As a travelling Evangelist, it is a challenge to get jobs that are suited to this lifestyle. I recently was working a minimum wage job on a bakery production line. It was one of those jobs, you walk into (hired on the spot) and many walk away from daily. It was fast paced, demanding and highly stressful. I have been led to plenty of these jobs since heeding the call to dedicate myself to all-time ministry. It always gives me an opportunity to get to know the people of an area. Many people complain about minimum wage, but as a Christian I have learned a unique perspective.
A job, from a Christian perspective, should never be the means by which we survive. Our blessings come from God, and a job (whichever one we have) is a blessing from God. The pay is set low for a minimum wage job as it is designed to be an opportunity for someone to enter into the work force. This should be an incentive to do a good job, so that a person can get a work reference and get something better. As Christians, we should look to God to supply our needs and sometimes he does that by us doing our best at low paying jobs. It is a good part of our witness if we can learn to be content with our wages.
I think of the jobs I have done since I have been on the road and it is such a wide spectrum. I have had higher paying jobs and minimum wage. I am always reminded of Paul, who said he knows how to abound and to be abased. We ought always to be grateful. Honestly, either way my first responsibility is to glorify God. In eight years, I have never seen God let me down, He has provided when I had little money just as steadily as when I had abundance. Here is the thing: God is no respecter of persons; what He’s done for me He would do for you. The question all of this constantly begs is do we trust Him?
Elijah was by the brook and God fed him with the ravens bringing him bread and flesh each morning and night. When the well dried up he went to the widow of Zarephath, where he stayed for the remainder of the drought. Let us look at the conversation which took place between them.
 I Ki. 17
“ So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
Notice the boldness Elijah spoke with—the widow could not help but notice this. She must have been struck with his confident words, “Fear not…” these are the words of angels in the Bible. To speak with such command. This shows a security with God. This is very important for us today. Do we truly trust Jesus? Before you answer know there will be a test! The test for the widow was laid out: would she do as the man of God commanded? What about you?
“And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
Look at the promise here if we are obedient to God the ‘meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail,’. Still, as we read on that wasn’t the final test. It is easy to praise God while the supernatural provision is taking place. Do we remember this testimony when the worst case happens? This is the test have we taken God and His blessings for granted?
“And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.
Her son died, but not of starvation. She had been prepared for him to die when she met Elijah. Now she was holding Elijah accountable for her son’s life, and by recognizing him as a ‘man of God’ she was charging God for the great calamity she was facing. Even deeper under the surface we see her blame herself. “Art thou come…to call my sin to remembrance?”
The secret to living above all circumstances comes by true humility. In this account we can be sure that both the widow and Elijah were humbled. The widow entertaining all these conflicting thoughts and Elijah hearing the character of his God in question, both were forced to face God for the answer. This is one of the riches of God’s glory that most people don’t receive unless forced by some hardship. This is why Paul wrote in the fifth chapter of Romans that we glory in tribulations. Tribulation will cause us to hope in God and will build our trust in Him, as we watch Him deliver us again and again.
 Rm. 5:3-5
“And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.
Elijah could have had no earthly idea what to do in this situation. He didn’t know any of his friends or relatives who had brought people back from the dead. All he had was faith. He was driven by the charge to God’s character and a desire to show the widow woman the power of the God that he served. In that moment it must’ve been that he put his mind solely on God, believing God would answer. Remember this, Elijah was no super-hero.
 Ja. 5
“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
Quite simply, Elijah was a man who trusted God. He had faced the tests and come through in victory. In doing this, he brought the widow and even her son along with him. This is the most valuable thing we can have in life. We must learn to count the worldly things we have compiled as a loss, looking to those things which build faith and hope as the most valuable things we have. So, learn to be ever grateful toward God. If you have a good job or career, praise God! If you are just starting out and are learning to do with little praise God! Little is much with God. Faith, a few drops of oil and a scoop of meal sustained Elijah, the widow and her son for quite some time. At the end of the test God granted the increase in all of their lives. He is no respecter of persons. He will do the same for you! Put your faith in and be glad to serve Him in every situation, for this is our reasonable service!
 Rm. 12:1-
“Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
These passages show us the heart of the Father, this lines up perfectly with His character. He is light, he is transparent, He has no ulterior motive but is genuinely driven by benevolent love. Jesus came and exemplified this truth even to His own death on the cross. Jesus commended His own disciples when they displayed this same character. Remember Nathanael? “An Israelite in whom is no guile.” So, we should ask ourselves are we being transparent? Are we operating from a clear conscience and a right heart motive?
