Making Disciples of Christ in Ecuador


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Not Seeking a Gift, But Fruit

 

 

We left the house of our friends and she said to us “Que el Señor les dé sabiduría para que me sigan enseñando.” “May the Lord give you wisdom so you can keep teaching me.” We have been going over to a Spanish-speaking couple’s house about once a week or so and teaching them through the Bible. As we were leaving their house she said that to us but it’s been in my mind every since she said it.

 Maybe I’m just over thinking it but the statement makes me think of all kinds of things. Most people would just simply pray to the Lord and ask Him to give them wisdom so they could understand the Bible. But for some reason, she wanted us to be involved in that process. A lot of times we just want things to go directly to us and we don’t think about how it may be better if it first goes through someone else. The thought that she wants us involved in her learning process is humbling.

She wasn’t expecting to do it all alone; she had it in her mind that we, as in all 4 of us, were part of this process. God would give us wisdom and then we would teach. And the end result is that all of us have grown together, albeit in different ways. Rather than a simple I need, she knew it was a we need. The idea of community struck me. So many times we just want to get it ourselves and then come show the world what we, as an individual, have gained. The Biblical idea is that of community. Biblical Christianity involves a church with all different gifts and roles manifesting, not just a lone ranger roaming the wild west.

Then inevitably, as it often does, my mind went to Ecuador. And being that we are in the stage of preparing and waiting for God to provide this verse came to mind.

Philippians 4:17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.

That fruit may abound to your account. Paul wasn’t merely asking for a hand out. He knew there was a dynamic in giving that benefits all of the church. The cheerful giver is loved and blessed by God and the receiver is blessed in that their needs are met.

I’ll be honest and say that I constantly pray that God would provide for us to go to Ecuador. And at times thoughts and deep longings swirl within me to the point that my whole being cries out to God. What can we do? How can we go sooner rather than later?

For some reason one thought that never came to mind, until now, is pray that God would bless the people around us so that they may be free to give. It makes sense because several of you have mentioned that you would like to help in this way but you’re not sure you can financially. I’ve been guilty of praying for God to provide for Karen and I, but not always thinking of this whole dynamic of giving and fruit being on your account. Forgive me. Sometimes I’d think that a check falling out of the sky would be great, but that wasn’t what Paul wanted. He wanted the check from them so that fruit would be on their account. It’s not about just me or just you. It’s about Christ and his body- us with Him, in one, that they may believe in Him.

John 17:21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

The difficult thing (for me at least) about the stage we are in is that I can’t just go and do it myself. We need the body of Christ to be one with us in purpose and desire so we can help disciple the young and growing church in the Loja region. Even though it may seem difficult for me, isn’t it a glorious thing that God’s people join together both sending and going, giving and receiving, and both sacrificing for His kingdom so that He may be known and believed upon?

May the Lord bless you so that you keep or begin supporting missions.

 

Last modified onSunday, 14 December 2014 00:53

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