A passage of Scripture I have referred to on occasion is found in Acts 4 when Peter and John were arrested by the religious authorities. The passage below will connect directly to today’s House of Blessing Update and also to each one of us as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, our Messiah.
1 Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 being greatly disturbed that they taught the people, and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand…13 now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. 14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. Acts 4:1-4, 13-14
Many believers question how to find the will of God for their lives. I wonder sometimes if we make finding God’s will more elusive than it needs to be. Here is what I mean. Each of us as Christ-followers have the opportunity to commune with God all hours of the day. Unfortunately, this is not something all believers make a practice of. Yet, I believe it is essential and is a key to answering the big question of finding God’s will for one’s life. Whether the reader may like the paraphrased Message version of the Bible or not, I find the wording for the passage below worth paying attention to in light of how to find the will of God for our lives.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you. Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2
In the Acts 4 passage above, we find Peter and John having, by the power of God, healing a man who was crippled. This led to Peter preaching his great Pentecost sermon, bringing thousands of people to the point of repentance and accepting Jesus Christ’s free gift of salvation and forgiveness of sins.
The question is: Did God specifically tell Peter to go and preach to this massive crowd of people? No. The passage in Acts 4 actually says that when Peter saw the crowd running to where he, John, and the former lame man were, he responded to the people. Peter and John were just walking along when they came across the lame man. As they prayed, the lame man was healed. As they continued, the lame man followed them, leading to the reaction of the crowd, which in turn led to Peter’s sermon.
How did Peter and John find God’s will for the day? By walking lock-step with the Spirit of God that was already within them!
This is how it has been with the many extraordinary events that have come to pass through the missionary work of the HOB missionaries. A recent example was the conversion of the high-ranking sheikh (or Imam), Ahmmad, his son Muhammad, and his immediate family which I detailed in my last update, dated November 3, 2022. How did it come about? It came about by Omar, Sami, and Mussa walking along and noticing an injured older man who could not get up and needed help. Did God speak to them specifically and tell them to walk a certain direction? I doubt it. But as they walked in the direction that they had decided to go, they came across the man needing help. Even though they probably did not hear a voice from heaven telling them which way to walk, they were, nonetheless, led by the Holy Spirit, and the result was a Divine Appointment.
The news of Ahmman becoming a follower of Jesus, like has been the case so often before, was passed on from person to person until two of his friends heard about it. When his friends, Mahmoud and Unase (also both important sheikhs) heard, they brought Ahmman to a place where they could question him. Ahmman shared his testimony with them, telling them how it was that he had been told about Jesus, healed of his injury, and how his son and family also became believers. He also shared with them how God had blessed everything he had set his hands to since asking Jesus to be his Savior and Lord.
Ahmman’s friends didn’t receive his testimony kindly at all. They took him and confined him until he would repent and turn back to Islam. After suffering 2 ½ days without food or water and being tortured in numerous ways, including being burned all over his body with cigarettes, Ahmman proved he would not be turned. As it turned out, these two men, Mahmoud and Unase, were absolutely miserable the whole time they had Ahmman confined. They also couldn’t hardly sleep and even when they did manage to drift off to sleep, they had horrible nightmares!
Finally, Mahmoud and Unase freed Ahmman and they began to ask him questions about Jesus and the whole plan of salvation Ahmman had begun to share with them 2 ½ days earlier. After some time of talking and sharing, Mahmoud and Unase asked if it was possible that they could be forgiven since they had been teachers of Islam and the teachings of the false prophet Muhammad for over 35 years. Would God forgive even them??
When Ahmman shared that God was not willing that anyone perish and that the Blood of Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, shed for the sins of the whole world was more than sufficient to forgive anyone that humbles themselves and asks, the men agreed that is what they would do. They then asked Ahmman to forgive them for what they had put him through. He told them, of course he would forgive, besides, he had felt no pain whatsoever from the cigarette burns!
It took no time at all after they had prayed together and the joy of the Lord came over both new believers! They didn’t waste any time and found a place where both men could be baptized in water. Afterwards, they were promptly anointed with oil and prayed over again so that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Those that witnessed all this said that the change in the two men was like day and night!
The two former sheikhs have now decided they need to close their mosques but don’t really know what to do with them yet. One of the men had 120 attending and the other 180 men. We know what will most likely happen next. These 300 former followers of their teachers, Mahmoud and Unase, will want to know what happened. Many of these men will soon also find Jesus, as well as their families. Praise God!
Mahmoud and Unase both wanted to help the House of Blessing and each paid for a truckload of wheat to help feed the refugees. What a blessing once again that the Lord brought in emergency funds from sheikhs who had just become followers of Jesus! God is so good!
As I looked at the most recent reports given me by Pastor R of families that had had the Good News of the Gospel shared with them, I counted up approximately 2,500 individual family tents that had been visited. Each family was given the Good News of the Gospel and also helped with some wheat, and Oregano tea mixture. The missionaries also prayed for all those that asked for prayer in each tent. Once again, a great harvest of souls was brought in! Amazing!!
Just before concluding today’s update, I would like to add a couple more thoughts about walking out the will of God and His leading in our lives…
God doesn’t have to detail for us everything we are to do in order for us to fulfill His will for our lives. Some folks are so intent on hearing God that they won’t put on a pair of socks until the Lord tells them whether it is to be their black pair or brown pair they should wear. God is not concerned with our choice in socks. He is, however, interested in us abiding in Him 24 hours of the day. None of us prays 24 hours every day. That is impossible, but our connection between our spirit and God’s Spirit should always be in place. If we are true followers of Jesus and we read His Word regularly, His Word will give us the overall direction and leading we need for life. As we put His Word to work in our lives, we will be led to walk into the exact and specific will of God that is our destiny. It is more important for us to emphasize the obeying of the will of God that we do know by communing with God and reading His Word, than it is to be focused on finding the will of God that we don’t know. As we grow in our relationship with God, we learn to obey the will of God we do know, and it will lead us to the will of God we don’t know. As we read God’s Word and obey it, we will walk in His revealed will…which, in turn, will lead us into the unrevealed will of God. He is faithful to lead us in the direction He has intended us to go before we were ever born. That is our destiny as believers and followers of Jesus!
In conclusion, please continue to pray for everyone in the House of Blessing community of believers, including all their leaders and of course, Pastor R. He continues to fight infections and other physical issues but continues praying for many people as they are brought to him. He also continues leading the House of Blessing missionary organization in the direction the Lord shows him to go. Pastor R did mention to me a few days ago that HOB is believing the Lord for 2,000 more Bibles. Our God meets all of our needs according to His riches in glory through Jesus Christ…
Forever in His Service,
2 thoughts on “MIDEAST UPDATE….11/17/2022….”And They Realized They Had Been With Jesus!””
Good morning Jake
Thanks for the update. Our God is mighty and uses humble believers and followers of our Lord Jesus Christ
to reach the lost. He answers prayers; to God be the Glory forever.
God bless and keep you Jake.
Yes and amen Luke! God is good. The harvest is plentiful and coming in by the multitudes.