April 2013

Praying for Our May Ministries to the Lost

Most of you were present at our Evangelism Emphasis Sunday a few weeks ago with Pastor Doswald.  Alan challenged us to minister to the lost in three ways:  1) Prayer! 2) Care! 3) Share!  Perhaps this is a good order, a proper sequence to increase the effectiveness of our outreach to the blind and perishing.  Should we not begin with prayer and caring, so that God can then present the apt occasion for the sharing of His good news?

2013 is the “year for evangelism” in our Church!  Given God’s commands in the area of evangelism to Community Church, every year must be “the year for outreach” to the dead and dying!  God has commanded us to “go” out [Matt 28:19].  He has given us His  divine authority to do this [Matt 28:18].  We are to use His faith-producing Word [Rom 10:14-16; James 1:8; 1 Peter 1:22-25].  For this great, sacred and vital task, we are to lean upon His enabling presence [Matt 28:20].

 We are to follow the pattern of Christ’s loving ministry to the lost in Luke 15.  Like the shepherd who leaves the 99 in the fold to seek out and rescue the one sheep that is lost [Lk 15:1-7], like the woman who searches diligently for the lost coin [Lk 15:8-10], and like the love of the father who longs for the return of his prodigal son [Lk 15:11-32], we are to follow Christ’s rescue ministry toward the lost.  We are not merely to spend time with the lost.  We are to go out of our way to find them, be with them, and minister with gospel love to them.  Despite the inconvenience, hardship, and persecution we may encounter, we are to be intentional in our efforts to rescue the perishing.

 The lost do not see the gospel’s light because they are blinded by the veil of Satan [2 Cor 4:4].  They are helpless sinners [Rom 5:6]. 

The unsaved do not seek after God [Rom 3:11].  Sinners have no fear of God before their eyes [Rom 3:18]. They do not see the fear of God’s wrath in their “windshield”, so to speak, as they travel through life.  In contrast, we are dominated by the fear of God’s awe [Phil 2:12-13].  He has replaced the fear of wrath with His love that has been perfected [has found its suitable result and location] within our hearts [1 John 4:18].

Thus we are to bring His love to the loveless as God did by bringing Christ to us through the ministries of other loving Christians and the drawing power of this grace and life giving Word.  Given their dead spiritual condition, they are not going to come to us on their own! 

We must go to them.  This is His plan, “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world” [John 17:18].

 On May 3rd, we will partnership with Trinity Baptist Church of Solvang and the Durocher Family Ministry in an exceptional outreach ministry within our Church. The Durocher family will sing, and we will preach the gospel.  Please take invitations from the back foyer table this Sunday.  Prayerfully distribute them to everyone you can.

 Lifted Up will present a gospel concert in our Church on Sunday evening, May 26th.  We will preach the gospel at this service.  The next day, we will join Lifted Up to support their outreach in Solvang Park on Memorial Day.  They will sing God- centered, patriotic songs to our community who annually gather in large numbers to commemorate the sacrifices veterans have made for our Country.  Pray while anticipating divine appointments with the many unsaved at this wonderful service.

 In Psalm 5:3, we have a practical and simple way to respond to the above exhortations at least in part, and perhaps as a start.  The Psalmist states, “In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.”  The psalmist here is committed to prayer.  He is resolved to arise when he is fresh in the morning so that he might pray to God.  He has confidence that the Lord will hear his prayers, and that his specific petitions will be answered.

 Prayer is the fuel and combustion for the Great Commission.  Urgent, continual, and passionate intercession provokes God to use us for what He Himself longs to do through us.  We are to beg God to use us to bring His love and salvation to those without hope and without God in the world [Eph 2:12]. With Elijah-like intercession, James 5:16-18, let us utilize prayer knowing that the effective prayers of the righteous accomplish much in saving the lost.

 The psalmist in Psalm 5:3 not only prays in the morning, but he “orders” his prayers.  “Order” is an intentional word for an arrangement that that is purposeful.  Let us cry out to God for Him to receive our petitions which are strategically arranged for the effective power of the gospel to be spread to the lost in this Valley by our Church family. 

After ordering up His prayers in the morning to God, the psalmist then eagerly watches.  Like an archer who aims his arrows straight above his head, and then wisely and alertly watches for the arrow as it heads back down upon him, so we too must earnestly watch and eagerly pray.  Let us take the time to pray specifically and with great fervency for people of this Valley to be open to the gospel.  Then let us watch earnestly and alertly for the answers God will provide. 

Matt 9:37-38:  “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”                                                                                                                

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Community Church of the Santa Ynez Valley
240 E. Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427