“For it is by grace you have been saved through faith;
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God;
not as a result of works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
I pray you had a great week “in” Christ. “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that *in* Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21). This is an amazing verse when you take a moment to reflect on it. The more we die to ourselves and Christ lives in us, the greater our understanding of who we have become – “the righteousness of God”……. Profound!
On Wednesday, my wife Jane and I returned from visiting with our son Mark and his family in Guadalajara, Mexico. Mark is involved with his church down there and for the past few years actually delivers the message in Spanish. We also traveled to a town in the mountains called Tapalpa where Mark would be marrying a young couple from his church. Tapalpa is a beautiful little town with amazing Spanish architecture. The focal point of the town is the Church of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe as seen by the photo on the left.
As most of you know, the main religion of Mexico is Catholic, over 75%. While in Tapalpa, I had a couple opportunities to share the gospel. While having dinner with my family, I asked our waiter, Luis, if he had a relationship with God (my son Mark was my translator). He answered yes. I then asked him what god is that? Luis answered: Jesucristo. So far so good. I then asked him if he understood the meaning of the Gospel. That is where is said, no (a very common answer with Catholics). I then handed him the Bible tract shown above and Mark had a brief discussion with him. Luis seemed very grateful that we spent this time with him. Please pray for Luis……
I would also ask you to pray for Edgar (Edgardo). He was another young man that worked in his dad’s store where I purchased some wood so we could make Smores for our granddaughters. Edgar spoke pretty good English so we had a great conversation. He answered that same as Luis and I got to have a more detailed conversation. Edgar was very interested and grateful to receive the tract (you can see the English version of the tract on the left). I gave him my phone number and email address and asked him to pray about the verses in the tract and to contact me if he wanted to know more. Most all Catholics believe they are going to heaven if they do what the church tells them (works). But Eph 2:8-9 says something entirely different.
The last sentence in the Spanish version of the tract reads: Arrepientete de tus pecados, acepta el sacrificio de Jesus, y el regalo de su gracia, y confiesa qu El solo estu redentor Translation: Repent of your sins, accept Jesus’ sacrifice, and the gift of his grace, and confess that He alone is redeemer.
The best part of our time in Mexico was of course spending time with Mark and Zaira and our granddaughters, Joanna and Olivia and our (4) month old identical twin grandsons, Andrew and Daniel. Below are Olivia and Joanna in Tapalpa waiting impatiently 😊 for the fire to burn down for Smores and the whole gang in Guadalajara.
Humbled by His Grace: Unmerited and Undeserved
SOUTHWEST MEN’S RETREAT • Oct 1-3
Please pray for the Southwest Men’s Retreat, it starts tonight
at the Bison Ranch Retreat Center in Overgaard, Arizona
Pray for the men that will be attending and for safe travels.
Also pray for the speakers: Jerry Bangert – Winston Parker – Justin Bradford – Kevin Devine
Zion Boot Camp December 3-5, 2021
Click Here to: Register
Men, regardless of the results, are you “Redeeming the Time?”
Redeeming the Time – Day 275 Red Book
The purpose of these devotionals is to help you think Biblically
Six Reasons Why God May Not Listen to Our Prayers
This is an excellent article I encourage you to read. The author’s first point should get everyone’s attention:
The reason God may not listen to our prayers is because, We Aren’t Christians
………One of the scariest truths found in the Bible is that many people think they have saving faith in Jesus Christ but actually don’t. Jesus warned about fake believers in Matthew 7:21: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven.” People like this may have grown up in church, know all the right answers to theological questions, be the first to arrive at church on Sunday, and act like Christians outwardly. But they remain unbelievers, and thus God has no obligation to listen to their prayers……….
