To All the New Graduates

 

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(Photo Credit: © Joseph T. Lee 2017)

To all the graduates of both college and high school: It’s your time! Go and fulfill greatness. Soar and expand your wings! Seek to achieve great things! It’s your time in life! Make us all proud! And remember, while you are achieving great things, remember to give God the glory! It is only through God that you have been gifted with your talents.

One of my favorite Scriptures to support this is Isaiah 40:28-31 (ESV). It reads:

“28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Give God the glory for it is only through Him that you draw your strength and your talent to do great things.

Look at 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” Remember, to always give God the glory for all your achievements. I will be praying for all of you! God bless!

© Joseph T. Lee 2017

Acts 1:8 Make Disciples Who Make Disciples Who Make Disciples

Del Parson

(Photo Credit: Jesus Washing Feet, Del Parson ©1983 IRI)

In Acts 1:8, Jesus gave instructions to His disciples as well as all Christians. He said that we are to take the Gospel throughout Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the utmost parts of the world. So, according to Dr. Mark Becton, our commandment from Christ is to “make disciples who will make disciples who will make disciples.” If that is the case, then according to Pastor Becton, in the Richmond, VA area alone, there are 1.3 million people. Out of that 1.3 million people, 70% have no engagement with any evangelical church. Therefore, over the next 25 years, we need to birth 150 new churches to keep up with the population. The Richmond, VA area is growing with a diverse population of immigrants from other nations. Many of these people are intermarrying within our own culture. The nations from overseas are now in our area. Considering that there are 70% of 1.3 million people who are not engaged in attending church and are probably lost without a Savior, we must birth many new churches to meet the needs of the population. This will take resources to accomplish this. Therefore, this opens a commitment of all born again Christians to stop warming the pews and get involved in the ministry of their Lord and Savior. There are few leaders and workers in the Church but many attenders. My recommendation is that the Church train these men and women to share their faith right where they are and where they live.

70% of 1.3 million is 910,000 souls who do not know Jesus as their personal savior in the Richmond, VA area. If this number is accurate, we need to do a better job as Christians in sharing our faith. We can no longer depend on just a few to do all the work. This is going to take all Christians to engage in conversation. The largest resource to use is not monetary, but for the Christian to open their hearts and open their mouths to speak and engage in conversations that can change lives.

Many times, in the past, I have referred to William Fay’s “Share Jesus Without Fear” as a tool to learn how to share your faith. This is an excellent tool that even the beginner or new Christian can learn and accomplish without any reservation. Sure, we will need monetary resources. All ministries need money as resources to function. But we are going to need human resources to go out into our neighborhoods, businesses, schools, and marketplaces; to live a life of Christ incarnate. We are to Share Jesus Without Fear when the Holy Spirit opens Divine Appointment opportunities. If you are a Christian, and you never, ever, opened your mouth to share your faith, then I would say that you are out of our Lord’s will. It is not an option but a commandment to make disciples who make disciples who make disciples.

This is why I started my ministry, Marketplace Evangelism, in order to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the area and the marketplace. I am a tent maker, meaning that I go to work every day in my insurance agency. I listen out for Divine Appointment opportunities where people are searching for help and an answer. I never, ever, force my faith on anyone. But I strive to live my life in a way that is pleasing to God and I try to treat people with compassion and forgiveness. If members of congregations would do the same, they could make a huge impact with the leading of Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Churches needs resources, but the most important resource needed are the followers of Jesus Christ to ante up and kick in! Kick in like men and women going to war against the evil one. Our battle will not be physical, but spiritual. But many Christians are complacent with attending church on Sundays and then leaving, never thinking about the mission during the week. Many will continue to leave all the heavy lifting work to a very few. But this is not what Christ has commanded of us! Therefore, it’s imperative that men and women learn to share the Gospel so that others will come to Christ.

Blessings,

Joe

Bibliography

The Victory Hour. Television. Directed by Mark Jenkins. Performed by Mark Becton. 2017.

Fay, William, and Linda Evans Shepherd. Share Jesus Without Fear. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 1999.

About this author: Joseph T. Lee is not on staff at Grove Avenue Baptist Church or affiliated with The Victory Hour. He attends church and these are his own opinions.

