A Passion for Christ Ministries: February 2006 Newsletter        


“And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul” Acts 4:32(a)
Impossible?
FEBRUARY 2006
 

Greetings!

Impossible - incapable of being or of occurring;
        enormously difficult.

I’ve failed so many times

For with God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37). Have you said to yourself, “I can’t be healed or I am going to die with this disease?” Have you ever entertained the thought, “I’ve failed God so many times, why, there’s no way back for me?”

I will bless thee

Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3). Abraham [Abram] had received his call from God. What would he do with such an impossible task?

So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran (Genesis 12:4). Abraham did exactly what God commanded. What often seems impossible can be made possible through obedience. Abraham wasn’t full of questions but had a heart and mind to obey God. Obedience is the key to making the impossible possible. Remember, Abraham was a man who experienced fear and doubt, like you and I, but the difference was obedience.

A life full of examples

Study Abraham’s life carefully. His life should serve as a wonderful example of the rewards of obedience, as well as the cost of not obeying God. Abraham was instructed to leave all that he knew and was familiar with and to journey to a place unknown to himself.

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:8-10).

Obedience brings faith

Obedience brings great, great faith in God. He demands obedience to His word. Abraham was called out, called out into separation. He had to forsake his old life so that the promises of God could be, not only conceivable, but also accomplished in his life. It is through faith that the impossible becomes possible. What is that great something in your life that you’ve labeled impossible? What part of your life have you shut out to the possibility of renewal, regeneration, creation or recreation?

Sarah laughed

Sarah, Abraham’s wife, thought it impossible to deliver a child when she was past age, for she was around ninety years old. And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him (Genesis 18:10).

Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son (Genesis 18:11-14).

Is your case too hard?

Is anything too hard for the Lord? You must ask yourself this question regarding your case. Have you decided that your case is impossible—too hard for God? Sarah laughed at the thought of giving birth to a child at her age but God said it would happen and happen it did.

Isaiah 55:11 says So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac (Genesis 21:1-3).

He staggered not

Why not decide as Abraham did, Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, so shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness (Romans 4:18-22).

Abraham never wavered regarding God’s promise to him even though, at first, Sarah wondered how such a thing could be possible. The people in the bible are put there for two reasons. They are put there, as examples, to either encourage us or warn us. We get our encouragement from those who stayed with the Lord and were successful. We look at those individuals and see how the Lord was able to use them in a great way. We also see how the Lord, because of obedience, was able to do the impossible. The Lord warns us through the lives of others. His word lets us know, ahead of time, what will befall us if we should take the wrong road.

The Lord promised

But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year (Genesis 17:21). The Lord had promised Abraham, through Isaac, that He would establish His covenant, but first Abraham would be asked to perform the impossible.

And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt [test] Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of (Genesis 22:1-2).

And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off (Genesis 22:3-4).

Abraham had to trust God

“How can I kill my son?” Abraham must have asked himself. Abraham had to trust God with all of his heart. He was confident that if the Lord decided to slay his son, He would resurrect Isaac and allow him to come back down from the mountain with Abraham.

Listen to Abraham’s confidence in the Lord: And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you (Genesis 22:5).

No room for doubt

There was no doubt in Abraham’s mind concerning God’s promise of establishing His covenant through Isaac. He rested in the promises of God and continued up that great mountain. What a seemingly impossible task.

When it’s in your heart to please God, God will provide the strength needed to complete the task. Remember, God will not ask you to do something that you, with His help, cannot do.

The torture of it all

At times, it may seem as if others won’t understand but God will always understand. He will prepare you to do all that He has asked of you. Your only requirement will be to obey God with your whole life. You must give yourself to God completely, not just part of you and not part-time, but all the time. Think again of Abraham as he tied his precious Isaac to the wood for a burnt offering. He had to lay him on the wood that would eventually be burned. Oh, the torture of it all. Abraham had made it up in his mind to obey God and obey God he did. Abraham gave all he had and in giving all, God was able to do the impossible for him.

God wanted to know

Abraham was taken to the limit. God wanted to know; He wanted to know if Abraham would sacrifice that one thing—that precious loved one—which he loved more than anything else. God must try us—test us—to see if our love for Him will stand the test of family, friends, material wealth, ambition and the like.

