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The Called For Christ

"This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God
and one mediator between God and humanity,
Christ Jesus, Himself human,
who gave Himself—a ransom for all,
a testimony at the proper time.

For this I was appointed a herald, an apostle (I am telling the truth; I am not lying), and a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument. Also, the women are to dress themselves in modest clothing, with decency and good sense, not with elaborate hairstyles, gold, pearls, or expensive apparel, 10 but with good works, as is proper for women who affirm that they worship God."
I Timothy 2:3-10 

Today's Message: The Called For Christ

Heavenly Father,

We thank You, for the glorious message You have for us.
However, we must confess, many of us come with conviction in this moment, because we, as Your church have failed, I have failed, to pray for a lost world the way we ought. Oh precious Lord, I pray that You would fill our hearts, with a consuming desire for Your glory, with a heart of compassion for the lost in our world, and a sympathy for humanity in darkness, lead me to reach out to the lost, that all might be saved, according to Your, leaving the results in Your sovereignty. For I acknowledge, its not ours to determine. Help us, O' Lord, in our fellowship today and in the churches around the world, to pray for the lost on their cities, states and nations, for leaders of governments, that all of them, would also become saved. O Gracious God, make this the cry of our hearts, sanctify Your people.
In Jesus precious name
The name above all names

Good Morning Beloved,
Thank you all for joining us here today. I invite you to open with me, your Bibles, to I Timothy 2:3-10.

Many years ago, it was not uncommon for churches to have more than one person who could be called upon to fulfill the responsibilities of pulpit, in the majority of churches in America. There were churches which had people, who were the biblically approved of God, to preach the Word in different churches across the denominational lines at a moment’s notice. Today, we, instead, see the effects of denominationalism. A separation, of sorts, of God's people.
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Allow me to just read to you from our text today, I Timothy chapter 2, verses 3 through 10, to let it rich text to become settled within our hearts and minds. I believe, that the Holy Spirit, has a special message for each of us, today.

"This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity,
Christ Jesus, Himself human, who gave Himself—a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time. For this I was appointed a herald, an apostle, I am telling the truth; I am not lying, and a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument. Also, the women are to dress themselves in modest clothing, with decency and good sense, not with elaborate hairstyles, gold, pearls, or expensive apparel, but with good works, as is proper for women who affirm that they worship God."

"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth."
II Timothy 2:15

"Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching."
II Timothy 4:2

Since the allowance by the federal government enabling people to get ordinations by simply getting on line and paying a small fee, churches across America are having difficulty in finding someone who can fill their pulpits. A response you often get today in looking for someone to fulfill the pulpit for a certain date is, "I do not know what I am doing that day," which is the low road to the response, "but thanks for the opportunity to serve the Lord and the Lord’s people." Since the light grace handling of people who touched the holy call of proclaiming God’s Word with unholy hands, committing sexual sins and misuse of handling the Lord’s finances, the public's mistrust of the pulpit ministry has fallen to an all time low, far from the high respected positions that it once held. With more and more, churches teaching watered down doctrine, a follower of Christ is hard put to find a church with sound biblical teaching.
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A deep, heartfelt examination of God’s Word and spiritual discernment reveals to churches across America the truths that we need to live by, if we want to ask God to raise up preachers of the Word.
The Called For Christ, or the Biblical call, "First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, Himself human, who gave Himself—a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time. For this I was appointed a herald, an apostle (I am telling the truth; I am not lying), and a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth."

The Apostle Paul wrote, in II Timothy 1:11, "I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher." 

In the New Testament, "preacher" or "herald"  denotes one who is employed by God, in the work of proclaiming the truths of the Word of the Lord, an ambassador of the Divine Word. Therefore, a preacher is appointed, a messenger vested with public authority, who is to proclaim messages with gravity which is to be heeded, to give attention to with a heart to walk in obedience. The preacher of God’s Word is not to add or take away from the whole truth of Scripture. A pastor's heart is to do their best. The Bible tells those who desire to preach, do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of God.

