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Where Do Missionaries Come From?

Seminaries? Bible Colleges? Churches?

 

 

 

 

Now there were in the church … the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. Acts 13:1-2

It is clear from the Biblical text above that in the church of Antioch were good men deemed worthy by their church family and more importantly called by the Holy Spirit to be sent forth as missionaries to bring the gospel to other cities, countries and continents.

There is a clear lesson here: We cannot wait for missionaries to come from seminaries and colleges. The churches MUST stand up to the task given her by Jesus Christ.

The Unfortunate And Sad Truth About Missionary Attrition.

This year more than 7000 missionaries will quit. Nearly half of those will have managed only one term on the field. But that’s not the worst part.

At least twenty missionaries will pull the plug today. Every fifteen minutes one decides to throw in the towel. (from Paracletos)

How will we fill the ranks from those lost to attrition?

How will we move ahead for World Evangelism?

Biblically they MUST come from our churches. How many missionary candidates do you have in your church preparing for career missions? I travel to many churches each year and sadly I don’t see where these missionaries will come from. For many churches the missionary focus is mainly one week a year – their mission conference. Others may have a month long emphasis and of course there are sporadic missionary speakers scattered through the year. The missionary decorations, flags and banners go up. Then come down. Is this enough for fulfilling the MISSION of the church of Jesus Christ?

How many messages are preached in our churches emphasizing the need for missionaries, servants some being called, surrendering and entering gospel ministry? I believe many are hesitant to preach these messages for fear perhaps, of loosing some of their best and brightest from the home ministry.

Here Is Another Very Powerful Option – Short Term Missions!

An informal study  found that between 2010 and 2016 eighty-four percent of new long term missionaries indicated they had previously served on a one – two week mission trip prior to signing up for long-term mission service. Another mission reported in 2000 that “almost 99% of our applicants today have had some sort of cross-cultural experience.”  “Some studies have shown that short-term mission trips increase participants’ financial giving and prayer for missions, as well as the likelihood that they will become career missionaries.”

Some have questioned the validity of short term missions but I am here to validate the benefit. I am presently working with several couples who have come to our field on a short term trips and have written to me to share that it was a “life changing experience” and how they are praying along with their churches about the pursuit of career missions. But beyond my personal validation I believe we have too much Biblical validation to ignore short term missions:

When Jesus gathered 12 of his disciples and sent them out he was giving his 12 Apostles a missions apprenticeship that would pay long-term dividends for the kingdom well after his ascension. Dan Williams wrote, “Jesus knew that there was a time for the twelve disciples to be together in basic training (which, by the way, included short-term mission experiences for them) and a time for them to be propelled into full-blown mission.”

In referencing the city of Nineveh Philip Ryken said, “God’s plan for saving the city began with recruiting Jonah to go on a short-term missions trip.” The short-term mission work of Jonah resulted in long-term glory for God. Scripture calls the disciples of Christ to commit their lives to expanding the gospel. (The Aquila Report)

Plan Your Short Term Mission Trip Now – Let Us Begin Filling Our Churches With Missionary Candidates!

 

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WHY GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS

OUR BIG PRAYER  – Pray with us! $72,000 more needed to purchase this property for Iglesia Bautista Faro de Luz in Santo Tomas, Guatemala. PayPal.me/becarelink or Carelink International 8153 SE Carlton Street, Hobe Sound, FL 33455 

 

Psalm 86

Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy.

God hears and answers our prayers when we call upon him because we recognize how poor and needy we are. (James 4:6-8)

Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.

God answers our prayers to preserve us when we strive for holiness or godliness and trust in Him. (Psalm 4:3)

Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.

God answers our prayers with His mercy when we  are importunate and persistent to in our cries unto the Lord. (Luke 18:1-8)

Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

God answers our prayers and fills us with joy as we lift our soul to Him in prayer. (Psalm 25:1)

For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

God answers our prayers and forgives us through His goodness and mercy when we call upon Him. (Psalm 50:15; 51:1-5)

Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.

God answers our prayer and is interested in all our earnest pleadings when He hears our voice. (Psalm 61:1-3; 1 Timothy 2:1-5)

In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.

God answers our prayers because we are perpetually in trouble and He is God and there is no other like Him. (Hebrews 13:8; Acts 4:12; Jeremiah 33:3)

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“Signs On The Way To Christmas”

A Christmas Message (outline)
“Signs On The Way To Christmas”
Luke 2:1-8

Intro: For many Christmas doesn’t mean much. For some it is only Santa Claus. For others it is getting gifts. For the store owners and merchants it is a great time to make money. Toy makers. Auto sales. Groceries. There are lots of decorations, lights and … “its beginning to look a lot like Christmas …”

But to us who are Christians it is Christ. We are ____ days from Christmas. We are on the way to Christmas. As we think of being on the way – I want us to go WAY back. Back to the beginning and see some of the signs, the lights along the way.

Gen 3:15 – An unusual sign for Christmas. A serpent. This was a promise of coming victory. Not yet, but coming – we are on our way to Christmas. The Devil defeated and God’s covenant for grace. This help us see ahead on the way to Christmas.

