Thursday, August 6, 2009

Well, AM I my Brother's Keeper?...Originally Mailed 8/3/2009

And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? Genesis 4:9

Well, Am I My Brother's Keeper?

There are so many lessons in this telling of Cain and Abel. I am struck by the snarkiness of Cain’s answer, which gets right to the heart of the kind of relationship he personally had with God. But that’s not what I’m to share with you today. Some other time, perhaps.

Today, we are exploring the answer to that question for ourselves. Are WE our brother’s keeper?

Especially, but not exclusively, in the US , we take a lot of pride in being independent. We like to think of success as being something we reach alone. We boast and viciously protect our freedoms. Some claim the right to be unproductive with the same vigor that others put in to trying to own everything in the world. You can be almost anything you want to be in this country. If you’re willing to do what it takes, you can literally do anything you want. But do we really do it alone?

There are times when we mistake pride for independence. There is nothing wrong with interdependence. A finger is always a finger, but it is much more useful attached to a working hand, arm and body than it will ever be by its self.

Jesus poured out his life that we would be one even as he and the Father are one (John 17:22). He wanted us to be interdependent, as a body is. Not beaten into compliance under a tyrrant, but becoming a single, well functioning unit.

Services like the military, firefighters, police officers, hospitals, each of these works best when everyone is focused on the same mission and performs his or her assignments to the best of their ability. I may not want the housekeeper to do my surgery in the hospital, but I want my room to be clean and my bed made just like I want my surgeon to be focused and skilled. Different offices, different administrations, same body.

We as a body of believers are responsible to and for each other. We do not act alone. We were grafted into one vine, responsible for our own fruit, sure, but also responsible to the whole plant. If you flourish, so do I. If I fall short, so do you. One body, many members.

Be careful, dear one, when pride comes between you and your brother. That’s part of the lesson of Cain and Able too. Pride can keep you from so much, but most importantly, it can drive you from your purpose and from the very presence of God. Lay down your pride before it puts you down. After all, even non-believers understand that pride goes before a fall.

Are we our brother’s keeper? Yes. We are. And our brother is our keeper. And we are all kept by the Master.

9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. John 17:9-11

Lifeline is the evangelistic ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, GA. You are encouraged to share this message. If you wish to be added to the list, please send an email to

Fellowship Church
455 Hwy 138
Suite C
Jonesboro, GA 30236
Alton Watkins, Pastor

There is Power, Power,....Originally Mailed 7/27/2009

Ephesians 3:20-21

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

There is Power, Power, Wonder Working Power….

This passage from Ephesians is what we say as a benediction at our church. I hear it every Sunday and I have read and written it countless times. But, as the Word often does, something new jumped out this past weekend at prayer.

“According to the power that worketh in us”…wow. God can and is able to do beyond anything we ask or think…according to the power that works in us. We set the tempo, or the depth of our relationship to the Father. Our Savior reminded us of this dynamic in the relationship all the time. “THY faith has made the whole” “according to YOUR faith, be it unto you”, “He was moved by THEIR faith.”

Through salvation, we have a relationship. But it is our faith toward the Father that determines the quality of the relationship. It is up to us.

Small faith? Small relationship. Big faith? Big relationship. Intermittent faith? You get the idea.

Child of God, how is your faith? The power is already in you. That became available to you as soon as Jesus set his face toward Jerusalem when his hour had come. But, you have to let the power work in you. YOU have to choose to accept that you matter to God. You are not kept like a pet, but you have an actual, living, breathing relationship with the Most High God and it is a real as the relationships you have with those you hold most dear.

It’s up to you. He will do…based on your faith.

Matthew 9:28-29

28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.

29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

Lifeline is the evangelistic ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro , GA.
Fellowship Church
455 HWY 138 Suite C
Jonesboro, GA 30236
Alton Watkins, Pastor

Receiving from Heaven - Originally Mailed 7/20/2009

Acts 11
5 I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:

6 Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

7 And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.

8 But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth.

9 But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

Receiving From Heaven

This particular passage always makes me smile. This was Peter's personal revelation that the Gospel of Christ wasn’t just for the Jews, but also for the Gentiles. Though that is fantastic news, what tickles me about this passage is that Peter knew that the gift was from Heaven, yet, because of what it was, he refused it at first. God was making a point with Peter that He is still making with us.

We don’t have the dietary restrictions Peter was reacting to, but we continue to put restrictions on the table when we receive. We like to dictate not only what we get from God, but how we get it and when. But Jesus said “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”

Funny thing about kids, they have no problem receiving. It doesn’t matter if I offer my son breakfast or a bicycle, he’ll take it. He usually doesn’t put conditions on receiving. If it’s been identified as “his” then that’s enough.

But, the world teaches us that we are being humble when we refuse a gift. We get taught that it is more respectful to turn something down, even if its something we really want or need. Isn’t that funny? Especially since the real humility is in accepting the gift.

Child of God, let go of your pride and receive what God has for you. You may have expected your financial breakthrough to come in the form of a raise on your job, but when it shows up in being treated to dinner or offered some clothing or correction of a coding error that results in the bill being paid or eliminated, learn to recognize that these are “uncommon” actions. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. He has much more to work with than just your paycheck when He wants to bless you financially.

Also, we have to remember that the things we go through aren’t always about us. There are times when God uses our lives as a living testament for someone else. That’s part of that whole “fit for the Masters use” part in this relationship. There are gifts that may seem undesirable to us at first that are absolutely necessary for God’s plan. A calling to a challenging ministry…living as a missionary in a remote part of the world…dealing with a strong willed child…servant leadership. They are all gifts from Heaven. They are not common because they are from God and they will glorify God.

