Week Nineteen, 2020
By John Grant
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
In these recent times, we have been introduced to a new word: pandemic. It is usually used to describe the explosion of a medical epidemic, but literally the word means something prevalent over a whole country or the world.
On December 31 last year, China alerted the World Health Organization of several cases of unusual pneumonia in Wuhan, a port city of 11 million people in the central Hubei province. The virus was unknown. Several of those infected worked at the city’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which was shut down on January 1.
The Wuhan coronavirus is thought to have originated in bats, which may have passed the disease to one of a few potential intermediary species, which then passed it to humans from where it rapidly spread around the world infecting nearly two million people and causing death in more than one hundred thousand in nearly 200 countries. The spread took not years, but days.
One of Jesus last instructions was to create another worldwide pandemic, not a medical one, but an evangelical one. He instructed His followers to make disciples of all nations, as He assured them of His continuing presence. There were no newspapers, Internet or TV and radio. His instructions fell on the ears of foot soldiers who spread the Gospel from person to person and town to town.
Beginning with Jesus, the Christianity was spread around the world first by Jesus’ disciples, then by emperors, kings, and missionaries. Through crusades, conquests, and simple word of mouth, Christianity has had a profound influence on the last 2,000 years of world history.
Humanly speaking, the odds were all stacked against it. It was unthinkable that a small, despised movement from a corner of Palestine could move out to become the dominant faith of the mighty Roman Empire, an empire steeped in fiercely defended traditional pagan religions. The spread of the Christian church in its earliest centuries is one of the most amazing phenomena in all of human history. Wave after wave of persecution was unleashed to squash it.
The earliest Christians did not have church buildings. They typically met in homes. They did not have public ceremonies that would introduce them to the public. They had no access to the mass media of their day. So how can we account for their steady and diverse expansion over the first three centuries?
The answer is found in Scripture. The spread of Christianity was through the power of the Holy Spirit and with continued presence of Jesus, both of which continue today. Perhaps an evangelical pandemic is on order.
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
What is success? How do you define it? What are the essentials of success? And how do you know when you’ve achieved success?
Google “success” and you will incredibly get 5,440,000,000 hits in .48 seconds. Go to Amazon and you find there are over 90,000 books written about success. All of these sources are filled with formulas, fundamentals and principles for achieving success in a given area of life.
The world’s standard often measures success on the basis of prosperity, performance, possessions, position, or power. God, however, not only gives His definition of success, but the means by which we can achieve it.
When Moses died, Joshua was designated to become the leader of Israel and assigned the task of conquering Canaan. God issued this stirring and inspiring exhortation to encourage and direct Joshua (Joshua 1:6-9).
Here are God’s five fundamentals to Joshua for spiritual success and prosperity.
1. Be Strong.
2. Be Courageous
3. Stay Focused
4. Meditate on the Word.
5. Do God’s Will.
Let’s return to the fundamentals of our faith. Then our way will be “prosperous,” and we will enjoy “good success.” Ken Weliever, The Preacherman.
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
By owning fewer possessions, we reserve time, money, and energy for the things that matter most. So, take some time to focus on the things you own and what can be removed, today or in the future. The Minimalist
Even in total silence, it’s hard to hear God’s voice over the screaming claims of the world when God tries to pierce our heart, that’s what Satan does. Dwight Short
Hope in your present is fueled by God’s faithfulness in the past. Kelly Knouse
Hope is setting my focus on ultimate restoration, not instant relief. Kelly Knouse
Hope is a gift you receive, not a goal you create. Kelly Knouse
Before we were saved, we were the focus of our lives. Bob Sprinkle
Appreciation is one of the world’s greatest motivators.