A Message From Tony

Greetings in the name of Jesus! The day has come upon us where each of us is individually tried and tested to reveal the intensity of our faith. I have become increasingly aware of Satan's devices and I refuse to let him take another child of God.
Recently in our town we have experienced an uncomfortable number of fires that have left families homeless and penniless. Since January we have had three families in a church we attend lose everything to this destructive force. One family of four is currently living with us. This has become a blessing to both families as well as periods of frustration and a trying of patience. Even so, I wouldn't have it any other way. This leads me to the reason God is having me speak to you.
I won't give names of the couple who lives with us, but we will call them Fric and Frac. Fric has a prison record so their insurance company dragged their feet before paying anything. Even then, they did not pay all that was entitled them. It is because of his past that their insurance basically accused them of arson. Fric lost all of his tools for work in that fire as well as everything the family owned. I know Fric too well to even conceive of him destroying his own life on purpose. They had to sell the land their mobile home was on to keep it out of foreclosure. Imagine going out for the evening to the movies or to work, taking your shower before you go, putting on make-up, deciding which clothes to wear, spraying on cologne, shaving your face (or in Frac's case your legs), blow drying your hair, deciding on the right shoes.........you get the picture. Now imagine returning home to find emergency vehicles putting out the last embers of what once was your life. The only things you own now are on your body or in your car.
Fric and Frac's home was devastated right after Christmas. The oldest son was living at a ministry so he had a lot of his stuff. The youngest lost everything including the new bike he got for Christmas. If we didn't have a camper for them to live in and room for the kids in our home, no one knows where they would have lived.
The church where they are members announced the fire and told Fric and Frac to go to some local department stores and create a registry for their needs. I am sad to announce there was a less than optimum response. Some did bless them with a few bare essentials, but for the most part the church people did nothing. This church speaks they believe in God for provision, and the Divine law of sowing and reaping. We wholeheartedly believe this also. I praise God for Him speaking to those who would listen to bless those in need, and I pray God bless those who responded to this tragedy.
The Word of God speaks clearly of how fire is used to openly show the heart of people. I Corinthians 3:13 states " Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." The Pharisee would say that Fric and Frac must have been out of God's will because this verse clearly shows us that a fire only burns sinners homes. This is not the meaning of this verse.
The fire that burned Fric and Frac's mobile home showed us the heart of the church where it was announced. I am not disparaging the leadership of this church because they announced this tragedy. Fric and Frac were certainly affected by this fire, but so was the body of Christ in their church. I believe there are greater than two thousand who attend this church regularly. les than 5% of those who attend this church responded to the call. Imagine if God decided to torch each of their homes and they would have absolutely nowhere to turn.
Matthew 24:12 tells us " And because iniquity (sin) shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." I never dreamed Jesus was referring to the body of Christ. The message some churches are preaching is that God wants to bless us beyond belief in material goods and money, and to a certain extent I believe this. The problem here is that when people have the ability to bless others they are plagued with judgment and criticism and people don't give out of a willing heart or worse they withhold blessing altogether.
I saw this in action on June 24 when the Convoy of Hope came to Ocala. The Convoy of Hope is a wonderful nationwide ministry that brings not only Jesus to a community, but also free food and whatever the community can offer. I am an RN as well as a minister so I volunteered in a medical tent. 
During that event a couple was having their teeth checked (for free) and were openly criticizing anyone who showed up they felt were not needy enough. I see this spirit throughout the body of Christ but worse it runs through the leadership of our churches. For the record, the Convoy of Hope gives out of a clean, willing heart and do not question anyone's motives. They were more than a blessing to Ocala. I did not understand those who were receiving themselves judge those who were right beside them. 
I believe God wants us to return to the same type of church that was present in the first church in the book of Acts chapter 4:32-37. This passage shows us that the first church was so filled with the spirit of God that those who had extensive possessions sold them and brought the money to the Apostles for distribution to those who lacked. In fact, the scriptures tell us that no one ended up with lack because of the great sacrifice of those who were richly blessed. This was not the tithe we are talking about. There was no question as to whom or how much needed to be distributed. The "haves" did not criticize the degree they believed the "have-nots" received.
These fires that God allowed to come upon His people are His way of showing us who is a doer of the word and not just a hearer. God does not allow your home to be torched to punish you for anything. Instead, He uses disaster to show us the hearts of the body in our midst. Fric and Frac are moving to their new home and are able to move some things there but they still need quite a few things. Frac met with one of the other two couples and they are completely devastated. They had no insurance. They have lost everything. 
If the Lord puts it upon your heart to sow into these peoples lives, please feel free to do it. If you would like to send a check or money order, make it out to Jesus "R" Ministries and write "fire" on the front. Please make sure we have your name and address for tax purposes. If you can send anything of value, please have it appraised and send a copy of the appraisal with the merchandise or the price you paid for it). We do have a space for storage.
The body of Christ is being tried by fire and only those elements that remain will God see as the true believers. We may lose our homes and our stuff, but we never should lose sight of the reason we are on this planet. Our lives need to be a constant testimony to those who are watching. Remember, Satan is a roaring lion seeking who he may devour. Sometimes he waits for us to devour ourselves. Don't be caught with someone else's rib in your mouth.........

In His service,

Tony Crews