I have begun reading a new devotional book called Extreme Devotion. It is written by The Voice of the Martyrs. These are true stories of those who have been martyred for the faith. It includes people from the New Testament, early church history, as well as people that have been martyred in our lifetime. I am personally challenged by the lives of the saints who have gone before us.
In the introduction it declares, “The first part in understanding this theology is in realizing that these stories are not hopeless accounts of torment. They are not victims; they are victors. Nor are these believers ‘super’ Christians. Certainly they are outstanding in their courage, tenacious beyond human reason, and devoted to Christ in a way that is sometimes difficult to understand. But in reality they are ordinary Christians (like us) who face extraordinary situations.”
Ordinary Christians. These are ordinary Christians who trust God for extraordinary results. Look at what the Scriptures say. James 5:17-18 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and prayed fervently that it might not rain and for three years and six months and it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain and the earth bore its fruit. (John 14:12) Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these he will do, because I’m going to the Father. I believe these promises, and I want to imitate these believers as I go forward in my Christian walk.
Going back to the devotional, listen to some comments from Day Twelve: “Missionaries are often mis-characterized as a sort of special forces—a unique troop in God’s army of faith which acts on our behalf. The truth is, every believer is called to be a missionary. Some of God’s most valuable work may take place around the kitchen table, having coffee, in a next-door neighbor’s house. The heart of our mission remains the same wherever our mission may take us. We are bound to share the love of Christ. For some, sharing their faith with their closest friends would be a personal feat of heroic proportions.”
For most of us our hardest struggles to share the gospel are with family members and friends. These are people you love and for whom you have prayed for many, many years. Continue to persevere. Camp out at the feet of Jesus and our Father; beseech Him to have His Spirit act on our behalf. He does miracles every day, every minute. Like Jacob, don’t let go. Be that persistent widow in Luke 18 asking for justice. And, if you choose, let us pray with you on your behalf.
Please pray for us that we finish the summer strong. Our Summer Series this year has been fantastic. Great principles from scripture have been shared, as well as practical applications in the business world. I cannot thank Dr. Mark Gignilliat and our panelists enough for their willingness to share and be open with their own personal lives.
Our Fall Breakfast is coming up October 3 with Reynaldo Wynn, former Washington Redskin and currently with the Joe Gibbs Game Plan for Life. We also have two fundraising events in the Fall. We are so grateful for the number of new men in our studies.
Thank you for your continued faithfulness. We praise God for you, for what God is doing, and for the impact this ministry will have for eternity. Let’s strive to be “ordinary” Christians—with God honoring, miraculous results.
In our Lord,