Here’s this months’ Gone Fishin’ Newsletter.
Gone Fishin’ Monthly Newsletter – October 2020
“I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” (Philemon 1:4-6).
Boy, this year is going by so quickly, it’s hard to keep up with it! I can’t believe it is October already, and Christmas is just around the corner!
You know, I often marvel at the way God has sovereignly planned everything. He misses nothing. It’s amazing how he perfectly knits all things together. His beautiful bride, the church, is an example of this.
Sometimes as Christians, we can often feel like we are just a face in the congregation, a backside on a pew, or a voice in the choir. We love our little independent lives – only letting others have a small glimpse of the real person inside. I am a prime example of this, as I am the world’s biggest introvert. I am quite happy to turn up somewhere, do my job, tick the box, and leave.
But I know that’s not the way Christ designed me to be. And that’s not the way he designed the rest of His body to be.
So, how do we break away from our desire for selfishness and independence?
Paul explains it brilliantly in his short letter to Philemon, verses 4-6. It’s a 3-stage plan that causes us to avert attention away from our navels:
Love toward the Lord
“…hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus…”
It all starts with love for Christ. Well, of course it does, because isn’t that where everything starts? Christ is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2). He is the one who gave up His life so that we could live (John 10:15,17-18). If that doesn’t stir a believer’s heart, then I don’t know what will. How would you feel towards a firefighter who pulls you out of a burning building? It should cause you to be grateful toward them, and appreciate them. Chris redeemed us from an eternity of torment, and that should cause us to love an appreciate Him more.
Our love needs to start with Christ, because He is the starting point of our faith. All love flows from God through Christ, to us, then to His bride…
Love toward the saints
“…and toward all the saints”
The vertical love to Christ can be a walk in the park compared to the horizontal love we need to show towards our fellow believers. Christ is sinless, but your brother in the pew next to you isn’t. Christ doesn’t change, but your sister in the congregation does. When we look at ourselves, we can see all our shortcomings. So, why should we want to hold our brothers and sisters to a higher standard than ours?
Christ can forgive all their imperfections, and so should we. In the end, they are all clothed in the same righteousness of Christ. God sees them the same way He sees you. You should be your fellow saint’s cheerleader, not their leash.
Christ commands us to love one another, for love is of God (1 John 4:7). When the world sees the love we have for one another, they will know that we are His disciples (John 13:34-35).
And that ultimately leads us to…
Love toward the lost
“…that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in
The love we give to Christ and our fellow saints should stir us to good works for our neighbour (Eph 2:10). But more so, it should stir us to try and save them from eternal punishment – to explain that when they die, they will have to face God on Judgement Day to give an account for all their wrong (Heb 9:27), and offer them the cure of the beautiful Gospel. After all, what’s the point of showing good works if we withhold the most important gift we could ever give them – the good news that Christ has taken their punishment for them?
This is true love, to rescue doomed sinners from the brink of hell!
The world says you have to love yourself before you can love others.
But we know from the Bible that loving ourselves is selfish, idolatrous, and sinful. Loving ourselves actually prevents us from loving others.
Love must first flow from God, the author of love – to us, to our fellow saints, and ultimately to the world!
Hey, if you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to get out and vote. It’s important that you have your say in the upcoming election. There are issues that need our attention, and to not vote for or against them shows that we don’t really care for the future of our country.
November Gone Fishin’
As a heads up, we are looking at moving the street witnessing for November to the 28th, to coincide with the Naenae Village Market Christmas Hui. Stay tuned for more on this.
Meanwhile, I’ll see you at my place this Saturday at 10am for prayer before heading out!
Witnessing Tip: Pray for the people you witness to!
When you finish witnessing with someone, pray for them straight away as you move on.
That way you will not forget to give God the glory, and pray that His Word will not return void
If you ask them their names, you can pray specifically!