When it comes to the blessings of God, the real challenge is not whether God will give, but is will we learn how to receive.

Luke 18
16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God .

17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

Lifeline is the evangelistic ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro , GA.
Fellowship Church
455 HWY 138 Suite C
Jonesboro, GA 30236
Alton Watkins, Pastor

Stillness... - Originally Mailed 7/13/2009

Ruth 3:18
18 Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.


Naomi was a wise woman. She had enough sense to see that something was happening and she understood the importance of being still. She knew she had to wait and trust that Boaz would be an honorable man toward her daughter-in-law, Ruth.

Your Father in Heaven is more than honorable and more than a man…He is God and He is Good.

There are times when we want so badly to help God out. It's so easy to get anxious about a promise and to start feeling like we're supposed to DO something. We get like “Sarai” (she wasn’t Sarah until later) and we try to help God give Abram a son. We put on our “Martha” hats to start tending to the things in our world when what we really need is our “Mary” cushion where we can sit and listen to Jesus. We get ahead of ourselves like Moses and make the right move but we make it too soon or we get so caught up in what's going on around us that we end up hitting a rock that we only needed to speak to.

Be still until you know what to do. Then, do it until you’re told to stop.

An important part of growing in our relationship with Christ is learning to calm that inner need to be in constant motion. Being busy isn’t the same and being productive. Our Savior would steal away to commune with the Father. That involved as much listening as it did talking. Even the waves and the wind understood that when the Master speaks, it's time to be still.

God is most potent in our lives when we are impotent and still.


Psalm 46:10
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Lifeline is the evangelistic ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro , GA.
Fellowship Church
455 HWY 138 Suite C
Jonesboro, GA 30236
Alton Watkins, Pastor

Have We Forgotten How to Wait? - Originally Mailed 7/6/2009

Genesis 25:31-34

31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.

32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?

33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.

34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

My Pastor mentioned this passage at prayer on Saturday. The point he made struck me so strongly that I am compelled to share it with you.

Have we forgotten how to wait?

Some of us can remember a time when we actually had to wait for someone to get home before we could call them. If we ran out of something on Saturday after 6 PM, we had to wait until Monday because all the stores were closed on Sunday. We could only get certain fruits and vegetables when they were in season. Some TV shows would only be on once a year. Dinner took time to prepare, even when it was just leftovers because we had to wait for the oven to heat up.

Yet, faced with these waits, we didn’t starve, we didn’t lose our minds. We were uncomfortable sometimes, sure…but we just waited.

I’m not suggesting that we lose these modern conveniences, but as children of the Most High God, we have to remember that He didn’t change. God doesn't move faster because our attention span got shorter. He was perfect before the cell phone and He’ll still be perfect when we can teleport and use jet packs. No matter what, patience will still have its perfect work and God is still God.

What is it that we are so hungry for from the world that we, like Esau, will despise our birthright for a quick fix? Why is it that we will settle for what the world has instead of waiting for God’s perfect solution? Far too many times, we don't even seek the Lord in our situations. We just fix them.

And how many times has what the world offered ended up costing so much more? Esau sold his birthright for a meal. What about us? What will will give our birthright for? Fame? Fortune? A mate? A job? An extra hour's sleep? Fitting in with peers?

Child of God, you have a birthright through Christ. When you were born again, you became part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people. That’s just too much, too precious a gift to give up for a quick fix.

Wait on the Lord. No matter how matter how great the need, He WILL renew your strength.


Lifeline is the Evangelistic Ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, GA.
Fellowhip Church
455 Hwy 138
Jonesboro, GA 30236
Alton Watkins, Pastor

Grace - Originally Mailed 6/30/2009

The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen. II Timothy 4:22

It's a simple prayer. It's a simple request. The words sometimes get glossed over as a polite way for believers to say goodbye.

But, if we let those words get down in our psyche...really think about what it's saying...Christ with your spirit...Grace with you. Feel it. . Believe it. Accept it Believe that it is is true for you in everything that you face, accomplish, consider. In everything you do, Christ with your spirit. Grace with you.

Facing bills? Christ with your spirit. Grace with you.

Facing health concerns? Christ with your spirit. Grace with you.

Facing the loss of a loved one? Christ with your spirit. Grace.

Facing a wayward child. Christ...grace.

Lonely? Christ. Grace.

Brokenhearted? Christ. Grace.

No matter what you matter your challenges...the Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you.

Welcome to Lifeline - Originally Sent 6/22/2009

Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. Hosea 6:1

A lifeline can mean different things. It can be a phone call from a friend, access to cash, completing an education or a literal line used to rescue someone.

Lifeline is the name of the evangelistic ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro , GA. Through this ministry, we want to offer THE lifeline that is all that you need; Jesus the Christ. He is the literal life saving line; He is the tie that binds your heart and heals your wounds. He is the line that leads to the Father. He is the Life Line.

This email is part of our outreach. Through weekly mailings we seek to offer encouragement. Through special mailings we will let you know what’s happening at Fellowship Church . All of this is with the goal of throwing you a lifeline to help you continue to grow in your walk in Christ, or offer you a vehicle and community to start your walk with Him.

We welcome your feedback, your input and your prayers. I pray this is a blessing and hope that you will share it with friends as time moves on.

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. Philippians 4:8