RBDNA Training Centers Updates June 2016

The excitement of April carried right on into May as we were involved in Training Seminars in Mt. Juliet, TN, Toronto, Ontario, Conway, AR and Mandeville, LA. We want to take this opportunity to thank each church, pastor and leadership team member who helped to make these seminars a reality! We also want to thank those who attended the seminars as students. It truly was an awesome month!

Many notable miracles took place during our training seminar in Mt. Juliet, TN, as well as a follow up service on Sunday in Christiana, TN. The power of God was strong and we look forward to what lies ahead for these churches involved.

Likewise in Toronto, Ontario there were well over 20 reported miracles of healing that took place during our training seminar there. In addition to those, in the follow up service Sunday AM (which happened to be Pentecost Sunday), God filled 17 with the baptism of the Holy Spirit and many more miracles of healing took place as Bro. Shutes ministered there. We were honored to minister for Pastor Carter in Brampton that morning where a mighty presence of the Spirit was felt and the church accepted the challenge to become great soulwinners!

Later that evening both myself and Bro. Shutes tag teamed ministered in a Holy Ghost Crusade service in Orillia, Ontario with Pastor Justin Pollard. This church has seen a tremendous breakthrough over the past several months and in this particular service there were several that claimed the miracle of healing! In addition a couple of children received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and one young lady was baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ! The Apostolics of Orillia are well on their way to taking spiritual dominion in their city!

We were blessed to be able to hold a mini follow up seminar and planning session with pastor Mark Melton and the team of New Life Pentecostals in North Little Rock, AR. This church has experienced a tremendous outpouring of the Spirit over the past couple of months and have seen at least seven filled with the Holy Ghost. Many new contacts are being made and doors opening for continued evangelism and Bible Studies. New Life is preparing to embark on a new plan to progress forward and not only keep this recent harvest, but prepare additional laborers to go forth into the field!

Elkins training in Conway, ARTurnpointe Church in Conway, AR was the site of another follow up seminar that helped this great team to further clarify their vision for going forward! Pastor Bryan Shock reports that at least 25 miracles of healing were reported during the training on Saturday, the follow up service on Sunday and it even continued in their regular RBD training on Monday night! For the month of May they had three baptized and at least two filled with the Holy Spirit! Bro. Shock shares that they have experienced approx. 63% growth of average attendance from Easter 2015 to Easter 2016! Four House Churches are seeing continued excitement averaging about 35 in attendance.

In Mansfield, OH Pastor Wooten shares they have been averaging 14 in attendance in their initial Course 1A group. They are building momentum and laying their administrative groundwork for their first cycle of Outreach!

Pastor Koren in Neosho, MO reports that they are refining their target areas and prepping for their next Outreach cycle. There is a great deal of excitement as they continue to work in the harvest field.

Pastor Handkins, in West Chester, PA, officially launched this month after signing on in April and getting their bearings! They are averaging around 10 in Course 1A training and have also launched a group of 10 into Discipleship. And on a recent Sunday they baptized Seven in Jesus Name! There are some very amazing reports that will be coming from PA!

Staying in Western PA, Pastor MaGee in Reading, PA reports that they are wrapping up Course 1B training and are staying strong. They have seen 14 filled with the Holy Spirit so far in 2016!

Pastor Powell of Taylorsville (another of our brand new Centers) shares that they are working on the final details for their initial launch but they have already begun to see spiritual changes taking place in the church as a result of our recent Training Seminar there. There are great things ahead! (Excuse my overuse of exclamation points but they are appropriate…!!)

Our Moorseville, NC Training Center reports that they are getting close to wrapping up their initial cycle of House Churches. Pastor Hedrick shares that they have seen 10 baptisms and 12 Holy Ghost filled in the first four months of 2016!

Pastor Gregory in DeSoto, MO shares that God is doing some amazing behind the scenes work as they move forward into the harvest field. Doors are opening not only in their town, but also with some international contacts that the church has.  Initial plans are underway for a mid summer crusade as well.

Pastor McQuinn and the team from Sudbury, Ontario were just in their initial training earlier in May, but are already seeing a tremendous impact. As those who attended the seminar made their way home on Saturday evening, following the seminar conclusion, they decided to do a little more practicing. All four began to allow the gifts to operate and began to pray against spiritual strongholds in their territory! This momentum carried forth into the Sunday service as at least four miracles took place. In total they have seen at least 16 miracles, including a lady who simply had a tumor disappear! They have 20 in Course 1A training, six in Bible Studies and on top of that…baptized two in the Name of Jesus! Sudbury will never be the same.

