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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT WEDNESDAY – “Do they know me, John?”

Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it's been found difficult and not tried. - G.K. Chesterton.

The king will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me." - Mat 25:40.

D.M. Stearns was preaching in Philadelphia. At the close of the service a stranger came up to him and said, "I don't like the way you spoke about the cross. I think that instead of emphasizing the death of Christ, it would be far better to preach Jesus, the teacher and example." Stearns replied, "If I presented Christ in that way, would you be willing to follow Him?" "I certainly would," said the stranger without hesitation.

"All right then," said the preacher, "let's take the first step. He did no sin. Can you claim that for yourself?" The man looked confused and somewhat surprised. "Why, no," he said. "I acknowledge that I do sin." Stearns replied, "Then your greatest need is to have a Savior, not an example!" - Source Unknown.

I have a Pastor friend who lives in Scotland, he is in his late seventies now, but many years ago he told me his testimony;

He was the Pastor of a local Pentecostal Church in one of the bigger cities in Scotland. John was in his early thirties, and life for John and his wife 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 and anointing.

One Sunday afternoon while he was praying, he heard the Lord say to him… “John you are well known and very popular here, 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 realised 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, where they were discipled, and taught Christian principles to implement into their new lives.

It wasn’t a popular ministry, for it was to cause John to suffer repercussions from his congregation and denominational leaders, because there were those who didn’t want the “dregs of society,” to spoil a “successful Church.” He was asked by his board to stop this ministry, but it was mostly because of divorced people who had came into the Church, and the board didn’t want them as members.

These people who had been violently abused by their spouses, neglected and shunned by others. They were people who had never had a chance in life, until Jesus came along, loved them, forgave them, and accepted them into His family. When John refused to have them barred, the executive of his denomination withdrew his credentials.


John suffered a mental breakdown through all of this, but was to recover eight years later, and with the Lord’s help, to plant a new Church in the same city, with the people the Lord wanted him to minister too. This Church began to grow as John preached the “Full Gospel.”

It is now a leading witness in the city, and a testimony to the love of God, and what He could do through one man. The Lord also sent him around the world preaching the “Full Gospel,” as an evangelist and prophet, and he still preaches today.

When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick, you took care of me, and when I was in jail, you visited me."

Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, "When did we give you something to eat or drink? When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear or visit you while you were sick or in jail?" The king will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me." - Mat 25:35-40.


It is not what men eat but what they digest that makes them strong; Not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; not what we preach but what we practice that makes us Christians. - Source Unknown.

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

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to share the good news with those who need it most. Bring them across my path Lord, that I may minister your love, forgiveness, and acceptance to them. I ask this in the wonderful Name of Jesus. Amen.

Be Encouraged!
GBYAY

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