I am so deeply sorry to report that my friend Frank Pastore has died. I know that Frank is in heaven right now. He was a faithful follower and servant of Jesus Christ. I am confident Frank was welcomed into God’s presence with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant . . . Enter into the joy of your Lord!”
Christians, in a sense, never really die. We just leave one shore to go to another. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”
It’s heaven’s gain, but it is surely our loss. Frank Pastore was a man of God that used his platform, both as a former major league pitcher and a radio personality, to point people to Jesus Christ.
His broadcast, The Frank Pastore Show, was the number-one talk show in Christian radio, and that was due to the unique gifts God gave to Frank.
Frank loved the gospel. On many occasions, when I had the privilege to be a guest on Frank’s show, he would ask me to present the gospel and invite people to Christ. I always appreciated that.
For many years, we had Frank open in prayer for our Harvest Crusades and he was and is loved by thousands. The sadness we feel right now is not for Frank, for he is with Jesus, where there is “fullness of joy” and “pleasures forevermore.” The sadness we have is for his wife, Gina, and his two children and all of us who will deeply miss him.
After our son Christopher went to be with the Lord, over four years ago, I had many conversations with Frank, both on and off the air, about heaven. Frank believed in heaven with all of his heart and pointed many people there, and now he is in that wonderful place promised to all who trust in Christ.
Let’s all be in prayer for the Pastore family in these very difficult days ahead.
I will miss Frank, but I know I will see him again.
We’re taking over Greg’s Blog to let you know that today is Pastor Greg’s 60th birthday!
Wish him a happy birthday in the comments below!
— The Harvest Staff
Pastor Greg has requested that no gifts be sent for his birthday. If you feel inclined to give something, you can give to the cause of evangelism by donating to Harvest Ministries in his honor here.
Through all the ups and downs, I have found a hope that has sustained me through the dark times and given me peace and confidence at all times. I believe this hope can be yours, no matter what your present situation. But what happens to your hope when life takes a sudden, unwanted turn?
You walk around a corner and find yourself face to face with a personal crisis…the passing of a loved one…the ache of loneliness…the worry over a stormy marriage…the agony of a son or daughter who has chosen a destructive path. The Bible tells us of a hope that will see us through the darkest of valleys and sustain us in the driest of deserts. And beyond the practical help God offers for every situation in this life, He points us toward the ultimate hope of eternal life in heaven, and the unfailing encouragement of our Lord’s any-moment return.
This book will not only help you but will be a tremendous tool as you try to help others going through crisis.
You can order a copy at Amazon.com.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)
One of the first things I remember about the day I put my faith in Christ was the sense of peace filling my heart. It was as though someone had lifted a heavy burden from me.
It wasn’t until later, when I read the Bible, that I learned about God’s promise of peace to every believer. He has given it to us as a gift.
This peace, however, doesn’t come from what or who we are, but from what God has done—how He has justified us in response to our faith. A wonderful byproduct of this reality is a deep inner peace that floods our soul.
You can’t just live as you please
But we can’t have this beautiful effect without the beginning cause. If we are fighting with God—resisting His plan and purpose for our lives—then we won’t experience this supernatural peace.
I think many people would like to have the desirable results and benefits of the Christian life without having to pay the price. In other words, they would like to know that they are forgiven and going to heaven when they die, but they still want to live as they please. They don’t want to put their complete faith and trust in Jesus.
That sort of attitude just won’t fly. We can’t have the pleasing, life-transforming privileges of God’s peace without first meeting God’s requirements. Scripture tells us through Jesus Christ, “God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross” (Colossians 1:20 NLT).
The only way
The only way we will experience the peace of God that passes all human understanding is through the blood of the cross, the blood that Jesus shed.
You cannot have the peace of God until you first have peace with God.
For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. (Ephesians 2:10 AMPLIFIED)
A traveler was visiting a logging area in the Pacific Northwest and was interested in seeing how the logs that would be used for furniture were chosen. As the logs came down the stream, the logger would suddenly reach out and hook one, pull it up, and then set it down. He would sometimes wait for a few minutes before grabbing another. There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to his choices.
After a while, the visitor said to him, “I don’t understand what you’re doing.”
“These logs may all look alike to you,” the logger said, “But I can recognize that a few of them are quite different. The ones that I let pass came from trees that grew in a valley. They were always protected from the storms. The grain is rather coarse.
“The logs that I pulled aside are from high up on the mountain, where they were beaten by strong winds from the time they were quite small. That toughens the trees and gives them a fine grain. We save these logs for choice work. They’re too good to be used for ordinary lumber.”
Ask Peter or Joseph
It was through the trying and testing that the logs were prepared for choice work.
