Pure Religion Project – James 1:27

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Please pray for this project. Circle it in prayer with us. It is a vision beyond our resources, but certainly not beyond Gods. Each day God is giving us new promises and funds in hand for this effort. We believe this summer we will be able to continue the church plant, add the Bible Institute, the clinics and soon add the orphan and widow care centers that we are planning for this location. We need your help! Click on PayPal.

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Christ’s Foreign Policy

I am amazed that many churches have failed in fulfilling our Commander-in-Chief’s foreign policy.

As we turn the pages of the New Testament and read the words and the commands of Christ there seems to be a tremendous disconnect between the early churches and the churches of the 21st Century, even those who call themselves New Testament churches. Why is this the case?

Over and over again Jesus Christ said to his church; “Go into all the world!” This was His foreign policy. Somehow we have translated this message to into something like “come” into our church. He said we were to reach “all nations” and somehow we have decided this means “first” and “especially” Americans. He said that we should be witnesses “both in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost part of the world.” We have somehow interpreted this “both” to mean “a lot here and a little there”.

Christ’s Foreign Policy

1. The Foreign Policy Person. “And Jesus came and spake unto them”
▪ He calls us to leave the old life. (Matt 11:28)
▪ He calls us to learn the new life. (Matt 11:29)
2. The Foreign Policy Power. “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”

3. The Foreign Policy Plan. “Go … teach all nations …”

▪ The plan involves movement – “Go”
▪ The plan involves ministry – “teach”
▪ The plan involves method – “all nations”
4. The Foreign Policy Purpose. “baptizing them…teaching them to observe all things”
▪ Delivering captives
▪ Distinguishing converts
▪ Developing Christians
5. The Foreign Policy Promise. “lo, I am with you alway”
▪ For competency – when we are weak
▪ For courage – when we are afraid
▪ For cheer – when we are discouraged
How much better would our world be if we who believe God would dedicate ourselves to follow the “foreign policy” of our Commander in Chief.

 

(Excerpt from my book – Missions Is … Challenging the Darkness. Available with other books I have on Amazon.com)

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A Few More Days In 2016

End Of Year Blessings & Opportunities

Good Shepherd Orphanage, Santos, Haiti

GSObuildingAs we come down to the end of the year we would like to send out one last reminder about giving opportunities in which  you may wish to be involved. We have so much to give thanks for in this past year.

Some have become involved by adopting the support of one of our children – FYI – several are still awaiting sponsors. (Orphans In Haiti) As you may imagine, the support and care for the children, staff and facilities of the Good Shepherd Orphanage is one of our boldest undertakings and largest expenses. This year we have seen many improvements that are sure to be a big blessing for the lives of those who live there – but many things still need to be done. We still have several things in the works at the home – a second bathroom / shower and more updates on the kitchen. Pray that we can respond to these things soon. We also have to raise the amount we send each month for the children’s school costs. The school has said they MUST raise the tuition amount we pay each month.

High Road Ministry Center, Xejuyup, Guatemala

highroadviewWe have also made some exciting improvements at Baptist Evangelism‘s High Road Ministry Center  in Xejuyup, Guatemala, including the completion of the basketball court. (We still have to install the backboards and hoops.) These are not readily available in Guatemala and have to special order them. $$$) We also have new tile in the both bathrooms in the dormitories. It looks great! We also MUST purchase a new refridgerator since ours died recently.  These are needful and ongoing projects to prepare for the mission teams that will be coming from the US this coming year. Last year more than 200 people participated in short-term, cross-cultural mission trips with us to Guatemala and Haiti. To give, click on the secure PayPal link below.

Support our National Pastors and our TNT (the next towns) institutes.

Each month we are hosting US pastors, Seminary professors and others in ministry to help us in the important job of bringing top shelf training to our pastoral students and church leaders with in the scope of our ministry. Last year in Guatemala, Haiti and Cuba we were blessed to have these TNT leadership training institutes. More are scheduled for 2017.

You can have a great part in this ministry by the means of monthly giving, or by a one time offering or you may even want to give the gift of hands-on serving in Guatemala or Haiti on a mission trip.
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The first and most important thing that each of us can do is PRAY.

Will you?

