Making Disciples of Christ in Ecuador

God's Building

 

If you have ever done much evangelism, one thing that you quickly realize is that you can't just flip a switch to make someone believe.  I've looked at several different evangelism methods and as great as many of them are, none of them can make someone believe the Gospel.  Some are better than others but still the conclusion we come to is "salvation is of the Lord."  If it wasn't for the Lord opening our eyes we would have no chance of seeing His glorious kingdom.   

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10 Years Old

 

A lot happens in 10 years.  One of the first things you think of the first time you say "about 10 years ago.." is that you are getting older.  It seems it wasn't that long ago that if I said "10 years ago.." I would have had to end it with "… I don't remember or I wasn't even born."  Now I look back and I can think of lots of things that happened 10 years ago and beyond.  10 year reunions have come and gone and now I'm reflecting on a 10 year birth day celebration.   

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Welcome to the world Aletheia Grace!

 

AletheiaGrace

 


We are excited to announce the birth of our first child, Aletheia Grace!  She was born on 6/15 (she was my day-early father's day present) and weighed 7 lbs. 6oz and was 22 inches long.  It's been an amazing journey so far.  It's astounding how the woman's body changes so much from conception to after the birth.  The human body truly is created in such a wonderful way!  Not only the fact that the woman's body changes but that another person is being formed inside.  Then he/she  comes out and yet there are still changes in the woman's body!

The story of how we decided on her name goes back several years, even before Karen and I had met.  I was studying Greek several years ago and as I learned more vocabulary words I ran across the word: ἀλήθεια or transliterated into English aletheia.  The word means truth.  As I ran across that word for the first time, I thought that it would be a great name for a girl.  And so here we are.  And grace just seems so inseparable from the truth that the two just go together.  

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Great Commission (Part 4)

 

As you all can see, we’ve changed the website from just being a place where I (Josh) can share some thoughts to our family website sharing what God is doing in our lives and how he is leading us.  I hope that it will be helpful for you to get an idea of where we feel God is leading us.


Moving on in our series about the great commission I want to talk about the writings of Luke for a moment.  The writings of Luke give us an historical backbone for most of the New Testament.  In his gospel we have the life and story of Jesus Christ and in the Acts we have the story of the early church with an emphasis on the ministry of Paul.  It’s also unique when looking at the great commission because he gives us two accounts of it.  

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Great Commission (Part 3)

 

 

 

Sorry for the long break in writing. There are lots of things going on "in the background" right now. Karen is about 5 months pregnant and we are taking steps toward going to Latin America as missionaries. More details to come on that later.

The last couple installments of this series dealt with Matthew's version of the Great Commission (GC). We are going to move on into what Mark says about it. Again, I want to say that each Gospel has it's own emphasis on the GC so to get a full spectrum of what Jesus has commanded us, we need to look at each one.

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The One Who Is Near

God is faithful He is good

Regardless if we praise Him as we should

He sees beyond the fog or withdraw

And has no desire that we should fall

Falling deeply falling freely

This we do not do for He stands by us meekly

Strong and tall with all power

An insurmountable tower

Yet us He chooses not to devour

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On The Brink of War

 

 

 

We are going to take a break from our great commission series for something I wanted to share.  This morning I was reading through Joshua 22.  You may know the story.  If you don't here is a summary but if you can, read the chapter.  Things were settling down for Israel after conquering the promise land.  Joshua blesses the tribes of Ruben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh and they go to the land that was given to them.  After arriving they decide to made a huge altar.  The other tribes hear of it, get angry, and the leaders of the other tribes get together and confront them about the issue.  The leaders come to them with all kinds of accusations.  They tell them about how they are departing from the Lord and remind them of how God judged Israel because of Achan's sin.  They demand their repentance or war will break out.  The tribes of Ruben, Gad, and Manasseh tell them it has nothing to do with departing from the Lord or worshiping contrary to the law.  They are afraid that the other tribes will cut them off and not allow them to worship in the place God commanded.  They had made the altar as a reminder to everyone of what God had commanded hoping that everyone would remember.

That is the story.  What should we make of it?  I had several thoughts this morning as I mediated on it.  I began to think about relationships.  The main thought I had was relationships in the church but you could also apply these things to families or other situations.

Here are some of my thoughts:

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Great Commission (Part 2)

 

 

 

Continuing on with the series I think we will stay with the passage in Matthew 28 for a moment before we go on to Mark.

Discipleship is something that seems to be lost in today's Christianity.  For the most part, many are satisfied with having a person come to an altar, pray a prayer, or attend a church.  This isn't the great commission at all.  It's much easier to encourage someone to come to church or have them fill out a card.  It doesn't take much time and it also doesn't impede too much on our lives.

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Great Commission (Part 1)

 

 

 

The great commission is a topic that is surely well known to all evangelicals.  It's been a cry throughout the ages since Christ walked this earth.  What I'd like to do over the next few posts is do a series on it.  We are going to look at all 4 gospels and point out the different emphases each one carries.  We will start out with Matthew.  I'll try to point out a few things that aren't emphasized much.  It will come together when the series is finished.

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Don't Trespass

 

 

Matthew 9:37–38

Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."

The other day I read something relating to this verse and I started thinking about it in a different light.  In the past I had the vision of someone who works a lot in a field and then seeing there is so much to do, he feels overwhelmed and asks for more help.  I think there is probably some truth to that but it's not what I thought of the other day.  There is a sense in that there is lots of work to do and there is always a need for more laborers.  Thinking in the context of missions, there is a seemingly unending number of people who need the Gospel.

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