Keep our eyes on Jesus

January 21st, 2009

(Written by Pastor Kevin Haislip and re-printed with permission by 2 Timothy 4:5. Pastor Haislip is a CMA Affiliate)

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12: 2,3   New American Standard

 

To anyone who has been heavily involved in ministry to people and are betrayed by those they sought to sacrificially serve, this passage is particularly relevant. 

 

Anyone who has ever served others knows the phrase “No good deed goes unpunished.”  A good friend referred me to an article in the Wall Street Journal about 2 women in Minnesota who determined to help a family devastated by hurricane Katrina in September 2005.  At their invitation, they took a family into their home, clothed and fed them from their own stores, helped raise money to get the family back on their feet, only to find the family harshly critical, deceitful, and ungrateful.  The sad part came at the end of the story when one of the women said, ”I just wanted to help someone. I think Dot and Nicole [the family] just weren’t ready for it.” Tracey says, “We’ve busted our buns. I won’t help anyone for the rest of my life. I won’t put my family through it.”

 

Jesus calls His children to be quick to forgive, and quick to love our neighbors.  For the one who would consider themself a disciple of Jesus Christ, we must look to our Lord for direction.  Anything He calls us to, we could very likely endure harsh criticism, rebuke, betrayal, and ungrateful attitudes.  It doesn’t matter how many times someone betrays our good intentions, our call is to forgive, and love, and sacrificially serve. 

 

If we shrink from helping others simply because of the painful possiblilities/probabilities, we have missed seeing a greater side to the love our Lord freely gives us.  And while pain hurts, His comfort, and His healing touch is awesome to behold.  And what is even more awesome is to see HOW God brings about His glory from that sacrifice.  People are saved.  Illness is healed.  The blind are given sight and the deaf their hearing.  The outcast is brought into full fellowship and the lame are made to walk.  The dead are raised.

 

While Jesus hung on the cross, bearing the sin of mankind, most of mankind was standing before the cross mocking and ridiculing Him.  The soldiers that He was dying for spat on Him, whipped Him till the flesh was ripped off His body and drove His broken body to carry it’s own heavy wooden death sentence.  And in love, He cries out to His Father to forgive them, for they do not know what they do.  The world, AND OUR LIVES, were changed because of it.  We were healed, even if we didn’t even know we were broken and dead.  This is a powerful passage for the believer.

 

GOD loves US!   For the joy of our redemption, He endured the cross, the hostility by sinners against Himself. 

 

The beginning and end of this passage bring particular clarity for us then.  In the middle of our sacrificial service toward others as He has lead us, we are to keep our eyes on Jesus!  For in doing this, we will not grow weary and lose heart.

 

It is for His love, His forgiveness and God’s redemption of others that we do what we do.  And His grace will be accomplished in our lives, and those He has lead us to serve.

Written by:
Pastor Kevin Haislip
Waxahachie TX
2 Timothy 4:5 CMA

Seed is no good in the barn

December 3rd, 2008

(Written by Pastor Kevin Haislip and re-printed with permission by 2 Timothy 4:5. Pastor Haislip is a CMA Affiliate)

For the seed shall be prosperous, the vine shall give its fruit, and the ground shall give its produce, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.
-Zechariah 8:12 Darby

Seed is no good in the barn.  This passage is a word of promise, alongside a word of admonition.  It is a kind of if/then proposition coming through the prophet. 

 

It requires something of us.  God gives the seed, but unless we properly care for it, and use it, it will not produce. Were we to look at this passage alone, we would be instantly filled with great excitement and hope.  For He gives bounty, and fruit, and harvest, and promises His remnant of people that they will possess them.

 

But just in case we fail to understand what it is that brings forth this prosperity and bounty, God forewarns us:  we are to be a people who speak the truth to each other; we are to judge righteously; we do not devise evil in our hearts; we do not love the lie; we do not do those things which God hates; then we will see God’s great hand of provision.  You can’t have one without the other.

 

The seed prospers, the vine bears it’s fruit, the ground it’s produce, and the heavens the dew because God takes pleasure in the people who love His ways.  Is this the grace which we all want to proclaim?  YES!!! 

