The team in Ecuador is in their final week. They plan to return home on Sunday, August 3rd. Their time with the kids this week (and throughout the whole trip) has been fantastic. In Micah’s words: ‘You remember their faces and how they stole your heart…’
More detailed daily reports from the team are available on Global Encounter’s Blog. Please pray that they team would finish well and that the Lord would grant traveling mercies as the team members travel home.
Join Charles and Daniel as they continue the discussion of the qualifications of church leaders part 2. Because its that important…
The evening news: do you still watch it? Its influence is not what it was, but it is still big business. Do you ever watch the news or listen on the radio (as I do) and wonder, “What does that have to do with me?” Much of it has nothing to do with you directly, but it is either sensational, frightening, opinion altering, or maybe all three. The truth is that news these days is big business. This business requires and desires money, and money requires advertisers, and advertisers require viewers or listeners. It is not about what you need to know. It is about what grabs your attention. Once the attention is arrested the imagination is engaged and the thinking influenced. And it all happens in a few moments; sometimes a few seconds.
This is why it is crucial that the follower of Christ must keep his mind influenced by and under the authority of God’s Word. This is why we must live Gospel-centered lives. The Gospel, both the Gospel proper and in its larger implications, is our business. Our lives are about the “Good News” in Jesus Christ. In fact, Christ is the good news. We are not selling something. We are living and proclaiming the truth. As employers or employees, bosses or subordinates, rich or poor, the politicians or the populace we hold in our hands, or more importantly, in our hearts that which cannot be bought or sold. Whatever our God-given lot; it is our pulpit from which we are to make Christ known.
“We are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s Word, but…men of sincerity…”, but as the people of God let us “…very gladly spend and be spent…” for the purpose of God, the people of God, and the glory of God. Let us, by God’s grace, turn the normal and ordinary into the extraordinary by the reality of Christ Himself. The mundane moments of life must be measured, not by mere temporal success, but by the ministry of Christ and His Gospel. Pray that you and yours will be instruments of grace, trophies of grace to this end; “And do not grow weary in doing good, for in due season you will reap if you do not lose heart… “So let no one glory in men. For all things are yours… And you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.” This is our business at home, at church, at work, at play, in our politics, in our social interaction. May we be “wise as servants and harmless as doves.” And may God be pleased to make our investment count for eternity.
In the Battle with You,
(References: 2 Cor. 2:17&12:15; Gal. 6:9; 1 Cor. 3:21&23; Matt.10:16)
It’s been another full, great week for the team in Ecuador. Daniel, Micah, and the GE team have had some wonderful opportunities to share the gospel, invest in, and just hang out with the kids.
The scripture is clear – leadership is needed and mandated for the local church. However, what are the qualifications for leadership? Who should and can be a leader? Is the scripture clear about all of this? Join Daniel and Charles as discuss the biblical prerequisite for being a church leader in a two part session…
You know the song, the old song, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”. That song came to mind so clearly this past week. I posted on social media that my son Micah’s passport would expire just one month after his return from a mission trip to Ecuador. He called the U.S. Dept. of Passport Services and was told that Ecuador would accept his passport without a problem.
Well, when Micah got ready to board his plane Friday evening in Florida, the manager of the airlines would not allow him to board with the rest of the mission team. He said that Ecuador requires the expiration date to be at least six months away. Ecuador would not let him in.
Now the rest of the story. Ps. 37:23; “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way.” The airline rescheduled Micah’s flight for Monday night, and the adventure began. He stood in line to get his passport renewed starting at 6:30 that morning and waited until late afternoon. He called and told me what happened that day. There were at least 200 people getting a passport along with him. When he finally approached the lady processing the passports with the form he had completed, she informed him; “You will not get your passport today.” What does she know? Remember: “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”. “He’s got you and me sister, in His hands!” It’s not about us. So many people were praying that day, and the power of prayer (the power of God) prevailed. It was late afternoon, and Micah only had a short window to get back to the Miami airport and board his flight for Ecuador.
He and one other gentleman were sitting together and were the last in line. Both of their names were called, and Micah was given his passport. The Lord has the plans of our lives in His hands. What a testimony of what happens when the people of God pray.
I am so aware that “He’s got the whole world in His hands”. America, Ecuador: God’s presence and plan are ever in motion. Ps.115:1; “Not unto us, O LORD, Not unto us; But to Your name give glory, For Your mercy, and for Your truth’s sake.”
Micah’s journey to Ecuador this week began with an unanticipated adventure. At the last moment, his passport was denied by the airline because it expired in September and they require it to be valid for at least six months following the date of departure. After waiting in line almost all day on Monday, Micah received his passport (one of the last issued of the day) and was just barely able to catch his flight to Quito!
Things have been going well for the team this week! Please continue to pray that the Gospel goes forth in power through the work and testimony of the team!
Also, be sure to check out Global Encounter’s Blog for daily updates!
“…for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son…” “the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and all your soul.” (Genesis 22:12 and Deuteronomy 13:3)
It is difficult, sometimes, to understand the why and how of God’s gracious dealings with us as His dear children. Since our Lord knows everything from beginning to end, including how we will respond to what He brings our way, why put us through the trouble and heartache. Humanly speaking it seems the Lord could do a better job of working in us and on us.
Abraham was taken on an emotionally horrific journey. Having been promised God would bless the nations through the descendants of his son Isaac, he sets out in obedience to God to kill this same son. Most of us know the end of that story. God stopped the knife-wielding hand of an obedient Abraham, and spared the son of promise. A gripping story indeed.
But what is somewhat puzzling is God’s immediate response through the Angel of Jehovah. “Do not lay your hand on the boy, nor do anything to him: for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son…” The Angel of the LORD is generally considered to be a theophany or christophany, an appearance of God or an appearance of God in Christ. For this angel to say “now I know…” is incredibly intriguing. For an omniscient God to say such a thing is mind-boggling, and should be.
A similar expression occurs in Deuteronomy 13:3. The Lord is warning against false prophets. The people of God are not to listen to them because, “the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love The LORD your God with all your heart and all your soul.” This and the previous passage beg the question: “What does God know?”
It is just such language the Spirit of God leads the human authors to use in order to grasp our attention. We are arrested by the sheer absurdity of it. Unlike the Open Theist who believes God cannot know things that have not happened, we who hold to His omniscience are convinced by Scripture that our great God knows all things. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He knows from beginning to end. “Even from eternity and to eternity, He is God.” (Psalm 90:2) “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot grasp it.” (Psalm 139:6) This is what the human author lead by the Spirit of God does. We are floored with the thought (“now I know”) then more overwhelmed at this: God knows. He knows our thoughts before we think them. He knows our words before we say them. “And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13) We often live as though God were like us; half attentive, forgetful, and unmoved by our actions. But He is not at all like us. He knows; and He knows us through and through. Yes,now He knows, for He has always known, and He is proving us and testing us so that at least in part we will see something of what He sees and be changed by our knowledge of Him.
To His Glory,
When you discuss the issue of church structure and body life, discipleship must be on the table. Unfortunately, discipleship is done many times without intentionality or not done it all. Join Charles and Daniel as they discuss this vital and essential element to the church…