When the impossible was presented to Abraham, he endured the test. What a vessel he had become. Truly the Lord had made an extraordinary vessel. Will you let the Lord make you, mold you and then break you for His glory and honor? Abraham suffered much for the Lord and because of his obedience; the Lord was able to do the unbelievable, the impossible for him.

Abraham built an altar

And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son (Genesis 22:9-13).

Because Abraham allowed the Lord to use him in an impossible way, both he and Isaac returned from worshipping upon Mt. Moriah.

Too hard?

Still say that your case is too hard? Oh, child of God, Abraham was just a man, like you and me. Guess what, so much has been made available to you. You have the word of God, the Baptism in the Holy Ghost, the ultimate anointings, as well as the precious blood of Jesus to draw from as often as you need. Surely, the Lord can do the impossible in your life also. He wants to do the unbelievable in your life but He can only move through your complete obedience to Him.

Abraham had to shut out the opinions of others. No doubt, he did not share with his wife about taking his only son up the mountain. She was Isaac’s mother and would have spoken doubt to Abraham, questioning the will of God. God has a plan for each life and that plan must be sought after and desired through prayer, fasting and seeking God’s face. No one else can find the will of God for you. You must seek him for yourself. He is there, waiting, waiting. Oh, child of God. Hunt for Him. He is closer than you can imagine. He is calling you unto Himself daily to uncover the mysteries of the Gospel. You are greatly needed in this last and final hour. How great your reward will be. Like Abraham, be counted with the faithful.

The Lord is speaking to you through His word today. Listen. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord (Jeremiah 29:11-14(a).

Are you ready?

Are you ready for the impossible to be made possible in your life? Please repeat this simple prayer asking Jesus to perform the impossible for you, today.

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, whole and free. I want the impossible to be made possible in my life. 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 Fictional Short Story by Reverend Beverly Thomas

Momma, I Forgot My Book Bag

Almost Thanksgiving
Winter made her brisk arrival and gently settled in. Her fragrance was illuminated everywhere you gazed. All the trees were dressed in the finest of winter apparel, coupled with icicles and frost covering. The sun had been hidden from view for some few weeks and many who embarked for work in the dark were embraced with the same darkness on the long journey back home to family and friends. It was almost Thanksgiving and time for family, friends and trips to granny’s house.

Envisioned freedom
Denise, like the prodigal son, was eager to vacate the family nest and began her journey as an adult. She would be 18 years old soon, a day that she had been planning for months. Denise had been contemplating and envisioning her “freedom.” She thought of freedom as “getting away from mom and dad and being on her own.”

Denise believed that she knew all about life and was in control of her destiny. There would be no curfew, no rules to abide by, no more church and no one to answer to.

Like Denise, the prodigal son said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the young son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous [wasteful] living (Luke 15:12-13).

Just wait
“I can’t wait until I am grown. I want to get out of this house and do my own thing. I won’t have to listen to anyone. I want to be my own person.” That’s the shout going forth from many of our youth today. Not long ago, there was a newspaper article of the sister of a young man who had apparently committed suicide in his late teens. The young lady frantically commented, “I did not understand my parents when I was a teenager, but when I got older, around 20 years old, everything they said to me began to make sense. Just wait. Just wait. Just wait until you’re 20. It will all make sense then.”

Have you told them
It was her last year of high school and Denise’s primary focus was on leaving home. “Denise, did you tell your parents yet? Have you told them your plans?” asked Star, Denise’s close friend. “No,” explained Denise. “They will find out when they find out. My dad might try and talk me out of it. You know how parents can be. My dad can’t finish a complete thought without talking about God. God. God. God. But you know girl, when I get 18, ain’t nothing or nobody tellin' me what to do. I’m gonna stay out until the sun comes up, date, and party all I want. I will be free. I feel like I am in prison. I have to give an account of my every move. I can’t even go alone to the corner store without getting the third degree. I am getting away from that place.” “I know,” shouted DeShaun. “You’ve been talking to us about this every day. Day in and day out. ‘I am getting out of that house.’ That’s all we’ve been hearing from you girl,” shouted DeShaun. “I hope you got it all figured out because life ain’t TV. You better give it plenty of thought.”

Sound asleep
Denise had been discontented for what seemed like months. She even appeared to be depressed at times. There had been a fluctuation in her weight and sleeping habits. Her parents were concerned. While she was active in the church, she began to dread her time there. She could be found sound asleep during the tarrying services. While others were seeking the Holy Ghost baptism—the old time power, Denise was fast asleep.

