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Growing and Developing People

Romans 12:12
“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;”

Trying to grow and develop people is never an easy process. Working with people can become a frustrating thing, as people will not always do what you want them to do. But I will say that if you don't quit on people, you will find the rewards of your works to be refreshing and fulfilling.

In the verse above you will find a formula that God gives us to aid in developing people. Of course, when I say developing people I am mainly talking about developing them into good Christians. But this formula will work no matter the area in which you are trying to develop and grow someone.

First of all, when growing and developing people you must learn to compliment any progress. Notice the verse says, “Rejoicing in hope...” When you see progress in someone there is hope that they will eventually end up where God wants them to be. If we are not careful, we will be so frustrated that they are not what we want them to become that we miss the little steps of growth in the individual we are trying to develop. Complimenting someone on the growth we see in them will motivate them to continue to grow in their development. Everybody likes to be complimented. When we don't compliment any growth we frustrate the one whom we’re trying to develop and may cause them to stop growing.

I have heard of organizations that annually analyze the growth of the employees. Most of these analyses are nothing more than leadership griping about its failure to develop their followers. Instead of showing their employees the growth they see, they show where they lack, which only discourages the employees. If leadership wants those whom they lead to grow, then compliment any growth you see and followers will be more apt and motivated to change their weaknesses.

Secondly, be patient with people when they mess up. God said to be “...patient in tribulation...” Leaders must learn to be patient with the weaknesses of followers. Without patience you will discourage those whom you are trying to build. Leaders without patience will run off followers. Though they messed up, you must be patient with their weaknesses. When they don’t do everything like they are supposed to do, be patient, they are still growing and developing into what they should become. This will take patience on the side of leadership.

Thirdly, keep those whom you lead in your prayers. The verse above says, “...continuing instant in prayer;” The best way to grow and develop someone is to pray for them. Pray that God will give you, as a leader, the wisdom to know how to help them grow. Pray that God will work in the heart of the follower to see where they need to grow. Also, pray that God will allow both of you to grow and do the work God intended you to do.

Whether you are a parent working with a child, leader working with a follower, pastor working with a church member, ministry leader working with an individual, schoolteacher working with a student or an employer working with an employee, these three things will help you to grow and develop people into what they should become. Growth in people should be our goal. When they grow, then we are growing, thus accomplishing what God desires for all, growth.
Proverbs 11-13, Psalm 69:14-24
Thankful for Missionaries
Monday, November 23, 2009
by Dr. Paul Chappell

"O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously."

Psalm 96:1-10

Missionaries are the cream of the crop of Christianity.

A few decades ago, a missionary was working hard at spreading the Gospel in China. Impressed by the advances he was making with the Chinese government, the Standard Oil Company offered the missionary a weighty sum of money to work for them in developing a branch of the company in China. The missionary promptly turned them down. Shocked, the company doubled their offer, giving him a sum of money that would draw even the strongest of people to consider the life of luxury it could offer. Again, the missionary refused the job. Puzzled, the company asked him what it was he wanted. "We can't offer you any more money." The missionary replied, "The money's not too small; the job is."

If your church is like ours, each year we have a Missions Conference. Missionaries come, meet the church family, and present their vision for their field. But do you realize what revered servants of God these people are? These people are willing to inconvenience themselves for the sake of the Gospel. These are the true heroes of the Christian faith.

God has called us all to be missionaries. He has called us all to "declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people." Yet God calls many Christians to travel to other parts of the world to spread His message to people who have never heard.

Missionaries are the cream of the crop of Christianity. Thank God that His servants are willing to face difficulty so that others can hear of salvation. As "homeland" missionaries, we should be willing to do two things for missionaries. First, and most importantly, we must pray. Each day, we should pray for missionaries. Our missionaries face situations we will never face-wars, famine, hostility, government opposition, and paganism. They need our prayers on a daily basis.

Second, our missionaries need our financial support. Without the funds of God's people, missionaries wouldn't be able to continue ministering. As our economy has downturned, the economy of many mission fields have downgraded worse than our own. It is so important that during this time of difficulty, we continue our giving to missions.

