Daily Devotional for Sunday August 24, 2008
A Look Back on the 12 days of the Florida State Fair
A look back on the 12 days of the Florida State Fair. How appropriate that I spent my 50th birthday doing exactly what God called me to do at a very young age, ministering to people, as Liveprayer wrapped up the 12th and final day as one of the title sponsors of this year's Florida State Fair that saw over 500,000 people come thru the turnstiles. There is SO much to tell you about these past 12 days, it is going to be difficult to do it all in one Devotional.
First of all, I just want to thank God for giving us the incredible opportunity to serve Him in such a bold and visible way. This is exactly what I talk to you about so much of the time when I say we must invade people's lives. The fact is, satan has no problem invading people's lives with all of the lies and traps of the world to destroy them, why can't those who know the Lord be even more bold and aggressive by invading people's lives to save them?
Let me start with two glaring facts that hit me hard. Other than one other ministry whose mission field is the fair and carnival circuit, Liveprayer was the only Christian organization at the Fair, and the first to ever be one of the title sponsors. There are dozens of churches in this area that have thousands of members and multi-million dollar budgets who should have had a presence at the Fair. A member of one of those mega churches told me that they had talked about doing something at the Fair, but they were building a new $20 million building and all of their focus was on that project. How sad.
The other was that we were the ONLY sponsor of any kind who was at the Fair not trying to sell something or generate commerce, and other than the child evangelism ministry that was there, the only place at the Fair people could come for free without having to buy anything. Trust me, the Fair is a HUGE business, and the people who come to the Fair are there to sell whatever it is they sell to make money. That is fine and I understand that, it was just glaring that Liveprayer was not only an oasis of hope in the midst of the Fair, but about the only place people could come where they weren't ask to open their wallet. We weren't there for money or any other reason except to touch lives and save souls!
So far, we have received a little over 2,000 emails from people who were at the Fair and stopped by the Liveprayer Gospel Tent. Most of the emails were for prayer, though so far right at 300 indicated they accepted the Lord and asked for our follow-up book. Probably the best email I have received so far was from a man who was at the beer garden across from the Liveprayer Gospel Tent. He was standing there, drinking his beer and listening to the music when I gave the invitation Wednesday night. God convicted him and he threw his beer away and prayed with me to accept the Lord as his Savior.
The Bible says His word won't come back void. What a classic example of simply being obedient, sharing the Gospel, and watching God work! That is why I tell you all the time to be faithful, be obedient, since you never know what God may be doing. I am convinced most of what we do for the Lord we will never know until we get to Glory. However, from time to time God will show us a glimpse of what He is doing through us since He knows our flesh is weak and we need some encouragement. BE OBEDIENT AND BE FAITHFUL!
One of the greatest joys for me these past 12 days was getting to meet so many in the Liveprayer family. WOW! I can't wait for the Liveprayer reunion in Heaven! People came from Texas, Ohio, Georgia, New York, and all over the State of Florida. What a blessing and honor to meet so many dear friends who are part of the Liveprayer family. It was so humbling to hear one incredible testimony after another of how Liveprayer has impacted people's lives. I can't even put it into words other than to remind you once again, it is about being obedient and faithful and letting God work through our lives.
I want to thank everyone who prayed for the Fair, those who were led and able to give to help me cover the cost to do this (we budgeted $60,000 and went $5,000 over, so be praying for someone to help me cover that amount quickly), my staff who did such a great job working the tent these past 12 days, a dear brother in Ft. Myers who coordinated the effort to get 5,000 books we gave away along with tens of thousands of our Liveprayer flyers, and everyone who helped make these 12 days possible and such a great success.
Most of all, I am thankful to God for literally hundreds of true servants of God who came to give of themselves and their talent to perform for the people. These Gospel artists, groups, and choirs weren't paid a dime, they simply came to serve God and it was an incredible testimony to their calling and commitment to serve the Lord as they came and gave of themselves to the people. My dear friend William Sanders, a Gospel promoter in Tampa, coordinated all of the music and we are going to talk in the next week about what God may be calling us to do together in the future. He was an incredible blessing to me and to the Lord's work these past 12 days.
As you know, we broadcasted my TV program all last week from the Fair, and also had live bonus coverage Monday thru Friday last week of the 8pm Gospel music perfomances. If you really want to be blessed, we have archived all of those 8pm performances on our Show Archives link on the website, so go check it out!!!
I love you and care about you so much. I have so many great stories and testimonies I could go on for hours. I have to admit I am physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained after these 12, long, grueling days of the Fair. But it was exactly where we HAD to be. I have already made plans on how to improve next years Fair with many additional attractions at the Liveprayer Gospel Tent to reach even more people. Be praying that we find favor with the Fair officials and that they allow us to be a title sponsor next year as well.
Let me leave you with this word of encouragement and challenge today. NOW is the time for those who know the Lord to get busy. Not with the same old "church things," but getting outside the box and invading people's lives with the Truth of the Bible and the hope and love of Christ. It makes me sick to see people fainting and going crazy over a false messiah like Obama, when there is only one true messiah, JESUS!
I can tell you one thing for certain. For many people, more than you can imagine, it is not that they have rejected Christ, they simply have never been told who He is. They aren't as opposed to the Lord as they are totally ignorant of Him. THAT IS OUR FAULT SINCE IT IS OUR JOB TO TELL EVERYONE ABOUT JESUS! One deacon of a large church in Tampa came by and we were talking. He was telling me about how many of their members went to Africa and South America and other places each year. I looked at him and asked him why his church wasn't here at the Fair. They didn't need passports, or shots, or language courses, and the people at the Fair were going to the same hell as those in the far off lands are going to if they die without Jesus.
I will be praying for you today as God speaks to your heart about being more bold in sharing Christ with others and looking for opportunities to bring Christ into the lives of people who need His love. I am so thankful Liveprayer made this incredible commitment of time, nearly a full year to plan out, and invested the resources, worth every cent, to take this bold and visible stand for Christ in such a high profile public event. I can assure you that EVERYONE who came to the Florida State Fair was aware of the Liveprayer Gospel Tent. May we all continue to let our lights shine brightly for Jesus!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller