The Toughest Part of the Gospel

The Toughest Part of the Gospel

by: Quasi-Paul

“SMH” or “shaking my head” is a common phrase used in social media these days. As ill-equipped as it is in capturing my feelings when I heard of what Dylan Roof had allegedly done, all I could do was shake my head. I was and still am deeply saddened that he preyed on his victims in their most vulnerable place. Everybody knows to keep their doors locked in order to protect themselves and their families. However, the Christian church is not supposed to close its doors, we are called to welcome all:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” -Matthew 11:28

Dylan Roof took advantage of this divine open-door policy when he waited inside that South Carolina church for an hour before he began his shooting rampage. Dylan Roof is a conniving coward, a murderer and a despicable human being. He has committed one of the most appallingly racist crimes in almost 50 years.

Upon hearing about this tragedy, I instantly imagined myself at a 1970s Black Panther gathering. What would they say? How would they react? I can imagine that the outcry for vengeance would have been deafening and that “Kill Dylan Roof” would have been the rallying cry. Seething with anger and frustration, my own voice might even have been the loudest. Then I sobered up and I remembered that I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I still wasn’t sure about exactly how that should affect my response, I just knew that lynching Dylan Roof, as fitting a punishment as that might seem, was not the answer.

Thankfully, the power of the Gospel was on full display when one of the family members of Ethel Lance, a victim in the shooting, had an opportunity to address Dylan Roof at his bond hearing. Speaking on behalf of her family and fighting through tears, Ethel Lance’s daughter said “I forgive you” and she pleaded for mercy on Dylan Roof’s soul.

Upon hearing that I remembered one of the reasons that Jesus’ message was so difficult to deal with. We all have moments where we bask in our self-righteousness and condemn others. For me, this was one of those moments. The hardest part of Jesus’ message is that God is willing to be merciful toward people like Dylan Roof as well. I thought to myself, are you kidding me? That Guy? Yes and yes. In our human hearts we have limits as to what we are willing to forgive. If Ethel Lance’s daughter stepped into that courtroom and cursed Dylan Roof out, we all would have cheered and not thought twice about it. “That’s the least he deserves,” we’d say. However, I believe that God was working through that woman to deliver a much better response.

The response of Ethel Lance’s daughter is better because it is actually impossible to heal from the effects of racism in this country without that type of spirit. Jesus said:

“…if anyone slaps you on the right check, turn to him the other also.” -Matthew 5:39

The lesson here is to resist the urge to repay a wrong with a wrong and to respond with a heart that is willing to go the extra mile to seek reconciliation whenever possible. Dylan Roof allegedly committed this mass murder to start a race war, yet we saw the exact opposite. We witnessed a beautiful coalition of people, from all walks of life and from many races, mourning as one. The problem with taking up arms and trying to retaliate is that it continues a cycle of violence and bitterness that will continue on forever. Blacks feel especially justified, and rightly so, in their condemnation of the racist history of America and its modern-day manifestations. In so doing we are heavy-handed and at times downright hateful in our approach. As a result, hate groups were able to manipulate a disaffected and mentally weak person into committing a heinous act. We have witnessed the plot of the movie Higher Learning in real life.

So even though it’s a tough pill to swallow, Jesus’ Gospel message of mercy and forgiveness means that despite the fact that Blacks are in many ways victims of America’s racism, we must be willing to reconcile. I’ll be the first to admit that this is one area in which God is still working on my heart.

 

Thank you to our guest blogger: Adeniyi “Quasi – Paul” Taiwo. Be sure to check out the links below to his blog and website.

Blog post: http://acts1723.com/2015/06/25/the-toughest-part-of-the-gospel/

Website: http://acts1723.com/

 

Grace &  Peace,

Calling All

Music Monday’s: Music That Inspires

As a music lover and junkie, I’ll be the first to say that I spend a pretty penny in my iTunes store each time a new album comes out. And as a Christian, I’m constantly looking for music that keeps me going spiritually, and that encourages and inspires my life. So check out some music that you can support and purchase below that will keep you encouraged!

 

 

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-Tamar Montuma

Calling All Fellowship

The Pace of Faith…

The Pace of Faith…

When you hear that, what comes to mind?
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One of the leadership members said that the pace of faith means to her “trusting the anointing of the timing of your life… it is all unfolding perfectly” – Josephine
 
Another leadership member said ” Moving with faith in the timing of God.” – Lanre

 
I dug a little deeper and God led me to a few scriptures, the first being...Hebrews 11:1.
 
In order for one to know the speed of faith we need to understand the definition of faith. So, What is faith? You probably repeat this verse so many times and quite frankly we should because so many times we make up our own definition and lose sight of what God says or mean.
 
NKJV states,” Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” 
 
A few things came to mind after reading that verse multiple times but one underlying theme was “belief”. 
 
What is faith if we don’t believe.. we can’t hope, there’s no evidence because there is no belief of something to see. Can we ultimately give God our best if we don’t believe?  Our best praise, our best worship, our best sacrifice, a true prayer, can we even trust if we don’t believe? Where would our faith lie, if we don’t believe? Can we truly come before his throne of Grace if there is no belief?
 
In all these questions, God was telling me Marie, you have to believe in Me and not only that but in my word. If you don’t believe beloved you’ll have an uphill battle with faith. You will be tossed to and fro due to life’s challenges, indecisions and tribulations all because your belief is wavering and not 100% all in.
 