The same could be said of us as Christians. If you were to ask Moses how he became who he was, he would remind you of his trials with Pharaoh and his times of testing in the wilderness. If you were to ask Joseph, he would most likely refer back to his years as a slave, his imprisonment on a false accusation, and his imprisonment in Pharaoh’s dungeon. Talk to Peter, and he would probably point back to his denial and how he learned many difficult yet important lessons.
Maybe you find yourself facing something similar in your life today. Maybe God is preparing you for a choice work.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
There are times in our lives as Christians when God will, or won’t, do things or not do things that we want Him to do, and it won’t make a bit of sense to us. And because we don’t see the big picture, we may falsely conclude that God has abandoned us. But we need to trust Him during these times, remembering that Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our faith. In other words, what God starts, He completes.
Remember that wonderful word from the first chapter of Philippians? “There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears” (Philippians 1:6 THE MESSAGE).
I often forget things
It seems that as I get older, I get distracted and forget things all the time. But what if God forgot about us?
What a frightening thought. Imagine being in the midst of a fiery trial as God is watching and waiting for that moment to take us out of it. Then the phone rings, and He’s gone for a decade!
Thankfully, God never forgets about us. He remains—forever and ever—in full control. He knows exactly what He is doing. He will complete what He has begun.
God is planning for tomorrow
Sometimes, in the middle of that process, we may think that the Lord is missing it. But He isn’t. We’re the ones who are missing it. From our limited human viewpoint, we think of the temporal, but God lives in the eternal. We are thinking of today, but God is planning for tomorrow . . . in fact, He’s already been there.
We are thinking of comfort, but God is thinking of character. We are thinking of an easy time, but God is thinking of how to make us better people.
So let’s trust Him. Whatever our circumstances or hardships, let’s believe His promise to His children . . . . All things are working together.
You can watch the Southern California Harvest on TV around the world on TBN this coming Saturday.
I will give a message called “A Second chance in life “, and there will be music by Phil Wickham and Revive among others.
The broadcast will be at 2:00 P.M., Pacific Time. For more info, click here.
“Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.” (Matthew 14:25)
In Matthew 14, we read about the disciples being tossed by the wind and waves in their boat on the Sea of Galilee. Then Jesus came, walking on the water, at the fourth watch of the night.
The fourth watch was the last part of the night, just before dawn. At this point, the disciples had been at sea—their hands probably blistered and bloodied from toil at the oars—for at least nine hours in this fierce storm. So we see that Jesus came to them at the last conceivable moment.
God’s delays are not necessarily His denials
This reminds us that God’s delays aren’t necessarily His denials. Jesus had heard their first cries for help. He knew what He was doing all along.
Why did He wait so long before He intervened? Probably because it took a long time for these men to exhaust their resources and completely trust in Him.
Lifeguards will tell you that often the hardest person to save is the one who is panicking. But when an individual is exhausted, when he or she has no energy left, the lifeguard can pull that person back in to safety.
In the same way, sometimes God will allow us to get to the end of our rope, to the end of our resources, so we will finally cling to Him.
Just before dawn
The disciples were exhausted and afraid, but that was the moment that “[Jesus] said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid.’ Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going” (John 6:20-21).
For many of us, that is what Jesus is waiting for. He is waiting for us to say, “I can’t row another second. I can’t go another inch in my own strength. Please, Lord, help me. Come on board.”
He will step into your storm-tossed boat and take control, if you will invite Him. He will be there for you . . . even in the darkest night, just before the dawn.
“But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” (Matthew 13:23)
The concept of bearing fruit is used often in Scripture. In the Gospels, Jesus told the story of a sower who went out to sow seed. The seed fell on various types of ground. Some of the ground was rocky and hard. Other ground was receptive, but weeds choked out the seed.
But there was a portion of ground that was neither rocky nor weedy, and in that soil the seed took root. Jesus said that this was a picture of the different people who hear the gospel. Those who are true believers will bring forth fruit (Luke 8:15).
What is bearing fruit? Essentially, it is becoming like Jesus. Spiritual fruit will show itself in our lives as a change in our character and outlook. As we spend time with Jesus and get to know Him better, His thoughts will become our thoughts. His purpose will become our purpose. We will become like Jesus.
What does spiritual fruit look like?
The Bible gives an excellent description of a life characterized by the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 says:
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely (THE MESSAGE).
Is that what others see in your life? If not, then either you don’t know God or you are living outside of fellowship with Him. If that is the case, then a commitment or a recommitment to Him would be in order. God isn’t asking for a perfect life. But He is asking that this spiritual fruit be a primary characteristic of a life that is lived for Him.
We had another great night here in Auckland, New Zealand. We saw some 1,500 people come out for our meeting last night, with around 175 people responding to the invitation to receive Christ!
That is 375 people who have responded at our “pre-crusade” rallies! That’s like a mini-Harvest Crusades event, all by itself. I think we will have a tremendous event, when we come back here next year!
Thanks for your prayers.