Recent Blog Entries

  • 12 hours ago
    Posted by Dion Todd
    He spoke to them many things in parables, saying, 'Behold, a farmer went out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell by the roadside, and the birds came and devoured them. Others fell on rocky ground, where they didn't have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of earth. ...
  • Tue at 3:01 AM
    Posted by Dion Todd
    The rooster crowed the second time. Peter remembered the words that Jesus said to him, 'Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.' When he thought about that, he wept. Mark 14:72 WEB.Peter said that he would die before he would deny Jesus. Then later that night, Peter denied that...
  • Sep 27
    Posted by Dion Todd
    Ripples from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo. (Isaiah 55:10–11 NKJV) "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that...
View All

Follow Me

  • Follow Me from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    Today I want to talk about something that was confusing to me when I really got serious about knowing Jesus. My life became difficult. I mean, what’s up with that? “I’m a child of the King! He fights my battles.” Uh huh. It seemed the more effort that I put into knowing Him, the more difficult things became. My little mind didn’t understand, and it took years for it to sink in on what it means to follow Jesus, to be His disciple. It will cost you everything.

    Jesus called people to follow Him, and those who did became His disciples.

    Disciple: Someone who follows another person or another way of life and who submits himself to the discipline (teaching) of that leader or way. (BEB).

    All of my confusion to the hardships were because of two words in that definition, “submit” and “discipline.” For example, probably 30 years ago, I was living a pretty good life for this area. I had the best job that I ever had up to that point, I was a supervisor and earning good money for the time. I had a new house, several vehicles, ATV, motorcycle, and boats. I was popular, looked up to, and was on stage with a band at some local event nearly every weekend. My life was full, and at the same time, pretty empty. I began to feel that something was missing.

    My normal shift required me to work twelve hours a day on Saturday and Sunday, and on Wednesday nights we had band practice. Some years before this, I had been baptized in the Holy Spirit, and though I had not been to church in a few years, there was always that hunger inside, that soft whisper calling. I began to miss my intimacy with the Lord. He was calling me to follow Him.

    I couldn’t attend church with my schedule at the time, so I began to listen to any Bible teaching that I could get ahold of. That began to fan the flames inside me and the hunger grew. Soon I was listening to the Bible 24/7. I came across a teaching on fasting and it inspired me to do a two-week fast with just water. I was so zealous for the Lord that I hardly noticed the hunger at the time. A week into the fast, I noticed that things were beginning to change around me. It was odd. I simply quoted a scripture to a co-worker one day and they went home and asked Jesus into their life that night.

    Yep, one week in and things were going great; then life took an odd turn. At the end of my two-week fast, on the last day, they called me into the office and laid me off. It was surprising, upsetting, and unexpected. There was confusion, anxiety, turmoil, and a lot of bills. I found myself on unemployment for a while. I could not find a job of any kind, anywhere, and I had to sell a lot of things in order to pay the bills. The upside was that I was free to go to church all that I wanted, and soon I began attending Bible college at night, with no idea that one day I would be here.

    That was a humbling season for me, and there have been others since then. I prayed for the Lord to give me a job, anywhere as long as I could continue to listen to His word during the day. That was my one request. I assumed that He would put me in a Christian environment. I almost had a job at a Christian school taking care of the maintenance, something that I am pretty good at, but when we prayed about it, we each heard “No, not now.”

    I should have been more specific in my prayer for a job. Eventually I was called in for an interview at a brass polishing plant. The moment I walked up, the manager simply asked me: “Are you ready to start? You should bring something to listen to because it can get pretty boring here.” The Holy Spirit whispered “This is what you asked me for.” So I said “Yep.” I polished brass in a dimly lit building for one third of the pay and came home each day as black as smut, but I got to listen to the Bible all day and I prayed in the spirit for hours at a time. The fire within me grew, and as I grew more humble over the next year, He began to use me in a powerful way. A mini revival broke out around me at the brass plant, and soon everyone there was coming to church with me.

    I am going to stop there because of time, but that is just an example of the kind of things that may happen to you when submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit, when you let God be in charge. When you begin the exciting journey of making Jesus your Lord, instead of just calling Him that. Jesus called many people to follow Him, He said “Follow Me” over twenty times.

    When His kingdom comes, our kingdom goes, and at first we may feel sad about it, but isn’t that what the Lord Jesus taught His disciples to pray:

    (Matthew 6:9–10 NKJV)  In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.

    What are we going to say when it begins to happen to us: “Oh you were serious about that?”. Jesus called many people to follow Him. Some like Peter, James, and John followed Jesus wholeheartedly. Others followed Him for a while, but when it became difficult, they turned back (John 6:66). Jesus once fed 5,000, but we know that only 120 gathered in the upper room. Jesus called some who began to make excuses because their life was too busy (Luke 9:59). Others said they were following Him, but they didn’t actually follow His teachings. To them He said:

    (Luke 6:46 NKJV)  “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?