Lastly, our Ponca City, OK Training Center shares that God has opened an awesome door for them to step into the Indian Nation locations around their city to share the Gospel. Just this past week marked the launch of this effort, where in spite of some very stormy treacherous weather, five people braved the elements to WALK to the initial group Bible Study! This is going to be the launch of a marvelous REVIVAL!

Yours for the cause of pursuing HIS will! REVIVAL will not happen by accident…it WILL come by DESIGN…

RBDNA Training Centers Revival Update – November 2015

North America Revival Report

We wrapped up the month of October in Minneapolis, MN conducting an RBDNA Training Seminar. Pastor David Kent and the team at Christian Life Center served as wonderfulRevival - Baptism
hosts. Pastor Kent shared a tremendous vision to plant many churches throughout the Twin Cities territory to facilitate the vision of Revival as they reach for this mighty harvest! It was great to be joined by Missionary Mark Shutes as a guest trainer. We were also thrilled to see one baptized in Jesus’ Name during the service on Sunday at the host church!

Pastor McKinnies of Shawano, WI shares that plans are underway for opening their first House Church. Many miracles took place in a recent Crusade service with Missionary Mark Shutes ministering.

Our Reading, PA Training Center reports that they have completed Course 1A training and are moving into Course 1B. Due to the recent influx of new converts, they will be launching a House Church soon. Pastor MaGee also shares that they currently have two Bible Studies underway. For the year 2015, they have baptized 11 and 23 have received the Holy Ghost… five in October!

Pastor Ellingsworth in Finley, TN reports that training is progressing well and the team is focusing right now on  making contacts and securing Bible Studies.

The Training Center in Montgomery, AL is continuing to follow up on contacts from their recent Holy Ghost Rally as well as developing plans for a new cycle of outreach.

Pastor Mike Brown of Howell, MI recently shared with Missionary Mark Shutes of his vision to launch 16 churches in their territory! The RBD process will help to facilitate this vision.

Our Pine Bluff, AR Training Center shares that in a recent Holy Ghost Rally they baptized two and had one receive the infilling of the Holy Ghost!

Fevival - BaptismPastor Jacob Hedrick in Mooresville, NC Reports that their average Sunday attendance has risen by 15 in recent weeks in this North America Missions church. Launching four House Churches is now underway for this congregation.

The Sanctuary in Mtn. View, AR reports that during the month of October they have baptized seven and had several filled with the Holy Ghost! REVIVAL is happening in Mountain View!

Pastor Wilbourn in Lindsay, OK reports that in recent months they have baptized two and six have received the Holy Ghost. This Training Center is preparing to relaunch RBD!

Evangelism Director Justin Pollard of Orillia, Ontario shares that God has been providing many open doors in the past few weeks in their city. They have seen an influx of new people beginning to come to the church which is consistently seeing attendance in the mid teens to 20 weekly. Plans are underway to begin discipling these new ones. “God is moving on the hearts of the people!” Pollard states.

Yours for the cause of pursuing HIS will! REVIVAL will not happen by accident…it WILL come by DESIGN…

Revival Update – RBDNA September 2015

The past several weeks have provided many exciting opportunities to share the Revival By Design process across North America. In July, we held an RBDNA Training Seminar in Shutes at FinleyPhiladelphia, MS at North Bend UPC, pastored by Nathan Moore. In August we held another Training Seminar at Finley UPC in Finley, TN pastored by Doug Ellingsworth. This seminar was the first of several that we are planning to include Missionary Mark Shutes as a guest trainer, gleaning from his insights and expertise. In addition, we were able to promote RBDNA in a Church Growth Seminar weekend in LaGrange, OH as well as meet with several MN pastors online and share the RBD process. We are thrilled with the doors that are being opened to present this tool to pastors who are hungry for a greater move of REVIVAL in their church.

There are several RBDNA Training Centers that are leading up to a Holy Ghost Rally over the next several weeks. Right now these Centers are in the midst of their Evangelism/Outreach phase. Please keep these Training Centers in your prayers for a mighty outpouring of the Holy Ghost in these services.

Pastor Jacob Hedrick, of Mooresville, NC, shares that they have recently started six new Bible Studies in the past few weeks. Their plan is to launch four House Churches in early October.