And as written in II Timothy 2:15-16,"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. But avoid irreverent, empty speech, for this will produce an even greater measure of godlessness."

Developing the skill of exegesis of Scripture is not for the lazy preacher. In order to be able to handle the Word of God correctly, it takes sustained time and effort, often spending days, weeks and months reading and re-reading the passages over and over, in order to fully grasp the truth of the whole of Scripture. For those who desire to enjoy Holy Spirit illumination of the written Word of God they must apply the discipline of reading. Any pastor, or teacher, of God's Word, who is good at what they do, must  have a deeper comprehension of the topic they are learning and teaching. They are effective only as they apply the knowledge they have learned along with hours of extensive, sustained effort.
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Whether it is mastering an instrument, becoming a master craftsman or becoming skilled at anything, those who make it are those who have determined that exertion was not going to deter them.
Living in a world view so easily influenced by success, prestige and fame, it is imperative not to get preachers who are just eloquent speakers – but preachers who like the Bible says are to give correction. I have heard it said, that a great preacher must catch the spirit of the age. However, I believe, that a great preacher’s calling, is actually to correct the spirit of the age. A preacher for Christ must endeavor to understand the spirit of the age, without conforming to it so as to point people to the life of Christ.

The church, which petitions the Lord for preachers, must desire to have proclaimers who are striving to live the life. It is not enough to have the authority of the Word as preachers must have evidence of the enabling of the Holy Spirit working in their life. The Bible says, in James 1:22, we are to be "But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." Preachers must prove faithful in trials and not be complainers. The more powerful and effective a preacher is, the more conscious a preacher is of his weakness, and is preaching with humility.

"Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials."
James 1:2

And James 1:12 says, "A man who endures trials is blessed, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him."

I Peter 1:6-7, tells us, "You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

The best heart attitude we should have in asking the Lord for the preacher is to be hungry for the Word. Studying God’s Word is not to intrigue God so He will do for us, but for us to grasp who He is, His will for us, for mankind and to know the Lord, Jesus Christ. Scripture says, "Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are they who keep His statutes and seek Him with all their heart. They do nothing wrong; they walk in His ways. Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your degrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. I will obey your decrees." Psalm 106:3.

Jesus gives us a guide, in John 14:15, to look to in determining our love for Him, "If you love Me, you will keep My commands." To know God’s will for us involves the hard work of study, surrendering to the Holy Spirits promptings and relying on His enabling to live out all that pleases God. The sure heart which finds Gods will and walks in step with the Holy Spirit is the spiritual heart making this proclamation, "I have hidden your Word in my heart so I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:11. What is the Holy Spirit of Christ prompting you to do with the written Word of God? Does the church have a heart cry to the Lord, asking Him, the "Lord of the harvest." to raise up preachers who will proclaim truth for God and for our own good?

"Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."
Matthew 9:37-38

Luke 10:2 says, "He told them: "The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."
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Beloved, let's face it, the world does not welcome any message that declares personal accountability. This is especially true when the message holds, the church, or the individuals accountable for their sinful acts. Though a person may be ever so good in the estimate of his or her peers, to charge that individual with responsibility for the death of the Son of God is seen as a heinous wrong. Since the days of the Apostles, no pastor wishes to be charged with deicide. Nevertheless, that was the message delivered by the Apostles to the very men who had clamored for the crucifixion of Jesus the Messiah. Though it is difficult for modern individuals to accept, it is the message of Easter that is declared to this day.

Too often, we restrict Easter, and the message of Easter, to one designated day each year. Though, I'll be the first to acknowledge, that Easter is, indeed, a very special day, and though it is a joyous day for Christians, we err when we fail to declare the life of Christ the Lord every day. At the heart of apostolic preaching was the declaration that though the Son of God was crucified, He was raised to life in order to offer forgiveness of sin to all who will accept Him as Master of life.