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Steps To Success

stepsWe Are The Church

In the Epistle of Ephesians we read Paul instructing this church: “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”Ephesians 2:19-22

When I read this – I think about the church. I wrote in the margin my Bible – “sounds like the church”. These are words about us: “Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” This is talking about me. Do you recognize yourself here? Thank God. We are saved already. This is just one of the metaphors about the church  as it is revealed throughout the New Testament. Another is “the family.” Another is “the temple”. And another “the body”. One thing is certain, the church is a living  organism.

And we are built together in it and the Holy Spirit lives in us. We are the church! But that is not all. As the church …

We Have A Mission

Look at the first words of Ephesians 3:1 – “For this cause …” The reason why we are the church is because we have a mission. The church has a mission given to us by our Commander in Christ, Jesus Christ. This mission is revealed and declared in many places – Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8. We also see this mission revealed here in Ephesians 3:6-12.

   “That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

We see that the Gentiles were to become fellow heirs with the Jews. We were all to be a part of the same body. All of us were to be partakers of his promise.

The mission of the church is to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ. (verse 8) It is to make all men see this fellowship that is being revealed through Christ and his followers. (verse 9) THIS IS BIG! The mission of the church is to make known the manifold wisdom of God and the ETERNAL PURPOSE of God. (verse 10-11) The mission of the church is to be a BOLD and confident ministry that is accomplished through our trusting in Christ. (verse 12) Finally in all this Paul, by the Spirit gives some simple, yet absolutely necessary steps for the church to follow if we are going to successfully obey and complete the mission He has commissioned. Here are the …

Steps To Success

The first thing, and the very atmosphere for us to accomplish our mission is prayer. This is what Paul did first! (Ephesians 3:14) “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” He prayed for success. We must pray for success in accomplishing our mission as the church. Are you praying for the success of your ministry – of  your church? Look at the prayer he prayed in verses 16-21.

   “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 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, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

It is an amazing prayer. In it he unashamedly asks for strength for their inner man, for Christ to be at home in their hearts, for greater love and understanding of Christ’s love and for ability to fulfill all that was required in the mission – “exceedingly abundantly” – through the power of Christ working in them. And finally that all they accomplish simply and clearly be for the glory of Christ in the church. So PRAYER is huge in Paul’s life and my dear friend it must be HUGE in ours as well.

But then there are some vital steps, that are to be taken while within this atmosphere of prayer – very practical and absolutely necessary steps to fulfill our mission. If they are neglected – we will be mediocre at best and quite certainly fail at the worst. What are these needful steps? Look at Ephesians 4:11. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.”  God gave the gift of these servants listed in verse 11 to his church. Likely, if you are reading this you may be one of these. I am. So if I am one of these in verse 11 what must I do? Look at verses 12-16 “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”   – STEP ONE – “perfect the saints”. STEP TWO – “for the work of the ministry” STEP THREE – “for the edifying of the body of Christ” (the church).

To give a clarification this is simply stating we MUST be involved in discipleship, (1) step by step doctrinal instruction of those who are saved toward the goal of preparing them to be (2) actively and productively involved in the ministry so that (3) the body of Christ, the church will grow. When this is happening correctly in our churches we move to the place where our ministry will be at “full throttle” (verses 13-16) and we can come in the unity of the faith, grow as Christ wants us to grow, be no more children or just babes, but maturely working to the accomplishment of the mission Christ has saved us and called us to accomplish and those trained go on to train others. This then is the genius of New Testament ministry. May God help us to faithfully be His church, working at His mission by taking the steps revealed in His word.

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Pasos a Exito

Somos la iglesia 

En el epístola de Efesios leemos Pablo instruido esta iglesia: “Así que ya no sois extranjeros ni advenedizos, sino conciudadanos de los santos, y miembros de la familia de Dios, edificados sobre el fundamento de los apóstoles y profetas, siendo la principal piedra del ángulo Jesucristo mismo, en quien todo el edificio, bien coordinado, va creciendo para ser un templo santo en el Señor; en quien vosotros también sois juntamente edificados para morada de Dios en el Espíritu.” Efesios 2:19-22

Cuando yo leo este yo pienso sobre la iglesia. Yo escribo en me biblia – “sonido como la iglesia”. Las palabras sobre nosotros: “no sois extranjeros ni advenedizos – sino conciudadanos de los santos y miembros de la familia de Dios.” Este es mío. Es usted. Gracias a Dios. Somos salvos ya. Una de las metáforas sobre la iglesia en todo el nuevo testamento es “la familia”. Otra es “el templo”. Y otra “el cuerpo”. La iglesia es organismo. Algo viviente.

