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DAY 19 IN A SERIES: “WHY DID GOD ALLOW IT?"


WHY?


The reason why God had allowed the overall process? We were chatting with a nurse the day I was scheduled to leave Lynchburg General. She said “You know, there had been so much Covid-19 and so much death, we needed something. And you were such a breath of fresh air. You see, we needed you just as much as you needed us.” You see, I found I could make them laugh. Later on, the Holy Spirit clued me in that I needed to walk the entire “Covid-19 road” to have influence with the staff. It all had been done so that I could connect emotionally and support the nurses and medical personnel. It was all allowed that I might have influence for Jesus!


I recalled what Paul and Silas endured:


“...Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” (Acts 16:25)


In a similar way, I was able to minister to the staff at UVA dialysis in that I could make then laugh. I bought them lunch one day; flowers on a couple of other occasions. Several of the staff still follow my story. Emily - one of the techs - and her husband treated Kathy and I to dinner one night. She told me the day I left that she would miss me enormously; “It sure has been nice to have someone who understands us.” Reportedly, several of the patients who I used to pray over have asked “what ever happened to the preacher?”

CONCLUSION


As you ponder this testimonial, I pray you come away with a new understanding of Jesus’ kingdom and how it works.


- PETER WARNS US NOT TO BE SURPRISED BY TRIALS:


“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12)


- ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM:


And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 


- YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN, YOU WERE BOUGHT AT A PRICE!


“You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” (1 Cor 6:19-20)


“...and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.”(Mark 10:44)


“You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. …But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” (Rom 6:18-22)


“...that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)


“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”(Galatians 2:20)


“And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.”

(Luke 9:23-24)


“So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” (Luke 14:33)


“Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him” (Rom 6:8)


- LEARN THE SECRET OF BEING CONTENT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE:


“...But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Tim 6:6)


“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:11-13)


”Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Col 3:15)


- IN ALL THINGS, WE ARE TO SEEK PEACE AND BE THANKFUL:


“...they must seek peace and pursue it.” (1 Peter 3:11)


”Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Col 3:15)


“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:11-13)


“...But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Tim 6:6)


- FIX YOUR EYES UPON JESUS:


“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Cor 4:17-18)


USING YOUR SITUATION TO INFLUENCE OTHERS:


- AGAIN, WE MIGHT RECALL FROM ACTS GOD WAS USING PAUL AND SILAS IN HORRIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES.


Despite being in shackles in total darkness, they were praying and praising God, They were using their situation to be the light in the darkness! Let’s repeat the scripture:


“...Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” (Acts 16:25)


WE MUST UNDERSTAND OUR PURPOSE:


THE DEFINITION OF SUCCESS IN THE KINGDOM IS THE DAY-TO-DAY INTIMATE PERSONAL WALK WITH JESUS REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMTANCES


“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh….Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

(Gal 5:16 & 25)


YOUR CALLING IS TO PURSUE AND FOLLOW THE PATH HE HAS SET ASIDE FOR YOU. YOUR CALL - WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN PLACED TO INFLUENCE OTHERS


“This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Jer 6:16)


“…run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Heb 12:1)


“He will instruct them in the ways they should choose” (Ps 25:12 1990 NIV)


YOUR LEGACY: WERE PEOPLE INFLUENCED BY YOU?


This could include evangelizing but not necessarily.


THE MISSION IS TO INFLUENCE OTHERS FOR JESUS AND THE KINGDOM. WE BEAR FRUIT FOR THE KINGDOM BY INFLUENCING PEOPLE FOR THE KINGDOM


“You are the light of the world…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”

(Matt 5:14 & 16)


“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.” (Phil 1:21-26)


WE INFLUENCE VIS OUR VARIOUS OIKOS


OUR SPHERES OF INFLUENCE:

FAMILY

SOCIAL

WORK

YOU INFLUENCE VIA:

CHARACTER

PERSONALITY

REPUTATION

DEMEANOR UNDER DURESS


YOU ARE ”A LIVING WITNESS TO INFLUENCE PEOPLE

“IF NECESSARY USE WORDS


GO WHERE YOU HAVE INFLUENCE!


“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.”(Matt 10:14)


JAMES TELLS US WE MUST BE 100% “IN” FOR JESUS.


‘...the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do”

(James 1:6-8)

99% “in” is 100% divided & conflicted! Turn over your life 100% to Jesus. There are several passages that support the notion that we need to turn our lives over fully and completely to Jesus:


“...that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)


“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”(Galatians 2:20)


“And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.”

(Luke 9:23-24)


“So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” (Luke 14:33)


“Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him” (Rom 6:8)


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Nick is the Vice-Chancellor of Amherst Theological Seminary, and he has a D. Min. from Amherst Theological Seminary. He has his MA from Liberty University in Marriage and Family Therapy. He is the author of the book: "The Walk Applied: Living the New Creation Life as a Citizen of God's Kingdom in a Secular World". He has also written "The Fasting and Prayer Handbook". Nick has been married to Kathy since 1985, and hey are the proud parents of 3 children.


Contact Nick at nick.marica@srcministry.org

Facebook: Amherst Theological Seminary

Web: www.amherstseminary.com






















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