Sunday, October 25, 2009

Good day...bit of a sad ending

I had an opportunity to preach at the fellowship we are learning from. The pastor is out of the country. Then this afternoon we began a study of the book Pilgrim's Progress with the college age students. Actually we just talked about the forward. It was all about the things that John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim's Progress, went through during his life. That led us into the topic of persecution and suffering in the Bible. We don't hear many sermons on it, but it is definitely in the Bible. One of the major things we talked about was how many people in our world die everyday. We stressed the eternity of suffering they will go through. With this in mind, we want to live our lives and maximize our time in a way that best glorifies God. After everyone had left, one of the girls came back and said that her dad, who was a Muslim, died when she was three. She asked, "What will happen to him....Is he in Hell?" It wasn't so hard for me to tell her the truth from the Word of God, but it made me sad. I thought, "She lost her dad when she was three. She has now believed in Jesus as her Savior. She'll never see her dad again." This is exactly the reason we preach the Gospel. So many people around the world have never been confronted with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They've never even been made to think about whether or not what they believe is true. I hope that it will be a reminder to this young girl to share Christ with her family and friends. I know it was for me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Interesting Opportunity

Yesterday a university student came to the church that we are learning from. I invited him in. He explained that his friend's history professor in a city many hours from here had heard that there was a church in this city. The professor gave the student the assignment of finding out about this church. So the guy that I was talking with was helping his friend. He asked me about the history of the church. I told him. It was kind of anti-climatic for him, because the church doesn't have ancient history. Then the Holy Spirit brought a thought to my mind. So I told this young man that the book of Galatians was written to churches in the very region we are living in now. He was a little excited. I showed him the book of Galatians and he asked if he could have a copy of it. I copied the book of Galatians for him. Then he asked who Paul was. I explained that Paul was a really religious Jew who persecuted those that followed Jesus...and then I told him about Paul's conversion and how Paul went all throughout Turkey spreading the Gospel. I pray that the book of Galatians gets back to the history professor. Galatians, how ironic. The book that tells us that we cannot be saved by keeping the law. I also pray that whoever is doing this study will see the validity of the Bible.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Expecting Great Things

When things are going good do you stop and say "Oh something bad is bound to happen." Unfortunately I do. Maybe it is a lack of faith. It is like I'm waiting for the hammer to fall. Anyone that knows me knows I'm an eternal optimist. It is not necessarily that I'm thinking that something bad is going to happen. It is like I'm thinking this is too good to be true. Things have been going well since we moved to our new city. We are busy doing what we feel God wants us to do. God is blessing and sometimes I begin to think alright when are the hard times coming. As I thought a little more about it I just realized that it is just my thinking that is messed up. Who says God is not blessing in the hard times? Who says God is not blessing when things are as we say 'a little slow'? John Bunyan, the author of Pilrim's Progress, was imprisoned for 12 years. During that same time, many of his own congregation were imprisoned with him. He had the opportunity to continue teaching them while in prison. I think we all would say that prison would at the very least be a down-time in our service to God. That is not at all how reality was. It is our perspective that changes everything. "Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths." Psalms 25:4

Thursday, October 1, 2009

What are you doing for your generation

Last night we had a prayer meeting. One of the men who joined us was not a believer but it appears the Spirit is working in his life. My text was Psalm 78. This is a text that God put on my heart when I went to the 'Our Generation Summit' in 2004. There is a new Turkish film that tells the story of the men who built the first Turkish car. They had only 4 months to do so. They didn't have a factory or even the new technology of that day. They built this car and even today's generation knows this story. I thought about this and how these men worked so hard to finish the job they had to do. They did all this for something that will not matter in eternity. In Psalm 78 the writer tells the people to tell of God's wondrous works so that the generation to come might not be as the previous generation. The first generation that left Egypt was a faithless generation(Hebrews 3:10). The generation that Joshua led into Canaan was a fighting generation. Though not totally obedient they trusted God and drove out the inhabitants of Canaan. The crazy thing is that in Judges 2:10 you find that the next generation was a generation that forgot God. How can this be? There fathers saw God do so many great things. Do you want the generation of the future to set their hope in God? They need to hear of the wonderful works of our great God. That also means that we need God working in our lives so that we have something to tell future generations.