Many who need Him


There are so many people in the world who have never heard of Jesus and His love for them. Some of them are in places where missionaries aren’t allowed and some are in places where the danger is against those who bring His message and anyone who may give their life to Him. So…how can we get His message to the world, to the people who need Him and don’t know Him. They may know about Him but they haven’t come to the point of realizing that their soul and their eternity depends upon their relationship with Jesus.

How can we get the word and the message of Jesus to those who truly need to hear it? By going and telling others about our Savior and His love, whether we do it in person or online they need to hear His message.

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The pathway to salvation is not a hard path to find but you have to stick to the path and stay on it until He comes. Don’t veer to the right or the left because the way is easy if you follow it but when you get off of the pathway you are getting into the enemy’s territory.

One at a time


How can we advance our faith and our church in our community? One person at a time. That is how Jesus did it, at least at the beginning of His ministry. So, what should we do with our own testimony? Should we tell everyone or should we just talk to one person who needs to hear it and pray that it makes a difference in their lives?

Have you ever considered the impact of your testimony about the impact which Jesus had on your life? Few of us really think about this after we have accepted Him as our Savior. Even fewer think about what His influence has had in our own lives. It sounds a bit odd, doesn’t it? Why would you give your life and your heart to Jesus and then rarely think about Him or even the impact He has had in your life?

Although it seems that many people try to live a solitary life with Jesus as their Savior. That is not what He called us to be. We are supposed to be His witnesses in the world and His representatives in the world so that others might see the difference that He made in our lives! You can’t really live a solitary life with Jesus, can you? Yes, but it isn’t a lonely life as long as you acknowledge His Presence in your life each and every day!

John 5:1-18
After this, there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.…

I. THE PATIENT.

1. He was fully aware of his sickness and owned it. He was not like those who are lost by nature, who do not know it or will not confess it.

2. He waited by the pool expecting some sign and wonder. This is how many people wait, persevering in ordinances and unbelief, expecting some great thing, that on a sudden they will experience strange emotions and remarkable impressions, or see a vision or hear a supernatural voice. No one will deny that a few have been thus favored but such interpositions are not to be looked for. Jesus Himself is the greatest of wonders. In regard to this matter of waiting.

(1) That it is not the way which God has told His servants to preach. The gospel of our salvation is “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.”(2) This un-gospel-like gospel of waiting is immensely popular. Why? Because it administers laudanum to the conscience. When the minister preaches with power and men’s hearts are touched, the devil says “Wait.”(3) Is not this “waiting” a very hopeless business? Of those who waited how few were healed? What right have you to expect that if you wait another thirty years you will be different?

(4) There lies our poor friend. I do not blame him for waiting, for Jesus had not been there before. He expected some person to have mercy on him and help him to get into the pool when the water was disturbed. Then when Jesus came and He expected Him to help him to get into the pool but Jesus said that your faith has made you whole.

(5) Having been so often disappointed he was growing in deep despair. Moreover, he was getting old; and life is wearing away with you. You have waited all this while in vain, sinfully waited. You have seen others saved, your child, your wife; but you are not. So how can you make a difference in your life? By believing in Jesus for your salvation and living with Him each day expecting Him to give you an eternity like He has promised to do for those who believe.

II. THE PHYSICIAN. (Jesus the Christ)

1. He made an election. This man was possibly selected because he was the worst case and had waited longest of all.

2. Jesus said, “Wilt thou be made whole?” not for information, but to arouse attention.

3. He gave the word of command.

4. There is nothing said in the text about faith, but the whole incident shows that the man must have had faith.

5. The cure which Christ wrought was —

(1)  Perfect. The man could carry his bed.

(2)  Immediate. The man was not carried home by friends and gradually nursed into vital energy.

Did he gradually get better on the way home? No! He was healed right there at the time that Jesus said so according to his expectation (faith).

 

Who is Jesus?


