Daily Devotional for Thursday September 16, 2010
The First 3 Years of My Ministry I Spent 51 Weeks a Year on the Road Doing Evangelistic Meetings
The first 3 years of my ministry, I spent 51 weeks a year on the road doing evangelistic meetings in over 500 churches of every denomination, racial make-up, ethnic background, and size. I am deeply appreciative for the Lord opening so many doors to give me such a wide range of experiences. I then devoted the next 4 years almost exclusively producing programming for Christian TV stations nationwide. Again, God opened the doors for me to become involved with almost every national ministry and many of the top Christian music artists.
While I still preach in selected situations, for the last 11+ years, my time, energies, and focus have been 100% on our Liveprayer.com ministry. You see, the one thing the Holy Spirit greatly impressed upon me over my years of preaching and producing television, as I was being exposed to so many ministries and people in God's work, was this....WE ARE HERE TO SERVE OTHERS. Our job description is very simple...SERVANT. Because of the incredible access the Lord gave me to so many ministries, churches, and people in the Lord's work, I came to realize two very real truths. One is to always keep God first. There are some very large international ministries that reach millions of people, yet whose focus is strictly money. The people are simply an avenue to generate money. Even though the Lord can minister in spite of wrong motivations, He has always judged those who used His work strictly for personal gain. We have seen, even in our lifetime, large ministries that virtually disappeared overnight when they ceased putting Jesus first.
There are many examples in the Bible of God exercising His judgment on kings and kingdoms that quit honoring him. I can tell you in no uncertain terms, that this country we live in has been richly blessed by God, yet if we continue to rebel by killing unborn children, stopping prayer in our schools, and forgetting God in our daily lives, we may see God's judgment on the United States in our lifetime. When we stop putting God first in our life, our church, our ministry, and our country....He knows how to remove His hand of blessing and allow judgment to come. Go and read again the life of King Saul to see God's anointed judged for not putting Him first.
The second truth I have learned is that those churches, ministries, and people serving the Lord who followed after the example of Jesus...and became a servant...were richly blessed by God and saw much fruit from their work. Don't forget, "richly blessed" doesn't always mean the biggest church, the most people, or the largest bank account. That is the way the world judges things. God judges by totally different standards.
I have been in churches of 5,000, brand new buildings, and huge offerings. I have also been in churches of 80, small storefronts, and sacrificial offerings. If those in the 5,000 member church are simply coming to be entertained, or out of guilt, or as a ritual, yet not growing spiritually or serving people's needs.....and those in the 80 member church are growing in their personal faith, are out serving God in their lives, making an impact for the Kingdom....then even though the world may judge the 5,000 member church a success and the 80 member church a failure....God says the 80 member church is the success and the 5,000 member church is the failure. Those who follow Christ are to be servants, as He was a servant!
I love you and care about you so much. I will be praying for you today to always remember in everything you do to keep God first and to be a servant. I spent a decade of my life living in rebellion to God, living to be served by others. By the world's standards I had everything you could ever want in this lifetime. Yet I was never happy, never at peace, and there was no lasting joy. God mercifully broke me, took everything away so that I had to be totally dependent upon Him.
For nearly 20 years I have tried each day to be a servant to others, to selflessly share Christ's love with others who were hurting. As I have been fulfilling the purpose God gave my life, to serve and glorify Him with my life, I have found peace, joy, and happiness above and beyond anything I had ever imagined. Before I had so much, but actually had nothing. Now I have only a little, but in reality have everything that matters in life.. God gave us this life not to be served, but to be a sSERVANT!!!
***THANK YOU FOR SO MANY WHO HAVE GIVEN OUT OF YOUR NEED, SO MANY WHO HAVE SELFLESSLY SACRIFICED TO HELP ME AT THIS CRITICAL HOUR. I PRAY THE LORD OF THE HARVEST POURS OUT MIGHTY BLESSINGS INTO YOUR HOME FOR YOUR OBEDIENCE AND FAITHFULNESS!
(an email I got the other day) "Bill -You & your team have really been on my mind & in my thoughts. I strongly believe you're doing things the right way, & it breaks my heart that because you give the gospel for free - because you're out doing things God's way - you don't have financial support from the American church to get out in the secular marketplace & to go toe-to-toe with false prophets @ Ground Zero. My wife & I gave a gift today which isn't close to meeting your needs or requests, but I pray God blesses it with multiplication.
I want to encourage you - your blunt honesty & the fact you do things the right way (no professional fund raising companies, no buildings or extravagant salaries) are why we're giving today. It's time for me & other Christians to put our money where our mouths are & quit paying mortgages & utilities for big buildings. Please keep telling the truth, God's truth. If the finances don't come in, God forbid, and you are forced to close down any part of your ministry, you have done your part by being obedient before God. It would be the rest of us who failed.
Thank you for being on the front lines! Thank you for leading & feeding me spiritually, both in word & deed! I pray today that God move hearts in a powerful way and deliver far more money than you've asked for. May He raise up more faithful partners, freeing us from fear & making us better able to hear His commands and then, more importantly, obey them. I realized about a month ago that you are my preacher. Thank you for the daily word. I promise I will lift you up in prayer & give financially to LivePrayer. I pray our Lord bless you & keep you. In God's love."
***I AM ASKING GOD TO SEND ME 4 SPECIAL PEOPLE TODAY. FIRST, I NEED ONE PERSON WHO IS ABLE TO WIRE TRANSFER OF FEDEX $15,000 TODAY. THIS COVERS $15,000 OF THAT $20,000 WE STILL OWE FROM 2009 AND NEEDED TO BE PAID LAST FRIDAY. SECOND, I NEED ONE PERSON WHO IS ABLE TO WIRE TRANSFER OR FED EX THE $7,000 FOR THE 9-11 CHRISTIAN CENTER OPERATIONS LAST WEEKEND. THIRD, I NEED ONE PERSON WHO BY THIS FRIDAY CAN COVER THE LAST $5,000 OF THE $20,000 FROM 2009. FOURTH, I NEED ONE PERSON WHO BY FRIDAY CAN COVER THE $7,000 FOR NEXT WEEKENDS 9-11 CHRISTIAN CENTER OPERATIONS. I HAVE BEEN ON MY KNEES PRAYING TONIGHT FOR THE LORD TO SPEAK TO 4 HEARTS, AND FOR THOSE 4 PEOPLE TO BE OBEDIENT. IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE FOUR, CONTACT ME AT: email@example.com AND I WILL GET YOU THE BANK WIRE OR FEDEX INFO YOU NEED. THANK YOU!
--->You can make a gift to Liveprayer on your major credit card at our website www.liveprayer.com under the "Donation" button, or you can give from your PayPal account by using my email address, firstname.lastname@example.org , or you can mail a gift to: Liveprayer 6660 46th Avenue North St. Petersburg, Florida 33709 *For a gift to the 9-11 Christian Center, please mark 9-11 on your check, or put (9-11) next to your name on the credit card or PayPal form. All gifts to Liveprayer are 100% tax deductible.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller