Tuesday, July 2, 2019

CIRCLE OF FIRE



Do you know that God is going to hold you responsible for doing your part in affecting the world? God has given every Believer in Jesus Christ an individual charge to make a world of difference on Earth... one person at a time. No, we are not held responsible for all the people in the world but we are held responsible to all the people God has placed around us. With each person you touch, the Lord empowers you to build an unstoppable Circle of Fire...

Nothing in this world happens by accident and there is no such thing as a coincidence. God is sovereign... He is a Holy Supreme Being. He created this world. He is the One Ruler who reigns over it all. God is omnipresent... He sees everything and His presence is everywhere. He is in our past, present and future - all at the same time. God is omniscient... He is the embodiment of all knowledge and all wisdom. He is forever all-knowing. Is all of this too much for you to comprehend? Of course it is. That is why you are you and God is God.

There is a reason for everything that happens to us. Every single experience that we go through - the good and the bad - has been ordained by God. Everything has to pass through His hands. This doesn't mean God causes bad things to happen, but it does mean God has to allow it before it can happen. Why does it have to be like this? Because God does not control everything we do. He has given us free will to make our own decisions - even when it leads to our own detriment. But would you have it any other way? Because of the evil that is in this world, people unaware are influenced to make bad decisions that bring negative consequences their way. Remember, these are their decisions, not God's, made of their own volition. Because there is evil, there are evil people in this world who are willingly acting with intentions to kill, steal and destroy you and yours. Because God has a master plan that involves working all of this out for His ultimate good.

This is a hard truth for many of us to accept. Nevertheless, we must know that God is not caught off guard by anything we do and nothing catches Him by surprise. In an effort to understand the Lord better, we must remember that we serve the One and only Almighty God. He is not a man. We were made according to His image. He was not made according to ours. The following statement has become such a cliche', but I still want to declare it because it is true. God's ways are so much higher than our ways because His knowledge and understanding of everything is far beyond what we can even try to comprehend. But we can find solace in knowing that God tells us He will use all things for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose. Our life is a burden that we do not have to carry. God is perfectly capable of managing this world - and every person in it. He’s got this. However, for all to go well with us, we must be mindful to seek, trust, listen and obey Him - no matter what. When God allows us to go through things, know that there is always a reason for it and there is always a lesson in it for us to learn. This is also true where it concerns the people around us. God allows certain people to come into our lives and to cross our path - for a reason.

We are not always happy with the people we have in our lives. But God has predetermined that they will serve a purpose. We don't always like the family we are born into. In fact, many may say, "If it were up to me, I wouldn't have chose them." Well, maybe not. But God did and He knows better. Nothing happens unintentionally. There is a select group of people that the Lord has purposely placed around you. Some of us have small groups while others may have larger groups. Nevertheless, these people are not in our life by accident. They are here by God's design. God is a relational God who desires, and requires, intimacy and interaction with His children. He does not need our help to do anything but by His grace He chooses to work with us and through us to bring about His mighty Kingdom plan. Therefore, He has given each of us a very important job to do. Some will serve for good while others will serve for evil. Either way, God uses everyone. If you've ever wondered why you were born or why you were placed here on this Earth at this particular time in history, know that it was not by circumstance. You were placed here for a very specific reason. God has a plan for you and if you do not do your job, no one else will. God also has a plan that includes all the people in your life.

The people God has placed around you are also a part of God's plan and you have a job to do in their lives. You may not know how this plan will all come together, but it will in God's perfect timing. Everyone's life has been intricately weaved together for a purpose. As you do your part in the lives of the people around you, you are furthering God's plan. You are also helping to create a powerful Circle of Fire. With your active participation, you will help to form a strong band of people who are, or will be, on fire for Jesus! Who are the people that make up your circle? They include your spouse, your children, people in your local church, your extended family, your in-laws, your friends, your co-workers, your employees, your doctors, your mailmen, and even the people you randomly meet at the grocery store. They are those you enter into conversation with every day. 

The world has lied to you. It has tried to convince you that life, as you know it, is all about you and all you can get out of it. This may be so for some for this world is all they will have. But, if you are a true child of God, you are the recipient of the shed Blood of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for you. Therefore, your life should be all about Him. Yes, we are in this world and we are to live life while we're in it. We have work to do and bills to pay. We want to enjoy the world around us and those God has placed in it. However, you must remember that the most important responsibility you have is your ministry. 

