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It's Wartime - Part 7: Sheep among Wolves

Jason Sliger

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Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Jason is a former full-time evangelist with Amazing Facts, now pastoring in Northern Michigan. He and his wife, Midori, have two children, Evangeline and Christian who are 3 and 1. His greatest desire is to have an experience like Jesus and be part of helping others be like Him too. He enjoys playing with his kids, photography and, when he can find time, playing the guitar.

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  • February 18, 2020
    8:22 AM
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Author in heaven our cup runneth over the blessings have been abundant throughout this week for that we are very thankful father we are tearing a little longer because we know you have other blessings for us he quipped us to be more like Jesus other this morning as we open up our Bibles in family worship we again invite the sweet presence of your Holy Spirit to take the words of life to apply them in our hearts right where they need to be thank you Father for your faithfulness police keep us faith what we ask for we prayed in Jesus' name amen in the Gospel of Matthew the 5th chapter we find there the greatest sermon that has ever been preached by the greatest of all preachers I refer to as the prince of preachers Jesus Christ himself and as he stood on that grassy hill side surrounded by the throng of people eager to hear the words from this new young upstart this new religious leader who was gaining in popularity Jesus begins his sermon on the mount with a list of blessings Matthew chapter 5 getting in verse 6 less that are the meek where they shall inherit the earth Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled blessid are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy bless it are the pure in heart for they shall see God bless it all are the peacemakers for they shall be called the Children of God blessing after blessing after blessing aren't you thankful for blessings. I love that song. And we should think that one maybe will sing that one tomorrow we love to talk about the blessings of God We revel in them we want to share them with other people how God blesses his people and he does he blesses us more than we deserve but it's the next 2 verses that grabbed my attention bless it are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake or theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven bless it are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake read Joyce and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven for so persecuted they are the prophets which were before you less and are ye less that are they which are persecuted now I have to be honest with you this morning I've never gone to a church service and heard somebody say during the praise time I'm thankful this past week that I was persecuted we don't we don't hear that kind of Thanksgiving on Sabbath morning usually it goes something like this I'm suffering some sort of discouragement or difficulty or persecution Please pray that God will take it away but could that means of discouragement trial or persecution be the very thing that God wants to use to bless you and yet we pray that God might remove it now don't get me wrong I believe that there are times when God removes times of difficulty. But we need to leave that up to God to decide whether or not it is in our best interest or not less in our ye men shall revile you and persecute you read Joyce and be exceeding glad desire major speech 306 write some very interesting words here it says it is fellowship with God that brings them God's people the world and how many of you are thankful for fellowship with God Is that a blessing Amen that human beings fall in sinful human beings can have fellowship with God but we are told that those who have this fellowship bring upon them the world's Amity world is not our home and those within it it goes on they are bearing the reproach of Christ they are treading the path that has been trodden by the noblest of Earth not with sorrow but with what rejoicing should they meet persecution each Fiery Trial Listen to this each fiery trial is God's agent for their refining each is fitting them for their work as code laborers with him each conflict has its place in the great battle for righteousness and each will add to the joy of their final triumph brothers and sisters when the fiery trials come your way recognize that this is God's way of repining you that one day you will have triumphed in your relationship and in your walk with the Lord. God uses these things to fit us to be cold laborers to gether with him we need to be careful when we ask gone to remove fiery trials in our line we just found in our study so far specifically in our slated together yesterday how Jesus went through this time of intensified battle in the last 48 hours of his life his entire 3 and a half years indeed his entire life here on this earth was one battle after another and it only intensified as things went along and I can assure you that the battle that he won in the wilderness fitted him to win the battle in the garden of get 70 each fiery trial is God's appointed agency to refine you go with