 

Grace does not devise evil, or love lies.  Seed is planted in truth and fruit is produced by righteous living.  It has to be planted and tended in truth and love, and seeking to do that which God loves.

 

Seed is no good in the barn.

Written by:
Pastor Kevin Haislip
Waxahachie TX
2 Timothy 4:5 CMA

God Bless Beijing 2008 Olympics!

August 8th, 2008

(Written by Helen J. Qiu; and re-printed with permission by 2 Timothy 4:5. Ms. Qiu is an affiliate of the CMA.)

Olympics 2008 opens tomorrow! Are you ready to get up at 7:30 in the morning and watch the opening? Olympics, it is always a game to unite and a game to divide. Above all, it is a game to break records and boundaries that were never ventured before.

Such was the case when Jesus broke the boundary of the definition of God’s People. Before Jesus, it was only the Jews, the descendants of Abraham, Issac and Jacob. But not any more. Not only was Jesus innovative, but he also called his disciples to break false boundaries. In the Book of Acts, Peter saw a vision for three times in which he was ordered to eat “unclean” food. God clearly forbid them to eat these food in the law. Peter refused and said, “surely not, Lord!” But the command overcame him after three times.

He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

“Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven. (Acts 10:11-16)

Commands such as these are not divorced from former Scripture records as if God is conflicting himself. There exists plenty of traces that are faithfully recorded in the Bible but often being ignored or misinterpreted. Usually the root of the issue is not the issue itself, but a more profound one. For example, in Peter’s case, the real question is who has the power to make things clean? The answer of the question opens a floodgate to reform Church practices. Not only on the courses in the dining menu, but also consequentially on how one treats the “unclean” people group.

Olympics is not a Christian event; but for over 100 years, God has raised this game to deliver profound messages that are stimulating and challenging to all people. We are confronted of the topic of controversial topics against nations, skin color, gender and physical wholeness. It is not just sports. It is not just about breaking world records. It is also God’s glaring sign calling us to be sensitive to tangible historical traces and correct our former perceptions.

Go Beijing! God Bless Beijing 2008 Olympics!

-
Written by: Rev. Helen J. Qiu
by e-mail: minister.qiu@gmail.com
Rev. Qiu is currently at Columbia University, New York, on her study of Comparative Theology between Christianity and Chinese Philosophy.

Copyright 2008

2 Timothy 4:5 and the Church Ministry Association (CMA)

Growing in Faith

May 30th, 2008

Growing in Faith

(by Overseer Scott Whitwamchurch ministry association)

It’s not often that I take time to write for the Church Ministry Association (CMA) blog. However today I felt led to do so. There are many challenges that we face in life, not just the ministry but each one of us on a daily basis. The challenge to keep our conversation right James 3:1-13; the challenge to consider others before ourselves Mathew 22:39-40; the challenge to be a person of faith Hebrews 11:6; the challenge to stand on what God has promised Ephesians 6:10-20; and the challenge to continually confess the Word and believe Gods promise Mark 11:22-24.

Our responses to these challenges are at the heart of our ability to overcome them. I believe that freewill is one of the greatest gifts God has ever given to mankind. It separates us from Angels and gives us the ability to choose life or death Deuteronomy 30:19 it gave Adam and Eve the choice between divine fellowship and separation from God and it gives us the freedom to choose to do good or do evil. It was the freewill choice that Jesus made that reconciled man to our Father. It is our freewill choice that determines whether we receive the gift of God or not Romans 6:23.

When I was a young Christian I wondered why all the promises of God didn’t fall on me like ripe cherries from o cherry tree. The Word says that God would supply all my needs! I knew that there were spirit filled believers who had the ability to provide the finances I needed but NONE did. I continued to pray, confess and believe and wait with patience… because through faith and patience Abraham inherited the promise. Looking back I have realized that one of the things that has made me grow in faith is just that experience. Had well meaning Christians seeing my need paid my bills, bought my food or financed my ministry, it would have ruined me. You may say – what? That’s right, if I didn’t have to believe God for my needs I would have looked to MAN every time I had a need and not to God. Now the blessing of the Lord has always come through man in some way for my wife and I: business deal, work or somebody listening to the Holy Spirit and doing what they were told. I have had people who the Lord has led to give money for missions, the poor and the congregation.

