As Children of God, we should be so grateful for salvation. The precious blood of Jesus has washed us and made us whiter than snow; what an awesome God we serve! I think about what David said in Psalm 8:4, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? It should humble us so to think that such a holy God would pick us to be his children.
We should never forget the first time we made our way to an altar, and cried out for the mercies of God, and the peace we felt as we wept at the feet of our Lord and Savior. We should never forget the day we got baptized in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, coming up out of the water a new creature in him and hidden in his love. How could we ever forget when we got baptized with the Holy Ghost? The joy that flooded our souls and the love that flowed through our hearts! It is the sweet Spirit of God that leads us into the truth of his word.
According to the Holy Bible, many are called but few are chosen, The Lord calls many to come unto him, but they appear to reject his call. I cannot however, help but wonder; are they rejecting his call? Or could it be the laborers in the harvest field do not hear their silent cry? Many people spend many years running from God and go down many wrong paths in their lifetime.
I would like to share my personal experience of how Jesus first called me to follow him. I knew it was the voice of my Shepherd calling; yet I was not quite sure how to respond. I kept hoping someone would invite me to come to church, but it never happened! My heart was gripped with fear of making that final decision of surrendering my life over to the Good Shepherd. Finally it happened, I asked a co-worker if I could go to church with her one Easter Sunday.
It was a rather large church. It was not however, the fullness of Apostolic truth. At that particular time, I was not thinking about the Apostolic way, although I have Apostolic roots in my family. I was only trying to respond to the voice of my Shepherd. The word of God began to soften my hardened heart during this time; I began to grow in God’s word rather quickly.
God began to deal with me about going to an Apostolic church. I can remember walking by a small home mission church with a friend of mine and saying to her; “I feel God wants us to visit this church.” We both agreed to go to a Wednesday night Bible Study. I will never forget how our journey began as we took our first steps toward the truth of God’s holy word.
We went there not really knowing what to expect. We walked in, and set at the very back of the small sanctuary. My Lord Jesus had cleaned the inside of my cup, but the outside of my cup still needed some cleaning. I took note that the pastor’s wife looked at us a little strange. The pastor greeted us along with a handful of the saints; I kept thinking, ”I wish we would just get stared!”
We worshiped to a few songs and then finally it was time for the preaching of God’s word. I always enjoyed hearing the preaching of God’s word; however, this time I could hardly understand what was being said because the P.A. system was so loud.
Thinking that we were college students, he began to speak on not needing an education to preach the gospel. Then he went on to call every woman by the name of Jezebel who cut their hair and put make-up on their face while looking at us the whole time he preached. I wanted to move my place of sitting to under the pew! I was so bewildered by his mode of presentation that I wanted to leave immediately; however, I sat there out of respect for the household of God.
Although I was only a baby in Christ, I did have the Holy Ghost, but I had not been baptized the proper way. Thank God for his keeping power! I don’t believe I even knew who Jezebel was at that particular point of my journey.
Finally the preaching was over and it was time for the altar call. As he stood there making the altar call, most of the saints turned and looked at us. I said to my friend; let’s get out of this place now! We walked out and felt we would never return again.
Needless to say, the Lord led me to a good Apostolic church and the outside of my cup got cleaned up God’s way. Although I thought I would never go back to that church, I find it rather amusing that it was there that God allowed me to preach my first message. My husband and I co-pastor a church, and I believe God has used my experience to give me a tender heart toward people visiting for the first time.
As born again Apostolics we should be the most influential people upon the face of this earth. When sinners and babies in Christ walk into our churches they should sense God’s love and peace and walk out with a desire to want to return so they can become powerful vessels for the glory of God.
Jesus said to Simon Peter, feed my lambs and sheep. He did not ask Peter to beat his sheep with harsh words, but rather feed them. I have seen people get outside of the word of God and begin to beat the sheep with their own words. I believe God is asking his people today; lovest thou me? Feed my lambs and sheep. There is a fine line between being a Shepherd and dominating the flock, and we must be very careful not to step over that line.
Should we compromise the word of God and not teach holiness? No, not at all! In fact, we need to teach holiness with God’s wisdom even more so today. Most importantly we need to live holiness before God’s lambs and sheep in this day and time.
I regret to say, many people have walked away from this wonderful truth because of lack of wisdom in the pulpit. We must remember, the Bible says love covers a multitude of sin. How we need Shepherds today to feed God’s sheep so souls can be added to God’s kingdom.
In closing, we must keep in mind Jesus came to seek and save the lost and the Bible says he that winneth souls is wise. Time and eternity will soon meet; therefore, we must walk softly before God and pray there be no blood on our hands.
Until next time,
Pastor Melinda (Mindy)