Fortify Palawan…and beyond!

Draw your water for the siege!

Fortify your strongholds!

Go into the clay and tread the mortar!

Make strong the brick kiln!

Nahum 3:14

A message for God’s workers regardless of the position, from pastors, teachers, deacons, administration, missionaries, musicians, etcetera…this evening as Rod led the 2020 Fortify – Narra, Palawan team in a time of prayer, the Holy Spirit brought me to this verse. My initial thought was that I would speak this singular verse to the team. But I could not muster myself, to get up, and by the time I did, it was too late, P Rod had begun the last minute reminders for the team for the next two days, had I missed my moment?02/25/2020

Yet the Lord allowed this verse to stay with, He wanted me to consider the truth encapsulated in this word in scripture. At first, the word ‘fortify’ stood out as it is the theme of Cross Culture’s missions ministry. I searched and found the word six times (NKJV). In a way, it reminded me of the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25.

Though this part in Nahum was a warning for the Assyrians in Nineveh to ‘prepare’ for the siege expected from the Lord, it may very well be a warning likewise for the body of Jesus Christ, His church against the apostasy that was, is, is to come.

Breaking it down, thus the Lord’s revelation to me:

The siege is the Field God’s workers scatter seeds on; plow in; and reap from. It is a picture of the battle the missionary faces, which is all part of the ‘job description.’ Paul gives Timothy the reminder that he is like a soldier, enlisted by the Lord, there are dangers from without and within the church. Hosea 10:12 spoke of fallow ground as does Christ when He gave us the parable of the sower of the four kinds of soil.

The water we get to draw from is that which is given by the Holy Spirit… ‘out of him will flow rivers of Living Water’ (John 4:14; 7:37,38) The battle begins by drawing water, so we are not weakened/dehydrated/thirsty spiritually, we are called to ask Him to fill us with His water to allow us to stand fast against the onslaught perpetrated by the enemy (Ephesians 6:13-20). Therefore, be filled with His Word, being in prayer in the Word.

Fortify strongholds…the church…the body of Christ…in the ESV, strengthen your forts…the congregation, the assembly of believers. The call is to not neglect coming together so that we get to build each other up in the Word in word and in deed.

The Bible is full of warnings/reminders against apostasy, Paul spoke of it, Jude was passionate warning the church of certain men who creep in; the old testament reminded the nation of Israel through Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Elijah, and the prophets…don’t go far from the Lord!

Go into the clay…(the people that make up the church, teach the Word wholly) strengthen it, tread…clay needs to be molded according to the Potter, mortar is “a mixture of lime with cement, sand, and water, used in building to bond bricks or stones.”

Jeremiah 18:6; Isaiah 64:8, spoke of the clay being in the Potters hand; then in the NT, Paul reminds us that we are God’s workmanship created unto good works…Ephesians 2:10…which is why his call to us in Romans 12:1,2 being able to present ourselves, a living sacrifice, not because of us but because of Him Who called us.

Make strong… as we go through the siege, the Lord Jesus tells us that in this world, we will have tribulation…but we are to strengthen one another because He has overcome the world… we are to encourage one another…1Thess 5:11; Hebrews 12:12; 1Peter 5:10; Revelation 3:2 we are called to fortify each other and ourselves…in the Word, in prayer asking as we ought…2 Timothy 3:16,17

The picture we have is that of man who is made of clay is strengthened by the three-fold elements of water, straw, and baking through heat under the sun.

This is the church of Jesus Christ being built up, Peter uses an Old Testament reference of being living stones; the other is that the Lord is molding us to the image of His Son (Jeremiah 18:4; Romans 8:29, 9:21)that is done by those three elements mentioned in this last paragraph…a picture of the Triune Godhead working on a vessel honoring God, God’s masterpiece(Poiema)… are you surrendered?

Is the Potter having His way in you?

Are you being…?

The Parable of the Sower

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.
After-the-clean-up-with-brother-Rudy
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.”
Isaiah 6:9-10

“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.
Theology
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.

Greeted by Grace like Rain – Part 1

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 1:6

8/6/12

In the hustle and bustle of that rainy day, as I waited for my brother to pick me up, I was given the opportunity to bless such souls as these and others who came and went as their duty called on them. In the betweens of phone/ intercom / radio calls from tenants/ guests and their ins and outs to go here and there or check in and out of the condo-tel, I preached His Gospel.

At the end of 2.5 hours of interchange and solid presentation of man’s depravity and the difference between Law and Grace, the 10 commandments and the finished work of Jesus on the Cross, four souls made the commitment to surrender their lives and have Jesus save and rule them.

Praise the Lord. I took a picture of them and you saw it previously.

Ronnie, Ronald, Marvin and Margie. The girl in stripes is Erna and she just missed the confession part because she was called in and out during the hours involved. I had asked Marvin to harvest the soul for Jesus. The other little guy is Garen and he is 19 and claims he is born again. They were so eager to hear God’s Word, they all so listened intently and asked questions especially the tall dark guy, his name is Ronald, the front desk super.

There are some not in the picture…and have heard bits and pieces of the lesson….just prayed for those who got saved to witness to them and share their new faith…

Nenita

Continue to pray for the Philippines, that I may be given the continued boldness and opportunity to share the wondrous news that is the Gospel, that Jesus loves each one and He reigns forever and ever.

May is here

Time goes by so quickly…so many souls, so little time.

How many have you led to Jesus Christ in the last week, or since the last time you visited us?

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
Romans 1:16

The Gospel

The Reason

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:16-18

The Promise

“…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction…for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
Romans 10:9-13

The Response

“Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:3

“…Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.
John 3:5-8

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
Romans 1:16