Spend time thanking God for missionaries who are traveling to the ends of the earth so people can hear of Christ. If you don't already, I would encourage you to pick up a list of missionaries from your church and begin praying for them on a daily basis. Pray for God's protection, provision, and working in their land. Never forget the great sacrifice of these heroes of the faith.
…Believe That He Is
              The scripture Hebrews 11:3-6 quoted below tells us a lot.  First, we see the reiteration that God created the worlds, and it wasn’t done with an arbitrary “Big Bang.”  If there was a “Big Bang,” God created it and directed the action.    I don’t know past the Biblical explanation how the universe was created, and for sure neither does anyone else.
              We then see a discussion of faith, now faith in God, not the lottery system.  Although Abel was murdered by his brother, he spoke from the ground through his blood to God.  Then we see Enoch.  Because of his great faith, he was translated up to walk with God.  Enoch pleased God.
              All these verses talk about faith, faith in God, faith about God, and faith of God.  The problem we see is that without faith in God, we cannot please God.  Most who read this will claim God, and most who hear the message of the Gospel have already claimed Him.  Yet, if we as a people who are called by His name:
(2 Chronicles 7:14)  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
will (or shall)humble themselves. Maybe this is our problem.  We, in our pride want to have the faith that, “I can do it by myself.”  It is our pride and our stubbornness, which keeps us from God.  (Of course, maybe you have humbled yourselves, or maybe it is we are not praying and seeking His face in faith.) 
              If we do not believe that He is a rewarder, how do we expect to hear from Him?  We are told it is those who diligently seek Him; not with a faint heart, not with doubt in our minds, but a heart that loves the Lord Jesus, and believes through Him nothing is impossible.
(Deuteronomy 6:5)  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
              Do you love Him with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might?  If not that may be your answer as to why God’s blessings (rewards) have not passed your way like you think they should.  If you do not have the faith, you may need to look at your heart.  Maybe you have an overriding pride, a doubt or two, or a sin that is holding you away from God.  If after giving yourself an honest check-up, then talk to God and ask for the forgiveness you need.  Then repent, and stay right with God.
Bro John R. E Chastain
(Hebrews 11:3-6  KJB)  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.  4By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. 5By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6But without faith it isimpossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Blessed Are They...
            Reading our scripture below, we know about Doubting Thomas.  Jesus tells Thomas, “because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.  We will be blessed in our belief.
              How many times yesterday was our belief tested?  Probably more than a few times, especially if we prayed, and read our Bible.  I doubt you were tested, if you didn’t spend any time with God.  “But, Bro John I was busy, I had things to do, places to go, Bro John I just didn’t have time, but Lord willing I will tomorrow.”   Well what about today?  The Lord is willing that we converse with Him in prayer and by reading our Bible.                                     
          We have called ourselves Believers of Jesus the Christ.  We call ourselves Christian, yet, we don’t take fifteen minutes and spend time with God, and receive a blessing.            
              Thomas wasn’t at the first meeting that Jesus appeared.  Knowing now what happened, can’t you just hear Peter telling Thomas what had happened.  The expression on Thomas’ face, and his voice would tell the tale of doubt in his heart.  Not only did Thomas doubt the women, he also doubted the other Disciples.
              In this day and times, isn’t that what is going on?  People are walking away from Bible preaching churches because the message is too hard to believe.  The message they have trusted over the years is now in their minds fanatical tales.   Just like Thomas, they doubt the bearer of the Good News of God. 
              They are requesting that publishers make the Bible easier to read, and the publishers are obliging.  At the same time, they are changing the context of God’s Holy Word. 
              Yet, when Thomas came face to face with Jesus, “what did he say?” “My Lord and my God” Isn’t that what happened to us when Christ Jesus confronted us eyeball to eyeball via the Holy Spirit?  I know it wasn’t really eyeball to eyeball, but it was heart to heart.  Wasn’t it then that He became “My Lord and my God,” and all those doubts were erased?  We then became true disciples of Christ.
              Erase those doubts accept Him and become a new person with a new character, and have that new assurance and that new hope of everlasting life.
Bro. John Chastain
(John 20:24-29 KJB)  But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.   25  The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.  26  And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.   27  Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.  28  And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God 29  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 
Exodus 40, Proverbs 1, Psalm 68:1-12
Thankful for His Love
Thursday, November 19, 2009
by Dr. Paul Chappell

"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."

