PAPER #1 – EVANGELS: MESSENGERS WHO GO & PREACH THE GOOD NEWS
An evangel is one sent by another: a messenger. The office of evangelist is an itinerate ministry travelling and preaching the gospel from place to place. We each first heard the good news through an evangelist, someone, often several, told us the good news about Jesus. The anointing of the evangelist is to preach by the power of God and to work miracles. This anointing is poured out upon those who obey the command to ‘Go!’.
THE EVANGELIST BRINGS THE MESSAGE OF GOOD NEWS
The word ‘gospel’ means ‘good news’. The Evangel is a preacher of the Good News: ’our God saves’. Paul reminded the Corinthian church that he preached the gospel to them …
‘Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures’. 1
THE EVANGELIST IS DEPENDENT UPON THE HOLY SPIRIT
Previously we learnt in this series of ‘faith it till you make it’, that the nanosecond anyone yields to the message of the Gospel we immediately receive the Holy Spirit. When we believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, grace and faith goes to work. Our welcoming, humble reception of the Holy Spirit causes grace to act like a trip switch triggering saving faith, which is shed abroad in our mind by the Holy Spirit.
FAITH HOPE AND LOVE
THE EVANGELIST’S MESSAGE IS ONE OF FAITH
Faith is the gift of God. The more we yield to grace, the more changes can take place in our thinking. This new way of thinking affects our speech and decision making. These changes then begin to outwork in our daily living.
THE EVANGELIST’S MESSAGE IS ONE OF HOPE
Hope is there also, crying out of our thirsty innermost being. Hope seeks respite from the pain and emptiness we experience from living a life without faith. Faith gives us the assurance of things we hope for, it persuades us in our conviction to believe, even though we cannot yet see the evidence. (Heb 11:1).
THE EVANGEL’S MESSAGE IS GOD’S LOVE AND IS PREACHED IN LOVE
The message and the messenger carry God’s love and compassion. Love is not a feeling – it is a doing word. However, like faith, love is in ‘deed and in truth’. We are to ‘put on’ love like a garment, but it is not a ‘put on’. It is not of works that one boasts about. Love is serving others in all humility. Love is in standing-under rather than standing-over people. It becomes clear what true love is when we read 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8.
GOD IS LOVE
Love is patient, love is kind-hearted, gentle, thoughtful. It does not envy, it is not greedy, jealous, or bitter, it does not boast, is not smug, pretentious, or brag. it is not proud, is not conspicuous, does not seek prominence, the first place. It does not gossip and cause scandal for others, it is not self-seeking, is not egocentric, self-absorbed, it is not frustrating, enraged, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Cor 13) Paraphrase Patricia with added synonyms.
That divine unfathomable, enduring love assures us we are accepted in Jesus, God’s beloved only-begotten child, Jesus, who died for our sins of faithlessness and our destitute state of mind of unbelief.
THE EVANGELIST IS LIMITED
PUTTING OUR FAITH AND HOPE IN PEOPLE HAS ITS LIMITATIONS
When Faith and hope in human vessels operate it can fail. But God’s love and faithfulness are divine and therefore can never fail. This is why the greatest of these three, faith, hope, and love remain but the greatest of these is Love.
If we deny God, God will also deny us. Despite our being faithless, God remains faithful, for God cannot deny Godself.
HOPE IN GOD CAN NEVER FAIL
Hope can be deferred because we make ourselves dependent on humans. This expectation in humans to appoint us will most certainly bring dis-appointment. Hope in others may be deferred. This disappointment makes our minds ‘heartsick’. It is inevitable that people, situations, and circumstances cause disappointment, bitterness, depression, sorrow, discouragement, failure, etc. These are part of life for as long as we depend upon others to deliver what only God can deliver. But God does not disappoint faithful people born of God. ‘Hope thou in God’, and not in people.
HOPE IN GOD CAUSES US TO REJOICE
Romans assures us we can rejoice when we run into problems and trials for we know that they help us develop endurance. Or we can take the route of a martyr or of malice and envy. I recommend we rejoice as the scriptures tell us.
Beloved, brace yourself when a messenger arriving and bringing upon you what turns into a burning fiery test. Its purpose is putting to proof (of good), and of the experience (of evil), of its trying to obtain something from you, acting as discipline or provocation to you: by implication, adversity.
‘Hey! Don’t act as if the trial you find yourself in is as if it is like a foreign guest to entertain, by pitying yourself and complaining, as though something strange was happening to you. Don’t allow it to turn you into a whining martyr, looking upon others with envy.