According to God’s Word, He is the Son of God! He came to Bethlehem as a baby born to a virgin named Mary and He lived His life as a human being until He was crucified and then resurrected after three days. He was also God in the flesh of a man. There are many ways to describe Him and Who He was and is today, but most importantly He is our Savior and Lord.

If you don’t know Him as your Savior and Lord then He is just a historical figure and a Jewish prophet from long ago.

Satan questioned Him as the Son of God and the demons that He cast out of people during His ministry knew Him as the Holy One of God but there are many today and in the past, who still reject Him as such but one day everyone will find out the truth. In the Bible, there are many references to the Son of God or a Son of God in the Old and the New Testament.

When the three Hebrews were thrown into the furnace, the king said that there was a fourth man who looked like a son of the gods in there with them. Here is the excerpt from Daniel chapter 3 beginning at verse 8:

8 At this time some astrologers b came forward and denounced the Jews. 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! 10 Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”

13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us c from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

This is just one example of the pre-incarnate Jesus showing up and protecting His people. There are many others in the Old Testament and of course, He came in the New Testament to bring His message to the world.

It is hard to understand why the whole world seems to be against His message of truth and salvation but the time in which we live is the exact time that God’s Word says there will be a great apostasy from the Truth. Many people around the world are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus and many have died because of it. They have gone to their reward. Killing them did not take anything from them except the life which they had here. They have eternity to live in and for now and their reward is the grace and love of Almighty God.

As Paul said, “to live is Christ but to die is gain“!

Life…easy or hard?


Life is such that it is at times hard and easy too. On the days when it is hard, we wish that our time would be over soon. On the days when it is easy and we have no worries, we wish that it would continue that way until Jesus comes. So…what should we do in this life of ease and hard work and hard living?

Praise God.

In all things good or bad, easy or hard, wealth or lack of money, we are to give thanks to God and praise Him for the blessings which we have. Some days it may be hard to find those blessings. Some days we may not feel like we are being blessed at all, but if you are a Christian you should live your days in communion with God…daily. Not drinking wine and eating crackers, I mean prayerfully walking with God and reading God’s Word. Learning from your Creator and your Redeemer because He is a lot smarter than you are!

God gives each of us a measure of faith when we come to know Him as our Savior and Lord. Sometimes we feel as if the measure was a little short but that is what we have so we have to use what we have. Does it make it easier to live the Christian life in a world which is against your faith and mine? Not really but we need to keep walking with Him by faith and living our lives with our eyes on the prize of eternity. This world and all of the “stuff” in it like the houses and the cars and the boats and the fancy hunting rifles and four-wheelers and things…all of this is going away one day and none of it will matter.

Your life and what you have done with the talents which God has given you to bless others with and to show His grace and mercy to the rest of the world is all that really matters in the end. Why is that? Because it is only those accomplishments which you have done for Him and through His blessings in your life which will go with you into eternity. Your money and your home and anything else of this world will stay here when you are either taken up or after you die.

So, is life easy or hard today? For some of us it could be an easy day and for some, it may be a hard day. Life goes on in the world and in each community at the same pace and for the same reasons which it was yesterday and which it will be following tomorrow.

Can we make a difference in the world today? Only by following Jesus and listening to His voice and His wisdom. Yes, we can make a difference in our lives and in the lives of other people by giving them the wisdom which God has gifted to us through His Word and by showing them Who Jesus is and by helping them to see why they need Him. Expressing His love in the world each and every day can make a big difference in the world and in the lives of those around us.

So, will you take Jesus with you to work and to school or wherever you go today so that someone will see Him in your actions and in your life? Because for many people in the world, you and your witness may be the only time that they are exposed to Jesus. So make sure that their first impression of Him is a good one so they will recognize that it is Jesus which is a part of your life and that they have benefitted from Him being present in their world today.

Where are you, God?


GodwhereareYouHow many times have you or someone you know thought this or heard it in a hospital waiting area outside of ICU? All of us have said it or thought it at some point in our lives. Something doesn’t go quite the way we hoped it would or something goes terribly wrong and we do wonder about God’s involvement in our lives. Sometimes we even blame Him for what has happened. Especially if we have lost a loved one or maybe our financial blessings have been taken from us. We tend to look to God and ask Him “What went wrong?”; “Why did this happen to me?”.