me in your Bible if you would to the Gospel of Matthew chapter 10 just a couple of chapters over some very interesting words here. In light of what we've just read about those who are blessed when they are persecuted Jesus sending out his 12 disciples to preach to all the world here in Matthew Chapter 10 says ordination speech if you will he says this verse 16 behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as done out as Jesus and us out as what sheep in the midst of what an encouraging speech to give at an organisation isn't it thank you for becoming a follower of Jesus Christ now I'm sending you out as sheep amongst wolves. But in that one little phrase that we oftentimes hastily read and continue moving on because it makes us uncomfortable in that little tiny phrase we find Jesus defining the identity of his followers they are sheep and he's also defining the identity of those the same to me carefully that Jesus is sending them to they are wolves and I don't think we need to spend a whole lot of time describing what happens when sheep are in the midst of wolves. It's not a pretty sign however I find it interesting that Isaiah describes a very similar situation in the life of Jesus in Isaiah Chapter 53 in verse 7 he says that he was brought as a lamb to the slaughter you see Jesus is not calling you and me to do anything that he himself has not already done he is not calling us to do anything that he himself has not already said an example of how we can do it but he is telling us I am sending you out as sheep amongst wolves and Jesus himself was a sheep among wolves Maybe you've heard this statement before that the safest place to be is in the center of Gaunt's will now I want to challenge that statement this morning in a reverent way because physically speaking the safest place is not always in the center of God's will spiritually the safest place is to be in the center of God's will and unfortunately I think that this phrase that was born out of persecution the one who actually penned those words was Cory 10 Boom. A woman who was acquainted with much persecution in her life harboring 800 Jews her and her family watching her father and her sister die in a concentration camp and her herself suffering tremendous physical suffering she was the one who said the safest place to be is in the center of God's will that statement was born out of persecution but I think unfortunately Christianity Today has hijacked this statement and turned it into some sort of cliche that means that we all the sudden become bulletproof What if the safest place to be is for you to be a sheep in the midst of wolves are you still willing to be in the center of God's will somehow we've come to the point where we think it's dangerous or if it's risky if it's unsafe if it's costly it must not be God's will and I want to tell you something this morning brothers and sisters I'm thankful to the bottom of my heart that Jesus did not think that way as if that's the way Jesus said thought he would have never come to this world of sin and suffering to embark upon the greatest of all mission trips to save lost humanity we need to change the way that we think and ask God to help us to find the blessings even in suffering Jesus sent his disciples not as sheep amongst sheep that's where we are right now the comfortable place isn't it we can all together in all you are saying ras. And all that fun stuff we can all talk the same way and dress the same way and say amen the same way it's a very comfortable place to be sheep among sheep but this is not the way that God has called us to live our lives and that's why we should not live in places where there are dense populations of 7th Day Adventists God never intended his people to live like that. Jesus said that we are the salt of the earth Jesus said I'm sending you out as sheep among wolves it's unfortunate we come to the point where we seek safety over being in the center of God's Will those who follow the lamb wherever he goes will find them as find themselves as sheep among wolves I read a story not too long ago about a missionary family who went to work among the Pathak tribe in northern Sumatra in Indonesia they were the 1st missionaries to this tribe of people who are 100 percent Muslim talk about being sheep in the midst of wolves and they brought with them the wonderful message of the everlasting Gospel Jesus's death resurrection and soon coming and they as faithful missionaries shared the message of eternal life and this group of people the Pathak tribe took these missionaries and murdered them and ate them several years later there was another missionary family who felt a call to the Pathak tribe they knew what had happened but they also knew that they were called to be sheep in the midst of war and so they answered the call and they went to the Pathak tribe and they shared the same message that the previous missionary said shared and that group of 100 percent Muslims recognise the message as the same that the 1st missionaries brought but this time they decided to listen and in the end those faithful missionaries who put their life on the line God used them to convert the tribe of 100 percent most Muslims to Christianity behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst. We look at that narrative played out in the life of Jesus yesterday he