Matthew 24:12-13 “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (KJV)
Fully Activated Courageous Teaching
Conditions being what they are in the world it is increasingly difficult to discern fact from fiction in the media. Advertising leaves heads spinning an image, according to one popular slogan, is everything; but where does that leave the people of God? We are called to be the “salt” and “light” in this world (Matthew 5:13 & 14). Looking at our lives, people should get a clear picture of “godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:2). Are we fully activated or running on half power?
The Apostle Paul warned Timothy about the sheer magnitude of godlessness that would exist in the last days, and I ask myself, “Are we there yet?” or “Can it get much worse?” The real truth is I don’t want those questions to be answered because I’m afraid it can get worse (2 Timothy 3:1-5). So, we need to address another question. What are we (the church) doing about the condition of the world? We basically have two responses: 1) complain or 2) get involved. Of the two responses, getting involved holds the most promise of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18)
As a child, I was a T.V. addict and I always loved police dramas. Does anyone else remember “Dragnet”? One of the two main characters was Sgt. Friday. In order to get involved and address what we should be doing, please allow me to borrow his tag line. “Just the facts, ma’am.” We need to approach ministry in FACT — Fully Activated Courageous Teaching. (Acts 1:8)
As the Body of Christ, we cannot afford to attempt to minister without the full power and anointing of His Holy Spirit. There is only one way to get that anointing and allow it to flow through our lives. It’s actually a simple two-step & one giant-leap process. Step one: (This is the easy part) Ask for it. Step two: (Here’s the HARD part.) Wait for it! And now for the giant-leap (Are you ready? This part is REALLY HARD!) Act on it! The promise is you WILL receive. (Luke 11:13)
How long will it take? Just as long as it takes for us to fully yield to God. Here is my story — I’ll try to keep it short — But I am a preacher so hold on. I grew up in a Christian home, went to church almost all my life, and felt the call to preach at thirteen or fourteen. My family has always been involved in Full Gospel churches. By that I mean we are Holy Rollers, Tongue Talkers or whatever descriptive phrase you may call Pentecostal believers. From the time I asked Jesus into my heart I also asked for the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Fast-forward a few years and I’m studying for the ministry — struggling with “Are you filled with the Holy Spirit?”. It was Thanksgiving week and I had not yet experienced the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. That is the deal breaker as far as I was concerned — You cannot be a Pentecostal ministry without it. I had sought the infilling and baptism for years and it was really weighing heavy on me to think I was about to throw away my life’s goal. (God must just laugh at my stupidity all the time.) On the drive home I learned it was all about yielding.
Right there on the 55 Freeway in Irvine, California, God filled me and taught me a lesson. Whatever you’ve heard about California drivers, it’s true and probably only half the story. This guy starts pulling into my lane and cutting me off and there is NOTHING to do and NOWHERE to go so I prayed, “God, what do I do now?” There was nothing I could do so I let go — not of the steering wheel but of my preconceived ideas about the infilling of the Holy Spirit. I prayed in tongues. God made room for a car where there was none and I learned the lesson of yielding to the Holy Spirit. FACT — Fully Activated Courageous Teaching. (Isaiah 30:21)
Wherever the Spirit of God leads us we can go with courage. Being fully activated by faith strengthens our teaching. God lays out the facts. We only yield to His leading. The message may grow more and more unpopular as the wickedness of this world increases, but the power of sound biblical doctrine is never diminished. God will accomplish what He sets out to accomplish and He has given us His Spirit as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
The Word of God has not lost its effectiveness. In most cases we simply stopped applying it to our lives. The time has come for us to be courageous teachers of biblical truth. We are commanded by scripture to be ready, always to “give an answer” (1 Peter 3:15). The answer we are offering is not based upon our feelings. It is the product of our faith. The faith that has the power to save is active. We must be ready to take the giant-leap and act on the leading of the Holy Spirit every time we have an opportunity. FACT — Fully Activated Courageous Teaching calls us first to study His Word and then to take action.
When I was growing up, camping, boating, and water-skiing were big on the list of summer and weekend activities. My Dad taught my sisters and all my cousins how to water-ski. I was unable to learn because (Well let’s face it.) I have always been clumsy or sports challenged. The funny thing about my Dad’s ability to teach this skill is at that point, HE HAD NEVER been up on skis behind a boat in his life. He simply knew the principles and had confidence that it was possible. Applying that lesson spiritually, I realize many of the experiences recorded in the Bible; I personally have not had. However, I have confidence in their possibility and I fully accept their reality in principle.
Courageous teaching means that we accept the Bible as fact, believe and teach sound doctrine. We will have access to just the right gift at just the right time as we hold up the biblical standard of conduct. As the people of God we have a responsibility not only to get involved but also to be the agents of change in this world. The pastoral epistles, First and Second Timothy and Titus, clearly explain what to teach. We must be examples of the grace of God. Are we dealing in FACT — Fully Activated Courageous Teaching? (Titus 2:11-12)
Fully Activated Courageous Teaching relies upon the Holy Spirit to provide the power. Truth is the standard to be met every time. Jesus said, “And ye shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall make you free.” (John 8:32 KJV Emphasis added) The prerequisite is that we truly be His disciples. If we really hold to and apply His teachings to our lives, then we will freely share those teachings with others and we are His disciples. The end result is in His hands.
Be encouraged today because Jesus also said, “everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40) He is our teacher and we can be like Him. According to scripture He went about doing good and healing anyone who came to Him. That, for us, takes some courageous teaching but it is possible when we minister in FACT — Fully Activated Courageous Teaching. Go in the power of the Holy Spirit. Speak the TRUTH in love. Witness the life-changing presence of God. Be courageous not foolhardy — walk in the gift of discernment. Continually be filled with His grace.