I bet you’re wondering but Marie,I believe that Jesus died for my sins and on the 3rd day rose up. But does it only end there, believing in that monumental moment? When it comes to who He is and who He can be in you, what God can do for your situations, for your families, for your career or for your finances, do we believe in Him with all of our hearts and our minds and trust that He is what the bible says He is for us? Can you?
 
And sometimes, it is  extremely hard to say yes 100%. Im sorry you may judge me on this but sometimes I ask God if He’s truly there or if He cares about my situation. We get so consumed in our situations, we forget in those very moments of disappointment or heartache, this is where our faith starts to grow and activate. 
 
If we believe in the God that we read about, from the Old Testament to New testament,  then faith which is everything we hoped for and the miracles we’ve read about or heard through others testimonies should be relevant and very real for us.
 
I ask you this.
 
1. Do you believe that God is for you, the following? Or have you yet see it manifest?
  • Jehovah Jireh- The Lord our Provider
  • Jehovah Tsaba: The Lord our Warrior
  • Jehovah Shalom: The Lord is Peace
  • Jehovah Rohi: The Lord is my shepherd 
  • Jehovah Nissi: The Lord is my banner
  • Jehovah Mekoddishkem: The Lord who sanctifies
  • Jehovah Rapha: The Lord who Heals
  • Jehovah Tsidkenu: The Lord our righteousness
  • El Shaddai: The Lord God Almighty
  • Immanuel: God is with us 
2. Have you been slacking on your reading? Because if so then you’ve been like me the past couple of days. 
 
Not reading your word and praying regularly causes you to be susceptible to every attack of the enemy. It leaves you open to heartache, indecision, doubt , worry, sickness, diseases, death of spiritual awareness, love, forgives, lust , temptations and so on. You may sometimes feel drained, and depression may start to fester because of the pace of your life or the way you see yourself regressing instead of progressing. 
 
 
God is very real and very able. All of the names above of who God is, can definitely be manifested. But one thing is needed to activate this and thats your belief and your faith. How is faith renewed or obtained in those cases? Simple, You simply follow these guidelines in Romans 10: 17 ” faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God“. Get back to reading and hearing the word which is your sword against the enemy. You will instantly feel a jolt of renewal and receive confirmation of the path you were once on. 
 
The pace of faith, isn’t easy, there are a lot of things I need to learn but what I’ve gotten out of all of this is that believing and hoping in the truth of God and who he is protects me from drowning and competing with the pace and idiosyncrasies of the world. It reassures me of who I am and the talent and gifts that God has given me to utilize for his Glory. It strengthens my character, and challenges me to grow. IT lets me know that mistakes are inevitable and that God is always there. 
 
I leave you with this: 
Hebrews 10: 22-23 states ” let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for he who promised is faithful.”
 
“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so  that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: For yet a little while, And he who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: But if anyone draws, my soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10: 35-39 NKJV) “
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– Marie Kerline Charles
Founder of Calling All Fellowship

GRACE and PRAYER!

 

grace

 

Although hearing what’s going on in the world is never easy to hear or sometimes fathom, this is similar to whats happened before in the bible. One thing I heard from a Pastor was… “we shouldn’t be surprised of whats happening in the world because its the world. It’s going to do what it was meant to do.” We’re supposed to be in the world but not of the world, right? But what should we do now while we’re here…What do we need to do on this earth with the time we have left…
We as Christians and servants of God, should really consider fighting this war not only on our knees in prayer but to heed direction and to see what God is doing and why, in this generation. Romans 13:11-13 tells us to wake up and really see what God is doing. See that this is a time for us to really proclaim the name of Jesus.Some may be surprised when we see all these things going on the in the world but if you read Romans 1:18-32… you see Gods wrath on unrighteousness. But again what can we do, where can we play our part?….

Beloved, with God’s grace, we as people of God win every time!
.We need the Grace of God like never before, to heed his direction and obey what his will is for this generation and time.
Romans 5:18-21 MSG
Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right. All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end. (‭Romans‬ ‭5‬:‭18-21‬ MSG)
Why Grace? Here are some examples….When Noah found grace in the eyes of the lord, and he spared his family from the flood after seeing all the wickedness in this earth . (Gen 6: 5-8)

When Moses bowed down before the Lord and asked for Grace to pardon his people again and renew Gods promise and covenant to the people…(Exodus 34: 8-10)
When giving Grace to Paul to do preach the Gospel until the end of his death and proclaim…For we have not been given the spirit of fear but of love, of power, and of a sound mind (2Timothy1:7)
And we can go on and on about Grace and how this free gift has been saving us…..
So as a unit, lets repent and ask God for Grace, Grace to do our part, Grace to pardon our sins, Grace to lead us to his will once again… so that he can heal our land and the people that are suffering with some of the sins of their past, generational seeds, or those they are trying to recover from their sins.
God is not a man that he should lie….if he did it before he can do it again…Grace is a gift that was given to us, lets ask for it.
To do and be all he has called us to be.
Scripture to meditate on: 

This morning, I read Exodus 4:10-12 NKJV,
Then Moses said to the LORD, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” So the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”

– Marie Kerline Charles
Founder of Calling All Fellowship