John 15:12-14

The greatest love you can show someone is to give up your own desires and help them.

There is a story told of a poor beggar woman who did all she could to provide for her small baby. She begged, pleaded, and even stole when necessary to find food for her and her child. One winter was especially harsh, and as weeks went by, she found herself with no food for either herself or her child. Exhausting all her options, she resorted to door-to-door begging, hoping someone would have pity on her and her child. The northern winds had blown in and snow was steadily falling as she travelled to each home, begging for food. Most people ignored her knocking, turned her away, or refused her the food they were enjoying. Yet at one house a young mother opened the door and, seeing this lady's troubles, offered her a warm sweet potato she was about to eat. The poor mother graciously accepted the potato, bit off part of it, and began chewing it. As the young mother watched, the beggar woman chewed the food, then placed it into the mouth of her baby and continued the process until all the potato was gone. The beggar mother didn't eat any of the potato for herself but gave it all to her child. The next morning the gracious young mother who had given her meal to the beggar woman, found the poor beggar lady lying still in the snow near her home. Her heart had stopped beating in the night, but her baby was still alive.

What drove this poor woman to reject even a piece of the potato and give it all to her child? I'm sure she was to the point of hunger that everything in her wanted to swallow the potato. Yet out of love she rejected those impulses and gave all she had to her tiny baby.

It has been said that a love that does not cost anything is not worth anything. Our world believes love to be a strong feeling of fondness, pleasure, or enjoyment. Love can come and go, just as easily as the seasons. Yet God describes love as a choice-a choice to love and to show that love through action.

The Bible gives us many great examples of active love. Jochebed risked her life to hide baby Moses from the Egyptian guards. Abraham offered his own son as a sacrifice at God's request. To save her people from mass genocide, Esther risked her life to go unto the king uncalled. But I'm sure we would all agree the most definitive act of love is described in our verse today, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Christ loved us so much that He willingly laid down His life for ours. He took our place in paying a sin debt He never owed.

God has described His love to us in the Bible through psalms, stories, and metaphors; yet He didn't leave it at that. He not only described His love, but He proved it by sending His only Son to be our Saviour. His love was proved through action.

We often say we love someone or have love toward some people, yet we do nothing to show it. Love is a costly thing. Love cannot idly sit by and do nothing. True love always takes action. When someone is hurting, down-trodden, or in trouble; true love is not merely stated, but takes action.

Thank God today that He not only described His love, but showed it on Calvary's Cross. Without His love, we would be lost and without a way of escape from sin. Never take for granted the love Jesus displayed for you by dying in your place.

Also, make sure that your love isn't only a spoken love. If you say you love someone, act upon that love. Take time to help them; minister to their needs; actively show them your love. Never forget that the greatest love you can show someone is to give up your own desires and help them.
Thursday, November 19

The Renewed Mind

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

- Romans 12:2

Certain passages of the Bible stand out when one speaks of a particular subject. No passage of the Bible speaks out more clearly on the subject of the Christian life than Romans 12:1-2. If you can grasp these two verses, you will have an understanding of what God needs from you every day if you are to serve Christ to the fullest extent possible.

To be transformed from worldliness to spirituality requires a renewed mind. Only then can we “prove” – that is, test, try, evaluate, or determine - what truly is God’s desire, His will, for your life on a moment by moment basis. You need to change your thinking!

Dr. Woodrow Kroll writes of this, “Thus the mind (Gr nous, the center of logical reasoning, ethical judgment, and moral awareness) must be completely changed if we are to live a life that is holy and acceptable unto God.”

We all need a complete transformation – a metamorphosis! Just as an ugly, worm-like, crawling caterpillar turns into a beautiful, flying butterfly (biological metamorphosis), God wants you to shed the fleshly, worldly, sinful thinking and be transformed into faithful, spiritually minded, committed follower of Jesus Christ. Selah – meditate on this thought and let God renew your mind!

