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One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: Do not be afraid; keep speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city (Acts 18.9-11).

The sound of protection must have been encouraging. Facing times where you know that your life, or the lives of those you love, hang in the balance are moments of great peril and strife.

Shortly ago I told you about the man who Doka was trying to baptize in the river, and then I told you a Wednesday or so ago that they took that man's daughter...well, they have found the girl, I am proud to tell you. The man has lost his job, his house is in ruins, but he has his life and the lives of his family.

I can imagine such a promise, but this promise did not apply to every city Paul would go through. The rest of the book is the story of those who tried to kill Paul because of the words he spoke about Jesus.

Our Lord calls us to serve him to the highest degree. Now, that doesn't mean that we have to die, but it means that we would always be ready to do so.

I am not looking to die for my Lord, but I am seeking for my character to be of such faithfulness that, on the day my life is required, I am prepared to turn it loose out of love and service to Jesus!

Today is a great day for us to be together! I would encourage you to find Doug Pittman, who is Brandi Springer's dad, and hug his neck. Doug and Brandi have been studying, along with her mother, with Doug for some time now. He and I have also had some meetings as well. Friday morning, Doug was baptized into Christ and he prayed the most beautiful prayer of thanksgiving! It has been wonderful to watch. Just think of the blessings that have come to us from this entire family! We are all so proud of you Doug and rejoice with you in your decision to become a disciple of Christ. God is working here, if in case you have not noticed it.

We have such a wonderful family here. We are blessed in so many ways with a spirit of love and peace among us. We have growth and changes that God is helping to make. We have children being shown the way of Christ. We honor Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer through our submission and service.

Pray that God would form Christ in us...that is my prayer for me, even before you...that Christ would own every piece of real-estate in my heart, and that I might become more of his servant.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.

If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. (Romans 12)

Love is designed to be color blind, not divided over race, culture or gender. Let's love like God has called us!

If you are learning to live the Christian life, then one of the things that you are asking God to add to your life is the ability to speak on behalf of Jesus Christ.

Then Peter stood up with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd (Acts 2:14).

Going into the Temple...Peter said to them, Why do you stare at us, as if by our own power we made this man walk? (Acts 3:11-26).

Rulers and elders of the people: (Acts 4:8-20).

Prayer of the believers: enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness (Acts 4:29).

Go and stand in the temple courts and tell the people the full message of this new life (Acts 5:20).

We don't have to go on because we know the rest of the account. Paul becomes a Christian and he begins telling more and more people about Jesus. Everyone you see that becomes a follower of Jesus wants to tell more and more people. Does this describe us?

This is our calling. We are disciples. If we are disciples, then our singular mission is to go and make, by and with God's help, more disciples. May God help us to reach our community with the glorious gospel of Jesus!

I just got off the phone with Doka. There was good news, and bad. He was able to help lead a couple to Jesus Christ this past week, and they agreed to be baptized. It is not a problem for them to not have a place to baptize at the church building because there are many nearby rivers that can be used for such a thing. This has never been a problem until now. When this couple decided to be baptized, Doka accompanied them to the river and was about to baptize them when out of the woods came a group of Muslims. They said to Doka, "Hey, it is illegal for you to baptize a Muslim." Doka suspended the baptism and left. They found another nearby creek where he baptized them. The group of Muslims found this out, and they have taken pledge to find, and kill, this couple. The fellow Christians are doing their best to hide them from place to place and they are considering sending them to relocate to another town altogether.

How hard is it for you to baptize someone?

Are you willing to die for it?

Pray for Doka, but also for God to strengthen our faith so that we might be willing to die for it.