According to the translator, Mauban means gray-headed. Nothing gray about our God directed mission/adventure in Mauban, Quezon, it was as colorful as the rainbow.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation…”
First stop in Mauban!
“Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.”
Not exactly Galilee, but one of the divine appointment the Lord had prepared was a family whose make up and livelihood was similar to that of Simon (Peter) & Andrew.
Because of the Lord and your prayers…”And how are they to preach unless they are sent…”
The Gospel shared along the seawall/boardwalk of Mauban.
Off to Rosario…
after harvesting the rice grain, drying time…
“I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf…”
The semester is coming to a close…May 29 is graduation day and we have the value of one in JR.
Only God can grow the fruit of righteousness through His Word. In the end, the question will be asked, “Were you faithful in the one I put in front of you?”
“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?”
Only God can make a tree, what becomes of JR is up to Him.
As far as I can say, we did what we were called to do and are being poured unto Him the life and the truth that is found in His Word. The hope we have is that at the end of our life, we are welcomed with these words, “Well done good and faithful servant…”
What about you? at the end of the day, will you be found faithful?
Jesus Christ taught us all that is important in His word, the Bible. The parable of the sower is a familiar lesson that each of us must take heart to. Let it be a reminder, an exhortation, a revelation to be heeded. It is important enough that the Holy Spirit made sure it is mentioned in three of the four gospels, Matthew 13:3-23, Mark 4:3-20, and Luke 8:5-15.
Second only to the teaching about the feeding of the five thousand, which is mentioned in all four gospels, the parable of the sower is intricately connected to the Great Commission.
Let us review the passage…this is taken from the Gospel of Mark, ESV
“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.
Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
And He said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear. And when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parables.
> In this last verse of this section the Lord calls for us to have understanding, of the Spirit, and to pay attention. Mark points out the reality of Jesus’ statement in verse 10, people hear it, but have no understanding.
And He said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that “they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.”
“And He said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?
The sower sows the word.
> Jesus gives to us an illustration of a farmer scattering the seed, the Word of God. Not every place (heart) His Word is cast to is prepared to receive it, thus one requires the help of the Holy Spirit to understand the word of God.
And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.
> The first type of soil is a path or road. A place that has been worn out by foot (vehicular) traffic. Remember, the soil is a condition of a heart. Because it is constantly trampled by the world, there is no chance for it to take root. The adversary of truth, Satan, introduces something that is not God’s truth.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.
> Stony or rocky ground is a heart who hears God’s word, for a moment that person is excited about what they heard, but it does not go down deep into their lives, like the first; it is all on the surface. They endure while it feels good, but don’t make the time to read or study the word of God, that when they are teased about being “a Christian,” or threatened harm for being a “Christian,” they abandon that which they heard.
And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
> Seeds that fall into thorns hear, or pay attention, and take some action…but they encounter three things: cares of the world (distraction), deceitfulness (delusion) of riches, and desire (longing) for other things. If I seek these things rather than getting to know God in His word, what was sown gets choked (drown, strangle, or pushed out), which leads to an unfruitful life.
But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
> Good soil are those who hear the Word (believe), accept it (obey) and bear fruit (evidence in lifestyle). A surrendered life is one that produces the fruit of the Spirit, see Galatians 5:22-25
Where does the Great Commission fit in all this? Jesus says,”Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you
alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20 KJV
To disciple means to teach. To be a disciple means to learn from our Teacher. He promised, that He will be with us, even to the end. Without the teaching of Jesus in the life of those who have been baptized, how will one grow? 2 Peter 3:18 Selah…think about it.
“…standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel…”
Classes are scheduled to begin August 25 through December 11, 2014.
The class schedule will be finalized in August. Review the classes, pray, and take action.
The books the students got to study this semester include: The book of Acts, Gospel by Matthew, Isaiah, and Romans; other subjects offered are: Inductive Bible Study, Apologetics, OT Survey 1, English, and Lectures.
Yes! Quite a mouthful, “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
“Holy Week” in this part of the world concluded without much incident. Depending on your perspective, that may be good, or not. Tradition plays an integral part of life in the Philippines, whether you’re from the north or the south, the status quo is something people are content in doing.
Earlier, I mentioned that reality had set in; actually, reality is already, for those who minister to the Lord through the study and teaching of His Word.
There is no doubt that God has called us to not just proclaim His good news, and now, entering the second year as “Word-smiths” in the Philippines, the truth that it is He who opens and closes doors. Like His servants of centuries past, we find ourselves in unfriendly waters, or should I say “indifferent”.
The Apostle Paul, in Acts 20, in saying his farewell to the Ephesian elders this side of life, he exhorted, encouraged, and warned them. Reminding them of the calling he received and by extension you and me, given by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Throughout the book of Acts, we see the work of the Holy Spirit evident in His work. Paul went through seasons appointed by God, just as my wife and I are going through. In North America, Europe, parts of Asia and South America, and maybe even Australia, for the most part experience four seasons, spring, summer, fall, and winter.
The Middle East, Africa, Asia and Southeast Asia, do not have those four seasons. A running comment about the weather here in the Philippines is that it has three seasons, hot, very hot, and very, very hot.
Summer is upon the Philippines. If you’re not acclimated to the weather of a different country, it could take awhile before you get adjusted to it. The sweltering heat could drain your energy, mentally, physically, and yes, if we do not depend on His river of Living Water, spiritually.
Throughout his missionary assignments, Paul faced “summer” wherever he turned. The gospel of Jesus Christ and His teachings were met in a variety of ways, unbelief, violence, and as mentioned earlier, indifference. Paul faced these things head on; he had received his commission directly from the Lord Jesus.
His life had been threatened, he was beaten and jailed. When he set foot in Athens, he witnessed idolatry at its finest; arriving in Corinth, the practice of sexual immorality. Some commentator’s say that this point while in Corinth, what he had gone through and had seen weighed heavily on his heart. He kept “pressing on” preaching and teaching.
And the Lord, who knows the heart, “… said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” Acts 18:9-10
The Lord has been gracious towards us that He has spared us the direct bodily injury the saints of old had endured for His Name sake. It is what we have heard and seen around us, with family, friends, government, the cities and towns, the culture of the flesh, these are the heavy weights pressed on our hearts.
To be witness to the indifference, the callous hearts, the truth of what the Lord said through the prophet Isaiah is evident here in Tagaytay:
And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, while their hearts are far from Me, and their fear of Me is a commandment taught by men,”29:13
As if the onslaught of what He is revealing to us about the people we are called to minister to was not enough, He strengthens our faith and dependence on Him. The tent-making, the financial source He has used this one year and a half has been diminished drastically.
Only a few in California have received and shared the vision of teaching the Word of God here in the Philippines, we continue to hope and receive support from the churches. That they may, we may, all partake and lay up treasures in heaven and be part of HIS work.
God knows every fiber of our being, as husband and wife, and individually, He is faithful to bring us back to His word, which is life. The Lord God Almighty spoke and reminds in His Word, I always need reminding:
“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the One who enlisted him.” 2Timothy 2:3-4
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” 2Corinthians 4:8-10
Jesus Christ is the Hope of Glory. Despite all that we have seen and heard, the seeming indifference towards the Word of God, He promises in Isaiah 29:14 the continuation of the earlier verse:
“Therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.”
He will finish what He started, we get to be a part of that work.
What we get to do daily is to present ourselves to the Lord, as “a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is our spiritual worship,” to entrust the day, all 86,400 seconds…our hearts, soul and minds to Him. Not to be tossed to and fro by the stormy waves of the sea, but to look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.”
More on the fortnight.