Through this I learned a valuable lesson. Listen to the Holy Spirit in your giving and don’t be taken by a smooth talking, well meaning individual and don’t give because of need. See use to think incorrectly that Galatians 6:10 and James 4:17 said that I was to financially help those less fortunate than me. But it doesn’t say that, it say “do good” and doing good is teaching men to live by faith in God not me. Don’t get me wrong, we help financially in many parts of the world including the US but I never respond to pleas based on someone’s need, rather I respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit and the commitments made because of Him.

Overseer Scott Whitwam
2Timothy45
Church Ministry Association

Let God Arise

May 13th, 2008

Let God Arise
(Written by Pastor Kevin Haislip and re-printed with permission by 2 Timothy 4:5. Pastor Haislip is a CMA Affiliate)
 

Your congregation dwelt in it;
You, O God, provided from Your goodness for the poor.
Psalms 68: 10  (NKJV)


David begins his song to the Lord, “Let God arise…”
 
Can there be anything greater for God’s people and congregation to dwell in but to raise up the name of God in our praises? 
 
He delivers us from our enemies.  He cares for the fatherless, and sets the solitary in families.  He defends the widow.  He frees those who are bound and brings them into prosperity.  He sends the plentiful rain for those who are weary.  And from His goodness, He provides for the poor.
 
Blessed be the Lord,
Who daily loads us with benefits,
The God of our salvation!  Selah  
 
Are you weary and overwhelmed?  Sing praises to God.  He will give you strength and bring you through.
 
Are you oppressed and weighed down with many concerns?  Sing praises to God.  He who rides on the clouds which were of old will set you free and give you sanctuary.
 
Are you alone?  Do you need today’s bread?  Sing!  Sing praises to God!  He will bring you out, and set you amongst His people.  He will bring you out and give you a name, and provide for you.
 
“From your goodness…” rejoices David of God. 
 
O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places.
The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people.
 

Written by:
Pastor Kevin Haislip
Waxahachie TX
2 Timothy 4:5 CMA

One Among A Million

April 21st, 2008

One among a million - (Written by Helen J. Qiu; and re-printed with permission by 2 Timothy 4:5. Ms. Qiu is an affiliate of the CMA.)

The annual world famous Boston Marathon event is tomorrow. I met with a family today that the dad is running tomorrow. He is in his late 50s and I admire his strength and discipline. His grown up daughter and his wife will go cheer for him.

Curiously, I asked him, “When you are running, can you hear their cheers?” He said, “Well, last year when I run in Chicago, I turned at the corner and all of a sudden I heard, ‘Dad, Dad’, but the voice was from the other side of the road. I didn’t run across the street to greet her, but I knew it was my daughter.” His wife challenged him, “How do you know the ‘Dad, Dad’ was calling you?” He said, “I can recognize her voice, it is Eli’s voice!” I was amazed, “Wow, out of tens thousands of people, you could just pick up her voice!” He added, “There were literally over a million people watching the run!” I turned to the daughter and said, “Isn’t that wonderful to know your dad could pick up your voice out of a million people?” She happily nodded her head. We laughed and were all very joyful.

Voice — the dad can pick up his daughter’s voice among a million because he is intimately familiar with her voice.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. (Romans 8:26-27)

Voice is one distinctive feature of us being who we are. What is in our hearts is even more distinctive and intimate of us being who we are. If an earthly father, with his limited ability could discern his daughter’s voice among a million, how much more then, our Heavenly Father, with his infinite ability, could discern our voice and the groans of our inner-most beings — the unspoken voice in our heart!


Written by: Helen J. Qiu.
Distribution By: The Office of Minister Qiu.
Contributions and support can be mailed to: 22 Concord Ave., Apt. #F, Cambridge, MA 02138.

