Grow up!

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             Grow up!

How many times did you hear this during your childhood and for some of us even after we had whiskers and a drivers licence and thought we were quite capable of doing about anything we set our minds to. We would  try some crazy project with very little planning or fore-thought. It would end in a great disaster and we would be embarrassed for a while, then we would get some new revelation and be off on another project with great enthusiasm and very little thought of the risk involved, nor of the pending pain we and others would likely suffer. Growing up is a slow painful process that most would prefer to avoid if possible, in fact today we have a generation that prefers to avoid it as long as possible. The normal suffering that one must endure isn’t really all that bad but when there is a refusal to suffer instruction, the suffering will be multiplied greatly.

Suffering for the right reasons will always bring a good result but suffering for our wrong doing can bring a lot of unnecessary pain and heart ache. It would behoove us to to accept the facts and not ignore the obvious any longer. 

Today the Church of our Lord Jesus is suffering in some parts of the world for the right reasons and is bringing spiritual growth  and rich blessing to all the faithful. As stated by our Lord Jesus; “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Ma.5:10
 However, in many nations of the world the Church of our Lord is suffering because of it’s love of the world and love for the things of the world, and our Father is doing as He promised, ” to chasten the Son whom He loves.” The Church also is suffering because of an unhealthy desire to grow in numbers and a disregard for her need to grow in the Spirit and the love of God.   It is time for the Church to grow up.

We need not be discouraged or dismayed: For “

  It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” La.3:22

We need to take courage, the purpose of God will not fail, God sent His only begotten Son into the world with the plan of bringing many Sons into glory. We are informed: “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”  Heb 2:10  Jesus did not suffer in vain and in the same way that He was made perfect in suffering our Heavenly Father is perfecting the body of Christ today. If only we could understand how great it will be when we come into maturity we would be more than willing to suffer any thing that comes our way.  ” For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Ro.8: 18  

Sometimes when children are growing fast they will suffer growing pains. Likewise those who have received the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting the redemption of our body. see Ro.8:23 That’s not all
Saints but the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. Waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God. read Ro.8: 19-22  
Now is the time  for the faithful shepherd boys to collect their small stones, take their slings and bring down the giants in the land, who are intimidating the Lord’s mighty army. It is time to grow up and be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  Where are they? Who among us will come and fight in the Lords army? Today we need those who have counted the cost, those who know who they want to serve and are not ready to turn back until we take the inheritance  that belongs to the Captain of our salvation. Beloved lets be men in whom our Father would be pleased to call Sons of God.

The Chosen People!

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The Chosen People!

Most of us are quite aware that the Church (Iglesia) are those who are called out of the world and called to participate as members of the body of Christ. They also are referred to as the Elect or the Chosen People of God. They have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. According as He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Ep 1: 3,4

We were not called for any merit of our own. In fact we were all guilty of sin, for there is none righteous, no not one; ” for if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life”. Ro. 5:10 We are also called the children of promise or the children of Abraham. For this very purpose Jesus was crucified; The scripture says; ” Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is everyone that is hangeth on a tree; that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Gal.3: 13,4

The wonderful promise that was given to Abraham also included us. ” Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Gen.12: 1-4

This aspect of the promise was soon forgotten by the Jewish people. They remembered with great pride that God had promised to make them a great nation and that He would bless them. They took pride in being the chosen people. But they failed to remember that God had called them to be a blessing unto all the families of the earth. They missed it all together. They thought it was more important for them to be blessed than it was for them to be a blessing unto all the Gentiles.

They also took pride in that God has chosen them to receive the “law of Moses”. They failed to realize that they would never be able to keep such a holy law. The reason being they could not see the depravity of their own souls.
They trusted they could keep the law. Even after failing to do so after many years, they continued insisting for others to keep a law that they themselves had never been able to keep.