If we are serious about fulfilling the command to “go make disciples of all nations,” we will be wise to understand and utilize the principles Jesus employed in discipling the Twelve. (Here are some thoughts from Dwight Hill):
#1 SELECTION: Men were his method: “When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles.” (Lk. 6:13) (See Matt. 4:21; 9:9; Mk. 3:13-19; Jn. 1:43-51)
Question : Am I selecting out a few people to disciple who are eager to grow into Christlikeness? (2 Tim. 2:2)
#2 ASSOCIATION: Christ stayed with them: “…Surely I am with you always, to the end of the age.”(Matt. 28:20) (See Matt. 19:1-20; Mk. 7:24, 31; 8:10; Lk. 22:41; Jn. 11:54)
Question : Am I committed to staying with a few until they reach a reasonable level of maturity? (Act. 20:31)
#3 CONSECRATION: He required obedience: “Take my yoke upon you…” (Matt. 11:29a)(See Lk. 14:26-33)
Question : Am I expecting my disciples to live in radical obedience to the Scriptures? (Jn. 8:31-32; 1 Jn. 2:3-6)
#4 DEMONSTRATION: He showed them how to live: “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (Jn. 13:15) (See 1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1; Phil. 3:17; 4:9; 1 Thes. 1:6; 2 Thes. 3:7, 9; 2 Tim. 3:10,11)
Question : Am I modeling the life of Christ before my aspiring disciples? (Prov. 23:26; Heb. 13:7; 1 Pet. 5:3)
#5 DELEGATION: He assigned them work: “Come, follow me, ‘Jesus said,’ and I will make you fishers of men.’” (Matt. 4:19) (See Matt. 9:34-38; Lk. 10: 1,2; Jn. 4:34-38; Eph. 4:11-16)
Question : Am I training my disciples by giving them ministry responsibilities? (Jn. 4:2; Mk. 6:7; Lk. 9:1,2)
#6 SUPERVISION: He kept check on them: “Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: ‘Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened?” (Mk. 8:17)
Question: Am I requiring accountability of my disciples? (Mk. 6:30; 9:38; Lk. 9:10)
#7 REPRODUCTION: He expected them to reproduce: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” (Jn. 15:16) (See Psa. 92:12-14; Isa. 61:3; Matt. 5:16; 2 Cor. 9:10-15; Phil. 1-11)
Question : Am I expecting my disciples to reproduce their lives, or am I settling for a flurry of activity?(Jn.15:8)
#8 IMPARTATION: He gave himself away: “…Everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (Jn. 15:15b) (See Jer. 23: 1-40; Psa. 1:1-6; Prov. 11:30; Isa. 3:10; Matt. 3:8; 7:15-23; Heb. 13:15)
Question : Am I sharing my life with my disciples? (Jn. 15:13; Phil 2:25-30; 1 Thes. 2:8; 1 Jn. 3:16-18)
“Many Aspire, Few Attain” DiscipleshipLibrary.com/G208.mp3
Men: I have sent this out in the past. I would encourage you to listen or re-listen to this timeless message from Walt Henrichsen. I have attached the notes from this audio message.
Movies to see in November
Nov 3rd: C.S. Lewis “The Most Reluctant Convert” www.CSLewisMovie.com
Nov 8-10: Sabina www.SabinaMovie.com/
An encouraging note that Winston Parker sent to his family several years back…………
Seems like most of us in our family are living with some life uncertainties that can be downers if we let them. The prophet, Jeremiah had a life of challenges and not a lot of temporal victories. He wrote the book of Lamentations which reveals his moments of distress and his solution of shifting his thoughts/hope from his circumstances to God Almighty. May we do the same.
19 Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness.
20 Surely my soul remembers
And is bowed down within me.
Note: Jeremiah was mentally down to say the least.
21 This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
Note: Jeremiah mentally moved from despair to hope by changing the focus of his thinking. So can we.
22 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Thy faithfulness.
Note: The Lord is in control and is good so we have hope.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
26 It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the Lord.
Chin up! Jesus is coming!
This quote by Spurgeon should give us all pause. For those that saw the movie, The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith & Persecution, you may remember the opening salvo: “90% born in the church, raised in the church, saved in the church, married and buried in the church, will NEVER share Jesus with another person”. Based on the quote below, where does that place you?