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Not in Vain

1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

I originally posted this post on my blog on May 4th, 2012. I felt like it applied though in regards to leaving for the mission’s field in Ecuador, so that the reader can be encouraged that they are already on a missions field right now, even if they don’t realize it. No matter where you are you can treat it as if you are on a mission field. A lot of the time it is not the where that is all that important, but the what of what you are doing where ever you are. Nothing you ever do for the Lord is in vain. Everywhere there is an urgency for the gospel to reach people, since people are dying every day without the knowledge of Jesus as their Savior, savior from the torments of eternal separation from God in the place of judgment, hell. If that does not stir you to action and concern for lost souls then I do not know what will. I understand we can sometimes forget this, living day to day and just trying to do whats right, being distracted by the needs of life. But the reality is that there is an eternal conflict going on all around us daily. “How can I make a difference in that?” On your own, you can’t. You need Jesus to help you. You need God to send His Spirit to use you. And all you have to do is ask for this. Get back into the fight today if you are not. If your in the fight already then don’t give up, it is not in vain.

Post from May 4th, 2012

“This was one of the verses of the day on my phone today. The Lord often speaks to me through the verses of the day and this one was particularly fitting.

Today was my last night teaching the Jr. High Youth Group at Calvary Chapel of Phelan. I have been doing it for three years, and the entire time we have been going through it book by book, chapter by chapter, and verse by verse. I have grown so much and am thankful that the Lord brought me to a place and under a pastor where my gifts could have the opportunity to grow.

Looking back on it I know I have learned a lot and grew a lot, and even failed alot. Yet, I have realized that my calling was already being put into use without my knowing it. Part of my calling comes from Jeremiah 1:10 which states,

“See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant.”

Before Jeremiah would get to do some building and planting he would have to do more rooting and tearing. Notice that there are four words which describe demolition and two for construction.

For the first two years of teaching the Jr. High it was all rooting and tearing. I struggled every night for the kids to behave and be respectful and not talk out of turn. We have been trying to bring order into chaos. For two years we worked with them on just learning how to listen and not distract from the study. When I first started I didn’t like to discipline, but now I feel like a seasoned pro. Wanna get ready for parenting? Try Jr. High ministry. So, it was two years of breaking up fallow ground so to speak.

The third year has been the building and planting, which is much more enjoyable. The kids have learned respect and I hardly ever had to even discipline them anymore. They were finally able to learn without distraction. Thank You Lord for doing so much work in their lives, and thank you for growing me as much as You were growing them.

I felt it best to start a smooth transition which is why I decided tonight would be my last night. From here on out Ron and Mary, a wonderful couple of willing servants for Jesus, will be taking over that ministry. I will sit in and play more of a support role until I leave to Ecuador in June.

Coincidentally enough, my last message was Matthew Chapter 28. This wasn’t planned, it was just how it ended up, since I have been teaching through the book of Matthew start to finish, chapter by chapter. But I see the Lords hand in it since I was able to end with the great commission of making disciples of all the nations. It was a great end note to my ministry to the Lord there, since that is exactly what I plan to be doing for the rest of my life and is why I am leaving in the first place.

Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.   Go  therefore and  make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,   teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am  with you always, even to the end of the age.  Amen.”

I definitely had some mixed feelings. It was bitter sweet. Having to leave those kids that I love and have labored in, teaching them to be disciples of Jesus, breaks my heart. But it is the Lord’s love that I feel for them, I find comfort knowing that He will continue to love them and be with them. They are in the Lord’s care now and I can only pray that He would watch over them.

As I look to the future I set my face like a flint. I will not fear, even if it means much more rooting out and tearing down before I can build and plant again. But the Lord is the one who is sending me, its by His authority that I have been commissioned, and He promises to go with me. May it be so, Lord.”

Isaiah 50:7-10 NKJV

“For the Lord God will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.  He is  near who justifies Me; Who will contend with Me? Let us stand together. Who  is  My adversary? Let him come near Me. Surely the Lord God will help Me; Who  is  he  who  will condemn Me? Indeed they will all grow old like a garment; The moth will eat them up. Who among you fears the Lord? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness And has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord And rely upon his God.”