At 2.42 Church in Montgomery, AL last minute preparations are underway for their initial Holy Ghost Rally. Pastor Wallace shares that the church has been experiencing powerful moves of the Spirit as well as instances of healing and miracles. In one of their recent services, a guest joined them that was completely new. As they greeted her, they found that she was actually from the territory that had been covered with Prayer Walks and Evangelism efforts. God is doing a great work in Montgomery!

Pastor Michael McKinnies of Shawano, WI shares that they graduated a group of 12 from Course 1A in July and are now intently focuseing on Evangelism efforts and building relationships with new contacts. The Church reports one baptism and three new Bible Studies now taking place.

Turnpointe Church of Conway, AR reports four baptisms this past month! They have also launched a new House Church group in August that has grown out of one of their original House Churches.

Pastor Joel Mitchell, of New Life Church in Arab, AL reports that they are now holding SIX House Church services every week. Their cumulative average student attendance in these groups is around 60. This church has had a significant impact upon their territory as they approach the end of their first year of utilizing the RBD process!

Our Ellettsville, IN Training Center has experienced wonderful Revival over the past few months as God continues to open multiple doors to make new contacts and reach new people. Pastor Ron Hawkins shares that they currently have one House Church meeting that is greatly impacting the students. Due to a renewed call to the church on becoming involved, plans are currently underway to launch a entirely new group into Course 1A training in the near future. Revival fires are burning!

Pastor Nathan Shutes of Lorain, OH recently shared the numerous contacts that God has given him and his family as they recently moved into a new neighborhood. God is giving them great favor among their neighbors as they approach their Holy Ghost Rally later this month.

We look forward to sharing more great reports next month as these rallies take place!

Yours for the cause of pursuing HIS will! REVIVAL will not happen by accident…it WILL come by DESIGN…

RBDNA June 2015 Training Center Update

Numerous RBDNA Training Centers are in the midst of their initial Course 1 training as they gear for a mid to late summer Holy Ghost Rally. God, however, has already begun to move in these churches as they show their devotion to taking back spiritual dominion of their territory! These are just a few of the update reports from May.

Pastor Gregory from Desoto, Mo shares that Course 1 training is continuing even in the midst of numerous other activities on the church calendar that are taking place. One of these activities finds that Pastor Gregory’s daughter, Amanda, is currently in Ireland on an AYC Missions Trip. We are certain that this will have an impact upon her life as well as the cause of Revival back in MO!

Great things are taking place with the Orillia Pentecostals, as reported by Bro. Pollard. They have recently begun a new Bible Study with a couple that God brought to them with plans for a new House Church to be launched from this study. They also have two other studies in process and it looks like another will soon begin with contacts who have reconnected after an absence of several months. This flurry of activity is the fruit of a lot of very hard work in Orillia, Ontario.

Pastor Ellingsworth of Finley, TN reports that in the midst of Course 1A training, God has already opened the door for a new Bible Study. They also report one baptism and one Holy Ghost infilling this past month!

Turnpointe Church of Conway, AR shares that they currently have two active Bible Studies in progress and also had two baptisms in May. One of the teams of two that graduated from a Home Group setting are in their period of evangelism with the goal of launching a new group just weeks away now! Pastor Shock continues to see growth in both the physical numbers as well as spiritual maturity of the church.

Pastor and Sis HedrickPastor Hedrick and the congregation in Mooresville, NC have just wrapped up their first full month of RBD training and they have set a goal of launching three House Churches later this fall! We also wish to congratulate The Altar of Lake Norman as they move into new worship facilities this month. They are preparing for the harvest! I would urge you to take a few moments and visit their website to see this new facility, as well as check out their promotion of how RBD will work in their church.

Turning Point Apostolic Church in Ellettsville, IN has recently launched a new House Church group. This is a result of new souls that God has brought to the church with several groups involved in different levels of training. Pastor Hawkins continues to note the spiritual growth that has occurred in the church as a direct result of their involvement with RBDNA.

Pastor Downs in Fayetteville, AL shares that they had one of their contacts receive the Holy Ghost in House Church recently. Also as a result of RBD, they are seeing a greater retention of their new converts. As a side note, the Downs family shared a recent miracle as God breathed life back into Sis. Downs’ body after being completely unresponsive for more than two minutes. Follow-up testing shows that there are no indications of any damage or abnormalities in her body. We truly serve a MIRACLE Working God! We rejoice with Pastor and Sis. Downs in this great report!