We get angry at God during these times but if you seek your answers in God’s Word where another man who had served God went through all of this and then some, you will realize that the ruler of this world is the one who tries to make us blame God and lose our faith in Him! It isn’t God!

The book of Job is said to be even older than the books of Moses but God didn’t do all of those things to Job. He allowed them to happen so He could prove to Satan that Job would NOT lose or give up on God and his faith in God. Yes, God allowed it to happen but He told Satan that you can only go this far and no more. Here is an excerpt from the first chapter of Job to show that God did not take from him but He allowed Satan to do it to prove a point:

Job 1

Job’s Character and Wealth

1There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. 2There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. 3He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yokes of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. 4His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.

Satan Allowed to Test Job

6Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. 7The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 9Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

Blaming God for your losses in life does nothing about your situation, but praying to God and reading God’s Word will help a great deal. Learning about God and how He works in different situations in the Bible will give you a foundation to stand on which makes your faith stronger, not weaker. Follow Him in all areas of your life and your life will work out in the end so that others will see that God has been with you through the worst parts and the best parts too.

The great equalizer


In life, we are unequal in most respects no matter how much we like to think that we have equality. Only a few have money and are wealthy enough to live without much fear, yet even they worry about losing it in some way. Some others have “rights” to be equal in most respects to others who have seemed to have “rights” which others wanted. These rights extend to women as well as men, those who are of dark skin or some other “race” rather than Caucasian. The great equalizer in our world extends his reach to every person, whether of great wealth or poor, to those of dark skin pigment or light. His name is Death.

All of us die at some point or another and there is no one who will escape this appointment. Some of us may die at a young age and some may live a long life even past their one-hundredth birthday. But eventually, Death will find you. We don’t like to think about death and yet it will come to each of us at some point because it is the way of things and it is part of life. We are born, we grow, we live and we die. In this, there is no argument.

So why do we try to cheat death when we reach a certain point in our lives? We run and exercise and eat healthy (but bland) foods, we go to doctors who can tighten our skin so we don’t look as old as we are. All of this is foolishness. Why? Because your body is the age which it is and there is no changing that. Regardless of how you look on the outside, your cells and the rest of your body are the age which you are and there is no turning back the clock.

Death still comes.

Unless you have the hope of eternity with Jesus as your Savior. This physical life will end unless Jesus takes you home before you die. Which could happen sooner than most people realize. When will it happen? I don’t know but according to the Bible, it will happen. In 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-17 Paul writes these words:

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this, we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

This is the only “escape” from death that will come one day. If you are a believer in Jesus as your Savior. If you haven’t accepted Him as your Savior and repented of your sinful ways then you will have no part in being taken up to be with Him. I pray that all who read this have given their hearts to Him and if you haven’t, please don’t wait. Death doesn’t notify you ahead of time when your time is up, so make sure of your destination before he comes to call on you.

Lifetime of learning


It is very possible to live even a short time without learning something, unfortunately, it is wholly possible to live a very long time and not learn very much at all. Why is this so? Is it because we don’t like learning or if we do like it we only want it a little at a time.

Each day that we live on Earth we learn something which we didn’t know before. So why do we try so hard to learn as much as we can in our field of study or our vocation? There are days in which we learn a lot and then there are days when we don’t learn much at all. Can you see a pattern forming here?

Our learning during our lifetime is usually controlled in some way by our schooling and by how much we truly want to learn. But is our learning in school and maybe in college actually benefiting the world and our life in it? It depends on our course of study actually. Some college education is geared toward a certain profession and some majors in college are for historians or liberal arts, but what can those fields change in our world? I know that architects and engineers are needed as well as lawyers and doctors, but what other profession helps mankind in life and in the death of a loved one?