© 2017, Joseph T. Lee

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deer in the Headlight

Deer

Most recently, I had an encounter with a young man who said he wants what his girlfriend has. As I was speaking with him, I asked him if he had any spiritual beliefs? He said that he did. He said that he was a Christian. Then I asked him a point-blank question to determine if he really was or was saying it because he wanted me to think that he was. I asked him “How did your become a Christian?” What did you have to do to become a Christian?” His response was almost priceless as he stared at me and could not even move his lips. He looked as if he were a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck! He could not respond because he had no clue of how he became a Christian. As I delved a bit further, he still did not comprehend the actions one must take before they became a Christ Follower.

His first response was that he met his girlfriend and he decided to go to church with her. Therefore, his first response was “salvation by association.” Unfortunately, no one can become a Christian by association. It does not work that way. Then after many analogies given by my wife, he stated that he was “interested” and wanted to believe. But he still could not tell me the three simple steps of becoming a Christian. Unfortunately, we are seeing this all over the United States because these young people do not know the simple steps of coming to Christ. With the great number of churches in America, why aren’t we doing a better job in sharing our faith? Is it because of the politically correct and not wanting to “offend” anyone? I would rather not be popular and tell someone about the saving grace of Jesus than to find out they were killed driving down the road and having the guilt of never saying anything to them!

As born again Christians, our faith is not private. Our Christ died a very public torture and crucifixion and suffered greatly for our sins. How can we remain silent and not share the most precious gift with another human being? Therefore, to share the three simple steps in becoming a Christian, one must know the steps themselves. The Bible is very clear on this. These are the three simple steps: Believe, Confess, and Ask Forgiveness of one’s sins. One is to believe and then confess their wrongs and their sins to God. Then they are to pray and ask Jesus to forgive you and to come into your life. And once one does these three simple steps of faith, He will send His Spirit to dwell in the person and guide them in their walk with Christ. Three simple steps: Believe, Confess, and Ask Forgiveness.

Let’s review some Scriptures that substantiate this requirement.

  1. Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
  1. Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death (hell), but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  1. John 3:3 – “In reply Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
  1. John 14:6 – “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
  1. Romans 10:9-11 – “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”
  1. 2 Corinthians 5:15 – “And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.”
  1. Revelation 3:20 – “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

If you believe these scriptures and confess with your mouth that Jesus is the Son of God and has risen from the dead, you will be saved. You must acknowledge that you are a sinner. You must ask forgiveness of your sins. Are you willing to surrender your life to Jesus Christ and invite Him into your heart? If you are, then pray this prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I have sinned against you. I want forgiveness for all my sins. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for me and rose again. Father, I give you my life to do with as you wish. I want Jesus Christ to come into my life and into my heart. This I ask in Jesus name. Amen.”

I hope that those who do not really know Christ as their savior asks Him in. You cannot get to heaven on your Grandmothers, Parents, or your Girlfriends coat tails. If you have never prayed a prayer like this, and never have had a heart change, according to scriptures, you are not saved and not a true Christian. I pray that those who are not will make a commitment to come to know and accept the saving grace of Jesus!

(Subject matter and prayer taken from William Fay’s “Share Jesus Without Fear.”)

If we never take the time out and ask people what they had to do to become a Christian, then are we really showing the love of Christ to them? Are we loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind? Are we loving our neighbor as our self? If we never ask people about how they came to know Christ, then we are not doing what Jesus asked us to do. We are not loving our neighbor, our loved ones, and our friends. Then there will be millions that have the “Deer in the Headlight” look!

Bibliography

Fay, William, and Linda Evans Shepherd. Share Jesus Without Fear. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 1999.

© 2017 Joseph T. Lee

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You Never Know Who Is Watching

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(Photo Credit © 2017, Joseph T. Lee)

I most recently attended my daughter’s graduation from college for her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. The Spring Commencement was held at Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC. The guest speaker was Dr. Belle S. Wheelan, President of the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges. Dr. Wheelan delivered an excellent address and was on right on target in how graduates should conduct themselves in society.