New Life Pentecostal of North Little Rock, AR reports that they currently have two House Churches with about 10 students in each. They also have a group reviewing some of the Course 1 lessons, with plans to move forward into Course 2 shortly. Pastor Melton also notes the new spiritual depths that people are reaching as a result of their involvement in Revival By Design.

Pastor Wallace of 2.42 Church in Montgomery, AL shares that they are continuing Course 1 training as they gear toward a late August Holy Ghost Rally. The team continues to experience tremendous visitations of the Holy Ghost during their training and this is motivating them even further toward their impending time of evangelism and teaching Bible Studies! The Wallace’s also have a daughter, Emilie, who is on the AYC trip to Ireland as well. Another RBDNA Training Center that will be impacted by the cause of Global Missions!

First United Pentecostal Church of Reading, PA is just in the beginning stages of launching RBD. Pastor Magee shares that the church has been seeing an influx over the past severalMay 2015 Revival 2 months of new converts and sees the value of RBD in not only retaining this new growth, but developing, equipping and empowering them to go back into the harvest field and reap the harvest. During a recent Revival the weekend of Pentecost Sunday, they saw five baptized in Jesus’ Name and six received the Holy Ghost! More great things are coming from this REVIVAL church in the Keystone State!

Yours for the cause of pursuing HIS will! REVIVAL will not happen by accident…it WILL come by DESIGN…

RBDNA January 2015 Monthly Training Center Update

2014 was another wonderful year for Revival By Design North America…but 2015 holds tremendous potential!December found us in Missouri for several days. Our first stop was in Hillsboro, MO for an introductory meeting with pastors and church leaders from local churches. This meeting laid the foundational groundwork for an RBDNA Training Seminar next month!

We were honored to be in Joplin, MO with Pastor Frank Buchanan and the leadership team of Peace Tabernacle. This multi-campus church is primed to explode into Revival in this new year!

We look forward to sharing the process of Revival By Design in a greater dimension than we have up to this point. Several Training Seminars are already scheduled for early 2015 and we are working on many others throughout the year.

We are confident that our Training Centers will continue to experience greater growth in numbers as well as a deeper dimension in the Spirit! In just the first few days of the year, we are hearing some great reports!

Pastor, we want to encourage you as we enter this new year to contact us to see the potential the RBD holds for your local church. We would welcome the opportunity to work together to see UNPRECEDENTED REVIVAL happen in your territory!

Yours for the cause of pursuing HIS will! REVIVAL will not happen by accident…it WILL come by DESIGN…

Nuts & Bolts…

Daniel Fast Devotional: We are excited to announce the recent release of “The Daniel Fast, A Devotional” written by Nannette Elkins! This is available in paperback and e-book and would be a tremendous asset to the members of your church if you are planning a corporate fast as you enter the new year. Nannette is giving 40% discounts to pastors for multiple purchases for their congregation. Click this link for further details about the book and thank you for your consideration!
RBDNA Schedule: January finds us scheduled to hold three RBDNA Training Seminars. January 9-11 we will be in Cedartown, GA with Pastor Kenneth McClary and Turning Point Church. From there we travel on to Montgomery, AL where we will be at 2:42 Church and Pastor John-Paul Wallace, January 14-18. On Sunday the 18th, we will be ministering in the Sixth Anniversary Celebration of the church. The month wraps up on January 23-25 we travel to Brookhaven, MS to be with Pastor Brian Anderson and River of Life UPC.

Where Are The Prayer Warriors?

Rev. Nathan Shutes (Director of Administration, RBD Global) is our contributor and he shares the burden of this writing. “This was written after an experience where God placed such a heavy burden on my heart for lost souls. He reminded me of His love for souls that goes beyond our typical feelings of pulling someone out of hell. Jesus called us to be soul winners so that He could fully express His love for His people.”

He continues, “This is not being written to judge, I am just repeating what God has laid on my heart. It was a painful experience that renewed in me a sense of purpose and calling. It’s a calling to minister to the lost on their turf, not just in a church service from a pulpit.”

Luke 10:1-2 (NKJV)  “After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, ‘The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’”

We all have this verse memorized about how we should pray for laborers. Jesus Luke 10had thousands of people following Him. We know this because he fed the five thousand, so there were people around. Yet in verse one He appointed seventy to go before Him. Jesus knows the issue isn’t the numbers that we surround ourselves with; it’s the fact that most of them are not laborers. Can we be transparent and wonder ourselves if He would have picked us as one of the seventy?