Apostolic preaching was distinctive in comparison to what was commonly heard among the peoples of that ancient day. I suspect that all else being equal, apostolic preaching would be considered distinctive today when contrasted to much of what is presented from modern pulpits. Join me in exploring apostolic preaching by reviewing the message delivered to the Jewish Council when the Apostles were hailed before them on one occasion.

Religion outside the Apostolic Faith, the model of religion that is demonstrated by the apostolic churches is distinctive from that of the religions that surrounded the people of God. Apostolic faith is dependent upon communicating the message of life in the Risen Son of God. Faith outside that model degenerates into mere form, rite and ritual, cant and creed.

The churches of the New Testament existed primarily to communicate the message of life in the Beloved Son and to build up those who came to faith. It is true that the elements marking a New Testament church include fellowship and worship, but every action of a New Testament congregation is to fulfill the Great Commission given by the Risen Lord. Christians are intended to be appointed to become evangelists!

The religions that surrounded the believers in the first century were distinguished primarily by their varied rituals. Likewise, Israel had disintegrated with the passage of time into an ethical religion that was dependent upon precise forms of ritual. One need but recall the manner in which Jesus excoriated the scribes and the Pharisees in order to verify this truth. "The scribes and the Pharisees are seated in the chair of Moses. Therefore do whatever they tell you, and observe it. But don’t do what they do, because they don’t practice what they teach. They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carry and put them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them. They do everything to be observed by others: They enlarge their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. They love the place of honor at banquets, the front seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by people." Matthew 23:2-7
Of course, this was not the intent of God when He brought His people out of slavery and made them to be a people that He would call His own. Through Moses, God had commanded His people, "Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.Deuteronomy 6:4-5.

Through the Prophet Hosea, God had taught, "For I desire loyalty and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

God, through Micah, had iterated this instruction when He said,
"Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

Therefore, the people substituted form for faith despite the judgements of God in the days of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

The religions of the nations surrounding Israel were essentially expressions of ethical principles, supplemented with rituals designed to coerce the gods into doing the will of man. In this regard, the ancient religions were not so different from essentially all the great religions of the world of today. In which, many emphasize doing something in order to placate a god or to obtain a benefit for the individual worshiper.
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Beloved, that same comparison, could be easily made today, when contrasting churches that endeavor to adhere to apostolic faith and practice with those that are content to emphasize rites as worship. Whenever a church begins to emphasize the ritual above the message of the resurrected life, it has begun to move into the realm of mere religion. I cannot stress this enough; the transforming message of Christ has been entrusted to the churches, in order that the lost in darkness may be brought into the light of life. Whenever a church begins to emphasize formality over faith, there is a growing imbalance in failing to call the lost to faith, that congregation has begun to depart from apostolic faith and practice. The church that permits fellowship to become more important than God breathed evangelism has then, most certainly moved away from the faith that once delivered.

Jesus commanded His church, to deliver the message of life. Woe, to those, who have been bestowed the honor and the privilege, to stand in the pulpit, in order to teach the Word of God. In every instance of Christ’s commission to His church, He speaks of the witness of the Word, of the testifying to what is known, of communicating the truths believers have received as true. "When they saw Him, they worshiped, but some doubted. Then Jesus came near and said to them, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:19-20

And in Mark 16:14-16, it says, "Later, He appeared to the Eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table. He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who saw Him after He had been resurrected. Then He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."

"Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. He also said to them, "This is what is written: The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day, and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things."
Luke 24:45-48

Because our first responsibility is testifying to what we know to be true, the Apostle Paul speaks of our ministry in the Word, in Acts 1:8, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Beloved, the Christian Faith is not primarily an ethical religion, though those who are born from above will be godly and righteous in their actions and in their relationships with all people. The Christian Faith is not primarily a religion defined by its various formalities, though we do have rites that portray the truths we hold as those who have been saved. The Christian Faith is essentially the life of Christ, Christ crucified, and the resurrection proclaimed and lived out through the Body of Christ, which is a church gathered in various locations throughout the world, God's people.

