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Living an apostolic life is more than just the exterior manifestations of holiness and separation from the world. Acts 17:28 “For in HIM we live, and move, and have our being”. So if we are to live a life that truly fulfills the Apostolic lifestyle, we have to first understand what it means to be apostolic. Our faith should be reflected in good and bad times. To be apostolic we must live as the apostles lived. They believed in signs following their ministry and kept the faith even in times of hardship. In the midst of prison, after they had been beaten and put in stocks, they lifted up the name of Jesus in spite of their situation. Acts 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: … They gave God the glory he deserved.
What does it mean to be apostolic? We
must separate ourselves from the world.
We must repent and be baptized in the
name of Jesus Christ for the Remission of
our sins as stated in Acts 2:38. However,
we need to understand that these are just
the first steps in living an apostolic life.
In looking at the lives of the Apostles we tend to focus on the signs, miracles and wonders of their ministry. We forget that they were human. Peter denied Jesus 3 times, Doubting Thomas lacked the faith to believe Jesus had risen from the dead. John 20:25 “except I see the print of the nails and put my finger into the print of the nails and thrust my hand into his side I will not believe”.
All of the apostles feared for their lives as a storm arose on the sea. Mark 4:38b …Master carest thou not that we perish? When they called on Jesus, He said “Peace be Still” and the wind ceased.
To live an apostolic life, we have to understand that life is going to throw us some trials. The Lord has promised “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” Hebrews 13:5. Understand that we will fall, we will make mistakes, but through it all He loves us, He died for us so we could someday walk on streets of gold. We must fully submit every aspect of our lives to Him and in return we will experience the peace, love and joy that comes from following the life of the Apostles. Paul said “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the Faith” 2 Timothy 4:7.
By Kendall Shives
Lay Minister for
First Faith Church
Who are the Deaf? What is it like being deaf or hard of hearing? What does it mean to be involved in Deaf Ministry? The answers are different for everyone.
Deaf are just like you or anyone else. They eat, sleep, breathe, feel, have emotions, and have goals, dreams, and love. More importantly, they have a desire to know who God is! They want to know how to be saved! However, just like the “world” in comparison, many Deaf do not know that God is whom they are searching for! The search is to truly satisfy the hunger in their soul.
One main and clear difference between Hearing and Deaf cultures is this; the Deaf culture cannot ‘hear’ and has its own language as other cultures that God created. This has caused a conflict in being able to communicate and learn because of the ‘hearing’ language(s). Whether it is English or another spoken language from another culture such as Spanish, German, French, etc., Deaf “hear” with their eyes! They hear through signs, facial expression, and body gestures. Ultimately, American Sign Language (a.k.a. ASL) is the original language of the Deaf culture. The unasked questions from the deaf may be, “How will we learn if we are never taught?” “How will we learn if the language barriers are never torn down?” “How will we know and understand that Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost, according to Luke 19:10?” These questions are helpful in determining what it really means to evangelize the Deaf. A thought for you to ponder, “How different would your life be, if your world were silent?”
In the Parable of the Sower, found in Luke 8:5-15, Jesus was speaking to much people, from every city. Verse 11 says, “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. I believe there were many from all walks of life. People that were similar to the cultures we interact with today. Will all the seed grow or prosper into a harvest? No, not all will be harvested.
Those who don’t believe are as being blind and deaf. Their spirit will not allow them to see, learn, or to understand the Word of God; the salvation message must be shared with ALL “man”, including the Deaf! Shared in a way that they will understand! It is when they understand, they can make the decision to either grow or die spiritually. Every person chooses to believe or not believe. When they fully understand what the Word of God tells them about salvation, they can make that decision without barriers that would hinder the Truth of Salvation. The search for reconciliation with God would be fulfilled.
In conclusion, when your church has a Deaf Ministry, it is important to have a desire to want to communicate with the Deaf. Take the opportunity to learn ASL as best you can. As you try, they will see your efforts. Grasp the knowledge that they have a hungry soul to know God, so reach out to them just as Jesus commands us to do.
By Sandra & Joe ObornyShare on Facebook