Good or bad
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Luke 12:34). The heart is the vehicle that motivates you, good or bad. You can’t conceal the contents of the heart. What’s in you will eventually spill forth. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Matthew 12:34).

Something is different
Denise’s parents discussed her sudden change in attitude. “Something is different. Denise is changing. Her heart is somewhere else now. Her mannerism is different. I believe she is seeing some young man,” her mother, Sheila, stated with concern to William, her husband. “Sometimes she opens up and shares with me but at other times, well, I just don’t know what to make of it. She’s becoming another person,” nervously continued her mother. “I’ve tried to be a good mother to her, William. I’ve tried reaching out to her but she won’t let me in,” continued Sheila.

“Oh, don’t worry about it. You know how teenagers are. They are up and down. One day they love you, the next day, they believe they are ready to conquer Rome,” laughed William. She has all that she needs to make the right choices in life. It will now be up to her what she does with her life. It will be such a sad thing for her to travel the wrong roads in life with so many opportunities before her.”

“Last week upon arriving to the church, I asked her what had taken her so long,” Sheila commented. “I knew she was not being truthful with me. She stated that she had walked and that was what had taken her so long. William, Denise has never wanted to walk anywhere. We are talking about princess Denise,” laughed Sheila.

Mysteries once locked
Time has a way of unwrapping the truth. Mysteries once locked in decades of time have been solved. Children must be taught to do what’s right by God and others. The Bible has always been clear about this.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6:7). God has promised that if you put out good, good will come back to you and if you put out bad, that’s just what you will reap.

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (Galatians 6:8).

Malcolm’s surprise
Denise, so intoxicated with the idea of being on her own, had been sneaking around seeing Malcolm, a young man who was 10 years her senior. Malcolm’s day consisted of getting up, hanging on the local street corner, smoking drugs and laying with any young lady that would give him the time of day. In other words, he was trouble.

Malcolm had a surprise waiting for Denise. She went out of her way to get him to notice her. “Malcolm,” shouted Denise, as she exited a local cab. “What’s up? I’ve been looking for you,” she continued. “Yea, you been lookin for me for what? I don’t take up with jail bait,” he stated. “I ain’t no jail bait and as a matter of fact, I am going to be a real woman in just a few days. Now, what you got to say about that?” smirked Denise. “When you get legal, come back and we’ll hook up…and…you know,” laughed Malcolm. “Hey, I gotta go. Got stuff to do, places to go. Come back when you be a woman,” mocked Malcolm. “Oh, I’ll be back. I’ll be back all right and I’ll be free to do what I want to do. You’ll see. You’ll see. You’ll see,” thought Denise. They parted, and headed in separate ways, all the while Denise’s mind speeds with ideas, ideas of freedom, and ideas of being a woman. “Just a few more days and I’ll be free, free to make my own choices in life. After all, I’m young and pretty,” thought Denise.

“I am going to leave my mark on this world. I’ll show them. I’ll show them all that I can take care of myself,” pondered Denise. She was late, late…once again. She rushed home.

Denise’s last Thanksgiving
Denise spends her last Thanksgiving with her current family. “Happy Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving,” everyone shouted to one another as they embraced for Thanksgiving dinner. Sharon, Juanita, Tyrone, Mattie and some other friends of Denise were in attendance at this last Thanksgiving dinner.

Sharon whispered, “Hey Denise, just a few more days and you will be free. How you gonna do it, you know? How are you tellin' your parents? That’s going to be something. I just wish that I could be a fly on the wall.” “Oh, be quiet Sharon. Stop encouraging her to do wrong. You are still at home with your parents. None of us, and I do mean none of us, know what it is like to be on our own. Our friends, you know, they are always telling lies about what they have. How do you know that what Denise has heard from others, even from Malcolm, is not just a pack of lies?”

Life is hard
DeShaun continued, “Nothing is what it seems. Life is hard. If it weren’t, there wouldn’t be so much trouble in the world. There wouldn’t be so many homeless people—so many broken homes—so many sick folk. Open your eyes and stop living in wonder land.” “That’s enough. Both of you be quiet,” stated Denise.