Everyone you know needs to know Jesus. Their life is depending on it. "I can't make someone decide to be a Christian," you may say. You're right. It is not your job to make someone be a Christian but it is your job to lead someone to Christ. We are in partnership with the Lord. He has given us gifts and talents that enable us to do the job. Some of us are required to plant the seed while others are required to water it. However, God is the one who ultimately causes the growth. You are only responsible for doing your part.

God's desire is that all would be saved and that none should perish. However, we know that not everyone will come to the Lord - this may include some of the people in your life. The Bible tells us that the path that leads to Him is narrow while the gate that leads to destruction is broad. It is not your responsibility to decide who will come and who will not. Appearances are deceiving and only God truly knows the heart. Not everyone you think is saved, is truly saved and not everyone you think is damned, is truly damned. Only God knows the heart and what will be concerning each soul. So, you must approach everyone as if their life will depend on it, because it does.

People are dying every day and every day people will continue to die. When our time comes to leave this world and transition to another we will not be able to take our family and friends with us. Those who enter Heaven, will not do so by anything in and of themselves. They will not be able to gain entry with their status, career choice or  degrees. Jesus, alone, paid the price. He earned the degree for us. No amount of earthly riches will be able to help us there. Everything we have worked hard for here will be left behind. But if your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life, you can rest assured that all you will take with you is your testimony of how you lived for Jesus. It is all you will need.

As a Christian, you have been given a ministry on this Earth. "But I'm not qualified for ministry," you may say. Not true. God says you are more than qualified.  As a true child of God, no one can qualify more. You are a living recipient of His grace, mercy and love. You walk and talk with Almighty God who rules the universe. Therefore, your life is a miracle. You have an amazing experience that God has only given to you. It is your Christian conversion story. This story is also called your testimony. Every true Christian has one. Our testimonies consist of our unique walk with God. It is genuine proof of our witness to the existence and power of Jesus Christ. People need to know that God is real and only through Jesus can they know Him. By all means, your story must be shared with others.

The Bible tells us that we have conquered Satan by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. So you must make sure that everyone who wants to listen hears it. The Bible also tells us that the gospel truth must be told to all the world as a testimony to all nations before the end will come. Jesus is waiting on you. If you don't share your testimony, people will never hear what only you can tell them. No one can share your story but you. There are details about your experience that will speak only to people who can relate to those details. There are people out there who will not listen to me but they will listen to you. And what you don't say is just as important as what you do say. Your words are powerful. Boldly use them. They hold the secret to Life and death. Your words could very well help someone make a decision that will determine where they will spend their eternity. 

"I'm not comfortable speaking about something that I'm not an expert in," you may say. You do not need a theological degree or have graduated seminary to fulfill your ministry. You do not need to be formally called as an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher in the Church to serve the Lord. You were already qualified, by God, before He called you as a disciple of Jesus Christ and you accepted His call the moment you accepted Him as your Lord and Savior.

You are responsible to those who make up your Circle of Fire. Be diligent in how you interact with them. "So, what am I suppose to tell these people?" you may ask. Tell them what you wish someone had told you long before you gave your life to Jesus. People are waiting for you to tell them that Jesus loves them. They need to know that He cares about every aspect of their life. Tell them that He wants to save them from death which is the penalty of their sins. No one, with good sense, wants to die and spend eternity separated from all that is good, from all that is of God. No one, with good sense, wants to suffer unspeakable suffering and torture in Hell. People want peace in knowing that after their Christian loved ones die, that they will see them again. People need to know that God is real, that Heaven is waiting and that they can live eternally in glory with Jesus. 

“But what if people I talk to don’t want to hear about Jesus?” you may ask. That is not your call. You are not responsible for the reactions of people. You are only responsible for the actions of yourself. If people don’t want to hear about Jesus, oblige them. Don't speak to them about Him. However, they will still come to know about Jesus through your actions. If God has called them, don't be surprised if they end up coming to you. As long as they interact with you, people will continue to see Jesus in you. "But I am not a Bible expert," you may say. It is not necessary for you to be a Bible scholar although you do need to read the Bible for yourself. How will you be able to live the Scriptures if you don't know the Scriptures? Yet, how you live is so much more important than what you preach. When it is all said and done, the life you have lived on this Earth will speak volumes. Your life will either speak loudly for Jesus or, or by default, speak loudly against Jesus. There is no middle ground.

As a true Christian, what you do on Earth is a crucial part of God's Kingdom plan. Keep in mind that what you do - and what you don't do - will matter all the same. This is very important for you to understand. Your actions and your words will testify - not just for you - but for those God has placed around you. As far as God is concerned, every person on Earth will be evaluated based on one question: "What did you do with Jesus?"

"He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad." 
Matthew 12:30

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