Being a Christian and taking the True Gospel into the world or teaching those who will listen is the greatest calling a person can know. Being a pastor of a church and bringing God’s Word to those who attend church services is also an important vocation in God’s Kingdom. So why do pastors get a raw deal unless they are called to a large church? At smaller churches, they are the “staff” except for the person who controls the money in the church.

But in large churches, they are more like a CEO of a company which also adds more stress to their lives.

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The best education that anyone can have is to read the Bible through at least once in a year and then do it again and again. Why? Because God’s Word is alive and it gives you the wisdom that you are looking for or that wisdom that you need even when you don’t know you needed it. You also learn more from God’s Word every time you read it prayerfully because the Holy Spirit will reveal more of Him to you each time.

Will you ever learn everything that God’s Word can teach you? No, not even if you live to be 150 and read it at least once every year! His Word is alive and powerful and filled with His wisdom so that you get much more from it each time you read it. So make it a point to read a few chapters each day, then you will know how much you really don’t know about God and His Son, Jesus.

Is God in control?


First and foremost, God is sovereign. Nothing that happens in the whole universe is a surprise to Him. Not one sparrow falls to the ground apart from the Father’s will (Matthew 10:29).

So, why do we look around at all of the tragedies and the aborted babies and think that God either has a part in it or He doesn’t care about them at all? God does care and one day soon the whole world will see this and understand. They may not like what they see or how they come to understand that He is in control…but they will come to that conclusion.

Is our life in His control as well? Not in the sense that He makes us do things in our everyday lives, but He does cause things to work together for our good in the trials which we face. We may not see that this is happening and it may not feel that way at the time but God is in control. Whether the outcome is good or bad or better than we expected it to be, it is He that directs our path and the outcome as well.

There seem to be more people in America who think that they know better than God about how to live their lives, especially when it comes to being “moral” or “good”. God is still in control and always has been yet people want to argue with Christians about the “mythical” book which is the Word of God. There are too many archaeological proofs which have been found all over the Middle East which point to verses in the Bible. Proving that a city or a place which was mentioned in God’s Word actually exists.

In America, it seems that since our country has always been identified as a “Christian nation” many people here seem to take the message of Jesus for granted. We don’t seem to put much weight in preaching or learning about Jesus or about our own sinful condition which He came to save us from. Also, it seems that nobody looks at or even cares about where their eternal destination may be, even though that is what most of the New Testament was written to prepare us for!

Our lives, as short as they are by comparison to eternity, are the spiritual proving ground for that life which we enter into after this one is done. The problem in America seems to be that nobody wants to learn about it (eternity) and they don’t want to hear about their own sins or how to live righteously while going through this life. I did not say that we could live without sin, but living a righteous life is possible even when we fall and make mistakes in this life.

Living a righteous life is actually what we are called to do as a Christian. By prayer and telling others about Jesus, essentially showing the fruit of the Spirit in your life and in your walk with Jesus every day…that is living a righteous life in Christ!

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Jesus, our Redeemer, and our Shepherd knows His own and He can see the fruit which we produce in our lives and in the lives which we live through Him while we are walking with Him in this life. Is it easy to be fruitful as a Christian? That depends upon your priorities. If you place more importance on life around you or your career or your family then this life is going to feel like a burden. Some people even treat it as a hindrance to your happiness, but when you do this you are only thinking of this life and not eternity. Live with eternity in your mind so that the life around you doesn’t get in the way.

A man named Christian


This is the character in Bunyan’s tale of Pilgrim’s progress so are you on that same quest today? The quest which he was on to find that City of which God is the builder.

Hebrews 12:25 says this: “See that you do not refuse him that speaks. For if those who refused him that spoke on earth did not escape, much less shall we escape if we turn away from him that speaks from the heavens.”

