Letter from Pastor Allen

Dear Friend,

Our world desperately needs people who will lead with a Christian worldview. Leadership is not about titles, or positions, or offices—we’ve all known people who had a powerful title, but they weren’t leading. Ultimately, leadership is about influence. Whether a Christian is a butcher, a baker, or a candlestick maker, our communities need them to approach their assignments with a biblical perspective, and with values that are informed through Scripture.

God created us to be difference-makers for His Kingdom. For our faith and our biblical beliefs to flourish, we’re going to have to be more assertive in the places where God has placed us. We don’t have to be angry, or aggressive, or condemning, or critical. We simply need to understand who we are and what we believe and have the courage to talk about it.

2 Chronicles 32:7-8 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.”

As we live in the midst of this pandemic of fear and discouragement, it’s good to remember that the One who is with us is greater than whatever is arrayed against us. No matter what circumstance we find ourselves in, we have the help of God Almighty! This is true, even if you feel like you’re outnumbered, or you’re all alone, or your voice is small. The requirement of us is to have strength and courage. We have to choose it, saying “no” to discouragement, and deciding to stand with trust in God. It’s an assertive response to life!

In the book of Acts, the Lord tells Ananias to go pray for Saul, who had been blinded on the road to Damascus. At first, Ananias was reluctant to do so—Saul had been arresting Christians and having them murdered. In Acts 9:15-16, God tells Ananias,This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

The two parts of this scripture that intrigue me are, “This man is my chosen instrument,” and, “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” I believe God is for us and intends good things for us, but it doesn’t mean that we’re not going to have to walk through some unpleasant circumstances. God is interested in more than just our happiness. Sometimes He’ll ask us to be His “chosen instrument” to stand in a difficult place, or walk through a shadowed valley, for reasons we don’t yet know or understand.

No one needs to tell you to be “strong and courageous” if there is not something frightening, intimidating, and discouraging ahead of you. Consider those young men who waded ashore on the beaches of Normandy during World War II. Everything in them had to be saying, “I’d rather not do this. Let somebody else do this.” Yet they completed their mission. We haven’t been tasked with approaching the beaches of Normandy, thank God. But for us to experience the renewal, the awakening, the revival, and the change our world needs, it will take a similar type of courage from God’s people. We’re going to have to find a different response than what we’ve previously known. Our current approach has resulted in the most precipitous decline of Christian influence in the history of this nation, and arguably, in the history of the Church, and it’s happened on our watch!

Fighting the good fight of faith requires intentionality, starting in our own hearts, in our own homes, in our own schools, in our own churches, and in our own neighborhoods. We’re going to have to have the moral courage to rebuild the foundations. Are we ready, Church?

Our willingness to engage will make a difference as we watch, listen, think, and act. Prayer is the beginning point. Through our prayers, we invite God into the midst of our world. As we listen in prayer, we understand the specifics of our assignments. Each of us should want to be trusted by the Lord so much that, if He had a message for a group of people, He would give it to us and know that we would faithfully report it, like He did with John and the book of Revelation.

A life of faith means we’re looking, not just at what we see, but beyond time.  If we believe there is an eternity and an eternal God, we’ll make our life choices based upon that set of realities. We’ll choose to be strong and courageous, living by faith as ambassadors of our Lord and King. God has planted us to be salt and light, and He is with us as we use our influence to make a difference.

Onward in Him,

Pastor Allen Jackson

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