The law was a tremendous blessing that our Heavenly Father had in trusted unto them. Unfortunately their faith became misguided. They trusted in the works of the law but failed to believe the promises of God. They developed a religious sect and believed they were the only ones that had understanding of God. They became a people without compassion; zealous for a law that they had misunderstood but insisted they had great revelation. For example the fourth commandment which is the keeping of the Sabbath. This became of the up-most importance to them. It’s amazing that they could be so zealous for a law that they could never keep nor did they ever understand. The law was given as a type or a for-shadow of something better to come. (see Heb.10:1) Our Lord God was not content just to give us one day to rest, nor a week but eternity. Christ Jesus calls us to rest in Him for ever. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.” Ma.10:28- – 11:12

Their hearts were so hard that when the Prince of Peace the author of the law walked among them they did not know Him and condemned Him for healing the sick on the Sabbath. Paul wrote about the Jewish people and aske the question; ” What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is their of circumcision? Ro.3:1 He said much every way. Then in verse nine he said: ” What then? are we (the Jews) better than they (the Gentiles)? No in no wise; for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin. As Jews they had great advantage but they were no better than anybody. The would say we alone have the law but they weren’t true to the law. Right doctrine will not trump right living. There should be no difference in the claim and the conduct. (see Ez.36:20) Those who claim knowledge of scriptures and fail to walk in the light of the same are defaming the Lord God. Being a Jew did not give immunity. Those who don’t have great teaching but walk in obedience and love will put to shame those who boast in their knowledge of the word. It’s not good to take pride in what we know and not regard the righteousness of God.

No one bat’s a 1000, if your batting average is 295, we consider that good but that is a long way from a 1000. Jesus said be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. Obviously we all fall short of the glory of God, Jews, Gentiles, even Baptist, Pentecostals, simply all.

The Jews were in trusted with the Torah and were given great and precious promises, they failed to keep the law but even worse they failed to believe the wonderful promises of God. The law was given to them as a school master to bring them to faith in Christ. Gal.3:19-29They missed the purpose of the law even with Jesus the Son of God coming into their presence with signs and wonders.

Jesus has in trusted the Church with the gospel and commissioned us to take the gospel unto all nations. It appears our batting average isn’t very impressive. We have received the blessing of the gospel and take much pride in having received it. We also boast much of the vast resource of teaching among us. We quickly point out the hypocrocy of the Jews but cannot see or own. We preach that we are justified by faith (rightly so) and speak much about it’s importance but are we truly demonstrating this faith in our daily living? With our knowledge of the word we can justify our lack of faith or just about any other wrong doing. Nevertheless we all know without faith we cannot please God.

I might ask is their any advantage in being a Christian? Of course in every way. Are we who profess to be Christians any better than anyone else? In no way! If we claim to believe the promise of God but fail to take this good news, that has been given to our charge, unto the nations. We are no different than the religious sect called the Jews.
We cannot claim to be saved by grace unless we see our own depravity of soul and truly realize that in me dwell es no good thing. Ro.7:18 Grace is given to the weak not the strong. In order to walk in the salvation of God it is parmount to understand that without Christ we are all vile sinners.

It’s not a matter of the law verses faith but the works of the law verses the works of faith. The Jews were boasting in their ethnic pride, if anyone is fellowshipping where they boast in their own group, flee for they have lost their way.
Beloved let us rest in God’s faithfulness to keep His promise.

When Jesus comes will He find many faithful people on the earth?

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When the Son of Man cometh shall he find faith on the earth? Lu.18: 8
That is a very interesting question. Up to now, Adams race hasn’t demonstrated much sucsess in trusting God. Throughout the generations there has been a remnant but at times almost non-exsistant, like in the days of Noah. Jesus in fact did say: “ But as in the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” That is a good indicater that there will not be many believers when the Lord comes.

Lets look at what is written in Is. 24: 1-6

“ Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word. The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.
The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have
transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are
desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.”

If there be few men left, it is obvious that there won’t be many men of faith. This
prophecy also reveals why; because they have transgressed the laws, changed
the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. They transgressed the law. God
gave the law of Moses unto man, fourhundred and thirty years after his promise
to Abraham; because they had failed to believe His promise and were exceedingly
sinful. For this purpose God gave the commandment. “ That sin by the
commandment might become exceedingly sinful.” Ro. 7: 13 Sin is very
deceptive, the commandment helped to expose sin for what it is, because once
you do not keep the commandment, you find it difficult to deny your sin. The
root problem from the beginning has been unbelief. When Moses gave the
children of Israel the commandments they said; “All that the Lord hath spoken
we will do.” Ex.19:8 History declares that they were not capable of keeping the
Fathers commandments and that whole generation of people died in the
wilderness in unbelief. Heb 4: 18, 19 We can make all kind of excuses for sin but
the underlying problem is unbelief. Without faith it is impossible to do the will
of God, faith is the victory that overcomes the world, nevertheless many still
want someone to tell them what they can or cannot do.

