Impact, Motivation and Inspiration

Special Guest Editorial by Curtis White (House Church Leader- Central Region)

When I was in grammar school, back when the world was flat, the Dodgers were still playing in Brooklyn, and you could get a shoeshine for a quarter, I was an altar boy in a “Ritzy” church in Midtown Manhattan.  It was a huge church, and I worked the early morning mass. It was always empty, just a few little old ladies whispering the rosary. It was so quiet you could literally hear a pin drop. The mass was in Latin, so we had no idea what was being said. When the most boring and confusing 45 minutes of my day were finally over, we had pastries. In fact, once, I reached out my hand to touch one of the expensive golden cubicles in the back, and the priest slapped my hand away! He said “Don’t touch that! Jesus is in there”! And I thought with my 4th grader mind, “Gee! He can’t have very much impact locked up in a box all the time”. And do you know what? He didn’t…and later in life I realized Jesus wasn’t in there! The real Jesus of the Bible is alive, active and very powerful!

A LIFE THAT HAS IMPACT!

“From the time of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it”! Matthew 11:12

When I look at what is loosely called “Christianity” today, I am alarmed, appalled, and ashamed. But why should I expect religion to be any different today than it was in Jesus day? Maybe- it is because we have the Bible? Maybe it’s because we have the predictions of Jesus death and resurrection over and over again spanning thousands of years in the Old Testament? Maybe because we have the firsthand accounts of 11 men who walked with Him and of Paul, who spent 3 years with Him in Arabia and they went and turned the entire world upside down? Maybe because everywhere they went, these men caused riots, controversy, and upheaval? These were forceful men who had impact! Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way. Luke 4:18-19, 28-30

Zach

Campus is on fire this summer! The brothers welcome Zach Shahan, who gave an amazing sermonette prior to his baptism!

In Acts 13:44-46 it says: On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. They began to contradict what Paul was saying and heaped abuse on him. Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. Question: Do you have the nerve to continue sharing your faith in the face of rejection? In Acts 14:2-4; But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the other Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders. The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the apostles. Question: Does your message ring true and cause the division that Jesus promised as a result of preaching the Gospel?

In Acts 17:5 But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. Question: What’s going to happen when things get “HOT” around here? Will you keep preaching the truth? In Acts 18:6 But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” Fact: It broke Jesus’ heart, but he didn’t chase people who weren’t open!

If you are a disciple of Jesus today, you have His Spirit living inside of you. Let HIM out! I want to challenge you, is this the kind of impact your Bible Talk is having on Orlando today? Hey, I strive to be relatable, to be amiable, to be kind, and loving, sometimes not so successfully albeit, but are you willing to compromise the word of God, for a more comfortable journey? With Jesus, it has always been all or nothing! Luke 14:33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. That’s what it takes to inherit eternal life, and that’s what we must call people to do, at all costs!

A LIFE THAT IS HIGHLY MOTIVATED!  

…The idols speak deceitfully, diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd. “My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for the Lord Almighty will care for his flock, the people of Judah, and make them like a proud horse in battle. From Judah will come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler. Together they will be like warriors in battle trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets. They will fight because the Lord is with them, and they will put the enemy horsemen to shame. Zechariah 10:1-5

Quote from www.TIME.com: “Americans of every religious stripe are considerably more tolerant of the beliefs of others than most of us might have assumed, according to a new poll released Monday. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life last year surveyed 35,000 Americans, and found that 70% of respondents agreed with the statement “Many religions can lead to eternal life.” Even more remarkable was the fact that 57% of Evangelical Christians were willing to accept that theirs might not be the only path to salvation, since most Christians historically have embraced the words of Jesus, in the Gospel of John, that “no one comes to the Father except through me.” Even as mainline churches had become more tolerant, the exclusivity of Christianity’s path to heaven has long been one of the Evangelicals’ fundamental tenets. The new poll suggests a major shift, at least in the pews.”

When I first read this I was dumbfounded! I was astounded! Understand the gravity of this. Millions of people being led by “False Prophets”! History repeats itself. Now if you are born in Italy, you don’t have a choice, you will grow up speaking Italian. By the same token, if you are born into a particular denominational home, you will grow up drinking that particular brand of “spiritual poison”. Who is going to present these people with the truth? Now granted, some of the leaders have good intentions, some are just plain ignorant, and some are flat-out disciples of Satan himself! Do good intentions get us to Heaven? When you share your faith with someone and get rejected, they are not rejecting you, they are rejecting God Himself. We are to be sent out as sheep among wolves. Look what Jesus says:

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” Matthew 23:37-39

Mercy

The Disciples had an amazing time serving meals to the homeless in Downtown Orlando. Over 300 meals were served!

Now some of you come from fine families. Your grandma taught you manners, respect, and she reads the Bible. She goes to a nice little church on a nice little street, and a nice young Pastor said the “sinner’s prayer” with her. Well guess what? She was lied to, fed false doctrine, as a result she is lost, and will spend eternity in Hell, along with the rest of her knitting club, unless someone gets motivated to go and tell her the truth of what the Bible says. Who is going to get out of their comfort zone, and go and beg and plead for her life? What about your neighbors, your co-workers, your friends? Does this fact motivate you to take eternity more seriously?

Let’s get a GLOBAL picture for a minute and get a look at some pertinent statistics……….Who is going to go there and plant churches? The International Christian Church is! What about us in Orlando? We are responsible for the Southeastern U.S., and the Caribbean. The population of Florida is 19,300,000;          Orlando-250,000;  Gainesville-126,000; Tampa-348,000; Miami- 414,000; Kingston-938,000 ; Jamaica-2,720,000; Cuba-11,263,000; Haiti-10,671,000; Dominican Republic-9,745,000; Puerto Rico-3,676,000 and Trinidad-1,344,000. This is our part of the world! I hope and pray that you are MOTIVATED!

A LIFE THAT INSPIRES OTHERS!

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds”. Hebrews 10:24 I admire and draw inspiration from the many great men and women of the Bible. Joshua, Gideon, David, Samson, Ruth, Esther, Jesus, Peter, and Paul are some. But we have GREAT men and women of God right here in our midst. Matt and Helen Sullivan came from San Francisco, to Fresno, to Portland, to Arizona, to Santiago, Chile, to Los Angeles, to Orlando, all to strengthen our movement, and their daughter Melissa is in Chile right now to strengthen the teens there.

Lucy Vasquez gave up the comfort of her home, her friends, and loved ones in Chicago to move here, and now she has 3 people studying the Bible in Orlando and one in California. OJ and Jalisa Nduka gave up everything they had to move here from Washington D.C. to start what will soon be the Winter Park House Church. Paula Harpole dropped everything to buy a house downtown to strengthen the soon to be Orlando downtown region. There are the Greens, the Farrells, the Hunts, the teams we are sending out to Arizona and Los Angeles. Please forgive me for not mentioning all of your names, but you are all included. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see…By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.  By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days. By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Hebrews 11:1, 29-40

I want to challenge you today to live a life that has IMPACT on the people around you, to be highly motivated to save lives and build up the Kingdom for the glory of God, and to continue to be inspired by, and bring inspiration to, your brothers and sisters in Christ, all over the world! To God be the Glory! AMEN!

Curtis White

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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