A Passion for Christ Ministries: December 2005 Newsletter        


“And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul” Acts 4:32(a)
Follow This Star
DECEMBER 2005
 

Greetings!

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us (Matthew 1:21-23).

None Has All Power

While there may be billions of stars illuminating throughout the world, all arranged in different sizes and shapes, none shines as bright as the Jesus Star. None has all power. None is able to change lives and resurrect men from the dead Adamic nature.

The Jesus Star

“Yes,” the Star is Jesus Christ. Isaiah told us much about this Star: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

While Adam and Eve were in the garden, totally obedient to God, there was no need for this Star and He was allowed to remain in heaven. Adam was created in the image and likeness of God. What a privilege was afforded them. God, Himself, would come down in the cool of the day to walk and talk with the man and woman which He created. What divine fellowship man had with his God but man failed and that brought the need for the greatest of all Stars, Jesus Christ. From the fall of Adam until the wise men followed the Jesus Star, humanity was incomplete, always yearning for the fellowship once granted in the Garden of Eden. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now (Romans 8:22).

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his Star in the east, and are come to worship him (Matthew 2:1-2).

When They Saw the Star

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the Star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the Star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy (Matthew 2:9-10). Wise men, called of God, were compelled to follow this great Star. His great Star—the Jesus Star—the salvation Star, had come to earth. Herod tried to prevent this Star’s mission but he could not fight against the will of the true and living God. Who can fight against the power of God?

When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the Star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also (Matthew 2:3-8).

Herod, full of deceit, attempted to secretly discover where this Star was born but only those with a pure heart will have eyes to see this great Jesus Star.

Ye Know Him

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you (John 14:17). Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled, Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God (Matthew 5:6,8).

On a Clear Night

On a clear night, the sky can be enshrouded with hundreds, even thousands of stars. Once, about ten years ago, while traveling to another state, we made a stop. I emerged from our green Ford Taurus and gazed into the sky. The sky was so clear and gored with stars. Stars, stars and more stars. They were to the left of me and to the right of me. It was picture perfect.

The sky resembled an impeccable, precise painting of a glorious heaven. The stars appeared in all shapes and sizes. Somehow, I felt so intimately connected to heaven. It was surreal. My heart began to beat with excitement. While it seemed that I stood there for hours, it was just a brief moment. Amazingly, I felt the awesome presence of God. It seemed as if I could reach up and touch them. I’ve never again witnessed such a sight. It was very real to me. I often reflect on that experience and I am sure that I will never, never forget it. That experience has greatly impacted my life.

A Counterfeit

There are many Herods in our world today who are not willing to yield to such a Star and many have rejected Him, maybe for the last time. Some have accepted a counterfeit, a false light, and a false star. Herod wanted nothing to do with this righteous Star. He did all he could to dim this great light, all without success. Herod sealed his doom. There was no more grace for him and no more mercy. He had sinned his day of grace away.

Like Herod, many have tried to darken this Star. Prayer has been taken out of the schools and in many other schools, homes and churches, hymns and songs that rejoice about the blood Star, no longer seem important in church worship. I grew up in a church where hymns were paramount. The blood of Jesus was preached and holy living was emphasized. We were taught so much about God in Sunday School. All the kids in our home had to go to Sunday School. It was a requirement of our parents. We had the BTU – Baptist Training Union and Tuesday night bible study.

Like Herod of old, many wish that they could silence the Christmas season; many who, if they could, would cancel Good Friday and Easter Sunday. How close we must be to the Lord’s return.

For Unto You is Born This Day

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2:11-14). Glory to God! Peace had come to earth. The Jesus Star brought great peace to all mankind.

The True Light

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth (John 1:6-14).

John’s divine mission was to prepare a people for this Star’s arrival. This Star would change the lives of all who would accept Him.

A Ruler Come by Night

There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again (John 3:1-7).

Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, was compelled to follow this Star. He recognized the works of Jesus as coming from God the Father. He decided to follow this Star. Nicodemus let nothing stop him. He knew that the Jesus Star had all the answers. Are you willing to follow such a star--a star that has the power to give life? Are you following the true and living Star or a false star?

Follow Me

And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him (Matthew 4:18-20). Christ is still issuing the same call today, “Follow thou me. Follow thou me.”

Ye Seek Me

Have you ever thought of what Christ meant when He said, “Follow me?” Many start out following this great Star. Some follow this Star for one reason and some follow this Star for other reasons. Jesus dealt with this very plainly by stating: Verily, verily, I say unto you Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed (John 6:26-27).

Count the Cost

Christ hid nothing from His followers. He is our example in all things. Jesus wanted each person to follow Him willingly, with full knowledge of the road ahead. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? (Luke 14:31)

I Shall Be Whole

And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour (Matthew 9:20-22).

He That Believeth

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover (Mark 16:15-18). Jesus knew that it would take the word in action.

Lovest Thou Me?

Christ asked Peter why he was following such a Star. Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me…Feed my Sheep (John 21:16). You, like Peter, must know why and whom you follow. Many follow people and organizations that they know little or nothing about. Why do you follow this Star? Do you follow this Star to say that you belong to a Christian organization? Do you follow this Star because of the traditions of man? Why do you follow this Star? Why do you follow Christ? You must know. You must know in whom you believe. This hour is too late to follow counterfeits or be disillusioned. You must know why you follow this Star or else when the hard times, the hard places come, you will desert this Star. Walking and obeying God, through Jesus Christ, is the only way to follow.

