New Hope In The Lord
       International Ministries

Office Hours: M-F 9:30am-5:00pm
PO Box 418 Valhalla,
New York, USA 10595              Phone: (914) 948-4481

Newsletter                                                                   August 2020

Dear saints,

We are so fortunate to have the Bible available,and sometimes,forget the people we read about were recording the power of God as it was demonstrated in their lives. TheNew Testament was written in the years following the life, death,and resurrection of Jesusby anointed men of God.One of those people, Paul, was specifically called by Jesus.“...he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”(Acts 9:15–16KJV) Paul was a great exampleof how God works,butit wasn’teasy for him. Paul says he was “In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren.”(2 Corinthians 11:26KJV)

Though Paul had a special calling, he was not shieldedfrom trouble. As he testified of the Lordin Jerusalem, he was imprisoned. Yet this imprisonment was exactly God’s plan for his life.“And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome”.(Acts 23:11KJV) Then Paul was held for two years in Caesareaas the prisoner of the Roman Governor who hadlegal authority over him. But Paul was only subject to this imprisonment, because he was first the prisoner of the Lord, Whohadcommissioned him to testify in Rome, where he was executed.

To those looking at him, it may have seemed that Paul was being driven by circumstances beyond his control. Yet, the events around him were not determining his actions. Paul appealed to Caesarand set himself on the course to Rome. There are those today whoare living in fear, sayingthe events happening around us are beyond our control,and they are being overwhelmed. Yeteach of us as Christians,also occupy a special calling to demonstrate the life, the loveand power of God in our generation.Jesus has commissioned us and said,“Ye are the light of the world.”(Matthew 5:14 KJV) and “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”(Matthew 5:16KJV)

By invoking his legal right as a Roman citizen,for ahearing before Caesar, Paul wasgiven protection from “the circumcision,”the religious Jewish community,whowanted to kill him.There are times when we must also exerciseour right under governmental authority,not only for our protection,but also to ensure that righteousnessprevails.As Paul begins the journey to Rome, he is taken under guardlate in the year andhehas a spiritual insightthattherewill betrouble ahead.“Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.”(Acts 27:9–10KJV) But Paul is the prisoner and the decision is made based on natural experience, the will of the master of the shipand the vote of the passengers.“Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul. And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.”(Acts 27:11–12KJV)

After refusing to listen to Paul, theyalmost immediately found themselves in a terrible storm. They used all of their natural experience and strength and could not overcome and were in fear for their lives. “And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.”(Acts 27:20KJV) But now, Paul speaks again,“For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.”(Acts 27:23–24KJV)As the storm raged on, the crew wanted to escape by boat.Some tried to escape but“Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.”(Acts 27:31KJV)They listened, cut the ropes, and all got to the shore safely.

In these times of uncertainty where many feel alone and face overwhelming challenges, let Paul’s words ring in your ears, “stay in the boat; don’t jump ship.

Serving Our King Together,
Eric Ross for Rev. Joseph