Jesus started the work of the New Testament church. During the pandemic, if you think the work has ground to a halt, think again. In Mexico, a virtual evangelistic meeting was held which averaged 190,000 viewers per night. One night had 242,000 viewers.
If you think that was big. . .
One of our media ministries had a meeting, originally planned for our region, that went from what would have been maybe 30 churches but instead was broadcast to over 600 churches around the globe.
You think that was big. . .
Meet Steven. He’s a pastor who had a meeting cancelled after gathering the names of 400 people to invite to his meeting. His burden for souls wouldn’t allow him to let those names wither on the vine. He told himself, “I’ve got to do something with these names. I can’t let these individuals go unknowing of Jesus’ soon return,” so he held a virtual meeting.
You think that was big. . .
Several of our conferences have held meetings with anywhere from 20 to 40 people in attendance, some in-person, some virtually. Pastors and churches together who, like Steven, feel the need to share the message.
You think that is big. . .
While speaking to someone several weeks ago, she shared that she is giving Bible studies over the telephone. In a weekly meeting, she is teaching the Amazing Facts series to a group of people, without video. Moreover, she is already hoping to share the advanced series once the regular series is completed. Furthermore, she inspired my heart as she told me she participates in an early morning prayer call and is also having a more intimate Bible study with her sister. She stated that her Bible students see many things that they had no idea were in the Word of God, but they find it hard to dispute because it is so plain.
We are not following Scripture if we believe we will catch every fish in the pond. No fisherman believes he will catch the entire lake. Yet, the work goes on just as those who are fisherman keep fishing. The work goes on, similar to how every spring the farmer keeps sowing. The work goes on, the same way every healthcare professional keeps going out the door each day to rescue the perishing. The work is not what we do; it is who we are. When we see Jesus high and lifted up, we can’t help but tell somebody. It’s like fire shut in our bones.
If you noticed the numbers mentioned here got smaller and smaller, then hopefully it is clear when I say, “You think that was big.” I’m not referring to numbers. I’m referring to faith.
We tend to get caught up in numbers. However, as Jesus’ three-year evangelistic meeting concluded, He experienced a great decline in “numbers” attending his meeting. The Book of John asserts, many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, “Will ye also go away?”
Ask God to give you a faith that can move mountains, then wait and see what the Lord does for you. The greatest witness may be when each of us asks God to show us what He would have us do.
I met the Lord for myself as I tuned into the local Christian channel during my drive time back and forth to work every day. During my morning and evening commute, I listened to the radio evangelist and my heart for the lost beat so strong. I said, “Lord, I would like to tell the whole world about Your love and I would like to do that on the radio.” So, I went to school, majoring in Theology with a minor in Communication.
As time went on, I had forgotten my dream to be a radio evangelist. Then suddenly, it fell right into my lap. One of my members came to me and said, “Pastor, I want to put you on the radio.” I told him I would do it even though I was fearful of the cost. He developed a not-for-profit radio ministry board and, for two years, he and other faithful members raised the funds so I could tell the Denver metropolitan area about His love. Who knows what God has in store for you. Your greatest challenge may be co-workers you interact with every day or a brother, sister, child or grandchild.
“Mission Unstoppable” is the Lake Union Conference theme for 2021. We are thankful for all you are doing to help finish the work. If thinking about the work gets you excited, think again and ask: “Lord, what are we not doing that we need to do? Where are we not sowing that we need to sow? What questions are we not asking that we need to ask? What things should we be considering that have not even crossed our minds? What can the Holy Spirit do with those who seek to bring Glory to God through their service?” But here’s the most important question of all. “Lord, what can I do that I’m not currently doing?”
Elle White wrote in the book, Acts of the Apostles: “The disciples felt their spiritual need and cried to the Lord for the holy unction that was to fit them for the work of soul saving. They did not ask for a blessing for themselves merely. They were weighted with the burden of the salvation of souls. They realized that the gospel was to be carried to the world, and they claimed the power that Christ had promised.”
Whether the crowds are dwindling or increasing, being faithful is all that God asks us to do. If crowds were all that was important, then Noah was a failure. Have you ever considered the fact that when Jesus spoke the words, I finished the work that You gave Me to do, His crowds were probably at their smallest?
As much as I love big evangelistic meetings or other major initiatives, the church isn’t a building nor an amphitheater or stadium filled with people hearing the Word of God. The church is God in you and God with you. The church is God in me and God with me. Pray for the harvest in all endeavors, whether big or small. So long as the faith is big, God can work with your dream to finish the work.
The President’s Book of the Year is Patriarchs and Prophets. Let's read it together and let's grow together. Moreover, let’s read the Bible together. Join me in reading three chapters of the Old Testament every weekday morning and two chapters of the New Testament every weekday evening.