was indeed a sheep in the midst of wolves in those last 48 hours of his life praise the Lord that he was willing to do it there with me in your Bibles through our scripture reading this morning 2nd Timothy chapter 3 verse 12 Paul writing to the young man Timothy giving him words of encouragement of what it means to be a godly minister and Young man he pens these words yea and all that will live how Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution what will they suffer. Now it should all be our noble goal that by God's grace we can live godly lives would you say amen to that Lord Jesus help me to live a godly life but as we do that we have to count the cost of living a godly life in this world has a high price tag on it the English Standard Version translates the this passage even more pointedly indeed all who desire to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted there's no ambiguity here there's no maybe if and or but if you live a godly life you are inviting persecution in your life we just have to get comfortable with that thought and if we don't get comfortable with that thought brothers and sisters we're going to continually hold out living a godly life at arm's length and as long as it benefits us we will embrace it but as soon as it brings trials and suffering and persecution and sacrifice into our life we will extend it out and say that's Ok I found it interesting I was reading a book called The insanity of God written by Nick Ripken it's a good book. And in the book he goes to the persecuted parts of the world Eastern Europe and Russia and different parts of Asia and he interviews Christians in persecuted countries and he documents his experience with them it's a fascinating book but what I found interesting time and time again as he interviewed one group of Christians after another is that those in persecuted countries did not pray that persecution would be removed that's not what they asked for as Nic would come back to the United States they had prayer requests but one of those prayer request was not that persecution would go away but that they would ask Nick to pray for is that God would keep them faithful in the midst of their persecution you see they had a deeper understanding of the Word of God that all who live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted it is not a Scriptural prayer request to ask God to remove persecution but we can pray and say God keep me faithful in the midst of that persecution and I want to tell you brothers and sisters God is more eager to keep you faithful in that time of suffering than you are to receive that faithfulness he wants to help you and sustain you as you choose to live a gauntlet a line living a godly life is at odds with the world the world is going this direction God is wanting us to go in the opposite direction and there's friction that happens as a result of that listen to this well quote it statement from the book great controversy page 48 you've probably read it before but it says this The apostle Paul declares that all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall be persecuted or shall suffer persecution Why is it then that the person that persecution seems in a great degree to slumber or the only reason is. That the church has conformed to the world's standards and therefore awakens no opposition she goes on and she says Let there be a revival of faith and power of the early church and the spirit of persecution will be revived and the fires of persecution rekindled Now listen we carefully brothers sisters I'm not asking you to go out there and awaken persecution on your own the Bible states that clearly all who live God leave will suffer persecution I'm not asking you to stir the pot and make life difficult I'm not asking you to have unnecessary friction in your life that's not the type of persecution that the Bible's talking about what the Bible is talking about here is when God gives you the character of Jesus that will awaken persecution when we experience the Apostol like revival that happen in the book of Acts that will revive and rekindle the fires of persecution but right now those flames are dormant why because the church has fallen into conformity with the world's standard and awakens no opposition now listen we could stand up here for the next half an hour that we have here and blast the church for all the different ways that we might think that it is compromised but brothers and sisters that's been going on for a long time and it hasn't done us any good it's easy for you to jump on your computer and write a blog post blasting something that's happened out west or in the south or in the east or and some other far flung part of the world and I'm not saying that we shouldn't take a look at challenges in our world church and try to fix them but brothers sisters we got to understand that the battle is within. And as we each individually take it and say God changed my life and give me that godly life then our church will begin to change and conformity to the world would be a thing of the past and conformity to the perfect and loving will of Jesus will be our all consuming desire this principles clearly illustrated in the life of the disciples during the time of Jesus 3 and a half years of earthly ministry they largely did not waken any persecution in their lives sure they