Todays believers profess to believe in the New Covenant however, it seems that
many have not understood the difference in the old and the new. They are still
performance oriented and not faith oriented. They find themselves always trying
to pull themselves up by their boot- straps and feeling like failures because they
are often falling back into the same sin. This will continue as long as you think
you can do the will of God and that you can be a good Christian. There is only
one good Christian and that is Jesus and He is the only one who can live the
Christian life. His life will never be manifested in you until you are fully
persuaded, that He is able to do all that He promised, not being persuaded of
what is possible for you to do.

The old covenant was based on God’s commandments and man was expected to
keep them. The new covenant was based on God’s promises and man is expected
to believe them. Man could never keep the commandments but God can keep His
promises. When we actually believe what He says things happen.

Lets meditate a little on what he has promised.
“And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed,
to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou
mayest live.” Dt.30: 6 He is promising that we and our children, will love Him.

For they shall be my people, and I will be their God:
And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me forever, for the
good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an everlasting
covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will
put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Yea, I will rejoice over
them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole
heart and with my whole soul. For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all
this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have
promised them.” Jer. 32: 38-42

“I will be their God.” That is a promise, if He is my God He will be in control.
Another great promise is; “That they may fear Him forever.” Some times men try to
teach the fear of God. The only way we can fear Him is by believing Him.

Those who truly believe Him will not depart from Him. The only way we can break the
everlasting covenant is by not believing the promise of God. Notice He promised with
His whole heart and soul, this reveals His keen desire for us to trust Him.

The children of Israel had a very good pastor with a large congegation, they had seen
God’s love demonstrated when God delivered them from Egypt. They had seen
many miracles along the way nevertheless they did not enter into (rest) the promised
land but wandered in the wilderness until they perished in unbelief. Today we have a
very similar scenario, many of the professing Christians have a good pastor, they have
seen miracles and the love of God demonstrated yet fail to enter into rest. In Heb.4: 9
It says,“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” Where is this rest and
how do you find it? Look for the cross, for your rest is just beyond it. Surrender
yourself in faith to the cross and the Lord will lay you down to rest. Then we can live
with great expectation of the resurrected Jesus living out His life in us. He is the
author and the finisher of our faith.

What do you believe, will Jesus Christ find faith on the earth when He comes?
More important have you entered into His rest by faith? Are you ready for His soon
return?

LOOKING UNTO JESUS!

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While in Mexico City, I was visiting with a sincere Christian gentleman and he asked me a question that many would like to ask but don’t. Do you think you can live without sinning? I attempted to answer him but I don’t believe he really understood my answer; therefore I have been giving it some thought and I believe the Lord has shown me now how to make it easier to understand. I will be writing him soon.

The problem is, we all have the ability to sin ever so easily. If you say, I believe I can live without sinning, it appears that you are in denial of this problem. The problem seems insurmountable – after all everybody sins, right? Not quite. Praise God there is one who did not ever sin; He manged to live holy and righteous all of His life even though he was made in the likeness of sinful flesh (Ro.8:3), and was weak and could do nothing of himself. (John 5:19) Some would say, ‘But that was Jesus.’ That’s absolutely right and guess who now is living in me? Many have endeavored to allow Jesus to take control of their lives, and have denied themselves of the privilege of living after the lusts of the flesh, and were quite faithful even unto death. In the book of Hebrews, chapter eleven, many are recorded as being faithful. Then chapter twelve starts out saying;

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”

The faithful have left us testimony of God’s grace. It is a fact that sin does easily beset us, but it doesn’t easily beset Jesus. There is grace to lay sin aside or He would not expect it of us. We are told to run with patience the race that is set before us. Even if we have failed many times, we need to trust Jesus to teach us and lead us into absolute victory. Patience is the fruit of love; if we love Jesus we will wait upon Him to give us grace to run this race and to finish strong.

In Heb11:6 we are told:

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Sometimes our faith wavers; instead of acknowledging our lack of faith, we insist that we believe and continue in unbelief. Our sin does often beset us and we don’t understand why. Sometimes up, and sometimes down; this is not the life that we have been promised. The victorious life is there for those who believe the promise.

Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. (1 John 5:3) This faith seems to be so mysterious at times; it comes and it goes; why? Faith always remains the same – we are the ones coming and going. The same way we found it the first time is the way we shall find it again, in Jesus. That’s why we are told to keep:

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Heb.12: 2,3

If we believe that ‘He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him’, then He will increase our faith because we are doing what pleases Him. If we are not pleasing Him, there is no way we can walk in faith, for He is the author and the finisher of our faith. When we fail to look unto Jesus, we are forsaking the fountain of life that flows by His faith working in us. Jesus, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross. If you have tasted the sweet life of victory, then surly you hunger and thirst for a life that ever pleases the Father; that life is waiting for all those who are willing to take up their cross and bear the shame. Then come to the throne and sit down with Jesus in His presence. The faith of Christ will enable us to rest and wait for all our enemies to be brought under our feet. “Oh how sweet to trust in Jesus and take Him at His word.” May we always consider Him ‘that endured such contradictions of sinners against Him least we be wearied and faint in our minds.’

May we be strong in the grace that is found by looking unto Jesus.

The Golf Swing!

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The Golf Swing!

I have never been very athletic and I never played golf until about eight years ago. My two sons and five sons–in-law all like to play. They invited me to go with them several times and I declined, then I realized that it could be a good way for us to have some time together. The biggest challenge in golf is the way you swing the club. It looks simple enough you just whack the ball and it goes way down the fairway toward the green.

Like I said I never was very athletic and like most loggers I never worry about finesse or technique, just brut strength and determination will usually get the job done. Sometimes you end up doing it several times but the logs get to the mill and the paycheck comes in the mail.

My first day at golf was a real challenge and tuned out to be a memorable experience. The second hole was a par three, about 130 yards from tee box to the green. There was a small pond right in front of the tee box with several ducks swimming on it. The boys went first and they hit the ball nice and high so it went well above the water and up and on to the green. They showed me which club to use and assured me that it was easy. I took a strong swing at the ball and it took off like a bullet but only about one foot above the ground. It hit one of the ducks with a loud thump; the duck made its last quack and flopped over dead. The poor duck never knew what hit him but died with very little suffering. For me however I have suffered ever since; whenever I am getting all set to tee off, trying to remember all the Technique that requires all of my concentration, one of the boys is liable to say “quack”. What do you think that does for your golf swing?

I am finding out the developing of a good golf swing doesn’t come real easy. It’s somewhat like developing a good walk with Jesus. Many professing Christians talk the talk but it’s not so easy to find those who are walking in tune with the Holy Spirit and in harmony with the body of Christ. We have this treasure (Christ in us) in earthen vessels that the Excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. II Cor. 4:7

Before I was born again life wasn’t nearly so complicated; I did what came natural. (See Ef.2: 2,3) I loved sin and lived a simple life of pleasing self. I simply ignored the pain I caused others and tried not to think about the consequence of my actions. Then my heart was captured by, “the man from Galilee”. When I saw his unconditional love for mankind, I was broken and repented of my selfish ways. Jesus came into my life, and I became a new creature, all old things had passed away and everything became new. (See II Cor.5: 17) Jesus had given me a new heart with a new passion. I no longer love sin in fact the new Spirit in me hates sin. This is a complete change. The heart as the driving force of this son of Adam has been transformed.

It didn’t take long to find out however that my heart had been set free but this body of flesh is still the same old corrupt self. Like Paul said: “In my flesh dwelleth no good thing.” …….. That’s why Jesus said: “ If you want to follow me you must deny yourself and take up your cross and follow me. Mt.16: 24

In the beginning of my Christian life, I observed the mature Believers walking in the power of the Holy Spirit and it seemed easy for them to walk in the victory free from the clutches of sin. Like a nice golf swing so effortlessly so effective and a pleasure to witness.

I was soon to learn that the conflict between the flesh and the Spirit is a daily battle. The flesh always makes demands that are contrary to the will of God and not in accordance to the desires of my heart. Occasionally the flesh convinces me, the desires of the flesh are still the desires of my heart. Every time I get sucked in I regret it not only because I sin against God, but, because I allow my self to be deceived into thinking that I want to fulfill the lust of the flesh. When in fact after doing so I always am confronted with the sorrow of realizing I really didn’t even want to do it in my heart of hearts. The Spirit in me hates sin but the flesh loves it.