 Jn. 1:47  Websters’s 1828 Dictionary
Are we laying down our lives for the brethren? What about on facebook, social media?
Here comes trouble! The designers of these platforms recognized many pitfalls in them. There are a plethora of articles online showing that these sites were designed to be addictive. It would be easy to write an article highlighting the idolatry which can spring up from abusing facebook and other social media. However, this is not the intent of this article. The reason for mentioning this, is that it is the writer’s supposition that social media addiction is the source of much of the unruly behavior we witness every day as we scroll through our newsfeeds. Every day, Christians are witnessed attacking other Christians without remorse or shame and that in front of the world. This article is not a call to dump social media but a plea for fellow Christians to act graciously while engaging in it. Recognize the pitfalls of the cyber world. Everyone likes having their comments ‘liked’ etc., how far are you willing to go to receive that attention and approval?
As a preacher I can attest to the pressure to be known as someone who stands for God without compromise. This “pressure” (though it would seem valid) is actually ungodly. The fact that there is pressure is a direct sign that it is just a thinly layered attempt to gain the approval of men. Jesus called us to enter into His rest. We don’t have to prove we are someone who stands for God, we just have to be someone who stands for God. Love God with our heart, mind and strength, in doing this, we are called next to love our neighbor as ourselves. The question is naturally begged, “Who is our neighbor?” The parable of the good Samaritan displays the benevolent love we ought to have for all of God’s creation. That said, the Epistle of John distinguishes this even deeper he commands us to love the “brethren”. The next question which arises is this: who is our brethren? Is it only those who on all points agree with us?
Let us make something clear, I John also gives us clear guidelines on how to discern the spirit of any doctrine presented. By these guidelines we can be sure that groups like the Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Catholics, and Muslims are not Christian groups. The biggest sign of this is the fact that each of these groups make these distinctions while among their own. They present themselves as Christian up until the point they win a convert then they immediately begin to speak against Christianity. There are doctrines that are clear all the way through the Bible which help us ‘know them by their fruit’.
Now within the spectrum of evangelical Christianity there are many things which aren’t exactly crystal clear; different traditions observed, eschatological views, predestination/ free-will, atonement theories and on and on. While we may have passionate opinions regarding these issues, we would do wise to recognize that the person in opposition to your view may well be your brother, and, so you have a duty to treat him/her graciously. We see this distinction made in Titus, how to appeal to the brethren and all men for that matter.
 Mt. 10:28-30  Lk. 10:25-37  Mt. 7:16:21
“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
This should give us a general understanding and guidelines for loving our neighbors and especially how to love the brethren. Meekness in no way implies that you have to be smiling, or pleased with every interaction or confrontation, remember ‘rebuke them sharply’. Confrontation is awkward and uncomfortable by its nature. Still, you shouldn’t add needless strife and personal (unrighteous) anger into the engagement. As was spoken already, before you get into any confrontation, check your own heart. If the issue is clear sin we have a duty to rebuke that. If it is a matter of some questionable doctrine then we should strive to show the reasons of our opposition (why we believe what we do) with a consistent life which reflects our beliefs. In all matters of doctrine, we need to rely on the Holy Ghost to bring us all to the truth. We have been promised a word which ‘your adversary’ cannot ‘gainsay nor resist’. When arguments are carried on unproductively, we should, each one of us consider our ways. Why is God’s clear promise not coming to pass?
 Lk. 21:14-15
Avoid foolish questions, needless points of contention. As much as we ought to be bold in standing for the truth in matters that are clear; we ought also to be slow to remove a person from among us for some unclear doctrine. Does the person in question have a bad heart or have they given themselves to bad teachings? We need to be reasonable and as much as it is possible at peace with all men. We should be slow to use the term ‘heretic’ and notice the rules for dismissal: one and two admonitions. Give people a chance to consider what is being put before them. Knowing the goodness and terror of the Lord we persuade men. When people are behind the safety of their computer screen they become so quick to chop’em and block’em. These are people who obviously haven’t considered that God is watching. Let us be kind to each other, especially the brethren. Give one another the benefit of the doubt. We have a charge to keep as Christians and it is a ministry of reconciliation.
 II Co. 5:11-18
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
I am only a brother...
Can I tell you about my elder brother Jesus?