Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election results: Now what? Some encouragement

My friend Pastor Phil Andrukaitis of First Baptist Church of South Portland Maine wrote a great essay this morning. Here is what Pastor Phil had to say. Very encouraging!

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“Now What?” 1st Corinthians 15:58

So, how’s that cup of coffee tasting this morning as you listen to the election and referendum results?

Reflecting on my pastoral ministry this past year while looking ahead, anticipating God’s next move as He aligns the nations according to His purpose, Paul’s words are a comfort to me. “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1st Corinthians 15:58).

The Apostle Paul’s closing statement follows a lengthy discussion of Jesus’ resurrection from the grave whereby Christians are assured of divine encouragement and hope; their labors in the Lord are not useless.

Consequently, in regards to the direction our nation has chosen this past “Election Day,” the church’s greatest need at this time is to pray to God our Father and to meditate on Scripture because the fruitfulness of ministry comes from the fellowship of our intimacy with God.

Pastors are called and gifted to serve God’s people for the work of “equipping the saints for the work of ministry” (Eph. 4:11-12). However, their work is often hindered because of the “wrestling against...spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). In addition, the presence of sin in our lives, though its power has been broken (Rom. 6:1-14), hinders the Spirit’s work of conforming believers into Christ’s image. Therefore, because of this constant spiritual conflict, our hearts experience joys and sorrows, life and death, successes and disappointments, praises and criticisms. Nevertheless, Scripture reveals encouraging truths so that we may press on with the ministry:

• Jesus is building His Church and the gates of hell will not prevail (Mt. 16:18).
• He Who began a good work in you will complete that work (Phil. 1:6).
• Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world (1st Jn. 4:4).

God has sustained and blessed His local churches that are committed to making disciples of Christ. However, to continually fulfill this biblical mandate, local churches need to prepare today’s generations for tomorrow’s chaotic world. This is my vision for my church family and for the entire “body of Christ”: I envision a host of courageous Christians, young and old, standing “face-to-face” and “toe-to-toe” against the ever-increasing wicked forces that rage against God and His people, while rescuing the lost with the gospel. Therefore, that is why I am working to implement several strategies among my church family in order to fulfill our goals.

My fellow Christians, the days of pragmatically “doing church” in a culture that is post-Christian are over. God is raising up a younger generation that seeks to reach our society; however, the framework under which the older church generation operated and our present day ministry tools are proving to be ineffective. If we fail to carefully listen to them, pray for them and for one another, and support them with encouraging words and finances, many local churches will slowly die with the older church generation.

I believe that great ministry opportunities lie ahead for Christians in a nation that is under God’s judgment. Our sinful nation needs the prayers and ministry of the church. As Jesus said from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

The Christian's ministry will not be easy because Satan continues to rage against God and His people, especially local churches that want to make a difference, not coast along into heaven.

Come and join me and others, who want to raise up courageous Christians for tomorrow’s chaotic world. Let us bring the battle and chaos to Satan’s domain by “fighting the good fight, finishing the race, and keeping the faith” (2nd Tim.4:7) with the gospel of Jesus. Amen.

~~~~~2nd Timothy 2:10, Pastor Phil~~~~~

1 comment:

  1. when i became a new born christian Elizabeth i was given a little book by a sister of the lord from my church back home in belfast n.ireland were i was baptised ,its called simply trusting here is a few verses of one of the devotionals i hope it will bring some encouragement to you and others in this sorrowful time ,God bless

    "I am trusting thee ,Lord Jesus
    trusting only thee
    Trusting thee for full salvation
    great and free
    I am trusting thee for pardon,
    at thy feet i bow
    For thy grace and tender mercy
    trusting now
    I am trusting thee for cleansing
    In the crimson flood
    Trusting thee to make me holy
    By thy blood
    I am trusting thee Lord Jesus
    Never let me fail
    I am trusting thee for ever
    And for all
    Jesus,I will trust thee
    Trust thee with my soul
    Guilty,lost and helpless
    Thou hast made me whole
    There is none in heaven,
    Or on earth,like Thee
    Thou hast died for sinners
    Therefore Lord for me



    Art thou sunk in depths of sorrow,
    Where no arm can reach so low?
    There is one whos arms Almighty
    Reach beyond thy deepest woe,
    God th'Eternal is thy refuge
    Let it still thy wild alarms
    Underneath thy deepest sorrow
    Are the everlasting arms.

    God bless


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