Monday, September 28, 2015

The Implanted Word

Did you know that the country of Nicaragua has a "day of the Bible?" It's was Sunday September 27th. That's right! Like a nationally recognized day to make much of the Bible. La Roca Church in a town called Diriamba, outside of the larger city called Jinotepe has a congregation that Elevation Church is in partnership with the Gospel of Jesus Christ there in that church, and within the country.
I have the great privilege to go there this summer with a team from Elevation Church under the loving care of Ministry of Mercy; which is a Nor Cal based medical and missional ministry that proclaims the Gospel of Jesus, and helps people in the local hospital of Jinotepe. The objective for this past summer's trip to Nicaragua was to build up the church through local vacation Bible school outreaches, and serve the patients and medical staff of Jinotepe Hospital with major surgeries that otherwise they would not have been able to receive. Needless to say the whole time there was filled with adventure and amazement of God's hand.
A great delight for me was to ask the local church pastor at La Roca what Elevation could do to help minister beyond our visit. His response, "Give us God's Word." So shortly after we got back, that is just what we did. With the help of our local church at Elevation, we put together a financial package to purchase complete study Bibles for the church at La Roca. Not only did this bless the Pastor's heart, but was to be delivered on a day that the country celebrates God's Word.
It made me mindful of how important it is for every generation, tongue, and tribe have the opportunity to look into the truthful Word of God, so they can receive with meekness the implanted word that can save souls (James 1:27). This marvelous deposit is not the first, but of many made over the years that have provided the truth of Jesus to a cultures that are being set aside by God's providence to grow as disciples of Christ for His glory and unto their good.
Thank you Elevation Church for being a body of believers who enjoys looking, studying, hearing, receiving, and obeying God's word. The follower of Christ can be assured that God's Word will not return void (Luke 16:17 & Matthew 5:17). That means it will be planted into the hearts of people that will continue to make much of Jesus, till he comes again.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Jehovah-jireh (or Yahweh will provide)

Peters Drilling Co
As I continue to live out life in a state of a literal drought here in California, I can be casually faced with the issues of God's provision, and still not feel the effects of that drought. I can read or listen to the news that tells me water is low. That limitations are needed to enforce provision in the state, regions, and counties. I can even participate in helping such a need with conservation and care of water use. However, it can still be only a casual understanding of God being the provider of all things, until it becomes personal. That is what happened about a week ago. Water went out at my house. I live on a little property and have a well, and just under a week ago, the pump to my well went out. This was at first both an inconvenience and irritation. By calling a local pump and drilling company in the area, they came out to assess the need and concluded a need for a new pump and electrical system at the well house; however water would be restored within the day. Then the 'reality shoe' hit the floor, the pump was indeed needing to be replaced; but what was more pressing was the well had run dry! Needless to say, I felt anxiety from head to toe. I began to have an inward panic that my large family of 8 kids at home along with my wife and I were in a house that would shelter us, but without a resource that had to be there to sustain us. What happened next was a principle that I failed to engage in as a Christian. I didn't seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Instead for over a couple day period I put my Bible down, shelved my faith, and internally began to dig my own hole of self provision. It would soon be met with a yelling argument that hurt family and regrettably caused pain to ones I loved. Even after the church I pastor had graciously bought LOTS of drinking water for my family, I still was focused on my problematic earthly kingdom. It was in the first part of the next day when the Lord revealed his word in Matthew 5-6. His heart for me, His heart for His own. It was then I knew I needed a humble heart that was seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and "all these things" will be added unto me. It didn't take away the need of a well that had to be drilled another 140 feet deeper, and the extended time of another 3 days without water; but it did give me perspective that God is the provider. He will not fail in this, and I was given a personal issue of my need and His provision. It will cost for all the work done on getting water restored back to my home. It will be an expense I now have to figure out how to manage; yet the core principle as a Christian is that God is a provider. Perhaps not in the timing or way that I would like, but none the less the best at provision; always. "O you of little faith" Jesus says in Matthew 6:30. This is not a put down by the Lord, but an assessment of my need to see where my faith must rest. For I have a Father in Heaven who knows my needs and is able to provide in His will and timing. I have the dynamic opportunity to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to me, (Matthew 6:33). Will another "drought" or difficulty come again? Yes, and yet the word of God still rings true to trust in the Lord, to seek Him first, and to lay up treasures in heaven. That starts with looking to the King, looking to the Lord, Jesus Christ. Take some time to also watch this encouraging John Piper video concerning the same of God's Provision… https://vimeo.com/68629368 and know Jehovah-jireh is the Lord of provision.
Elevation Church Providing...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Asking for help...

Often times disclosing well the help we need, or want others to know about is challenging. Dr. Ed Welsh who is a solid reformed theologian, counselor, and writer gives a helpful post in the right direction to how we can minister one to another with help that gets at the heart and God's Word. See the link provided and as always feedback is welcomed…
https://www.crossway.org/blog/2015/06/how-to-ask-for-help/?utm_source=Crossway+Marketing&utm_campaign=0ef99e11a1-&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0275bcaa4b-0ef99e11a1-283184165

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Can't hide.

Which way to turn is graciously provided for everyone within the pages of the Bible. It's not a matter of being a better moral person, but a redeemed person who allows the glory of Christ to reign in the moral life of the redeemed person. This will always bring about God's glory because it is fulfilled in Christ, and for the person's good. The timely article from Dr. Albert Mohler is necessary to read and prompting for the church to understand. Please take the time to read it, and if you have additional comments or questions; go ahead and leave them here for discussion. http://www.albertmohler.com/2015/06/10/which-way-evangelicals-there-is-nowhere-to-hide/

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Prince of Preachers

From time to time, as I read some books throughout the year, I find it necessary to pass it along too others. This little 30 page book written by John Piper on the preaching ministry of CH Spurgeon, was very insightful.
Charles Spurgeon, lived to be only 57 years old, and yet he impacted many in his time in preaching and teaching the Bible in London, England from 1854 at the age of 19 to the time of his death in 1892. 38 years of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is said that Spurgeon preached some 3600 sermons, and wrote 49 volumes of commentaries, illustrations, devotions, and anecdotes.
This little book was not an exhaustive explanation of the wide reach of his ministry; though, it is estimated that he preached to over 10 million people in his ministry life span. This little book was focused on perseverance. The adversity of everyday life hits everyone, and Spurgeon was not immune too the difficulties and trials of adversity. The good news of how he dealt with it, was not in quick remedies of self help, self healing; but upon the sovereign will of God. He knew that even his difficulties, weakness, and setbacks that God was good and just. God's allowance of certain trails in his life were means for God's glory. For Spurgeon himself said of them, "It would be a very sharp and trying experience to me to think that I have an affliction which God never sent me, that the bitter cup was never filled by His hand, that my trails were never measured out by Him, nor sent too me by His arrangement of their weight and quantity." 
I would encourage any vocational minister too read this. Especially those within the office of teaching and preaching. I would also give this book over too anyone who needs additional reason for God's grace within the afflictions of this life.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Family Matters

Each generation has to discern how to navigate through the culture of money, sex, and power within the family. In government and society alike there are messages of what this means for people of that generation and context. It always comes back to the smallest unit of government, known as the family. In the link below, Dr. Albert Mohler helps the listener navigate through some of the shifting ideals of topics just stated, and how the Lord still has His rightful plan in family and within culture. The Gospel therefore becomes the necessary mission for every generation, until Christ comes again. Enjoy the 20 plus minutes of;
The Breifing...http://www.albertmohler.com/2015/02/03/the-briefing-02-03-15/