Monday, May 30, 2011

STEPHEN ... MAN OF INTENSITY

Stephen

            Stephen had the unique opportunity to be first at a couple of things. Looking at the comments made about him in Scripture, I’m not sure he minded being the first at either. 
            He was chosen by the church of Jerusalem to serve as one of the first deacons. Deacons were gifted men who willingly helped the pastors/apostles handle what some would call the mundane jobs in the church – waiting on tables, visiting the shut-ins and maybe even cleaning up after the church event.
            However, just a short time later, we find Deacon Stephen preaching.  (Deacons, just like every other member in the church, are to be active sharing their faith.) People didn’t like his message.  Doesn’t that sound familiar even in today’s world? The Scripture says they took him and stoned him for the message he preached.
            Not only was Stephen one of the first deacons, he was also the very first Martyr for Christ. He knelt as a Man of Intensity for his faith and prayed that God would forgive them for their actions. 
            As we celebrate Memorial Day this year, let’s take time to remember not only the fallen heroes of our nation, but even more importantly let’s remember the fallen of heroes of the faith.  Everyday around the world, men and women die for their faith at the hands of individuals that don’t want to hear the Good News “Jesus Loves You”. And as Men of Intensity, we need to lift them up and encourage them with our prayers.

Friday, May 27, 2011

JARIUS ... MAN OF INTENSITY

Jarius

            The story of Jarius begins in Mark 5: 21 – 24 where this leader of the synagogue a man of intensity, and integrity comes asking Jesus to help his daughter. His daughter is sick and is going to die unless God does something. The story has a brief interruption, as Jesus heals the women with the issue of blood, and returns to the conversation between Jarius and Jesus in verse 35 – 43.  However, at this point Jarius is informed that it is too late and he should leave Jesus alone.  His daughter is dead.
            I love this Man of Intensity heart, I believe that his look to Jesus said it all “Please no” … and Jesus responded “Don’t be afraid, just believe” and as we progress with the story in verse 42 Jesus spoke and the girl stood up and walked around.  It say’s they were completely astonished. I’m not sure about you but I would be astonished too.

            Maybe our prayer should be “God don’t let me astonished by your miracles, let expect them daily”

Friday, May 20, 2011

JOHN ... MAN OF INTENSITY

Apostle John …

            It is often believed by most scholars that John was the youngest of the twelve disciples, and the one often referred to as the one Jesus loved some place John at about 15 years old when Jesus called him.  I can personally relate to this, because my personal call to the ministry came at age 13, and like John I have never looked back on that call.
            John was going to have an opportunity to see it all the teaching of Jesus both in a small group with the disciples, and the large grow do thousands, kneeling in front of the cross as his savior died, looking at in the empty tomb seeing the angels who proclaimed HE is alive, to watching Jesus ascending into heaven 40 days later, to the founding of the church, and out-pouring of the Holy Spirit.
            As I look at this individual story his conviction to stand firm in his belief that his friend Jesus, was truly the Son of the Living God and Savior. He even was faithful in the boiling oil, and exile to a small island with criminals on it.

            My question for myself today is … can I, could I, would I be able to stand the test and remain faithful though all this?  And my only answer can be like I believe John would be though the faith in God, and his blessing I can.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Andrew ... Man of Intesity

Apostle Andrew …

            The first of the Twelve Apostles, and outside of the list of the Twelve and the few times he is mentioned with his brother Peter he is only mentioned three times.  However, what is significant about this Man of Intensity is that when mentioned he is doing the same thing every time.  He is bringing someone to a personal relationship with Christ (in the church today we call it “Soul winning”). Notice the three references to Andrew outside of the being mention with the other apostles.

´        John 1:41 … Andrew found his brother Peter and brought him to a personal relationship with Christ.
´        John 6: 1-14 … Andrew found a young boy with food, to feed the five thousands.  However, my personal belief is that Andrew was more concerned about the young meeting Jesus than feeding the people.
´        John 12: 20-26 … Andrew brings the Greeks to meet Jesus, after others were reluctant to do so.

It is clear that Andrew was a Man of Intensity and had a heart to see individuals come to Christ in a personal way.  It was true back then that more people are going to Christ through the personal interaction of one individual than all the televangelist, and pastor combined. 

A closing thought or question … Who is on your list to bring to Christ, and what have you been doing to get them?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Zachariah ... Man of Intensity

Zachariah … the father of John the Baptist:

Luke 1: 5 - 25

            This gentleman is clearly a cornerstone of what it is to be a Man of Intensity for God.  He has spent his life serving God, daily in the temple. He new the Law of Moses as well as anybody, and expected God to fulfill the promises of the Old Testament about a coming Messiah.  However, like most of us he did not expect to be a part of the promise.
            As you read the unfolding of this great man encounter with God (the angel of the Lord), you realize that his relationship to God was special.  He had a heart to seek after the righteousness of God. However, he also was skeptical as many of us are especially when the Angel of the Lord told him that his barren (couldn’t have children) wife, who was also old, was going to have a child.
            I believe that even today as there was with Zachariah, there is an expectation from God when he blesses each of us with the miracle of having a child.  As Men of Intensity, we need to take a serious look at the expectation.
*      We have an obligation to teach the child of the things of God.
*      We have an obligation to meet that child needs daily.
*      We have an obligation to provide safety for that child

Zachariah met these needs of his son John and history clearly shows us the world was blessed by the conviction, teaching, and encouragement that Zachariah bestowed to his son.

As I close today … What conviction, teaching and encouragement have you bestowed into your child’s life this week?      

Rev. Don Allen, Jr PhD Grace Church of the Valley School of Ministry 1709 Nowlin Ave. Lawrenceburg, IN 47025 Dear Family & Fri...