August 2021

The Cross Concerned Christians

MISSIONS – BEGIN AT OUR FRONT DOOR

MINISTRY – BEGINS IN OUR HOME

Gary Keating

MISSIONS – BEGIN AT OUR FRONT DOOR
MINISTRY – BEGINS IN OUR HOME
Gary Keating
These two statements about MISSIONS and MINISTRY are something that most of us never think of when using our front door. It makes me think of two questions that should be on my mind every day because I am a Christian.How do I conduct my life as I leave my home and go into public?How do I conduct my life when I am with my family and friends at home?This may sound like a strange thread of reasoning, but it was prompted by a special weekend of experiencing other Christians and learning of their concern for their friends and the communities around them.Sandie and I visited two towns in the state of Arizona who have communities which are primarily Mormon. In the first community we visited with a leadership couple who see their town as a mission field and wish to move forward in a positive way to meet the need. We met with them to see how we might assist their efforts.In the second town the pastor of a congregation wanted Concerned Christians to make a presentation showing the beliefs of the Mormon faithIn our presentation we provided an historical overview of Mormonism including the development of LDS theology. Many of this congregation spent their Friday evening equipping themselves. We provided them with helpful information regarding the beliefs of their Mormon family-members and/or friends. We will arrange for future equipping time by Zoom or in person. During fellowship time following the presentation these believers began considering how we might help them develop a strategic approach for being good witnesses.Many of us think we are not missionaries unless we leave our home and travel, making a new home in a new location. This congregation has become very excited for engaging missions just across the threshold of their front door. They are embracing the idea that missions begin just outside their residence.Many of us also think that ministry begins when we go to a church building and meet the Minister. We miss the concept that ministry is the job we all have. We are called to be the ‘light of the world’ (Matthew 5:14-16). This begins with our family. Putting God first in our household is the beginning of ministry. Yes, we pay a pastor or minister, but these ministers are actually equipers. Their job is equipping each of us for ministry. The Apostle Paul said, ‘It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastor-teachers, TO PREPARE GOD’S PEOPLE FOR WORKS OF SERVICE, so that the body of Christ may be built up – – – ‘(Ephesians 4:11 – 13). In other words, the leadership of our congregations have been called to equip every Christian for the work of ministry. That makes us ‘the ministers’. That makes us ‘the missionaries’.The congregation we visited understands this biblical principle. Concerned Christians is not a congregation, but we are part of this equipping ministry. We are here for you. We come to you without charge because we are equipping ministers in God’s service.

OTHER MINISTRY NEWS

Our office phone is answered all five weekdays from 7:30am to 3:00pm. The number is 480-833-2537. We also respond to emails quickly.

Another Concerned Christian associate has been working with two other groups in Arizona towns south of Phoenix. They are being equipped to reach out to LDS members interested in finding truth.

NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE

What does our countenance say to the people around us? Do we reflect Jesus’s love, his joy, his light? While my husband and I have been out and about lately, we have noticed the expressions on people’s faces. We see unhappiness, sadness, empty eyes, fear, and anger. Many people are unfriendly or even hateful. The current state of our society has produced much negativity. Some psychologists suggest that as humans, we tend to have a negative bias – meaning that we respond and remember the negative input much more than the positive. This can have a profound effect on our decision making and our relationships. However, Romans 12:2 implores us to “be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” How do we renew our minds? Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on whatever is nobletruerightpureadmirableexcellent, and praiseworthy. As the old song goes: “Accentuate the positive: Eliminate the negative”.

In 1973, a small book was published by Frances Gardner Hunter called Praise the Lord Anyway. It expounds on the scripture 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” The idea, of course, is that God is with us in the good times and the bad times, and we should completely trust Him at all times. My husband and I have tried to apply this principle throughout our lives, and it does make a difference in our dispositions and our countenance. I urge you to try this in your lives and see what Jesus will do in your lives.

Let us “set our minds on things above, not on earthly things”(Colossians 3:2), and let our countenance reflect Jesus to the world.

Sandie

As LDS people are not familiar at all with real faith, we need to realize that we in fact are “introducing them” to a whole new concept. So often we are not aware that they have never come to learn that “faith comes by hearing the Word of God”. They honestly think faith is code for WORKS. And as we are having conversation with them on this, we often are not aware of how different what they have been exposed to growing up DOES NOT allow for a true faith at all. If an LDS person has any idea of the true meaning of faith, it is usually by ‘outside sources’, and it is quite helpful to find this out, as we listen to them.