The following are the recommendations for a successful life:

 

  1. Take care of your body. Eat healthy and exercise. Make prayer a part of your daily life.

 

  1. Continue to ask questions. Learning is a lifelong process.

 

  1. Learn to laugh!

 

  1. Learn to pay yourself first. Put some of your income away for retirement and long term savings.

 

  1. Get something back. Time is much more valuable to invest in people’s lives as opposed to concentrating on making money all the time. Give to other organizations to help support worthy causes.

 

  1. Be as kind to the janitor as you are to the President of a company.

 

  1. Remember to remain civil and polite.

 

  1. Be an active member of your community. Register to vote and exercise that right. Run for a position on the school board, county supervisor, city council, or representative of your state.

 

  1. Don’t believe in your own PR. Give credit to those who helped you get to where you are. Understand that you never know who is watching. People are always looking at what you are doing! You never know who is watching you because they may be key to opening the next door for you to go through. Don’t be so egocentric that you miss out on opportunities.

 

  1. Always believe that you can succeed and be successful! Use your energy to keep forging ahead.

(Credit: Dr. Belle S. Wheelan, May 13, 2017, Campbell University Commencement Exercises)

Here are a few additional suggestions. As a Christian Dad, I would suggest making some changes to Items One and Ten. As for Item One, put God first in your life. Pray every day about everything. Pray for your neighbors and pray for your enemies. Pray for your boss and the leaders whom you work for. As for Item Ten, give God the credit. It is only through God that you have been gifted with your talent. One of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” As a Believer in Jesus Christ, I give Him the praise for all that I have received. As many of you know, not only am I in ministry as a Marketplace Evangelist, but I am a successful entrepreneur. My successes come from the Lord and I give Him all the praise. I consider my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ as my CEO of my company. Always give God the credit as He will bless you!

I loved Item Nine. You never know who is watching you. Make sure in all your decisions, you live your life as a living sacrifice to Christ. Live a life of honor so that it will be pleasing to God. If you do, you will never go wrong. People are watching and many will not invite you to be a part of their organization if you are the type of person who will step on people and treat them harshly. Consider espousing love to everyone. Be kind!

This leads me to Item Six. Be kind to everyone, even the janitor. Once, I heard a story where a person was working as a janitor for a large corporation. People treated him very badly and did not give him the time of day. This man went to college in the evenings and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Accounting. This janitor left his organization and started working for another large company. It was a few years later where his company bought out the company he used to work for as a janitor. Now those executives that treated him badly were working for him because he was the CEO of the company that bought them out. How the tables were now turned and these arrogant executives were now working for the man they stepped on and did not give the time of day. The moral of this story is that you should treat everyone with kindness and love. Don’t think you are better than they are because they are the janitors. If you have the love of Christ in your heart, then you will have agape love for everyone.

Congratulations to all the new graduates. I will be praying for you and look forward to hearing of many successes to come. May God bless each of you! Remember, you never know who is watching!

© 2017 Joseph T. Lee

 

 

 

 

My God Can!

Isn’t it wonderful folks, that we can live in a country and say the hurtful and mean things about POTUS and not worry about losing our lives. After all, we are protected by free speech, right? I mean, why not vomit hatred and disparaging remarks on social media? After all, it is free speech, right? You know, I believe it just shows the true “you” and a dark heart that has no love. I am tired of seeing Believers post hateful things on social media that are hurtful all for the sake of a political agenda. But I guess the people who do this feel that their political beliefs outweigh their Spiritual beliefs. You would be surprised to see what some people write.

The very freedoms a US Citizen has in America was won on the deaths and sacrifices of the US Armed Forces. Before criticizing your POTUS with hateful remarks, why not consider praying for him? After all, we are called to pray! We are called to pray for our neighbors and get this, even our enemies. Regardless of your political stance, why not consider espousing LOVE as opposed to hate? It is easier to forgive than to carry the burden of a grudge.

The fact that proclaimed Believers participate in this type of behavior means that they still have a heart problem. Maybe they truly are not “real Christians.” Maybe they are even using “Christianity” as a political tool. Whatever their motive, by speaking “evil words” against a man or a woman means that one does not have the Love of Christ in their heart.