    That brings us to a frequently asked question like one I had back then: “Why?”. My dialog with God went something like this: “I’m trying to be a good Christian, praying, fasting, giving, and now I am unemployed? Why did I lose my job and others who don’t even know You got to keep theirs?” Because you were chosen for something better. “Well it doesn’t feel better.”

    When you ask Jesus into your heart, you join the body of Christ and become one of the Ekklesia, “the called out ones.” We are called out of the world to be different. You were not born a child of God, you were born again as a child of God. Before we were saved, we were not His children, and He did not discipline us (Hebrews 12:7). Now that you are part of His body, He wants first place in your life in all areas: in your relationships, in your finances, in your decisions, at your job. Anything that we mark off limits will become a stumbling block. For example: He will tell us to give money away, but our mind will tell us to keep it. He will then make you choose your master (Matthew 6:24), for faith without action is dead (James 2:26). “Why do you call Me Lord, Lord, and not do the things which I say?”

    Remember the rich young ruler who had great possessions? Jesus told him, one thing you lack - give all that away and come follow Me. But when he heard these things, he became very sad. Jesus saw what had a grip on his heart and He forced him to make a choice (Luke 18:23). He will do the same for each of us. Make no mistake about it, following Jesus will involve sacrifice. Anything you love more than Him will be put to the test, just as He asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. In the same way, what you are able to let go of, He will give back.

    A true disciple does what Jesus said and submits to His discipline. The experience may not always be filled with joy, but he does not turn back. He stays the course. His correction is sometimes necessary, but our human nature doesn’t like to be corrected, especially men, especially preachers. We are like strutting peacocks and can have the hearts that are the farthest away from God, just as the Pharisees were like white washed tombs trying to correct Jesus (Matthew 23:27). Holy on the outside doesn’t count.

    In the Kingdom of God, the way up is down. The most humble will be at the top. The last, shall be first. Many will put their hand to the plow, but when the storms come, will begin to look back. You may feel: “I had problems before I became a Christian, but nothing like this” but I can tell you that it is temporary, and this too shall pass. Let Him have His way.

    Jesus says “Follow Me.” Don’t look behind at what you are missing. Don’t look to the left or right and think the grass looks greener over there. This season will pass, but you will come out of the other side changed forever. Follow Me.

    You can pray this with me if you like:

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, please cleanse and refine me from the inside out. My life is Yours, and I pray that You help me make the most of it. Forgive me of the times that I have become distracted. Speak to me in a way that I understand and help me focus, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.


Tip: You must be logged into the website to leave comments.

 

Social Sharing

18 comments
  • 1
Debi Burton
Debi Burton Jehovah God, Restore me and put me back on track........ thank you for all you have done, in Jesus’ name I pray..... Amen
May 4
  • 1
Marilyn Salter
Marilyn Salter Holy on the outside doesn’t count. It made me think of the many things I need to do get to closer to my Lord.
May 5
  • 2
Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson

Amen!!

May 3
  • 2
Kay Collinsworth
Kay Collinsworth

Amen Father I am Yours

May 4
  • 2
Jim Jarrell
Jim Jarrell

Amen! Thank You Lord!

May 4
  • 2
Scott Riegelmann
Scott Riegelmann

Amen thank you Father!

May 4
  • 2
Patricia Walker
Patricia Walker

Amen. Powerful devotional. Wonderful service. Thank you Pastor Dion. God Bless. Amen

May 4
  • 2
Dave and Sue Earlywine
Dave and Sue Earlywine

Amen,thank you for the message.God Bless.

May 4
  • 2
Linda Clark
Linda Clark

Amen  always  walking with jesus 

May 4
  • 2
Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown

My life is Yours, Amen.

May 4
  • 1
Richard Mondello
Richard Mondello

In Jesus name Amen. Father Yahweh please help me to view my circumstances through Your eyes and to  comprehend what You are trying to teach me through it all. In Jesus name Amen. 

May 4
  • 2
Jose Simo
Jose Simo

Heavenly Father I need Your help to focus more on You and Your teachings,those things that are distracting me please take it away so I be more concentrated in Your word. Speak to me softly in a way I can understand, to follow Your designs and have more of You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

Excellent devotional testimony Pastor, God bless you and Sylvia. 

May 4
  • 2
Wesley Paulus
Wesley Paulus

Amen!

May 4
  • 2
Wanda Pennington
Wanda Pennington

Awesome and so important message today. Thank you Pastor Todd. Jesus I want to Follow You. 

May 4
  • 2
Schalk  de Beer
Schalk de Beer

Amen Lord

May 4
  • 2
Mari Kaufmann
Mari Kaufmann

God help me. I need Gods guidance. I'm praying for an apt in New Jersey. PleaseGod open the doors. Thy will be done. Amen

May 4
  • 2
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardle

Amen and Amen!!! "Have Thine own way Lord" - in my life, and the lives of all of my loved ones, and may all that I come in contact with see you for who You are, in the name of JESUS, Amen!!! 

May 5
  • 2
Craig  Mondello
Craig Mondello

Amen ABBA Father. Through your son Jesus, I can do this!

May 6