Somos edificado juntamente y morada por el Espiritu Santo. Somos la iglesia!

Tenemos una misión

Mira las primeras palabras de Efesios 3: 1 – “Por esta causa …” La razón por la que somos la iglesia es que tenemos una misión. La iglesia tiene una misión que nos ha sido dada por nuestro Comandante en Cristo, Jesucristo. Esta misión se revela en muchos lugares – Mateo 28: 18-20; Marcos 16:15; Lucas 24:48; Juan 20:21; Hechos 1: 8. También vemos esta misión revelada aquí en Efesios 3: 6-12. Los gentiles se convertirán en herederos. Parte del mismo cuerpo. Participantes de su promesa.

La misión de la iglesia es predicar las inescrutables riquezas de Cristo. (Versículo 8) Es hacer que todos los hombres vean esta comunión que está siendo revelada por medio de Cristo y sus seguidores. (Verso 9) ¡ESTO ES GRANDE! La misión de la iglesia es dar a conocer la sabiduría múltiple de Dios y el PROPÓSITO ETERNO de Dios. (Versículo 10-11) La misión de la iglesia es ser un ministerio GRANDE y seguro que se logra a través de nuestra confianza en Cristo. (Versículo 12)

Pasos para el éxito

El primer paso sin duda debe ser la oración. ¡Esto es lo que Pablo hizo primero! (Efesios 3:14) Él oró por el éxito. Debemos orar por el éxito en el cumplimiento de nuestra misión como iglesia. ¿Estás orando por el éxito de tu ministerio – de tu iglesia? Mira la oración que oró en los versículos 16-21. Es una oración increíble. En él, sin vergüenza, pide fuerza en su hombre interior, para que Cristo esté en su casa en su corazón, para un mayor amor y comprensión de Cristo – amor y capacidad para cumplir todo lo que se le exigió a través del poder de Cristo en él y, finalmente, Todo sería para la gloria de Cristo en la iglesia. Así que la oración es enorme en la vida de Pablo y mi querido amigo debe ser ENORME en la nuestra también.

Pero hay algunos otros pasos, pasos muy prácticos y absolutamente vitales para cumplir nuestra misión. Si se descuidan – seremos mediocres en el mejor de los casos y muy posiblemente fracasaremos en lo peor. ¿Cuáles son estos pasos necesarios? Mira Efesios 4:11. Dios los dio a su iglesia. Probablemente, si está leyendo esto usted es uno de estos. Yo soy. Así que si soy uno de ellos en el versículo 11, ¿qué debo hacer? Mira el versículo 12 – PASO UNO – “perfecciona a los santos”. PASO DOS – “para la obra del ministerio” PASO TRES – “para la edificación del cuerpo de Cristo” (la iglesia). Para dar una aclaración esto es simplemente declarando que debemos estar involucrados en el discipulado, (1) paso a paso la instrucción doctrinal de aquellos que son salvos hacia el objetivo de prepararlos para ser (2) activamente y productivamente involucrados en el ministerio de manera que (3) El cuerpo de Cristo, la iglesia crecerá. Cuando esto sucede correctamente en nuestras iglesias nos movemos al lugar donde nuestro ministerio estará a toda velocidad y podremos venir en la unidad de la fe, crecer como Cristo quiere que crezcamos, no ser más niños o sólo bebés, Pero trabajando maduros para el cumplimiento de la misión que Cristo nos ha salvado y nos ha llamado a realizar.

Yo estoy orando de su éxito en este. Somos la iglesia. Tenemos una misión. Nuestra obra es tomar las pasos bíblicamente para cumplir la voluntad del Señor. Adelante!

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Who? If Not You – Who?

“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18

1 – Who has the goods? Forbes magazine says their are a total of 1,810 billionaires, down from a record 1,826 a year ago. Their aggregate net worth: $6.5 trillion, $570 million less than last year. That is a lot of money! I doubt any of them are reading this post and those who are reading would probably not consider themselves rich at all. However, compared to most of the rest of the world we certainly do have this world’s goods.