Hebrews 10:38 says this: “Now the just shall live by faith, but if any man draws back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”

In the story, Christian was told by one of the characters which he met to turn aside from the path which he was on and essentially “take the easy way”. That is not the way to salvation, it is the world’s way but not God’s way. If we listen to the world’s wisdom which isn’t wisdom at all, we will always get off the path which leads to salvation. As long as we keep our faith in Jesus and keep our eyes trained upon His ways and not our own, we will be saved from the wrath to come. When we think that our religiosity is good enough to make it to heaven, that is when we fail and fall on our own pathway.

pilgrim_s_progress__unburdened_by_douglasramsey-d7dm2ixGod’s Word shows us the way and as long as we don’t create a “savior” of our own making and in our image which makes us feel good about our sins, we will make it to that City which is not built by human hands! God loves us and He gives us the choice to follow Him and His wisdom or to follow our own. It is when we follow our own ideas and our own wisdom that we fail to reach Him and we fail to truly follow Him because we are following our “god”.

Jesus said that the way is broad which the world follows and many will find that path but the pathway which leads to Life eternal is narrow and few find it. But for those few who have found it the glories of God and His Kingdom awaits them in eternity. We are loved by God and it is His wisdom which we should follow in this life which leads to Life eternal. Don’t follow the “wisdom” of the world around you because most of those who are following that “wisdom” haven’t got a clue where it leads.

Jesus Christ paved the narrow way to Heaven with His blood and it is only by belief in Him and what He did for you and me that we will find that pathway which leads to Heaven. Don’t let someone with smooth words and convincing speech tempt you into going along with them on their journey. Stay the course and follow Jesus into eternity because it is there that your true reward and your eternal life waits for you.

Give your heart to Jesus, follow Him and He will lead you to your home in Heaven. When you finally come to the cross and give your heart to Jesus, your burden will be lifted and you will be saved.

God’s way


Is there any other way? Yes, you can choose to follow your own path or the one which the world places in front of you. Sometimes we will find a path which gives us all of the goodies that the world values but it still leaves us empty. No matter which way we turn in the world, trying to find the path to real and lasting happiness, that path never intersects with the one we are on. We may find some happiness with our job or our family for a time, as long as we don’t use them as our “god” to make our way in this world.

The problem really comes full circle if we do deify some part of our career or our family because there is no lasting satisfaction in doing this. No amount of success in this world, financial or otherwise, can take the place of giving our lives to Jesus and repenting of making our lives a mess otherwise. There are no quick fixes and no amount of “good deeds” by giving lots of money or time to a worthy cause will ever save your soul. Any “good” thing done outside of God’s love and without Jesus as our motivation is useless in eternity.

The only eternity which we will see if we try to do it our way and not God’s way is the absence of God in hell for eternity. I know this sounds totally against the world’s way of looking at our good deeds but God’s way of doing things doesn’t match up with the way the world looks at it. God’s way of doing things goes completely against our logic sometimes.

Consider when God called Gideon to fight an army with a group of soldiers that only numbered about 300.

Here is the text of the choosing of Gideon’s army:

Gideon’s Army of Three Hundred

1Early in the morning Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the men with him camped beside the spring of Harod. And the camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh.

2The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many people for Me to deliver Midian into their hands, lest Israel glorify themselves over Me, saying, ‘My own hand has delivered me.’ 3Now, therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people: ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’”

So twenty-two thousand of them turned back, but ten thousand remained.

4Then the LORD said to Gideon, “There are still too many people. Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you there. If I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go. But if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”

5So Gideon brought the people down to the water, and the LORD said to him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel to drink.” 6And the number of those who lapped the water with their hands to their mouths was three hundred men; all the others knelt to drink.

7Then the LORD said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men who lapped the water I will save you and deliver the Midianites into your hands. But all the others are to go home.”

With all of the men with him, Gideon and Israel would look at the victory as their victory and not the Lord’s victory. This is why God had him to limit his army so that the glory of the battle would be given to the Lord.

God can use you as you are to accomplish much in His Kingdom and for His glory. You don’t need a seminary degree or a fantastic car or an expensive suit! John the Baptist preached in a coat of woven camel’s hair and he was the forerunner of our Lord Jesus!