© 2012, Matt Camphuis all rights reserved.

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To Gospel or not to Gospel, part two

If you did not read part one of this two part article, you can find it here, http://believinggodtoday.com/2012/04/30/to-gospel-or-not-to-gospel/


The teachings of the bible are distorted by so many for personal gain. They are also distorted or just plain not taught at all because these churches are looking to not “offend” anyone. These are people pleasing churches, teachers of what I call the “tickle my ears phony baloney gospel”. This is obviously no gospel at all. What value is there in teaching only what people want to hear? Is the Gospel of Christ about people, or is it about Christ?

The bible is full of teaching, and what is there is there because God wants it there regardless of what man thinks about it. Our opinion of what is in the bible is irrelevant. It is God’s Word, not our word. This would also mean that if it is in the bible, then it follows that we are to teach it!

The Word of God clearly teaches that sex outside of marriage is wrong. The bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is wrong, not that God hates those who are of this persuasion, but that what they are doing is sinful and wrong. The bible teaches that lying and stealing is wrong. These subjects need to be taught in the church! If someone doesn’t want to hear it…that is too bad.

The Word of God also teaches Christ crucified. The Lord of glory, the Creator of the heavens and earth, was crucified and died a gruesome death…to save us. Jesus came here and His own people did not accept Him. Why is this not taught in some churches?

The Word also teaches that if we don’t repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we will go to hell for all eternity. Does this fact upset you? Tough!  Why oh why is this not taught in every single church on the face of this planet???? Put it into perspective; the Lord God almighty said that if you commit one sin, you will spend all of eternity in hell, spiritually dead because you will be separated from Him forever. Wow, that sounds nasty, maybe that should not be taught, we wouldn’t want to upset people, really?

This same God who pronounced this awful (and it is awful) judgment…He came down here in the flesh, and took upon Himself this death penalty that we all should receive. God paid our penalty for us. All we have to do…believe in His Son, and do some things He asks us to do.

If we follow Christ we will suffer. Many churches deny the truth of that because of what they teach, or don’t teach. It’s right in the bible, John 15:18-20 says,

18“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.20Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.

Let me ask you a question, if God Himself in the form of Jesus came here to this earth and suffered tremendously, why would it be any different with us? The Lord of glory suffered at the hands of men, and we will not in any way? It is ludicrous to think so. The Apostle Paul suffered a lot of hardship; he was shipwrecked, stoned, jailed, flogged, beaten, and ultimately killed, because he followed Christ.

The rewards need to be taught as well as the unpleasant things. We may suffer a little, or a lot. In the end however, we will inherit the Kingdom of God. We will live with God, in perfect bodies, forever. Always in the perfect will of the Father, no more sin, no more anything that is bad or unpleasant.

People today don’t want to hear anything that implies there is a cost to following Jesus. People don’t want to have to think and put effort into anything. They would rather be fed some watered down baloney that slides down the palate with ease. That is not the Gospel of Christ, and worse yet, it does not save! It’s all good when things are easy, when Jesus is cool. As soon as there is a cost involved and the going gets a little tough, people are done, gone.

If you don’t want to hear the truth, then get out of the church. If you can’t handle the truth and what that means as applied to your own life, then you are not one of His anyway. The Gospel should offend us on occasion. We should be worried about what we hear sometimes, that is the true Gospel.

Praise God that He cared enough about you to tell it like it is. He came here and paid for every mistake you and I ever made. He lays it all out in the bible and all of it is not pretty. That’s ok, God says no, because He does not want us to hurt ourselves. Isn’t it better to be told the truth, even if it is not what you want to hear?

Teach the Word of God…all of the Word of God.

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The Key to Knowledge

I’ve pondered this verse many times: Jesus says to the Pharisees, “Woe to you experts in the law, because you take away the key to knowledge. You yourselves do not enter, and you hinder those who are entering.” (Luke 11: 52, NIV)

Are we hindering those who would enter the Kingdom?

Read this short but good post over at obsecrations by Carley. We all need to be responsible for what we teach. Thanks for the reminder Carley. Read it here,

http://obsecrations.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/the-key-to-knowledge-by-carley-evans-2/

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