Living Word Christian Fellowship
“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving...” Psalm 26:7
Vol. 15, No. 11 November 2006
This month Living Word celebrates 20 years of ministry in Richmond, Indiana. God was so faithful to us as we began in our home, then moved to Yokefellow Conference Center at Earlham College. God then moved us to 2000 West Main and now with 3 building additions completed, we reside at 1990 West Main. His vision for us as a teaching and training center continues to grow with the latest addition for Richmond Academy. We are all very grateful for God’s vision and provision and for the love and support of all those in this fellowship and all the friends and family from around the world. We love you and appreciate you each one. We look forward to the next 20 years and all that God will lead us into as we continue to draw unto Him and His ways.
Dear Family of God:
Proverbs 14:30 “A tranquil heart is life to the body.”
How do I get one? “Life is full of disappointments and despair. Everything bothers me from the way of the world to the way of the church. I can’t find peace any longer. There is so much pain and hurt.”
This seems to be the picture I get from many believers today (and non-believers as well). There is one reason – They are not letting Christ rule their hearts and minds. Difficulties should make us stronger in the Lord. It builds our faith to rely and trust Him more than before. If you are just too weary continually, stop relying on your own abilities and strengths and wisdom and understanding because that is not wise.
Pride often keeps us out of the godliness of living. “If I don’t do something, nothing will ever change.” Change is inevitable. But change with the wrong motive or spirit is destructive and often causes us more grief than if we would have just waited.
One reason the Lord is asking us to simply wait on Him is so we will hear what He is saying. When we hear we will be strengthened and edified to believe that He will do what He says.
Eze 12:25 “For I [am] the LORD: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord GOD.”
We are in the time when God’s Word will come to pass for His Church and all involved in His purposes. But you need to hear to believe and in believing you will prosper eternally. And guess what? It won’t be hard at all, just a blessing of life that you waited for so long. Hallelujah.
Servants Will Serve
Rev 22:3 “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:”
There is only one true way to serve the Lord – know Him! When we get to know Him, service becomes a delight and pleasure. Christ was born to serve His Father’s will. Though He was God’s Son, He made Himself His servant. We, too, were born to serve; through gratitude, we are saying I owe the Lord even though I can never repay what He has done for me.
The reason you were delivered from darkness was to serve the Lord. “And His servants will serve him.”
When God told Pharaoh to let His people go, it was “that they may serve me.” (6 times). In God’s mind deliverance and service go together.
DELIVERANCE is threefold: To serve the Lord - Not to serve ourselves - To be faithful servers
Isa 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound;”
As Christ is, so are we in the world. We have His nature and the Holy Spirit so that we might set captives free in His name and power. But people are not being delivered because we are not delivered. Only free men can deliver others. In order to press into Christ we must lay aside the weight that hinders us. Our thinking, speech and behavior must line up with Jesus Christ; otherwise, we are servants of Satan. Wherever sin resides we are servants to it:
Romans 6:16 “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
We must be delivered from all forms of spiritual immaturity. Babes can’t conquer the enemies of the Lord. If we harbor timidity and fear, we will flee instead of fight the Lord’s battles. If we indulge in rebellious activity and refuse hardness as good soldiers of Jesus, we will not be fit for His army. Selfishness only serves itself. Worldliness is so we can serve ourselves.
Demas is mentioned in scripture as a fellow worker with Paul (2 Tim.4:10). The contrast that Paul is sharing is that Demas cared more about the things of the world than the things of the Kingdom of God. Commentaries tell us because Paul was not popular, Demas left him to find more excitement and Paul says, “this is dishonorable,” even producing apostasy. Further historical writings say it was “money” Demas was after so he got in a dispute and left Paul. As long as our thoughts are filled with envy and strife, we are yet carnal (1 Cor.3:3). And carnal Christians cannot teach others to walk in the Spirit, neither can they know how to serve the Lord.
Christ’s servants must be free from oppressors and hindrances to serve the Lord (Luke 1:74-75).
The first reason we are delivered is to serve the Lord. Second, we are delivered so as not to serve ourselves.
(Phil 3:7-12) The Lord delivers us from the control of sin, immaturity, hindrances and oppressions that we might give our all to Him. There are multitudes of examples in the Bible of being delivered in order to serve the Lord. In each case, those who were delivered sought not what God could do for them, but what they could do for God.
Today salvation is different. Many receive the Lord so He may help them do their own will in life. As with the deception of humanism, they believe Christianity to be a higher kind of self-realization in which to choose their own walk in life. Discipleship always asks to give up our own plans for the ones we are to serve. But today, Christians misuse their liberty for an occasion to serve the flesh (Gal.5:13).
The true gospel teaches that the Savior is not come to assist us; we are to assist Him.
John 8:29 “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.”
Our prayers must always be, “Lord what do You want me to do.” (Act.9:6)
The third reason for deliverance is “To be faithful servers.”
(Daniel 6:16) It was the faithfulness of Daniel that brought forth his deliverance. He served God continually and was delivered. Over and over again God brings forth His faithful servants. “God holds a special place for those who serve Him continually. Because they never fail to serve Him, He never fails to save them.” Faithful servants demonstrate the principle of giving. Because they give, it is given to them. Wherever they go, God stands with them, ready to rescue them in whatever they may go through.