When the Apostles lived out their faith, lives were transformed and people were saved! The unrighteous who endeavored to associate with the people of God were judged by Holy God. The sick and the hurting of society were shown compassion and obtained blessing from prayer and the ministry of the people of God. Above all else, the people with whom the Apostles came into contact heard the Good News of Gospel message; the life in the Living Christ. In the proclamation of the message of life, the Apostles were but emulating the model provided in the life and ministry of Jesus. 
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As Mark began, in his account of the Good News about Jesus, he said,"After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, preaching the good news of God: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe in the good news!"
Mark 1:14

Jesus, in His first act after His baptism and temptation in the wilderness, Jesus read from the Prophet Isaiah. The passage He read announced: 

"The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him, and unrolling the scroll, He found the place where it was written:
"The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. And the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him. He began by saying to them, "Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled."
Luke 4:17-21

The Master, would "proclaim good news to the poor." He would "proclaim liberty to the captives,"and "recovering of sight to the blind." He would, through proclaiming the Good News, "set at liberty those who are oppressed." Because He taught that man must receive this Good News, no longer depending upon experts who would teach them how to precisely perform rites and rituals, He incurred the wrath of the religious elite. Nothing much has changed in the ensuing two millennia.
So, the Apostles, in obedience to the ascended Son of God, called all who would hear them to repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. However, that message was so effective that the high priests and all who sat with him on the Council were "filled with jealousy." as we can read in Acts chapter 5.

"Then the high priest took action. He and all his colleagues, those who belonged to the party of the Sadducee's, were filled with jealousy. So they arrested the apostles and put them in the city jail. But an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail during the night, brought them out, and said, "Go and stand in the temple complex, and tell the people all about this life." In obedience to this, they entered the temple complex at daybreak and began to teach."Acts 5:17-21

In Acts 5:22-26, sending for the Apostles the next morning, the high priest was informed that though the prison was securely locked, there was no one inside. Furthermore, the preachers were standing in the Temple, fulfilling the command they had received to proclaim the Good News about Jesus. Those dispatched to arrest them were intimidated by the crowds that were listening to the Apostles, they asked them to accompany them, rather than seizing them as they might otherwise have done.

The apostles, were haled before the Council, and were challenged by the high priest, in Acts 5:28, we read, "Didn’t we strictly order you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to bring this man’s blood on us!" Though they indeed demanded the death of the Lord, now they sought to deny culpability, for their actions.

Beloved, we must first recall their actions when Pilate attempted to free Jesus. Allow me to read it to you, if you would just follow along with me:
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"At the festival the governor’s custom was to release to the crowd a prisoner they wanted. At that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. So when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Who is it you want me to release for you—Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Messiah?”  For he knew they had handed Him over because of envy. While he was sitting on the judge’s bench, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for today I’ve suffered terribly in a dream because of Him!” The chief priests and the elders, however, persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to execute Jesus. The governor asked them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” “Barabbas!” they answered. Pilate asked them, “What should I do then with Jesus, who is called Messiah?” They all answered, “Crucify Him!” Then he said, “Why? What has He done wrong?” But they kept shouting, “Crucify Him!” all the more. When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that a riot was starting instead, he took some water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. See to it yourselves!”
All the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released Barabbas to them. But after having Jesus flogged, he handed Him over to be crucified. "
Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into headquarters and gathered the whole company around Him."
Matthew 27:15-27

The first element of apostolic preaching is the death of the Christ. The Apostles attested to the high priest and those who together with him made up the Sanhedrin, "You killed -Jesus- hanging Him on a tree." It is not merely the fact that Christ died that is required for the Good News to be good. However, what is necessary is that we understand that He gave Himself as a sacrifice for sin.

In Closing.....