The word of God gives us sound teaching that will enable us (if we obey) to have victory over the flesh. “This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Gal.5: 16 This of course is quite possible but it will not happen unless we set our hearts to it and truly desire it. Because, “the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Gal.5: 17

Our Heavenly Father understood the depravity of our flesh and was merciful unto us and gave us the Mosaic Law. The law however could not teach us to walk in the Spirit it could give us some basic outline and show clearly how far away from God we were without Jesus.

Jesus came with a better covenant he promised to write the law in our hearts. Heb.10:16 The only way we can walk in the spirit is by faith; faith in the promises of God. We must learn to listen to the still small voice of the Spirit that is in us. It is a still small voice not a big loud demanding voice but a voice that encourages us to simply trust in Christ who is in us, our hope of glory.

Someone with understanding of the human body designed a golf club to be swung in a very smooth and powerful manner. Good athletes understand the importance of using the whole body to execute a greater performance. Most of us novice golfers are slow in learning this. We depend too much on our arms and try to mussel the club to greater speed. Which is very ineffective.

The first thing is to know where the target is. Then you stand so that the swing of the club will be in line with the target. Then address the ball and draw back the club slowly keeping your eye on the ball, shifting your weight to your right foot when the club is all the way back you start your swing letting your body get in sink with the swing, picking up speed as you come down with your eye on the ball. The idea is not just to hit the ball but hit through it. Then you are shifting your weight to your left foot. Once you hit the ball don’t think the job is done, because you must now look again at the target and let the swing continue in that direction. If everything was done properly the ball will go flying down the fairway straight for the hole.

God created the child of God for a purpose and the child is able to do, by God’s grace, all that he was created for. Ef.2: 10 Faithful and mature Christians understand the importance of waiting upon the Spirit to work in the rest of the members of the Body Christ because it is the will of God to keep unity for effective ministry. Many times young zealous believers are slow in learning this and try to push the Saints or jump out ahead and do it on their own.

In order for us to walk in the Spirit, we need vision, Jesus’ vision; our target must be the same as His. Then we must stand (be available) and meditate on the word of God, so that all that we do is in line or in harmony with the purpose of God. Then once we have moved out in faith to do what he has commanded we must not think we have done any great thing. We have only done a reasonable service and now we must keep our eyes on Jesus and let him bring everything to the fulfillment of his purpose.

The golf swing is still a great mystery to me and I doubt very much if I ever learn it well but I do know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 2 Tim. 1:12

In Jesus, James Lucas

I did not mean to do it!

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Friends in Jesus,

I did not mean to do it! How often we hear this disclaimer but did you mean not to?

When the Church in Jerusalem heard about the gentiles receiving the Lord Jesus in Antioch they sent Barnabas; “Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.” Acts 11:23 This simple but all important exhortation is lacking amongst so many believers today. To illustrate the importance
of this lets look into the life of King Rehoboam.

“So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was one and
forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city
which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother’s
name was Naamah an Ammonitess. And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek
the LORD.” 2 Ch: 13,14 He didn’t purposely do evil but he didn’t purpose not to either. You may
also read 2 Chronicles 15: 2 & 12,13

When we fail to follow after Christ, we become like a leaf in the wind, without guidance. We may
not purpose to become worldly or materialistic but it’s easy to go with the current of this world
unless we purpose not to. We don’t want to be worrying about our finances and how we are going
to make ends meet but if we are not seeking the Kingdom of God first then we cannot wait in faith
for our Father to add all that is needed in this life.

We are to walk with Christ in the same way we received Him, in faith and purpose of heart.
(Col.2:6) This is how we can become rooted, grounded, and built-up in the faith! (Col.2: 7)
We need to be free from religious spirits and fleshy efforts and all that keeps us from simply
resting in Christ Jesus. (See Col.2; 8) Quite trying to be Christ like, SOMETIMES WHAT WE
THINK IS A NOBLE THOUGHT IS ONLY MANIFESTING OUR LACK OF CONFIDENCE THAT
CHRIST IS IN US we cannot reform the old man. Start believing you are truly in Christ and Christ
is in you, this is the mystery that has been baffling the worldly wise from the beginning. True
holiness and righteousness is only found in Him. Grace is found when in faith we cleave unto Him.