Copyright 2008

2 Timothy 4:5 and the Church Ministry Association (CMA)

My Suffering China

February 14th, 2008

My Suffering China

Over 130,000 workers have been sent to work over days and nights to repair broken electrical power lines in China last two weeks ever since the millennial snow storm struck China. At least 7 of them died at their jobs. Over 1 billion people suffered from the storm and over 7.2 billions of dollars were lost because of it. Millions of migrate workers could not go home during the Chinese New Year. These migrated workers left their villages in the inner China areas and worked in the cities along the coast in order to support their families’ basic livings. Usually the New Year’s time is the only opportunity for them to visit home. Oh! My suffering China!

There is nothing too small in your life that God does not care. There is also nothing too far or too grand that God cannot stretch his arms to save. I love China, not because I am Chinese, but more because I am a Christian. This week, I exhort you to pray for China every day seriously and sincerely as if you really care in your heart. For one week, seriously devote yourself in caring for China. For one week, think about China and the Chinese people. For one week, know a little more about China. For one week, love China.

At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people (from Capernaum, a town where he performed many miracles and preached the gospels) were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But Jesus said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” (Luke 4:42-43)

In prayers Jesus understood the global perspectives of the gospel and the dedication required of Him. He was never satisfied with a “local” ministry even if it might have already involved with a mixture of people from various backgrounds. I ponder, the proceeding question “what would Jesus do” is really the poignant question what would Jesus pray?

by Reverend Helen Qiu:
You can write Rev. Qiu at:
22 Concord Ave., Apt. #F, Cambridge, MA 02138 or by e-mail
minister.qiu@gmail.com

published with permission granted to 2 Timothy 4:5 www.2timothy45.org. Reverend Helen Qiu is an affiliate of the Church Ministry Association (CMA).

Where are the nine?

January 2nd, 2008

While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine–where are they? “Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.”
-Luke 17:11-16 New American Standard

Where are the nine? On seeing Jesus, ten leprous men cried out to Him for mercy. All were healed, but only 1 returned.

Where are the nine? We don’t know exactly, but they were not coming back to give thanks to the One who healed them. Perhaps they were given their lives back, and determined to make the most of their new found health. Perhaps they were running home to show themselves to family. Perhaps they were on their way to celebrate.

Where are the nine? They are missing out. Missing out on truly the best thing that could ever happen to them. Their healing was not the best thing. They are missing out on an encounter with God Himself. He was standing right there in front of them. He healed them, but they missed Him.

But the one…

He had an encounter with God. He returned to Jesus glorifying God, and thanking Him. He did so loudly, so as to tell all what had happened, and who had accomplished this in him. And he fell at Jesus feet, and worshipped Him. It wasn’t even a Jew who came back, but a foreigner, an enemy of the Jews.

We are not unlike the 10. We need to cry out for mercy, and we need God’s healing everyday. Today is the second day of the year. It is a day when we contemplate what the new year will bring, and what we should do to make the most of it, and the rest of our lives. But the best has already been done for us by Him who saved us and healed us.

We dare not miss it. May we not miss out today, this minute, of an encounter with Jesus.

And may we today, and the days to come, seek a deeper revelation of Jesus Christ in our lives.

Written by:

Pastor Kevin Haislip

Waxahachie TX

2 Timothy 4:5

www.2timothy45.org

Faithfulness

October 20th, 2007

Written by: Helen J. Qiu. minister.qiu@gmail.com use privilege given to 2 Timothy 4:5

When we describe the faithfulness of a church, one of the identifiers is that it preaches and teaches God’s word faithfully and the congregation enjoys the teachings week after week.

While I would certainly agree that it would be an important identifier, I would not think it is all what a church is. A church is not only a place where one listens to the Word, but it is also a place where the teaching radiant within the church as well as outside of the church. For while it is important to learn faithful teachings, it is of no use if the teachings remain merely praises and appreciations of your lips.

Do you know that among the 206 bones an adult has, more than half of them are in your hands and your feet? Therefore also, we must not only enjoyed the teachings, but must live and do so accordingly.

James 1: 22-25:
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.


Written by: Helen J. Qiu.
Free Distribution By: The Office of Minister Qiu
If you really like this article, please joyfully and generously support Helen’s ministry by sending your investment to: 22 Concord Ave., Apt. #F, Cambridge, MA 02138, please send emails to minister.qiu@gmail.com.

2 Timothy 4:5 - Church Ministry Association
www.2timothy45.org

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October 20th, 2007

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