God’s reason has not changed. He still delivers his people that they may serve Him. We must continue to allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse us and purify our souls, to establish and mature us so that we may do his will without reservation.
MEDITATE OF THIS: “Your God, whom you serve continually, he will deliver you.”
Col.3:23 -24 “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
Serve the Lord diligently, in season and out of season (2 Tim. 4:2), when you see results and when you don’t; when you are popular and when you are despised, when you are weak or when you are strong – CARRY ON. Let nothing and no one keep you from fulfilling your service to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
Believe that your service will be noticed and blessed by the Lord of the harvest: Hebrews 6:10 “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
As you believe, so shall it be done unto you. Everyone who sows in tears, shall reap in joy, and that includes you!
“AND HIS SERVANTS SHALL SERVE HIM!”
. . . My calling as a pastor
Pastor’s Journal 2005
Nov. 1: “Unto the pure all things are pure, but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure, even their mind and conscience are defiled.” (Titus 1:15)
Nov. 2: The vision of a phoenix rising out of the fire is a picture of the church rising in the glory of the Spirit of God.
Nov. 3: One true way to know the Holy Spirit is in control of your life is that you are not offended at what the Lord is doing in and with you.
Nov. 4: The Lord requires a broken heart. (Psm. 51:17)
** “You are now in a breakthrough mode. You will see the salvation of the Lord in operation and in splendor and in glory.”
Nov. 17: “You are strengthened with power through the Holy Spirit in the inner man that faith may dwell in your heart. And being established in My love you will be filled with the knowledge of Christ. He will do above what you ask or think according to the power working in you.”
Nov. 24: “The blessing of the Lord maketh rich and he adds no sorrow to it.” (Prov. 10:22)
Nov. 26: “Make no plans for the flesh.” (Rom. 13:14)
Was hell prepared for men? NO. Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels.
But this is God's only designed place for punishment. He didn't make a place for man and he won't. He only made one place, and that is for the devil and his angels. Men may choose to spend eternity in that place of fire, or they may allow the cleansing of God’s holy fire while they are here on earth.
God hates sin. He promises to burn all his enemies. He promises never to flood the earth again, but promises that the earth will be consumed by fire.
2 Pet 3:7-10 (KJV) "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."
We must choose our destinies now: fire now, or fire later.
Mat 3:11 (KJV) “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost , and with fire :”
Fire is one of the physical manifestations of God’s presence.
Fire is symbolized as: instrument of His power, a sign of His holiness, and as an illustration His anger against sin. These are all experienced when in his presence. We find these illustrated several times in the Bible: The making of the covenant with Abraham (Gen. 15:17), the appearance in the burning bush (Ex. 3:2),
God leading the Israelites by a pillar of fire by night (Ex. 13:2122; 14:24; Num. 9:1516; 14:14; etc.),
His appearance on Mount Sinai (Ex. 19:18; 24:17; Deut. 4:1136; 5:426; etc.), and others (1 Kings 18:24, 38; 1 Chron. 21:26; 2 Chron. 7:1, 3).
Fire was used symbolically in Israel’s worship to represent God’s constant presence with Israel (Lev. 6:1213).
Lev 6:12,13 (KJV) "And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings. 13 The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out."
God’s presence as fire represented both judgment and purification (pur: the words purify and purge come from the Greek word for fire). God’s baptism of fire is our only source of purification.
To be continued…
-Pr. S. Chad Ross
Like There is no Tomorrow
Watching the news these days is like going to see a science fiction thriller. This world that we live in is full of people that seem to go crazier every day. People everywhere, including some that call themselves Christians, are living their lives like there is no tomorrow. This is truly a sign that we are closer to the end of this age than what we have previously thought. Everywhere people are suing each other over ridiculous situations. People are killing other people without even having a reason. Random acts of hatred, along with the breaking of every commandment in the Bible, would make one wonder if this nation has not already been totally turned over to evil. The bottom line seems to date back to the garden, when Adam and Eve took the opportunity to do evil instead of good. That determination to do our own will, while overriding the will of God, has been the downfall of every generation since the beginning, but its outrageous increase is definitely a sign that the end is near.
Ti 3:1-5 (KJV) “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
Perhaps that type of behavior should be expected of those who have not made a statement of faith in Christ, and have not been born again, but how is it that professing Christians are exhibiting these same characteristics? It has to be just as the scriptures say it is when people love pleasure more than they love God and wish only to proclaim godliness rather than live it. A large part of that type of living stems from the deception that is being preached which says you are forgiven no matter how you live. The truth is that a person is saved as he follows the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who have been born again know that they can only serve one master.
Jdg 17:6 (KJV) “In those days [there was] no king in Israel, [but] every man did [that which was] right in his own eyes.”
When people do what is right in their own eyes, it is because they do not want anyone else to tell them what to do. This independent spirit is called pride and rebellion. The only cure is to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, take up our crosses, and follow the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is the only one who knows how to lead us into righteousness. We must believe that it is crucial in these last days to follow the Lord closely and turn from evil, or we could be part of the great falling away spoken of in the scriptures. We will never have a better life by living outside of Gods will. We must consider how close we are to the end and choose to live for the King because tomorrow could be for eternity.
Jer 29:11 (KJV) “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”