Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Remember...You Were One Of Them!

Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.  – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Have you ever heard Christians speaking about unbelievers in a way that made you think they were their enemies? Their attitude was one of condescension and condemnation. Compassion was obviously absent from the room. Maybe you have spoken in this way. At times I have been in that camp, where my heart was hardened (in an adversarial mode) towards the lost. What happened to make us so callous?
If we forget our past, we will fail to empathize with those who don’t know the Lord. Not remembering our past creates the “us versus them” mentality. This mentality leads to hostility toward our fellow travelers and condemnation rather than compassion.
Instead you must remember your past life when you were equally selfish, rebellious, sinful, and under God’s wrath. As Paul reminded the Christians in Corinth, “Such were some of you; but you were washed.” Remembering your rebellious and sinful past can help you relate to unbelievers, instead of criticizing them. You will have more compassion for those who are still in darkness, who are held captive by Satan as you once were: “...and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:26).
Remembering where you came from will keep you humble too. All of this will result in more of the lost coming to Jesus for eternal life. That is what God wants!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Nelson Newsletter - May 2018

“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Dear Partners,    
We are commanded by our Savior to follow His example and bear one another’s burdens. What does that look like? The love of Christ is manifest in countless ways when we bear the burdens of others. We all have the burdens - stress from work, anxiety about paying bills, worrying about our children, or concern for our lost friends. Praying for one another’s needs, serving one another, listening to one another, as well as encouraging one another to trust the Lord and His word, are a few of the practical ways to bear the burdens of others. As I said, there are innumerable ways to bear on another’s burdens. Here are a few ways the Lord has used us recently to bear the burdens of others. Your prayers and financial support are also ways that the Lord uses to bear our burdens and the burdens of others we serve.

Florida Church Danelle and I visited our friends in Gainesville to help them understand what God desires for them and their house church. God used us to bear their burdens by doing a lot of listening, asking questions, and seeking to understand their needs as couples and families who are on mission together. Danelle and I met with numerous couples for hours to hear their hearts and needs. They are all faithful followers of Jesus who want to please Him and be effective in their communities. Thank you for praying!

Good News Going Out In Atlanta
Here are some people who have heard the gospel in the past few weeks through our church. Kevin - a landscaper. Fallon – a haircutter. Ken - a barista. Finally, some of our family members have heard how to know Christ recently. Pray for the seed (God’s truth) to bear fruit (change lives)! One of these folks recently asked Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior! Praise Him! You bear their burden by praying!
Prayer Requests
1. Gainesville Pray for the Spirit of God to use His word to guide the church & give them confidence to bear one another’s burdens.  Pray for openness to taking steps of faith in God and trying new things.
2. Clemson Outreach Danelle & I will be helping students at the LINC summer training June 3-6. Pray we would bear other’s burdens by teaching and modeling compassion for unbelievers & a heart for Christ.
3. Unbelievers Pray for the unbelievers we mentioned above to come to Christ.

Thank you!                

Steve & Danelle       

wwww.reliant.org 11002 Lake Hart Dr, Suite 100, Orlando, FL 32832    www.gcmnelson.com     

Monday, May 14, 2018

How You Start Determines How You Finish

“So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.” Hebrews 3:19

Before I even began my search, I doubted myself. My unbelief totally influenced my search. If it weren’t for God’s grace, the end would have been just as discouraging.

Early one morning I shot a deer with my bow, or at least I thought I did. Immediately after taking the shot, I thought I had missed. When I got down from my tree stand to search for the deer, my doubt totally influenced my search. I was half-hearted. I did a perfunctory walk through the woods with little hope and a ton of self-abasement. What did I do wrong? After beating myself up, I had to cross a ditch on my return route. Guess what was in the ditch? I would never have found him if God had not directed my steps. He wanted me to find the deer, but even more importantly, He wanted to teach me about faith! His lesson was, “If you begin anything with doubt, you only set yourself up for failure.”

Start each journey with trusting God. A new job, a new friendship, a new marriage, or even looking for your lost keys will be done with faith in God or doubt. It’s your choice. Ask Him to help you. Expect Him to come through. Even if you don’t get what you hope for, you will have pleased God with your faith. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) 

Ask God to give you the grace to trust Him, no matter how bleak things look. He will!