THE BIRTH OF A MINISTRY
By: Gary L. Rodgers
Unction’s of the Spirit/I Carry a Lantern Ministry is a work that the Lord has laid upon my heart to reach the lost and to lift up and challenge a struggling brother or sister to keep pushing ahead for the mark of the high calling of the Lord. My hope and desire is to be able to offer the readers words of encouragement and hope in a troubled world.
Through the power and direction of the Holy Spirit I have written a series of short stories and teachings which I have posted to my site in hopes of leading as many as are willing to come to the foot of the cross to meet with Christ where they can have their many burdens lifted to the saving of their soul.
DO NOT LEAN ON SELF MADE CRUTCHES
Many years ago, I like so many people today, faced some serious emotional stress that seemed to weigh heavy on me to a point where I felt as though I could go no further. My life seemed to be running in a downward spiral and I didn’t know how to stop it. I hated who I was and I hated my life. Nothing seemed to give me the peace that I so desperately needed. I knew enough about the bible and church to hurt me more than help me. My greatest fear was reading the bible for myself. I had this false belief, crutch if you will; that the less I knew what the bible said the better off I was. I thought that if I stood before GOD and knew very little about the Bible that I would be forgiven for my ignorance and GOD would not condemn me to that horrible place called hell. Satan surely does blind us to the truth when he tells us “thou shall not surely die”!
The feeling of being an empty shell continued and my self-worth was not getting better. Finally after reaching a point in my life where I was about to destroy myself and through the conviction and prodding by the Holy Spirit I picked up a bible and began to read. It was very important that I would read and understand for myself. So many religions and church denominations in the world told me one thing, they can’t all be right; so it was important that I see and understand what the Bible says for myself. I started in Matthew and kept reading in the New Testament, and sometimes I would jump around in scripture. Reading the Bible was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. The more I read the more I became aware that I was a hopelessly lost sinner headed for an eternity in hell. I was so afraid to face this horror! My excuse for not knowing what the bible said was now gone by the wayside. That self-made crutch that I prepared and relied upon so heavily vanished forever. I had to keep reading; I felt that somehow there just had to be a spark of hope for me. I needed to find what that spark of hope was and I needed to do whatever it took to change the direction that I was headed in. Finally a glimmer of light when I read that Jesus was wanting that none of us should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But what exactly did that mean, and what did I need to do? How do I get off of this horrible avenue of destruction?
THE HOPE OF FAITH WILL LEAD YOU HOME
GOD never leaves us without our being shown that His Son Jesus Christ is the answer to lifting away all of our burdens. I kept reading in a mixture of fear and hope and then the LORD brought a man into my life who became a very dear friend. My new friend Jack showed me what I needed to do according to scripture and that by accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior all of my sins would be washed away by His blood and I would assuredly have a home in Heaven. It took some convincing me that this was all that I needed to do; so after more reading and prayer I finally with a sincere heart of hope and faith settled the matter one morning in my truck while on my way to work. When GOD lifted that burden from my shoulders it was like having the weight of the world lifted off of me.
I thank GOD for opening my eyes to the truth and saving my undeserving wretched soul. The Lord called me into the bus ministry where for several years I had seen many souls get saved. It was here that a little boy’s pain wrung out my heart to the point where I have determined to present the gospel as clearly and simply as I can for others to see and know that Christ is their final answer to every hardship that they face. They do have a friend in Jesus, and I also wanted them to know that I wanted to be their friend.
I stopped by this little boy’s home as one of my regular visits one Saturday morning. The little boy’s name was Brian’ and little Brian had some emotional problems. I had two teens with me to help in our visitations that day. As we entered into Brian’s home I was shocked and heart-broken to see the little guy sitting in the middle of the living room floor with a pair of urine soaked underwear pulled down over his head. His parents sat on the sofa with this smug sense of pride on their faces that they had succeeded with embarrassing and humiliating him with his problem. In their prideful sphere of self-righteousness they said that they were trying to teach their son to stop bed wetting. The Lord had to restrain the thoughts that ran through my head that morning. I was ready to let the flesh take over and go to battle. I knew that if I did I would never see the little guy again. So in a voice of disapproval, yet with respect that this was their son I asked if I could take the underwear off of his head. They allowed me too and I took little Brian into my arms and hugged and kissed him and told him that I loved him. My heart was crushed over the way that he was treated. After some discussion Brian was allowed to get up and I was able to take him along with me to Sunday school the next day on our church bus. By choice of heart Brian became my little boy and every weekend we were sure to let each other know that we loved one another.
Ever since the incident with Brian I determined that I would share the gospel in a clear and simple way to help other Brian’s in this world so that they would know that all of their sorrows, shame and embarrassment could be left at the foot of the cross where Jesus would lift them up and hold them in His arms to tell them that He loves them. I delivered little Brian from a moment in his life where he felt the pains of humiliation. Christ will deliver all of us from all of our pains and humiliation if we give him that chance. And that is what Unction’s of the Spirit/I Carry a Lantern Ministry is here to do; to help you the lost and lonely; to help those poor souls that are crying out for hope to see that there is both hope and deliverance in the person of Jesus Christ.
If you are lost in your sin I want you to know that Jesus loved you beyond all of your faults. When He went to the cross you and all of your sins were future. Well my friend the future is now here. You need to decide for yourself. This will be the most important decision that you will ever make in your life. No one can make it for you, but it is a decision that you must choose for yourself. Will it be for the Lord or will it be for the world? If you have made a decision to ask the Lord to save you then I invite you to follow along in this prayer and say with a sincere heart.
Dear Jesus, I know what sin is, and I know that I am a sinner. I ask that you would please forgive me and wash away all of my sin with the blood that you shed for me. Please send the Holy Spirit to come too live in my heart to teach me and guide me in righteousness. I know that you personally died for me, and that you were buried in a tomb and rose from the dead for me. I believe that you are now seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. I put my complete trust in you alone as my Lord and Savior and I am trusting in you only to get me to Heaven. In your Holy and Precious Name I pray. Amen!
If you made a decision to pray and ask Christ to forgive you, and to wash away all of your sin with His blood, and to come into your heart to be your Savior, then we praise God for you.
You should write down the:
Place: _______________________________________________________ of your decision.
Record this information in your Bible, it is part of your testimony.
Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067 to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk.
May you be blessed and encouraged in your Christian walk!
Brother Gary L. Rodgers