I don’t know what kind of god you worship or affiliate with? But my God can overcome! My God can heal hearts! My God can forgive trespasses! My God can help people to overcome! So, why should we pray for a man or woman in leadership whom we do not care for? Because by praying for them, we are asking God to intervene for us that they will do the right thing. My God can change hearts and can save people from their sins. My GOD CAN!

Why pray for leaders to fear God? When someone leads and lives fearing God, they           experience:
1. Wisdom
2. Knowledge
3. Understanding
4. Eternal Praise
5. Victory
6. God’s Protection
7. A Blameless Walk
8. Length of Life
9. Wealth and Honor
10. Humility
11. The Avoidance of Evil
12. Being Untouched by Trouble
13. The Saving of a Crushed Spirit
14. A Life That Lacks Nothing

Credit: Dr. Mark Becton taken from sermon preached on 01/22/2017, Grove Ave                   Baptist Church.

These fourteen points is all the reason to pray for your leaders, regardless of whether you like them or not. We are called to pray and to show the love of Christ to those who do not know Him, even if it is your POTUS!

James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

1 Timothy 2:1 says, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.”

Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Matthew 18:19, “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”

Matthew 6:9-13, “Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Remember, before criticizing others, look at your own life. If you are without sin, then cast the first stone! But in reality, your life is just as filthy as the life that you are criticizing. Look at Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We all have sin in our own lives. So, before you criticize POTUS or any other leader, consider cleaning up your own life before trying to straighten out the lives of others! This is exactly why we must be praying for others as well as have others to pray for us! GOD CAN! HE CAN OVERCOME!

Joseph T. Lee © 2017

Be a Man of Honor and not a man without honor!

Where Are the Men of Honor?

My heart is troubled as I have learned of a good friend whose husband left her. For what reason? Maybe he thought a young lady might be interested in him? Maybe he thought that his wife was not good enough for him anymore? Maybe he is going through some mid-life crisis? He calls himself a Christian and yet he is not acting like a Christian. He claims he loves God and yet he does not love his neighbor, his wife. And yet we see this same type of thing happening across America because Christians are not grounded in the Word of God and are caving into liberal and political correctness. The Bible is not being taught in many churches and our nation is quickly losing pastors with not enough replacements in sight. Welcome to our non-Christian nation thanks to the politically correct and the removal of prayer in our schools. We must get back to sound Biblical teaching in our churches. It’s not okay to just pick up and leave your wife, especially if she did not do anything to warrant such behavior. Where have the true men of honor gone? Where are the men who made a vow like this? To have and to hold from this day forward, for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part.

A man that leaves his wife to cleave to another is disgusting! He loved her in the beginning. What changed? Oh, you must have fallen out of love! Oh, that’s a great excuse! Maybe the problem is YOU! Maybe you are NOT a man of HONOR! Maybe you are a VOW breaker! I don’t know, but I do know this. You will have to answer for your sin against your wife! You must answer for your sin against God. I am angry about this because a man who takes a vow to love his wife and then just picks up and leaves is NOT a man of honor!

So, exactly what is love? According to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV), “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Also, look at Romans 12:9-13 (ESV), “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”

To say that you love someone means that you want the best for that person. Love is not always a warm, fuzzy, feeling. Love is not sex. Love is wanting the best for someone. It is placing that person before yourself, even if it means that you must make sacrifices for yourself. Love is a commitment! Men, if you are leaving your wives for what you think is better, you are acting like fools! If you think that young woman is really interested in your older version of yourself, you are sadly mistaken. You are throwing away your life and destroying your family while doing it! Those younger women that you are trying to hook up with are not interested in a long-term relationship with an old man like you! Sorry but the deceiver has led you astray! The facts are that if another woman will cause you to break your vow with your wife, she will cause another man to break his vow with his wife. Where are her morals to break up a home? Where are your morals to do the same? It’s not too late. You can turn back and ask forgiveness. You can come back to your wife and ask God to forgive you. Be the man of Honor that we all hope that you will be! Be a Man of Honor and not a man without honor!

Copyright, © by Joseph T. Lee, 2017.