Gen 9:13 – A colorful sign on the way to Christmas. A bow. This was a promise of coming peace. After judgment by flood. A promise connected to the flood that came and the rescue of Noah in the ark. No more total destruction by water. Someone was coming to rescue all mankind

Gen 22:10-18 – Another strange sign for Christmas. A knife. The promise of a son. The son to be sacrificed. But here is a sign that showed the way to Christmas. Another son was coming. Another sacrifice was imminent. Another Lamb but this one would take away the sins of the world.

Exo 12:3; 7;11 – The sign of the passover lamb. Slain. Bloody. The promise that God was making provision for sin.

Exodus 24:3; 8 – Moses had received the law, the commandments. He read them. The people promised to do them. They made a covenant in blood. The law was a sign to point us to Christmas. Rom 10:4

2 Sam 7:8; 13 The covenant / sign of an everlasting kingdom. Promise that in the midst of failing kingdoms and passing kings one was coming that would reign eternally.

Then after the long way – all the signs. We come to Christmas. One night the angels announced his coming to the shepherd. Go. See. Tell. Have you traveled to Christmas. Have you seen the Christ who came / Who is the fulfillment of all those early signs the fulfillment of all those promise. He came to defeat sin and give victory to rescue you from judgment and give you peace to be the sacrifice that was needed – God’s lamb to take away your sins – to cover your sins to pass over you / no condemnation – to guide you to holiness – new creature and to make you part of an everlasting kingdom that will know NO end. Christmas!

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Are You Looking?

Are You Looking?

From my Bible study in 2 Peter 3:10-18 I send out these few thoughts:

Just what are you looking for? The attitudes and actions, the beliefs and practices of many would indicate that they are looking and preparing for something entirely different than the apostle Peter was writing about. Many seem to be preparing for a place that makes them comfortable, that allows looseness and sin, that elevates worldliness and sinfulness in our midst. BUT …

For those of us LOOKING for the coming day of the Lord and that new heaven and new earth need to understand and realize THIS place we are looking for is a place of RIGHTEOUSNESS not WORLDLINESS.

The apostle Peter asked this question. It is as appropriate when he wrote it as it is for us today.

What manner of persons ought ye to be? Good question! WHAT KIND OF PERSON DO I NEED TO BE? As THE END draws nearer, as all the world events, wars and disasters align with prophecy WHAT MANNER OF PERSON are you?

Peter gives us some counsel in his words while asking this question – he writes, “in all HOLY conversation and godliness.” (vs 11)

Peter continues by saying that if you are one of those looking, (vs 14) “be diligent that you may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”

Conclusion:

So, if you are LOOKING for JESUS, take a look in your mirror right now and ask yourself this question: What do I see? What does my life show? Do I see holiness? Do I see godliness?

PRAYER

Lord help me. I am looking today. Help me be diligent for You. Help me be a person of peace, clean up my life and help me have a testimony today that will help me fit in with that place you are making for me in the future.

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Are You An Unstable Christian? Watch Out!

There are people out there who are UNSTABLE SOULS in the habit of getting their own way (vs 14).  They have forsaken the right way (vs 15), they are seduced through lust of their flesh (vs 18), they are promised liberty (vs 19) but are actually servants of corruption and are brought into bondage.

THERE IS A WAY OF ESCAPE! THROUGH JESUS CHRIST!

If you don’t get out, the end is worse than the beginning (vs 20). It would have been better to have NEVER known the way of righteousness than to have known and TURN from the HOLY commandment. (vs 21)
Will you be like the DOG? Or the HOG? Returning to their own vomit or wallowing in the mire. (vs 22)

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In A Dark Place?

I have a WORD for you.

Pay Attention!

Stay in the Bible until the Day Star arises in your heart.

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Lessons In Autonomy

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of our men (Marcos Sosa and Carlos Santos) in Guatemala sent me these pictures yesterday. They were working on a sustainability project at our newest church plant in Santo Tomas. We are currently renting this property but doing our best to raise the $120,000 that we need to buy the two buildings and land that you see in the photos. I laughed when I saw the photo and the caption he sent. He said, “This is hard, laboring work.” And it is. Their present project is to plant the field behind the buildings in corn and other vegetables that they can sell to help supplement their personal incomes and the church ministry. It is a worthy effort. I commend them. It is necessary. It is a step in the right direction of autonomous ministry.

For over 20 years I have worked in impoverished countries, evangelizing, discipling and church planting. It has been a tremendous blessing but has always been filled with special challenges. Today I am addressing just one of these challenges, that being the work of teaching and realizing autonomy for the churches we plant. Every place, every pastor and every church is different, even within the same country. In some cases there is a genuine desire in the heart of the pastor and the people to become self-supporting, self-governing and self-propagating. In others there resides a difficult and often times hard resistance on the part of both the pastor and or the church to take on the mature responsibilities of caring for themselves. They quickly grow complacent with having someone else take care of them and bear them along in life.

I know what it is like to be both a pastor planting a new church, a husband, father and provider for my family. I have had to work secular jobs outside the church ministry, as has my wife (more than I) in order for us to make ends meet in our home and to carry forth the church to sustainability. It is not easy. But it is at times necessary. I am writing these words, which will also be translated so that those I am presently working together with in various places and in diverse situations will consider long, pray and work much in order to come to the place where they have a biblically based church. As much as a pastor may want to be the lead, to be the head, the senior, the boss or whatever – as long as they have outside support they are never fully autonomous. We need autonomous churches. Brethren, pray for us!

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