Greetings brothers and sisters in Christ,
July has been a month of many blessings accompanied by many challenges. When a blessing occurred, I thought, "God has provided" and thanked Him. When a challenge arose, I thought, "God will provide the answer" and trusted Him to do so.
The greatest test of our resolve to trust God in all situations was not being able to contact Pastor Ismael Sac for three weeks. Pastor Ismael is the Event Coordinator for the Associacion de Iglesias Unidas, Boca Costa, and the organizer of our September pastor training seminar. Our primary concern was for Pastor Sac's health and safety, but we were also concerned about the pastor training seminar.
After a week of only the ministry team praying that we would locate him, each team member contacted other brothers and sisters to join us in our prayers. For the next two weeks brother Cesar worked tirelessly to locate Pastor Ismael. The Lord answered our prayers this week when He led Cesar to Pastor Ismael. Why we could not contact him is a long story so just let me say he is safe and healthy and the seminar will be held as planned.
Admittedly, there were times this month when I felt overwhelmed, inadequate, and alone. During those times, I spent extended periods of time alone with the Lord and reading about the heroes of our faith. God always provided what they needed exactly when they needed it. It is in Genesis 22:14 that we read the words "Jehovah-Jireh" uttered by Abraham as he prepared to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac, "And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen." There are a variety of interpretations offered for the meaning of Jehovah-Jireh (Jehovah will see, Jehovah will be seen, Jehovah will provide) but the translation most commonly used is "The Lord will provide".
If we respond in faith and obedience when God calls us, His presence and power will always be with us. The other resources we need to accomplish His call will also be provided. One example of this that immediately comes to mind is Moses being called to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Initially, Moses tried to convince God that He had called the wrong man. He gave every possible excuse as to why he was inadequate to answer the call.
In actuality, Moses was most likely feeling as we do when God calls us: overwhelmed, inadequate, afraid of failure, alone, etc. The one thing Moses needed to know more than anything else was that he would not be alone, that God would be by his side. Of course, God knew and said the exact words Moses needed to hear: "And God said, ‘I will be with you.'" (Ex. 3:12).
God provided everything that Moses needed to accomplish His call and provided everything the people needed on their flight to freedom. When we answer God's call we can be assured He will provide us with the ability and other resources we need to answer His call. This trust in God gives us the courage to step out in faith in spite of our fears and doubts.
I would like to share with you some of the blessings God bestowed upon our ministry in July.
1. Pastor Jorge Rodriguez will be joining us to teach a session at our September seminar.
2. God provided the money to purchase TEN audio players containing the New Testament in Quiche.
a. We will distribute these at the September seminar along with two audio players provided by Faith Comes by Hearing.
b. Thank you so much to the nine brothers and sisters who God used to provide the funds for the players.
3. God led us to Pastor Ismael, and the pastor training seminar will proceed as scheduled.
4. We received several encouraging emails from people who had been forwarded last month's article from our readers. We would appreciate you doing the same with any of the articles or pages you like on our website.
5. I have been added to the list of "supply preachers" for the Concord Baptist Association which will generate more funds for the ministry.
Enjoy this month's encouraging article, "The Consistent Reading of God's Word" by Rev. Dr. Monte Shinkle, the senior pastor of Concord Baptist Church, my home church. The article for August will be written by my friend Dr. Bruce Morrison. The title of the article is, "Is Sunday School Still a Viable Strategy In The 21st Century?"
Your brother in Christ,
(These were covered in the "Blessings" above this time).
1. For an additional Board member from my city willing to help with administrative tasks.
2. That the Lord help Fernand complete the proof-reading and formatting of Acts.
3. That the Lord help Ed complete the proof-reading and formatting of Hebrews.
4. Wisdom, guidance, anointing, good health, and safety for all those involved in the pastor training.
5. Wisdom and guidance in organizing the evangelism service on September 23.
Please put your prayer requests and answers to prayer on our website as an encouragement to others. Prayer Requests and Answers
Visit the website to see what's new, and to read and refer friends the current article on the Consistent Reading of God's Word - by Rev. Dr. Monte Shinkle. Current Article More articles should be coming soon!
Thank you for supporting SER through your prayers, giving, and words of encouragement.
"The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless."
I had the wonderful privilege of growing up in a home where the word of God was treasured. Through the years I watched my mother in particular as she faithfully and consistently read the Bible from cover to cover. It was her pattern to start at the beginning on January 1 and close out December with "even so come Lord Jesus".
I do not know how many times she read all the way through God's Word but I do know she inspired me. I would answer the call to preach the gospel in my late teens and head off to seminary in 1977. I would be plunged into the study of languages, theology, missions and ministry. I spent much time studying about the Bible. I learned how we received it. I learned why we can trust its accuracy. I learned how to exegete scripture and apply it to daily living. But one day I woke up only to realize I had never read it through.
I made several attempts at reading it through only to get distracted and fail to finish. But somewhere in the early 1980's I made it through. I felt a sense of accomplishment. Now, nearly 30 years later I am closing in on having read the Bible through over 25 times. I do not get a gold star for that neither do I get a gold star in my crown but I have gained much over these last 25 years.
I recommend many kinds of Bible study. But to me I am biased toward a simple method of daily reading God's Word. Approximately three chapters in the old and one in the new will take you through in a year. The benefits are astounding and beyond number. It builds a discipline into our spiritual life that we must have. Step by step we walk through the lives of biblical heroes. We grow in knowledge. With the passing years and with each new reading we discover truths both old and new. Everyday we set the Lord before us.
The Bible is a marvelous book. I have often been amazed that methodically reading God's Word has often put me at the very text I needed for the trial I faced. I heard from God through His Word on that day at the right time. Only God can so order my life. But it wouldn't have happened if I was not consistently reading.
[Read the full article The Consistent Reading of God's Word HERE.]
Try it. It will change your life.
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