Equipping For Service

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Charles Billingsley & TR Chior When I Don’t Know What to Do

“Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)

The scriptural context of Matthew 25:40 relates to the time at the end of the tribulation when Christ returns to Earth and judges the Gentile nations, based on how they treated God’s chosen people (Israel, Deuteronomy 7:6), during the tribulation. Posts in this blog will show the journey that God’s people travel to return to their promised land of Israel, from the lands of the world, where they were dispersed, which dates back to 722 B.C. It was at that time that Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, captured Samaria and carried Israel away into exile to Assyria (2 Kings 17:1-6). It is clear, however, that Christ desires His church to minister to the needs of the less fortunate in the time in which we are living.

The mission objectives of the church are clear. Our Lord has given us specific marching orders.

Statements Of Ministry: 1.  Vision.  2.  Overview.  3.  Future.  4.  Mission Objectives.

1. Vision. Ephesians 3:20 shares a view of a glimpse of ministry that had not been revealed to me until the beginning of the year 1999. That scripture tells us, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us …” The vision that had previously been in my mind did not include such things as:

a. Ministering to prostitutes, homosexuals, alcoholics, drug addicts, and the homeless.
b. Becoming an advocate for anyone who may need such support, including those who are not homeless, but may be classified as the working-poor.
c. Assisting in the staffing of national and international ministries.
d. Using the forces of personal evangelism and Internet media to make thousands of believers around the world aware of the burdens that God has placed on my heart.
e. Supporting U.S. military forces around the world, based on the type of request.

2. Overview. Matthew 25:40 should be a challenge for  all of God’s people to step outside our comfort zones, and to respond to the needs of people who seem to have been overlooked by much of the church of Christ. In that scripture, our Lord says to us, “…inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”

a. When I stepped outside of the area of comfort, that had previously shielded me from a very dark side of life, I began to share the love of Jesus in a way that had never entered my mind. To take the hand of a prostitute and pray with her – to see her closing her eyes and joining me in praying to our Lord and Savior, Jesus of Nazareth – to see tears flowing from her eyes … these are all special moments of my life, and will never leave my mind. To walk under a bridge and view a homeless city; to see homeless people devising ways to protect their personal belongings, such as putting all that they own in a grocery store shopping cart; to see a makeshift bed, that extended from one steel girder to another, so that a man and his wife would be able to sleep five feet above the dirt that was beneath them; to see women selling their bodies so that they could sleep in a real bed, and have food to eat; to see homeless people walking the streets all day long, with no place to go; to see the vacant houses where those without homes would make their homes, for a night, for a week, or until a police officer would tell them that they would have to “find some other place to sleep” – which might be a park bench, a bridge, or another abandoned house; to know that many homeless people die each winter’s night, because they don’t have clothing that is warm enough to protect them from subfreezing temperatures – to know that the heat of summer takes the lives of those who can not escape the deadly temperatures of June, July, and August.

b. When I have become an advocate for one of “the least of these;” when I have tried to “do what Jesus would do;” when I have tried to “be Jesus to the less-fortunate;” it has been very challenging and fatiguing, yet very rewarding.

c. As a ministry seeks to recruit volunteer ministers, it is very rewarding to be asked to assist in the recruiting and logistics effort of the growth of that ministry.

d. As I have been invited to explain the ministry of “Unto The Least Of These,” to churches and church groups, it has been more of a blessing than I could ever have imagined.

e. The challenges of the United States armed forces are numerous. Many troops have no relationship with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Military chaplains need the assistance of churches, individuals, and civic groups, in providing bibles and personal items to the troops. It is a blessing to be a part of that supply process.

3. Future. There are many churches that need to be made aware of the needs of “the least of these.” There are many churches that need to be challenged to seek out that demographic of society that seems to slip through the cracks of our minds. But, there is only so much that can be done by a few people. Other people, of similar sentiment, need to become affiliated with this ministry. That will allow more churches to embrace the message that scripture has so clearly been given to the Church, as it relates to the less fortunate. More sermons need to be preached about meeting the needs of the unfortunate. More hurting and lost souls need to be told about the love of Christ, and need to have more of their daily needs met by the Church.

4. Mission Objectives.  Matthew 25:35-40:  Benevolence;  Matthew 28:18-20:  Evangelism;  Ephesians 4:11-12:  Equipping The Saints.