The Price to Follow This Star

To follow this Star is to choose all the persecutions, all the shame that go with it. It means Gethsemane, nights of agony and prayer; the Judases and the Barabbases. Following this Star means that those who seek the loaves and fishes will follow too, casting you aside when they are filled. There will be stormy seas that will toss you to and fro. Following this Star means nights of prayer and days of fasting—as long as forty days at a time. Following this Star means looking after the sick and suffering humanity. It also means that as long as you follow this Star, there will be power to heal the sick and deliver the devil possessed; there will be water from the rock and honey from the honeycomb. Yes, Christ has promised us much but we must chose to follow.

Pleases repeat this simple prayer asking Jesus to help you to follow this Star.

Oh, God! I have sinned against you. I am so sorry! I have come home, and I’m going to serve you, Lord, the rest of my life. I do believe. I do believe that you are able to deliver me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness and fear. I want to be free once and for all. I believe that the blood of your Son, Jesus Christ can make me clean and whole and free. I want to follow this Star. Come on into my heart and help me. Help me, Lord. I trust and believe that through the blood, I can make it. I do believe that I can make it with your help. Oh, Lord, I want your help. Save my soul. Love me, Jesus. I must have your love. Love me, Jesus. I will answer your call to salvation today. Come on into my heart, Jesus! Come in!

If you meant that prayer, He has come.

Praise Him, He is Yours!

A Personal Testimony
by Shanita Clark

My life was in a downward spiral. To the world, it may have seemed that I was doing fine. I had family, job, food on the table, and multiple college degrees but I was dying. I was dying in a place where no one could see. The inside of me was decaying. I had no peace in my innermost being. I had arrived at a place in my life where all the material possessions could not make me happy; there was no contentment, no ease. I was dying fast. I looked to family and friends but they could not bring me solace. Their endless hours of talking and comfort still left an empty place in my heart. “There must be more,” I thought.

I sought out doctors because dissatisfactions in my life were manifesting themselves into physical symptoms, such as anxiety, and it seemed that every time I went to the doctor, they had no answers.

I was once diagnosed with acid reflux disease. On the inside, I was miserable; it seemed I was beyond help.

As I meditated on all that was happening to me, I concluded that I was dying spiritually. My soul was dying and my flesh was soon to follow. Before this time, as a youth, I had known the ways of the Lord. But somewhere along the road, I took a detour on a path of destruction. It was one that included a life of drinking, partying and indulging in relationship after relationship, all without peace.

As the symptoms persisted, I decided, after years of not acknowledging Jesus, I would pray for 15 minutes. It was life changing. The prayer led me to repent with Godly sorrow. I kneeled to admit all that I had done to sin against God. When I accepted the Lord Jesus into my life again, I no longer craved the things of the past. There was a re-awakening in my heart and life. I no longer felt as if I was dying.

In my search, I visited several churches of friends and family members but I found myself just church hopping. I would never stay or something about what was being taught didn’t settle right within.

One day, I was on a bus and I met this young man and we began to have a conversation about the Lord. The young man handed me a magazine entitled, “Heaven Does Not Recognize A Bloodless Gospel” and he gave me a card to A Passion for Christ Ministries. Initially, I did not think much of the card or pamphlet. I took it home but did not read it right away.

Somehow, no matter what took place, I could not throw the pamphlet and card away. I would just move it to another location in my house. One month later, I decided to read the magazine, “Heaven Does Not Recognize A Bloodless Gospel.” It captivated me so much until I was moved to investigate the ministry further. I looked up the ministry on the Internet. It was there that I discovered a gold mine – a treasure of sorts. The newsletter, “I Was The Woman At The Well,” was me! It was as if I had told someone my life’s story and now I was grasping it myself.

This newsletter compelled me to visit the church that same week on a Wednesday bible study night. I remember it so clearly. I walked through the doors and the atmosphere was very calming. I was greeted with an overwhelming abundance of love. It was as if I had known the people most of my life but they were just strangers. I knew that the presence of the Lord, Jesus Christ was there.

As I was leaving, two of the members stated, “I hope to see you again.” Within myself I was not so sure. However, I could not stay away and I found myself going back to A Passion for Christ Ministries. The overwhelming love and peace I encountered during my first visit was engrafted in my memory and now it was drawing me back over and over again. My soul was living. I no longer felt helpless.

I am now a member of this great ministry and I have experienced things that are relevant to me. From the very first day I knew that A Passion for Christ Ministries was different. I believed it would be my church home because I felt so comfortable. I had never experienced that before. I have finally found a supportive and loving environment that makes living a sin-free life [unmarried relationships, drinking, lying, and partying] possible. I know that because of the love that I felt and continue to feel from this ministry. I am able to live a sin-free life for Jesus. The teachings on the Blood of Jesus, redemption, regeneration, the Holy Ghost Baptism and the Rapture, through the tapes given to me, have blessed me so much. Those tapes were speaking directly to my heart.


Shanita Clark and her daughter

My journey with this ministry has been a continuous blessing for my family members and me. The church has shown my family a tremendous amount of love through the counseling and concern that we have received. My school age family members have seen an increase in their school abilities and talents. One of my family members has been able to find his talents through the miming team. I am so grateful because, previously, he was hanging with friends on a local street corner.

A Passion for Christ Ministries has such an overflowing amount of love. The love that I receive is the kind of love that is felt from those who are rooted and grounded in Jesus. I am so forever thankful to the Lord Jesus Christ for my new life.

When I kneeled down to pray approximately six months ago, I never could have imagined that God had such a wonderful plan for my family and me. My soul is fed. I have everything I need. Thank You Jesus!

Yours with a Passion for Souls,


Pastor, A Passion for Christ Ministries


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