“I’ve made my decision and I am going through with it. I have it all planned out. I made arrangements for my cousin “Z” to come with her husband to get my stuff. I have been cleaning out my closet and throwing stuff away. When I get out of that house, I am going to get busy. I am going to get me a man, get me a job. Oh, I can’t wait. They will be shocked at what I’m gonna do. I can just imagine their faces, but so what,” concluded Denise.

Dear Lord
“Ok, ok, whose going to say grace?” asked Sheila, as they all sat down to dinner. “Denise, why don’t you do it?” “Sure. Dear Lord, thank you for this wonderful dinner but most of all I thank you for people that really love me. I thank you for all of my family and friends. Thank you for this wonderful meal, a meal that I am sure we will never, never forget. Amen.”

The turkey, dressing, ham, and greens were passed around to the fully seated table. Not one empty seat was visible. Each face was gazed with excitement. There was Christmas music covering all the walls and much anticipation filled the room about what would be placed next on the table. While plates were packed with favorites, family members looked ahead. “Can’t wait for desert,” commented Nicole. “Bam that ham, William,” laughed Denise’s classmate, Star. “I am always ready for William’s ham. Bring it on. Bring it on.”

Eating themselves to sleep
The evening progressed with joy and an abundance of excitement obviously flowed from Denise. “The game is on. The game is on,” many of the men exclaimed. “What room? What room? Let’s watch it on the big TV downstairs in William’s recreational room.” All the guys then proceeded downstairs for an evening of sports activity while others continued to play board games or simply eat themselves to sleep. As the evening progressed, family members, Sharon and Juanita, said their goodbyes. “Goodnight everyone. We are going to roll ourselves home now,” commented Juanita. “Everything was wonderful, Sheila,” stated Sharon. They headed home. Soon the house was near empty. The games were over and everyone was pushing for home and to bed. “Goodnight all and thanks for coming,” said William and Sheila. “Be careful going home and watch out,” concluded William.

What’s up?
William and Sheila completed the cleaning of the house, along with the other children, Denise, Victoria and Marcus. The house winded down and sighs could be heard ringing forth from the various bedrooms. There was a slow, gradual walk toward William and Sheila’s bedroom. “Who is that?” said Sheila. “Who’s still walking around out there?” William commented sluggishly. “It’s me,” commented Denise. “Me who?” shouted Sheila. “Oh, it’s you, Denise. I thought you were fast asleep by now. You look stuffed. What’s up?” laughed Sheila.

Denise attempted to say something but instead muttered, “You know, it’s late and I wanted to talk to you and dad about something, but it can wait, it can wait. It can wait until tomorrow.” Both William and Sheila watched the doorway as Denise strolled back to her room. They pondered what it might have been that Denise wanted to talk to them about. Too tired to give it another thought, William and Sheila shrugged their shoulders, turned off the lights and fell fast asleep.

No man gave unto him
What was so important to Denise? In just a few days, she would be 18. Did it have something to do with turning eighteen? What was it? Will she, like the prodigal son, insist on claiming her right to leave home? Remember the prodigal son? He continued his journey. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him (Luke 15:14-16).

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:13-14).

The real world
Life is full of surprises. You can often become blinded by your own desires. Crowded by the false opinions of others, the blurred view of television and the fabricated tales of others, you can become unaware and unprepared for the real world. God provides good parents to train, lead and guide you so that you won’t make the same mistakes that your parents made. Any good parent wants his or her children to do better, to be better, to go farther in life than he or she did.

The Bible, our guide and road map, is stuffed with examples for us to follow. There are examples and illustrations of those who stayed with God and were rewarded and then there are the escapades of those who lived foolish lives, wasting their money and never mounting up to be what God intended for them to be. Mercifully, some have tasted the so called good life and survived to tell others that, “It’s not what you think. Stay with God. Stay home. Keep your virginity until your wedding night.”

Life is hard
Life is hard and you are guaranteed problems. We live in very troubling times. Even in the midst of all that is going on, you still have the precious commodity of free choice. That is what you will be judged by and that is what you will have to answer for.

Join us next time for more of
Momma, I Forgot My Book Bag.”

Please write and tell us how this short story has blessed you.

book bag

What’s in this book bag?

Be sure to come back for the April 2006 issue of the newsletter for more of this great story!


Yours with a Passion for Souls,


Pastor, A Passion for Christ Ministries


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