  They are usually told that we “Born Again Christians” are wrong, since it is just “TOO EASY”, and there absolutely has to be effort on our part for there to be faith. If we in fact enter into this discussion prepared, and already aware of this, it can usually become a surprising education for the Mormon. Be encouraged, be well prepared, and be ready to introduce – introduce – introduce them to a new and different concept, FAITH (as God defines it) Happy fishing, see you next time.

Jason BornAgain

“thanks for the newsletter- I share it with a friend- she passes it on- and so it goes : ) ” G G

This is a great idea. Share your copy with a friend!



Please do not let this happen to you. It is a very sad sight.

Every devotional you pick up has a short daily reading and a set of scriptures for daily reading. By the end of the calendar year you will have actually read the entire Bible.

If you should for some reason miss a day or two – do NOT quit. No one is keeping track of you. Just pick up on the current day.

If you do work better by being held accountable, some of us do, by all means chose a friend and you can even discuss what you have read. God Bless.

Paulette

Assurance of Salvation

1 John 5:11-12
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
I was raised with the belief that in order to go to heaven, I had to work out my own salvation. I had never heard that Christ died for me nor that we have eternal life through Him. I grew up trusting in a prophet who revealed scripture to my church. I believed that this church was the only true church on this earth and that I was chosen to come here for a purpose that was for me to prove myself worthy of entering into Heavenly Father’s kingdom, the Celestial Kingdom.In LDS literature, President Spencer W. Kimball states in his book The Miracle of Forgiveness, a clear definition of what he and the Mormon Church believe about full salvation comes from belief in Jesus Christ alone. He states: “One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation.However, now as a Christian and follower of Christ, I am fully saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. The work that I do flows out of the Holy Spirit working in my life.
James 2:12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!
RECOGNIZE that you CANNOT be saved by trying to be good, or by doing the best you can, or because you are a member of a social group or religious organization…….for God says that we are NOT saved by our good works…… (Ephesians 2:8-9)
For by grace you are saved, through faith, and that faith is not of yourselves…it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. 
(Romans 6: 23) The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.      
(Isaiah 6: 46)  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. 
CONFESS that you can not save yourself…in fact there is nothing you can do to undo any of the sins you have already committed, or their consequences. This forgiveness must be a divine act of God, because of His mercy which He extends to us…the Bible says…
(1 John 1:8-9) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  
BELIEVE the good news that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, died to pay the penalty for your sins. He died for you and settled your debt from sin by His death on Calvary’s cross. Believe the blessed news that Christ was raised from the dead, and now lives in eternity to save all those who will come to Him by faith. Believe that you now have eternal life, and that Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you
(Rom 5:6- 8) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet possibly for a good man some would even dare to die. But God demonstrates his great love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
(John 3:36) He that believes on the Son of God has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God remains on him.
(1 John 5:10- 13) He that believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself: he that believeth not God has made him a liar; because he does not believe the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.He that has the Son has life; and he that does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.
 HUMBLE YOURSELF before God in prayer. Talk to God, just like you would talk to a good friend, and yet reverence Him because of the Almighty and Holy God that He is. See Him as the Creator and Lord of the universe, the sovereign King over all…. and yet He is kindly and forgiving to the person who will turn away from pride and ego and sin, and submit himself to the safekeeping of God.  
Isa 66:1-2) Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things has mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look,even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.CALL on Jesus Christ, Himself, to come into your soul, and to make you a new person. The Christian life is not a list of do’s and don’ts, religious rituals or observances: it is rather a personal relationship between you and Jesus Christ. Jesus says…. 
(Rev 3:20) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Kristine Nelson



Judy Robertson, our co-founder, has authored these two great books. Both are a valuable resource to your library.

Freedom for the Latter-day Saint Soul Potholes on the Road to Paradise

To order The Potholes book please go to this website: http://www.judyrobertson.com

We at Concerned Christians meet every   Monday evening for an hour of prayer at 6:30 p.m. If you are not local, please set that time aside to  voice your concerns from your prayer space. If you are local and would like to attend, we ask you to call 480-833-2537 for directions. We truly look forward to meeting and praying with you in the War Room. We ask that you add  Concerned Christians to your prayer list along with any other Mormon witnessing group you are familiar. The importance of intercessory prayer cannot be stressed enough. We have seen God grant many blessings to us over the years. If you have a ministry related request please send us a short email.    info@concernedchristians.com 

 “We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.”    

 I Thessalonians 1:2   

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