were hanging out with a guy who in some respects was a popular person Jesus and in some groups are not very popular person but largely they did not suffer persecution because of that why because they were arguing about who would be the greatest but notice what happens the moment Peter experiences conversion the moment Peter is converted and God is able to fill him with the Holy Spirit so that he can preach powerfully on the day of Pentecost that brings $3000.00 people to the foot of the cross soon as that happens what takes place persecution arises as soon as the disciples of Christ experience genuine conversion in their life the flames of persecution begin to rule are clearly illustrated in the life of the disciples but notice what happened as a result of this persecution you can go there if you want to Acts chapter 8 verse one after the stoning of Stephen in Acts Chapter 7 The Bible says this act $81.00 and Saul was consenting unto his death Stephen's death and at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria except the Apostles Paul tells or Luke tells us that there is a great persecution that was kindled against the church and has a right result of that they were scattered. Could God possibly bring persecution into the 7th Day Adventist Church to scatter us who knows what it says in verse 4 for every time I read this it just it's just amazing to me the Bible says therefore they that were scattered who were the ones that were scattered the ones who were one persecuted Notice it says therefore they which were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word they did not allow the persecution to get them down they did not allow the persecution to keep them from doing what Jesus they called them to do to go you think Go ye therefore into all the world and preach the everlasting gospel they didn't let it keep them down but they went everywhere God had taken them and they preached the word persecution did not stop them it's interesting to me Satan brings about persecution but often times when he does it complicate is the very purpose that he's trying to stop I heard one name and that's a good thing isn't it he put persecuting Jesus and trying to get him to fail in his attempt to save humanity he persecuted the medieval church there in the time of the Reformation and the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church and I believe that that will happen once again by God's grace when that kindle of persecution is reignite it that God will find us faithful I will walk through this passage a little bit more here in Matthew Chapter 10 verse 16 behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves be therefore wise as serpents and harmless as the let's break this thing down a little bit for us this morning behold Jesus says I send you forth as sheep the 1st thing we find is that Jesus sends us out Amen he doesn't keep us in we are in a safe place here but God is wanting to send us out. We'll talk a little bit more about this tomorrow in our final message before we conclude our time together in the early morning worship but it's clear from the Bible that the disciples had other occupations they were fisherman tax collectors and lawyers but the greatest of all calling that they had in their life was to be sent by Jesus as sheep in the midst of wolves we have to get to the point where we think and understand that being sent out as a sheep in the midst of wolves is a high calling Amen it's the greatest of all callings that we can have as sons and daughters of God to be sent out as sheep amongst wolves What greater privilege can fall in humanity have than to be a sheep for Jesus in the midst of wool We'll talk more about that tomorrow so I'll push the pause button on that but again Jesus says that he sends us out not as sheep among sheep but sheep among wolves he sending us into dangerous places listen to me carefully friends when Jesus sends us out he is not sending us out among those who sympathize with our efforts we can't expect to get a slap on the back and be received by open arms everywhere we go where sheep in the midst of wool now sometimes God brings along that encouragement and I'm thankful for it when it comes to just boy our spirits up but we can't expect it if Jesus expected that in the garden of get so many if Jesus had depended upon that in the garden of get 70 he would have failed in redeeming falling humanity Jesus was able to depend upon his heavenly father and his relationship with him was independent of any human earthly support and encouragement notice which is goes on to say Matthew 10 years or stop there those what he says in verse 17 but beware of men. Where they will deliver you up to councils and they will scourge you in their synagogues verse $21.00 and the brother shall deliver up the brother to death and the father the child and the children shall rise up against their parents and cause them to be put to death 1st 22 and you shall be hated of all men for my sake verse 23 but when Notice it doesn't say but if but when they persecute you in this city flee unto another verse 36 and a man's foes shall be they of his own household I know brothers sisters we don't like talking about this stuff it makes us uncomfortable to think about it but Jesus has given it to us as a warning so that we can prepare ourselves and if we're like the