Luke 14:23 (NKJV) “Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.’”

Who will leave their pride at home and tell the man begging for money that Jesus died for him too? Who will walk to the highways and the hedges and tell them that Jesus loves them? Who will tell a lost world that He thought of them while on the cross? Will it be you?

We are sometimes so worried about hell that we forget the point isn’t hell; it’s that Jesus loves them. While praying, I received a Word from the Lord that I just couldn’t let go. He said, “Love the lost like I love the lost.” The only thing I could do was put my face into the carpet and repeat that statement over and over again. Love the lost like I love the lost. Above all else that we are called to do, we are called to love the lost. People are dying not knowing that Jesus loves them.

Who will tell a stranger that Jesus loves them? The most quoted Scripture used to be John 3:16, that “God so loved the world.” But now we quote Romans 8:28, that “All things work for my good.” At some point we figured that God was a vending machine for our own personal gain. What can I get out of this relationship? The real question is; where are the soul winners that cry over the lost? When was the last time that we cried over lost strangers? I know we can cry over our family, but when was the last time that a homeless man on the corner begging moved you to tears? When was the last time you stopped your car and said, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have…” Who will stand in the gap?

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

My fear is that this generation has missed out on prayers warriors. We have become an instant gratification generation. We tweet in 140 characters and Prayer-warriorfigure prayer can be just as short. Here are some numbers that ought to make you cry. On the Baptist Board website they say the average Christian prays a minute a day and the average pastor prays five minutes a day. God help us that we can’t spend time with Him. No wonder our nation is falling away from God.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 (NKJV) “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”

God called us to pray without ceasing, not just to pray five minutes a day. I believe all these verses go so nicely together. People who don’t pray also don’t work in the gifts of the spirit. They don’t know how to follow the Spirit, so they quench the Spirit. Then after all that we can’t abstain from evil because we didn’t take Paul’s advice and kill the outward man on a daily basis through prayer.

We need to stand in the gap not just for our families, but our city, our state and our country. I prayed for a while next to a lady in deep intercession a few months ago and it pushed me into intercession. I realized that it had been a long time since I had been there. Too often we rapid fire our way through prayer with no time for a response from God. We just touch the outer reaches of His presence, but fail to make it to the throne room. We don’t get to the place for direction; we don’t even get to the place for a burden. Oh, we feel guilty for not winning more souls, but I’m not talking about guilt, I’m talking about a burden. What is the difference between a burden and guilt? Guilt is when you feel bad for not doing something, but a burden is when you feel so compelled to do something that you can’t sleep until it’s done. We need to cry out for a burden for the lost.

What happened to those God-given burdens that would drive us to our knees for hours? Where are the prayer warriors? Where are the intercessors? Somebody needs to stand in the gap. Someone needs to intercede, someone needs to cry out; “Where are the prayer warriors?!”

Our prayers ought to move heaven and shake the gates of hell. There is power in prayer. We like to quote that the gates of hell can’t stand against the Church, but when was the last time you were there at the gates of hell for a soul? Where are the prayer warriors?

We all talk about who is called to preach and who is called to missions, but your first calling is to tell a lost and dying world that Jesus loves them.

Isaiah 6:6-8 (NKJV) “Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged.’ Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’”

What will you take away from this? Will you feel guilty; will it remind you of a burden or a calling? I’m not interested in the feelings you have, I’m interested in the action you will take. I challenge you to set aside time to pray daily, and allow it to be a two-way communication. Take a moment every week to help someone less fortunate than you and tell someone that Jesus loves them. Most important, ask God what He has called you to do. I like to tell people that most preachers have never preached, most soul winners have never won a soul and most prayer warriors have never prayed a prayer. How can I say that? Because it’s not about how I see you or how others see me, but it’s about how God sees us. If God can look at dry bones and see an army, He can see your potential as well.

Preacher, go find a place to preach, soul winner, go find a lost soul and prayer warrior go find a place to pray.

stand in the gap

The Upper Room…Not A Destination

On the day that the Church was born, Peter shares with us in Acts chapter two the account of the events that transpired that day. Verse one tells us that when the Day of Pentecost came, they were all gathered together in one place, the Upper Room. In previous reading we find that there was a group of 120 gathered there that day. Suddenly, there came a sound like the blowing of a violent wind from heaven that filled the entire room. They saw what appeared to be like tongues of fire and it came to rest upon every one of them. And all of them were filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak in other tongues as they were enabled by the Spirit.