Instead, put an end to the pity party with yourself and others and rejoice. Yes, rejoice! Recognise it as an opportunity to share in the sufferings of Christ. He will come to your rescue, to your glory and their shame. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you’ (1 Peter 4: 12-14). Paraphrase Patricia with reference to Strong’s.
Now, until we decide to rejoice we stuck in learning mode. Immediately we begin to rejoice it changes everything. We change and the circumstances change. The trial will soon end because when we repent (‘change your mind.’) Spiritually mindfulness is life and peace. In the place of self-pity and/ or malice, endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
And this hope of being saved in the fiery trial and being shown a way out will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with God’s love. (Rom 5: 1-4).
GOD’S LOVE IS ETERNAL
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor 13:13).
GOD’S ABUNDANT GRACE ENABLES US TO LOVE
This grace surges toward us and is continually working on our behalf in order to bring spiritual blessings into the physical realm. When the believer’s faith expresses in action, it activates grace. Grace is God’s tender, grace is the power of God. Grace brings power from heaven to help bring what it is we require into being to meet our earthly needs. We will talk more about how faith works in our next post.
ONLY LIARS CLAIM THEY LOVE GOD BUT HATE OTHER BELIEVERS
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. (1 Jn 4:20).
FAITH WORKS THROUGH GOD’S LOVE
Faith works through love by God’s unlimited grace, God’s goodness abounding toward us. This grace surges toward us and is continually working on our behalf in order to bring spiritual blessings into the physical realm. Faith, when activated by the believer stimulates grace to bring power from heaven to help bring into reality the unseen to meet our earthly needs. We will talk more about how faith works in the next faithit_tillumakeit post: ‘1b/ Evangels’.
FEEL FREE TO JOIN ME IN PRAYER IF YOU SO DESIRE …
Dear God, I confess to you my lack of love for myself and others. I lack patience, kind-heartedness, gentleness, and thoughtfulness, I envy others. I confess I am greedy and covetous, I am jealous and harbour bitterness, please forgive me and teach me to be thankful for what I have, for you have said you will never leave me nor forsake me. You are my Helper.
Almighty God I confess to you I live in and by old scripts in my mind that have long had their day. I boast, am smug, pretentious and brag in my false sense of pride. I am competitive to get to first place, to make myself conspicuous, to seek prominence. God by your grace change me.
I confess I am self-seeking, ego-centric, self-absorbed. I am easily annoyed, frustrated, enraged, enough so, to keep a record of wrongs. Forgive my passing on private matters (gossip) which have the potential to cause scandal for others. Teach me to recognise love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Please show me my character defects in me, minute by minute, as they occur. Raise my consciousness to them. Help me to be mindful and live in the moment. It is enough that I recognise them and confess my faults to you and others. Your grace will change me. Help me to recognise and confess not only to you but also to those I have offended when I am missing the mark.
My life lacks your love for myself and those I meet daily, which I am oblivious to but others are not. By your grace make me aware where it pleases me to remain ignorant or when I do realize my failings I self-righteously justify them to myself and others.
HELP ME TO BE LIKE JESUS. LOVE ALWAYS PROTECTS, ALWAYS TRUSTS, ALWAYS HOPES, ALWAYS PRESERVES. LOVE NEVER FAILS.
Dear Gracious Tender and Loving Forgiving God, My God, I call upon you now and ask in your mercy to change me by your grace. Teach me to live in forgiveness, to learn better to live in and by faith: to live and move and have my being moment by moment in your presence.
I pray for the Gospel to go forth. I pray the evangels sent into the harvest. Send me into the harvest: over the road and across the world. Open doors that I might preach the gospel of love in love in your name. Make me one of those that came. Equip and supply me to enable me to help those who are preaching the Gospel.
Please bless me, my family, all those I love, all those who hear the gospel to respond in kind, help them to believe that they are welcome through your grace and your gift of faith. Those Evangels who are right now suffering in the midst of trials of faith, send help. I will go, send me.
What I have I give to you and those you alert me to that I may help them. Please, God, reciprocate through others to give unto me, and to others preaching the gospel, over and above what we have given, so I will not lack in the work of the gospel. Use the same measure I use and beyond that …
In Jesus name, Amen.
Signing off now, blessings to you and yours,
Next faithit_tillumakeit post:
‘Faith, when activated by the believer stimulates grace to bring power from heaven to help bring into reality the unseen to meet our earthly needs. We will talk more about how faith works in the next faithit_tillumakeit post: ‘1b/ Evangels’.
Love and hugs, albeit from a distance