When To Move On

Mark Office

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Acts 18:6 (NLT)
6 But when they opposed and insulted him, Paul shook the dust from his clothes and said, “Your blood is upon your own heads—I am innocent. From now on I will go preach to the Gentiles.”

One of the great challenges of witnessing is knowing when to move on. There will be some people that simply will not listen no matter what we say to them. Even if we use the most creative means, consistently show them the love of Christ, and pray for them daily, their hearts may still remain as hard as stone. So what do we do? I remember a time in my first pastorate when there were some people in the church who were treating myself and my family is a very disrespectful manner. We had a congregational meeting with the Presbyter, who at that time was Mike Massey, who recently went to be with the Lord. The meeting was not pretty! It consisted of one side of the church standing up and complaining about me, and someone from the other side standing up and sticking up for me. This went on for an hour and a half (to me it seemed an eternity). At the conclusion of the meeting, Mike put his arms around me and said, “Mark, if the Holy Spirit hasn’t changed them, you and I aren’t going to.” It was some of the best advice that I was ever given in my nearly 20 years of ministry. Sometimes we just have to move on! That’s what Paul did here in Acts 18, they wouldn’t listen to his message, so he decided to move on. He made the decision to go to the Gentiles who would listen. Does that mean that he gave up on the Jews? I don’t believe that he did. I’m sure that he continued to pray for them and ask God to change them, but as far as continuing to try and convince them he had moved on. He wasn’t going to waste his time and efforts in ministry to those who wouldn’t listen. How do you come to this decision? Ask the Holy Spirit to show when it’s time to move on, and he will show you what to do.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

Advertisements

What Do You Do When Someone Doesn’t Believe In The Bible?

Mark Office

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Acts 17:30-31 (NLT)
30 “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. 31 For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”

Max Lucado says, “The Bible has been banned, burned, scoffed, and ridiculed. Scholars have mocked it as foolish. Kings have branded it as illegal. A thousand times over, the grave has been dug and the dirge has begun, but somehow the Bible never stays in the grave. Not only has it survived, it has thrived. It’s the single most popular book in all of history. It has been the best-selling book in the world for years.” However, we live in a society that has lost it’s respect for the Bible and no longer believes in its authority. So what do you do when you are talking to some one about the Lord and they don’t believe in the Bible? That’s simple, you use things that they do believe in to get your point across. That’s what the Apostle Paul did in Athens. Other times he used Scripture when he was talking to Jews who accepted Scripture as the word of God, but in Athens he was talking to Gentiles who had no regard for the Hebrew Scriptures. So what Paul did was he quoted some of their own writers, poets and philosophers to tell them about Jesus. This will require some work on your part, and you will have to do some research to find out what they believe and why that belief is contrary to what the Bible teaches. We will have to be well versed in what people believe and be able to refute that belief as a believer in Christ. One book I highly recommend is a book called The Universe Next Door by James Sire. It goes through some of the major belief systems of the world from a Christian perspective. Remember “Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (1 Cor. 15:58).

In Christ,
Pastor Mark

Preparation Is Everything

Mark Office

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

1 Peter 3:15 (NLT)

15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.

Have you ever been sitting in the break room at work or somewhere during lunchtime with your friend or coworker, and begin to eat your lunch that you brought from home? Your friend or coworkers lunch is made from homemade fluffy bread, that’s a two-hander meal, stacked with fresh lettuce, chopped tomatoes, a slice of cheddar cheese with a dill pickle on the side…Not to mention the side items of a small dish of macaroni salad or chopped fruit, topped with a slice of cake wrapped in cellophane. While yours is just a couple of pieces of flattened bread with bologna and cheese and a smear of mayo, a stale bag of chips that has been hiding in the back of your pantry, and a coagulated plastic dish of pharmaceutically sealed jello pudding. As you look at their lunch, and discretely wipe the drool from the corner of your mouth, you let out a silent sigh, and munch down on your quick-grab lunch. Many times when we come to church, we just slap ourselves together and come to church to expect something to wow us, just as you were “wowed” with your co-workers carefully prepared lunch. We need to do more than just the “grab n’ go” when it comes to worshipping our God. In addition, we must always be ready to share our Christian faith with others. Sharing our faith, like worshipping God, will take preparation. Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit would remind us of things we had learned, but if we have not put in the time and preparation by studying the word he has little to work with in us. Preparation is everything. Preparation in prayer, the Word, in worship, and in the Spirit. Are you prepared?

In Christ,

Pastor Mark