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Saturday, February 05, 2005

“Do they know me, John?”

Matt 25:36-40 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

I have a Pastor friend who lives in Scotland and many years ago he told me his story;

He was the Pastor of a local Pentecostal Church in one of the bigger cities in Scotland. Life for John was pretty good, his ministry was sought after, his Church was growing and people from all around Scotland were coming to hear his exegesis on the book of Ephesians, which he taught with exceptional skill.

One Sunday afternoon while he was praying, he heard the Lord say to him… “John you are well know and very popular, people from all over Scotland are coming to hear you preach, but I want you to go over to the window and look out.”

John went to the window and looked out, opposite his Church was a large public housing estate where hundreds of underprivileged people lived, most of them were unemployed, and to say that their lives were in difficult circumstances, would be an understatement.

The Lord continued to speak to him… “A lot of people know you, but do these people know me, John?” He started to weep when he realized what the Lord was saying to him, and thus began a new phase of his ministry, of reaching out to the people across the road from his church. Many of them came to know Christ and came into the Church.

It wasn’t a popular ministry, for it was to cause John to suffer repercussion’s from his congregation, who didn’t want the “dregs of society” to spoil a “successful Church.” He was asked to stop this ministry and when he refused, this lead to the denomination withdrawing his credentials.

John suffered a breakdown through all of this, but was later to recover and with the Lord’s help, to plant a new Church with the people the Lord wanted him to minister too. This Church began to grow as John preached the “Full Gospel” and it is now a leading witness in the city. The Lord also sent him around the world preaching the gospel and he still preaches today.

God bless you John, you are truly one of God’s heroes!

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