proverbial ostrich that sticks his head in the sand when that time of war intensifies and a man's foes are of their of his own household we will crumble like the disciples did in that great battle we like Jesus need to take the words of Scripture we need to take the words of prophecy that Jesus is speaking to us here and heed them and say Ok God I see that there's going to be this intense battle that's going to come in the last days and that those who I consider to be close to me will eventually maybe become my enemies God keep me faithful when that time comes we need to be praying that prayer right now that God can sustain us independent of any earthly support as much as I would like to say that things have changed in the last 2000 years it has none to do the says in John 15 of verse 20 Remember the world as I remember the word that I sent to you the servant is not greater than his lord if they have persecuted me they will also persecute you to everyone waiting or wanting a place of safety for those who are looking for safe places. Say from any trial difficulty persecution if that's what you're looking for brothers and sisters the Word of God is telling us the message is clear stay as far away from Jesus as possible if comfort is what you are looking for in this world stay away from Jesus but if the Kingdom of Heaven is what you are looking for get as close to him as you possibly can the world has painted this picture that we can have our cake and eat it too but friendship with the world is empty against God and if you choose to say Lord I'm going to live a godly life in a wicked world get ready because Satan is your worst. And he's going to unleash all of his demonic power upon you and he's going to do whatever it takes to try to get you to buckle let me tell you something brothers and sisters with God all things are possible and it's little promises like that that will help us when the time of intense persecution comes our way Lord. Knows what Jesus also says his behold I send you forth a sheep in the midst of wolves be ye therefore why is this serpents and. Harmless as let me ask you question when you're being physically mistreated how do you feel like you want to respond you want to be a dove with things don't you you're praying in saying Lord please turn these wings in the hands I can hold a knife when we are being when we are being physically mistreated and I dare say that none of us have gone through that for the truth sake maybe you have I don't know but when that time comes and all who live godly in Christ years will suffer persecution Jesus says when that time comes be as harmless as a dove Wow Did Jesus illustrate that for us in the last 48 hours of his life. That's why Peter tells us that he is our example in suffering he did not retaliate when he was mistreated he did not defend himself when he was mistreated when Peter tried to lop off the servant of the high priests head he said put your sort of way do the Says be harmless as doves Spurgeon says an interesting thing he says fighting sheep are strange animal and a fighting Christian is a self evident contradiction big about next time you get into an argument in your church board meeting. Restate the couple of Amen there be about that next time you get into a heated discussion in your next church business meeting a self evident contradiction friends Jesus says that when you are as a sheep amongst wolves and I hate to have to say this friends but there are wolves in our church I just pray that I'm not one of them Jesus says when you are sheep among wolves be as harmless as a dove friends if you think you have patience now get in among the wolves and see how much you have left at that time friends it will only be the divine strength of God that will sustain you at that point it will only be God. Who can give you the love at that point when you are persecuted that bears all things hopes all things and endures all things this is not of human origin friends this is of divine birth and it only happens as you enter into that time with God morning by morning Paul gives us some good advice on how to deal with Wolves in Romans Chapter 12 in verse 21 just jot it down he says Be not overcome of evil but overcome evil with those that not match what Jesus said to be as harmless as a dove. Don't be overcome by evil in other words don't be like the wolves but overcome evil with good listen to the statement when I found this it just blew my mind with you and Harold April 26th 892 if you take pictures with your phone you might want to snap a shot of this one it says Jesus says Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves but you need not meet the wolves in the same spirit that they themselves possess you are to be as harmless as dogs it meeting the Listen to this in meeting those who are fierce of spirit you must manifest meekness and love and the manifestation this is so amazing and the manifestation of this spirit what spirit meet this in love the manifestation of this spirit will frequently change the spirit of the wolf and a wonderful transformation will take place I said Thank You Lord this is me carefully if you stick sheep in the midst of wolves physically speaking this sheep will not change the wolf into a sheep but in a spiritual sense you have the capacity as a sheep of God to transform wolves into sheep that's