Winning the game is almost impossible at this point. Not only do they get tired, face losses, but it is also extremely discouraging. The team that continues to fight, just to keep going, has to deal with the increased workload of those who are sitting and watching as time after time they either barely make it or fail.
Church, your team needs you. They need you to step up and get back in the game. They need you to get involved and help win some games. Once Reuben and Gad were aware of how much the nation needed them they quickly agreed to march with them to victory. They didn’t want to be the ones responsible for the failure of the entire team.
I hope this has encouraged everyone to get involved in the work and fellowship of the church. I hope it has encouraged those who are still in the game to keep trying but also that it will encourage all of us to get involved. When you sit down and let everyone else do all the work it discourages everyone and it becomes a self-propagating problem. As more people sit down, discourage and failures rise, as failures and discouragement rises, more people want to quit.
We need you. Our success is dependent on your willingness to get back in the game and fight with us.
First, let me say that feeling of discouragement and disappointment is not sinful. No one thinks you’re less Christian simply because you feel like that. Honestly, I think we have all reached that point at some time in our life and the more you care the more likely you are to feel it. Sometimes it is about what is happening at church and sometimes it’s about what is not happening.
When this happens we tend to look at external factors like attendance and participation as indicators of the health and well-being of the church. These are superficial indicators, indicators, but not the gold standard of how healthy a church or Christian should look or act.More importantly, I want you to understand that disappointment and discouragement doesn’t have to be a bad thing. These feelings can be overwhelming and cause us to focus on all things that are not what we think they should be but it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead of focusing on how it is not what we want or think it should be, maybe, we should take this as a deep, inner calling, to get to work and change things.
More importantly, I want you to understand that disappointment and discouragement doesn’t have to be a bad thing. These feelings can be overwhelming and cause us to focus on all things that are not what we think they should be but it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead of focusing on how it is not what we want or think it should be, maybe, we should take this as a deep, inner calling, to get to work and change things.
Often we allow our discouragement and disappointments cause us to pull away from the work when that is exactly the opposite of what is needed. What the church needs is more people who will get up and get busy, not sit down, or turn away. Every church needs people who will face the discouragement and say, “I WILL NOT BACK DOWN AND I WILL NOT QUIT!”
If every time something disappoints or discourages us and we run away; we will never learn to overcome. The church needs people who will stay in spite of the problems; people who will keep fighting, keep standing strong, and refuse to give up. That is the only way real change happens.
In 1 Kings 19, we are told about the prophet Elijah running for his life from the evil queen Jezebel. Shortly after his great victory on Mt. Carmel he takes his eyes off of God’s power and protection and runs for his life. The threats of the queen cause feelings of discouragement and disappointment to well up inside; it caused feelings of fear and doubt that left him hiding in a cave. It was in the cave that God speaks to him and asked what are you doing here. Elijah’s answer is relatable and something we have probably felt before. He says, “It’s enough God, I have tried to do the work; I am losing this battle; I cannot do this anymore. They have killed everyone else, I’m the only one left, and they want me dead too.” Elijah is disappointed, discouraged, and feeling defeated. It is exactly at this time that God tells him that this is not the time to stop but the time to get up and work. To encourage him, God reminds him that he is not the only one left but there were actually seven thousand people with him. God’s message is clear, “don’t let discouragement stop you!” Use those feelings to motivate you to get up and get back at it.
Like Elijah, sometimes we get down and discouraged. Church, don’t allow that to stop you or make you feel like quitting. We can win! We can overcome with Jesus Christ on our side. Don’t ever give up and don’t let discouragement be the end of your story.