Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Friday, September 22, 2017
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2017.01.08


January 8 – January 14




Scripture Passage: “For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.”      Acts 24:5


Dear Friends,


     There are several things that just “bug” the life out of me.  Stink bugs, ants, (fire ants in particular) gnats, flies and skeeters to name just a few.  (That is mosquitoes for you city folks.)  Bouncing balls off the wall of the house, people talking during my favorite television show, and telemarketers calling me on my cell phone are high on my list of nuisances also.  People who interrupt conversations and think they know everything when they do agitate my agitator.   A person who has an attitude of entitlement or is just down right rude makes me want to reach out and swat the little pest like a fly buzzing in my face.  I never took kindly to my children pestering me once I had told them no concerning something they wanted to do.  (If they would just sit down and let me think, I often changed my mind. If they did not, it was a definite NO.)  If I tell you I will do something, leave me alone and it will get done – sooner than later.  But I also get annoyed at someone who tells me they will do something, takes my number, and then never calls me back.  If they do not want to do it they just need to tell me so. I do not want to pester them, so I do not know whether to call, go see them, or just let it go and seek out someone else.  It is strange but there is a fine line between being pestered and being the pest. 


     Jesus did however encourage persistence.  In Luke 18: 1-8, Jesus tells a parable about a widow woman who was being troubled by an adversary.  She came to an unjust judge who feared not God, nor had regard for any man.  Because of her persistence, the judge gave in to her demands, lest by her continual coming she weary him.  Jesus was not teaching us to be a pest, but He was teaching us that there are some things we should never give up on.  I have always been leery of being pushy in sharing my faith with others. I want them to enjoy my company and not dread to see me come.  On the other hand, I need to be persistent in my love for them – and the Lord.  Eventually the two will require a sincere proclamation of faith and genuine concern for their eternal welfare.  I have found when the Lord opens the door for us to share, we need to with exuberant joy and then persistently follow up when the opportunity presents itself.  Christ himself persistently encourages us to read our Bibles, pray daily, obey His commands, and live abundantly in Him.  I would call these gentle reminders, but at other times He is stern and tenacious in His persistence.  The worst possible scenario would be for Him to leave us alone.  The best possible scenario is to be “chased by hound of Heaven,” as Charles Spurgeon said. 


     A good example of persistence for the Gospel is the Apostle Paul.  Paul was just as tenacious in the spread of the Gospel as Saul had been in the persecution of the church. He would not be denied.  They would stone him and leave him for dead, only to find him back preaching in the city the next day.  They would run him out of town and a few years later he would be back teaching in the Synagogue because of the burden he carried for them.  They would complain about the offerings he received only to find him supporting himself by making tents rather than being a financial burden to them.  He never got over being saved or what the Lord had done for him.  The transformation that had occurred in his life caused him to be consistent as well as persistent.  The overflow of his love for the Lord and people had to go somewhere and it showed in his ability to stick to the faith.   Tertullus of Caesarea accused him of being a pest, a rebel rouser, and the ringleader of the Christian movement.  Tertullus meant it as a put down, Paul took it as a compliment.  Paul took the opportunity to preach Jesus unto the governor, Felix.  What others would have viewed as a run of bad luck, Paul took as a golden opportunity to share Jesus.  He was being swatted like a gnat from place to place and person to person,  but the message he preached stung like a hornet.  I don’t know if you have ever been chased by a bee before, but they do not give up.  They will chase you around the barn, through the front screen door and out the back if you do not kill them first.  May it be said of us that we are pestilent fellows where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is concerned.  Never give up until the work is done.


In Christ,


Pastor Johnny