powerful but brothers sisters I don't want you to miss the point she tells us the way it is done it's by manifesting a spirit of meekness and love not of argumentation not of lording it over not of pulling people down but she says it's done through the spirit of meekness and Love you look at Jesus in the garden you look at Jesus at the trials as he stood before k. ifas he was instantly convicted that Jesus was the Son of God Why because he saw meekness and love. The rabble crowd as they stood there and looked at Jesus being mistreated physically mistreated they were convicted that he was the Son of God Why because they saw meekness as love as Jesus hung on the cross the Roman centurion was forced to admit that this man was of God origin that he was the Son of God Why because he saw the meekness and love when he heard those words Father forgive them where they know not what they do this is not of human origin it is of divine birth and we are pray for it we need to crave it we need to study for it we need to ask God to give us opportunities to exercise it and instead of every little difficulty and little thing that makes us uncomfortable we begin to complain we need to say Lord give me an opportunity to exercise patience and love meekness and love so that when the war intensifies I will respond in the same manner we need to stop complaining about other people and what they do to us and say thank you Jesus for the opportunity to refine my character. 2016 there was an unnamed ISIS fighter who would always enjoyed killing Christians in particularly brutal ways and this man started having dreams man and wife came to him and said Why are you killing my people you know Jesus even likes and loves ISIS soldiers did you know that he began to become uncomfortable with his work of death and one day there was a Christian man that was kneeling in front of him who he was about to execute him before he did the Christian handed him his Bible sad to say the ISIS soldier took the life of the man but he also took his Bible and he began to read it and as he read it. The Man in White appeared to me again and told him that that was his book that ISIS soldier who killed I don't know how many Christian people began to search for a Christian missionary who could teach him from the Word of God and mentor him I praise God that he found one a missionary who was willing to go as a sheep in the midst of wolves and he led that man to Christ by God's grace will see him in the kingdom of heaven one day Matthew chapter 5 verse 44 turn there with me if you would Jesus says Love your enemies that's the word of God By the way unconditional love that does not need to be reciprocated in order for it to exist love your enemies and no one bless them that curse you number 2 do good to them that hate you number 3 and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you for things Jesus tells us to do for those who make our lives difficult and eventually for those who persecute us love them find ways to bless them do good to them and for a day for them did we not see that illustrated in the life of Jesus in the last few hours of his life it's the blueprint it's the rule book on how we ought to live our lives when the mark of the beast and the time of religious persecution is revived listen to me carefully friends in all honesty is death the worst thing that can happen to you yet we go around thinking that it is the worst thing that can happen the worst thing that can happen to you is that you would lose out on the kingdom of heaven and in the process of gaining the Kingdom of Heaven by living a godly life if that means that you only live for 25 years so be it it's worth it in the end to be in the kingdom of heaven and to take people with you to the kingdom of heaven. I believe that when we get to the point where we no longer fear death and suffering that at that point we can live bold lives for God but as long as we go cowering around trying to avoid any suffering or anything that's uncomfortable the devil has us in a choke hold and as long as we are like that listen carefully as long as we are like that the un reach will stay on reached because by nature the unretouched of the world have always lived in places of the world where it's not the safest to be yet Jesus says I send you out as sheep in the midst of wool as long as we stay in our comfortable little cocoons Michigan conference can meeting at our local church in our admin is get O's we can talk about it time and time again all I hope that this is the last count meeting before Jesus comes and I hope it is too but something has to drastically change in order for that to happen we say it as though we are waiting for God to come back I hope this is the last one God You can come back now God say wait wait wait there are wolves that need to be converted into sheep and I need my sheep to go out and do that and that's exactly what Jesus did he came from heaven down to this earth to live as a sheep in the midst of wolves and his life of meekness and love transformed wolves into sheep God is calling us to do the same thing I once heard a story about a man by the name of John Patten he was a Scottish minister a very successful Scottish minister back in the 800 s. had a large church but he heard about an reach people group in New Hebrides which is a group of islands out in the