The Upper Room

We live in a society which has become extremely self-focused. The mantra is rapidly becoming prominent that the only person that matters is “Número Uno”! Social media has actually helped to degrade our personal interaction. It is easy to slip into a mode of selfishness where we lose sight of what we can do to help and minister to others. We see this in the parable of the Good Samaritan. Those who were expected to help made excuses as to why they could not or would not help the injured man. Yet the one who was notorious for their unwillingness to express love to their fellow man, was the one who stopped and sacrificed to help him.

Imagine if those 120 that morning had embraced this mindset! What if they had stayed within the four walls of the Upper Room to just bask in this wonderful experience that had just taken place? What if they would have chosen to just take the attitude that, “I am worthy of this blessing since God chose to pour it out on me and not someone else?”

But what we quickly see is that these 120 newly-filled with the Holy Ghost, quickly moved forward to emulate the Great Commission. They went out into their world, and began to share their experience and what had just happened to them! They entered that room as fearful followers of a leader who was no longer with them. They left that room as emboldened and empowered soldiers ready to share the Gospel of a risen Savior with the entire world! And they began at Jerusalem, just as Jesus had told them they would do before He ascended to Heaven.

So they leave the safe confines of the Upper Room and go out to begin their ministry and the results are astounding…they experienced a 3,000 soul revival that first day!

Mark 16:15It is imperative that we mobilize and empower the Church in this day to not keep our experience confined to ourselves, but to get it out into the world in which we live. We are the Body, and God will use His Body to reach the world!

Pastor, Revival By Design is a blueprint that will absolutely help you to train, equip and energize your congregation to get outside the four walls of the Church and move into the harvest field as strategic soldiers with a renewed hunger for evangelism. It will also assist you in developing a church structure that is suited to accommodate the mighty harvest that God desires to give! Please contact us for more information on how you can see this, and more, happen in your church!

Pour On The Salt…Turn On The Light

Many of you have heard me proclaim that Jesus did not save you just to save you. Had His only reason for saving you been just to save you, I feel strongly that He would have taken you out of this world as soon as your salvation was secured.  So with that in mind, there must be a greater purpose to our salvation. We only need to peruse the purpose statement of Christ, and subsequently the Church, to understand this.

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10) and to the Church He further clarifies in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing…teaching…” The purpose of the Church in the 21st Century is still exactly the same as it was in the First Century church… to take this Gospel into a lost, hurting, hungry and dying world.

salt and lightIn Matthew 5, Jesus says that we are salt and light. All of us understand that it only takes sprinkling a little bit of salt onto our food in order to completely change its taste. It is also understood through science that light ALWAYS overpowers darkness! We can stand in a vast building, completely shrouded in the depths of darkness, and the smallest source of light can dispel the darkness. So we understand here that Christ is instructing us that no matter how trivial or insignificant that we might think we are, through Christ, we have the immense power to make an incredible impact upon our surroundings.

But verse 15 paints a picture of where we find entirely too many saints today. He says that men don’t light a candle and then put that light under a basket…they put it up on a stand so that it can serve the intended purpose…to provide light in the darkness.

In the 21st Century we have too many people who undoubtedly love God immensely. However, they have lost sight of their purpose. We come into our church service, and as we enter the doors, we remove the basket from our light and proceed to worship God along with all of our fellow believers. We have become very comfortable sharing our light with others in the church who are sharing their light with us as well. But when the dismissal prayer is concluded, we pick up our basket, and carefully place it over our light to guard it against the worldly elements that would try to put our light out. But outside the four walls of the Church is exactly where our light needs to be exposed! Sharing light in a place where it is already prominent is not what God had intended…He tells us to let it shine in the darkness!

basket

In verse 16 Christ admonishes us that we are to let our light shine to others. This allows us to be a testimony to them of the good things that God has accomplished in us and through us. And this brings glory to Him! The only way we can fulfill the charge of Matthew 28 is by accomplishing the instructions of Matthew 5! As the world is which we live grows darker each day, there has never been a greater time for the Church to be putting its light where it can make a difference.

Our relationship with Christ was never meant to be confined to our private life… You are the light of the world…the salt of the earth. Go and make a difference today!

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