2 – Who has the needs? Nearly 1/2 of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day.  1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.  805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat.  More than 750 million people lack adequate access to clean drinking water. Diarrhea caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation, and hand hygiene kills an estimated 842,000 people every year globally, or approximately 2,300 people per day. Also there are around 163 million orphaned children recorded all over the world in 2007. This data reflects the number of children who have lost one or both parents due to any cause. The estimate for fully orphaned children (having no parental care at all) is placed at 18.52 million worldwide.

3 – Who has the love? How can we tell? How is it reflected in our lives, our churches? Most of the giving goes to other priorities in our disproportionate budgets. Americans spend over 60 billion on dog food annually, we have a staggering student debt of over 850 billion, auto debt of over 700 billion and credit card debt of over 700 billion. All of these debts hijack our biblical responsibilities for giving. Our local church programs, new buildings, and more staff often detour our giving too.  Churches become more like corporations and pastors more like CEO’s with significantly disappearing evidence of love for Christ and obedience to his commission.

David Barrett estimated that 34.3 million die without Christ annually, and of those, 13.2 million were never evangelized. In all, sixty-five percent of those dying annually aren’t Christians10. This should motivate us to spread the Gospel as quickly as possible. Who has the love?

The Apostle John in his epistle called upon 1st century believers to love – in more than just words, but to also love in deed and truth. May God help us who are living in this 21st century who have the goods, see the need and prove our love.

http://www.BaptistEvangelism.org, http://www.orphansinhaiti.wordpress.com

 

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Just How Bad Are Things?

hopelessWe are living in such interesting times. People become so confused, contaminated and conformed by the world around them. Think about it for a minute. Think of those Haitians who just passed through the devastation of hurricane Matthew. Due to their environment and other issues beyond their personal control many lost everything. Believe me they didn’t have much before the flood waters and high winds took what little they had all away. Think of those who live in war torn Syria. Bombings again today. Death, destruction, injury and hunger is a way of life. And I could write example after example from all different areas around our globe. Many live an absolutely horrific existence – others like those of us here in the United State of America – even at our worst are SO much better off than they are. If our homes are destroyed we still can expect help and restoration in a reasonable time. We will eat today. We will sleep tonight. We will get back to work and life goes on.

But I am amazed at how many moan, complain and rail as if they were worse off than a child in Aleppo or in Jeremie, Haiti. During these days leading up to the elections you would think that possibly all hope is gone depending who wins the elections. You have seen FaceBook and the other medias. You have heard the news. As I read my Bible today and then perused the various medias again I could not help but be confronted head on with an interesting and impacting truth from Paul the first century church planter as he writes to those in Ephesus. I am aware that this will have little meaning to those who are unbelievers and possibly even little affect on many believers – but maybe it will resonate with some:

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22)

As a believer in Christ living in this world, where ever your address is on this planet, it is not our home. We are here, but our citizenship is out of this world. (Philippians 3:20) We are not to conform to this world. (Romans 12:2) But where ever we reside we are privileged to have a wonderful connection with other believers as those in first century Ephesus. Because of the reconciliation purchased by Christ for us we are no longer strangers and foreigners to God as we once were in our sins. As believers in Christ we are connected with God and others. We are fellow citizens with other saints and part of the household of God. Again, it matters not your earthly address – we have this connection through Christ.

Not only are we connected but we are established on a firm foundation with Christ as the chief cornerstone. Think of those whose earthy home blew away or washed away last week in the storm. If they have Christ their earthly life may be in tatters but they can still lean upon a firm foundation in Christ. Think of those whose homes collapse under the bombs and rockets. They need Christ! He alone can be their foundation.

Now friend, consider your own life and your future. Think even beyond the impending elections. Is it really that bad? Maybe if you are not a believer in Christ it seems dark and dismal. But can you take hope as I do and many others that we are connected, established, built together with others and growing unto an holy temple in the Lord – SO REJOICE – don’t moan, complain and rail about things today or tomorrow – if you are in Christ NOTHING can change that future and whatever insignificant thing I may suffer today, tomorrow or after the next storm, next war or next election “is but a light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) So friend. Take a deep breath and give thanks to God. It is not all bad.

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