Beloved, we know that the gracious message of salvation was rejected because it destroyed the facade of the foundation of lies that the religious leaders had built their beliefs upon. They could no longer escape guilt of their sinful acts. They were responsible for the death of the Savior, therefore, they hated the message of grace. I have many times, read the words written by the apostle John, pondering the implication for those who are yet lost. I like to encourage you to think upon the words of this marvelous text, as you follow along with me as I read:

"For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God."

"This, then, is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God."
John 3:15-21

The Light has come into the world. Yet, people rejected that light because they "loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil." Though it seems unimaginable to those of us who have been born again from above. However, I'd like to take this opportunity, to remind each and every one of us, that it is nevertheless true, that we were once lost, and were in that same condition.

When the Word of God accurately exposes the depths of our folly and the source of our opposition to God’s message of life, our pride becomes wounded.

Therefore, when God fails to give us the recognition, that we believe we deserve, we begin to carefully construct a world, in which we believe we can excel, creating a standard of self righteousness that depends upon our earthly abilities and what we can accomplish. When God's grace has ripped away the carefully constructed disguise we've comfortably hidden behind, our pride causes us to become embarrassed, even humiliated and even enraged in anger. When our so-called wisdom is exposed as folly and our strength is demonstrated to be weakness, our flesh rebels and we inwardly hate God. He takes no cognizance of our ability, compelling us to rely on His grace and on His mercy. All human advantage is stripped away, and we cannot tolerate losing the recognition we have convinced ourselves that we deserve. We often, desperately, we begin seeking to receive the recognition and praises of those who are in the world. 
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Beloved, tragically, we carry this loathsome disease within our earthly bodies, all throughout our earthly days, and yet God continues to reach out to us in a demonstration of His grace, mercy and kindness. The necessary aspects of the apostolic message are that Christ died for our sins, that He was raised on the third day, and that He was witnessed to be alive. To this, the Apostles add that He ascended into Heaven where He is now seated on the right hand of the Father. This message in isolation is informative, but it is as we receive the message as Divine Truth that we are redeemed.

I feel before we part today, that it is detrimental to make mention, that the ethical teaching of the New Testament is not present in the sermons found in the account of advance of the early churches. In review of the apostolic preaching, we quickly discover, that the Apostles did not present ethical instruction, as did Jesus during the days of His ministry. The reason for this seeming anomaly is not that they did not consider Jesus’ ethical teaching unimportant, but rather that the Apostles knew, as we should also know, that a person must first come to Jesus as Savior before he or she can have any hope to fulfill His teachings.

While, it is true that we cannot have one without the other, but unless one first receives Jesus Christ, as Lord of life, having been born from above, that person does not have the ability to live the life that Jesus commands. This is the tragedy that plagues much of Christendom, as it has failed to realize this great truth. Consequently, many of the pulpits have taken to instead, present a message calling for people to be generally good, when people outside of Christ do not possess the ability to please God. This is a neglected truth in today's church! That until a person has received Jesus Christ, has been reborn with the New Birth, they have no power to please God. You are helpless in accomplishing anything to present yourself acceptable before Almighty God. Therefore, it is simply not enough that we hear the message of life, but we believe that message and thus be reborn from above and into the family of God.

"The fool says in his heart, “God does not exist.” They are corrupt, and they do vile deeds. There is no one who does good."
Psalm 53:1

"are all under sin, as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one."

Thanks be to God, that we who are saved, have been sanctified by the blood of Christ, and have received the gospel message, the knowledge of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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      " Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; 2  and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. 3  But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one . 4  We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. 5  May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ." II Thessalonians 3:1-5     Good Morning my beloved,   Welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all around the world, who have been prompted to join us today. We are glad to have you here!   I believe that peace, encouragement and good hope are present realities for any true believer. It stands in stark contrast to what the world offers. In the face of life's challenges, discouragements persecution, and shattered dreams, God brings encouragement to th