Pacific Ocean that was filled with cannibals and he felt that God was calling him to minister to the people on that specific island. Now what had happened about 20 years before there was some missionaries who went to that specific island in the New Hebrides and with the moments of them stepping ashore they were killed and shortly after that cannibalized and that's where John Patton felt that God was calling him to minister and you can only expect that his church members would try to dissuade him don't do it it's a dangerous place his ministers or his church members would time and time again say the cannibals the cannibals the cannibals will eat you there is one dear old saint who repeated this statement many times you will be eaten by cannibals and to this John Patten replied Mr Dixon you are advanced in years and your own prospect is soon to be late late in the great there to be eaten by worms I confess to you that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus it will make no difference to me whether I mean by cannibals or by worms and in the day in the great day my resurrection body will rise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Savior he lived bold for God because he didn't fear death and suffering he didn't go around cowering trying to avoid any uncomfortable miss John Patten went to that island any convert the whole island of cannibals to Christianity not only did he convert that island but he spread he spent the rest of his life in the New Hebrides and there were thousands of cannibals that were converted to Christianity because he was willing to live a bold life for God He was released from his bondage because Satan could not get him with the fear of suffering and death what matter if we live for 25 years or 80 years long as we are doing our Master's will. I read a stirring story in closing a young couple who went as missionaries with the China Inland Mission back in the early 1900 John and Betty Stan Well they were in China they got married John had a burden for 4 missions that he was raised as a missionary kid and they united their life together as a missionary couple shortly after that they had a little baby girl right around that time they were assigned to their 1st mission post after extensive training in Chinese and the Chinese culture shortly after they arrived to their 1st post of duty the communist soldiers invaded the city and John and Betty found themselves as prisoners through a series of miraculous miracles God protected their daughter and I will leave you to find out all of those details but well in captivity John wrote back to the China Inland Mission these words my wife baby and myself are today in the hands of the communists their demand is $20000.00 for our release the Lord bless and guide you as for us may God be glorified whether by life or by death as they were walking to the place of execution so many cried out to them Where are you going in John fired back I don't know where they are going pointing to the soldiers but I know where I'm going I'm going to heaven John and Betty lost their life because they were willing to be sheep in the midst of wolves there are John pets Pathans and there are John and Betty stands and it is not up for up to us to choose who we are that's God's business we just need to pray that God will keep us faithful no matter where he puts us but we know from Scripture that we will have a similar experience to Jesus. As this battle intensifies May he quipped us with meekness and love that through our witness others will be converted to Jesus I leave you with this last statement the very soul of missions or being a witness as our theme is is sacrifice what is the soul of being a witness the very soul of missions of witnessing is sacrifice Listen to this and nothing less and nothing else then Divine Love can call forth the sacrifice that is needed it was the Divine Love of God that called forth the sacrifice of His Son or fallen race and it's the Divine Love of God that will call us forth to make whatever sacrifice it may be by God's grace bring others with us into the kingdom of heaven how many of you this morning want to say Father whatever may come my way I leave it in your hands but Lord keep me faithful when that time of trial and persecution comes and we want to see it this morning May God bless you let's have a word of prayer or father we are so weak we are so prone seeking our own comfort that of our Father's will and Lord I pray that we will follow Jesus example of not my will but thine be done and Lord as you send us out a sheep in the midst of wolves may we have eyes that are fixed upon you there fixed upon the goal the prize that there is a heaven to win and a hell to shun and Lord I don't know what waits us as we leave Michigan conference can't meeting I don't know what call you're going to put on our lives individually of father whatever that call is I pray that you would help us help us to faithfully execute it and to be faithful. No matter what may come our way keep us Lord rooted and grounded in meekness in love may you use us Lord by your grace and through a Christ like character to transform. Into show. Thank you Father you blessed. Jesus. This media was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave it to w.w.w. audio verse or.

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