Is your thought life under God’s control?

What are areas in your life that need to be transformed; changed from conformity to the world to what God wants for you?
Our Confession
            Reading our scripture below brings to my mind a few verses in Romans:
(Romans 14:11-12 KJB)  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God 12  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
To get ourselves into the context of the verses the bulletin quotes, we must see that regardless whether or not we go to Heaven,  (even those who are placed within God’s wrath, Hell,) will bow to Jesus.
              This confession must be a confession from the heart, and must be made with the Holy Spirit calling.  This confession has to be made with sincerity.
(Hebrews 10:22 KJB)  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
              If you expect to draw nearer to God, it must be done first with a true (sincere) heart.  So many have called upon His Name with a prayer that did not involve sincerity nor was it from the heart.  The Holy Spirit was absent, nowhere to be found, and there was no real desire to become a child of God.  They simply professed to comply with a Mother’s or a spouses wish.  Maybe they professed just to get rid of the Messenger; however, they did it, and one day they will confess to Him eyeball to eyeball, as they move to God’s throne to receive His wrath.
(John 3:36 KJB)  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

            So, the question is, where do you want to confess His name, here or in the hereafter.  By confessing here you will be given a Mansion in Heaven in sight of God and His Son, whereas, you failing to confess here the wrath of God will abide with you eternally.
(John 3:16 KJB)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
            Whosoever” tells us it doesn’t matter what you are, what you have been, nor does it require anything but to believe in Jesus.  Then and only then will eternal life in Heaven be given you.  We all have eternal life.   It is a matter of choosing where do you want to go,  Heaven or Hell. It is your choice.            Confess Him today.             
Bro. John R. E Chastain
(Philippiansp 2:8-11 KJB)  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Results Of Salvation

Acts 2:42
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

The verse above is the result of what happened in the church of Jerusalem after the day of Pentecost. When studying the Scriptures we see on this day that three thousand people were saved and baptized in one day. What a miracle day! But I feel that sometimes we neglect to show what happened to these who got saved after this great day. Verses 42-47 showed the results of what salvation did in the lives of these who received Christ as Saviour. Let me show you these results.

First of all, in verse 42 we find that they obeyed God's Word. Salvation should bring obedience to the Word of God. I love watching new Christians because they are hungry to obey the Word of God. Never before did God's Word mean as much to them, but salvation brought the importance of obeying God and His Word.

Secondly, again in verse 42 we see they prayed. When a person gets saved they will want to pray and talk to God. I wonder about those who say they are saved and never want to talk to the One Who saved them from their sins. In the Scriptures, when people got saved, prayer always followed their salvation.

Thirdly, salvation brings about a changed lifestyle. In verse 43 we see a fear of God came upon these people after they got saved. A proper fear of God will bring about a lifestyle change. Where before they used to live for the world, now they are living for God. In the Scriptures when someone got saved there was a definite lifestyle change.

Fourthly, in verses 44-45 salvation gave these people a heart to give. It’s amazing how these people sold their possessions and gave to others in need all because salvation came to them. You will find when a person gets saved their heart towards giving to God and the needy will change.

Next, in verse 46 salvation gave the church unity. This unity was not with Christians everywhere as much as it was a unity among the local church brethren. When you get saved it's amazing how you will get along with people. Salvation changes the heart of an individual where everything is not about them but about others and this will cause people to get along.

Next, in verse 46 we see salvation caused these people to be faithful in their service to God. They did daily what they were supposed to do. When you get saved you will see the importance of being faithful to serving God and going to church.

Last of all, in verse 47 salvation caused these people to tell others about Christ. Soul winning will always be the result of people getting saved. When you get saved you will want to tell others about Christ.

Let me close with an observation. The longer we are saved the easier it is to let these things slip. Let's be sure to make these areas a staple of our Christian lives. If we are not careful we will let these things slip because of an indifferent heart. Let's keep the results of salvation as a priority by which to live. I believe if we will keep these seven areas healthy we will keep our Christian life healthy and this will please God.