“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made
manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this
mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning
every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in
Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me
mightily.” Col.1;26-29
Because we are complete in Him, that is perfect and we cannot improve upon that.(Col 2: 10)
Jesus said: “be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” MT. 5: 48
This is only accomplished by those who rest in the finished and perfect work of Christ Jesus.
“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Heb.10: 14)

Let the old man rest.
“ And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened
together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances
that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over
them in it.” Col. 2: 13-15 If we fail to accept our death in Christ, then we will always be struggling
and alienated from the life in Christ. By his death and our death with him the old account is settled.

Get a life!
Being dead in sins and quickened (made alive) together with Him, it is paramount that we cleave
unto Him who is our life.
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the
right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead,
and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also
appear with him in glory.” Col 3: 1-4 “For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
Many professing believers are not manifesting the life of Christ. Because they have not “put off the
old man with his deeds.” They are not hid, they walk about with no shame of their nakedness,
many believe their figs leaves (religious or fleshy works) have them covered.
“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate
affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the
wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time,
when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy
communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man
with his deeds;” Col. 3:5-9 Many put off the fornication, covetousness and the obvious
un- Christian activities. But they fail to put off the anger, wrath, malice, and etc, in their effort to
reform the old man. They lie one to another and claim the righteousness of Christ but in fact they
are not manifesting the life of Christ.

We can by all means “get a life now” our Lord Jesus has made all provision for us. By believing he
died for us, we can put off the old man in faith, and by believing he rose from the dead and has
raised us up in Him, we can put on the new man.

“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that
created him:” Col.3;10 I DO NOT HAVE TO CHANGE, I NEED TO BELIEVE THAT I CAN PUT
ON THIS NEW MAN WHICH IS RENEWED AFTER THE IMAGE OF HIM WHO CREATED HIM.

When we simply believe, we will simply obey. Lets get a life by going into our prayer closet and put
on the new man that has been provided for us. We cannot put on what is not available but we
better put on what has been made available. I don’t know about you but I don’t want my
nakedness to show anymore.

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness,
humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one
another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And
above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God
rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of
Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and
hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in
word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him“. Col 3: 12-17

Look what we have in our prayer closet, bowels of mercies, if we pray for this in faith believing, we
will not be refused. Bowels of mercies is truly a godliness that will manifest who we are in Christ
Jesus and cannot be mistaken for the old man. Kindness will draw many unto salvation.
Humbleness of mind certainly was not found in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This is
a true identifier of Christ’s presence.
Meekness is so beautiful that the English language fails in describing her loveliness. When the
child of God puts on meekness who would dare to harm him. Longsuffering will bring glory to God,
In a world where everybody is suffering most of them without hope. Forgiveness, don’t you want to
display what we received without merit, again and again. Forbearing one another, it will be great to
have the strength to carry our loved ones. Charity is indeed above all, because it is not just love
but its love in action. The bond of perfectness, oh to be perfect in love what a glorious hope.

“Let the peace of God rule in your hearts,” isn’t it wonderful that we do not need to be without
peace. The new man in Christ can permit peace to rule. If we are without peace we need to return
to the prayer closet.

The child of God who allows the word of Christ to dwell richly in him will be able to teach and
admonish others. Many hear but they don’t allow the word to dwell in them. However those who
do will be endowed the privilege to do all things in Jesus name. When all things are done in his
name then in all things Jesus is manifested. Only if he is manifested can it be said it was done in
his name. What a great honor it would be to stand and pray as Jesus did just before he left this
world. “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were,
and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.” John 17;4&6

A divided heart!

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Dear Friends in Jesus,

Our Lord has put something on my heart that I want to share with you.
I was reading in Hosea chapter ten. Our Lord was speaking to his people Israel and I believe the same sins that Israel was committing, are very similar to the church in America today and in many other places in the world as well. We read in verse one and two.

“Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude
of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land
they have made goodly images. Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty:
he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images.”

The church in America is an empty vine, because the fruit she bringeth forth is for her
self. Selfish people produce for themselves. Such as huge cathedrals with their
gymnasiums and state of the art construction, filled with the finest electronic
equipment, having leaders with their degrees managing the church in the same fashion
as a high-tec corporation.
We have indeed increased them, we have one on every corner all claiming,
their church is the one God is well pleased with. When in fact God is not
pleased, nor impressed with our selfish ways.

“Their heart is divided,” Jesus said “ Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth… It appears that we think it’s ok to lay them up if we do it in the name of God.
“For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.” So obvious, so much time, money and energy is spent on ourselves, when so little time, money and energy is given getting the gospel to a lost world. It seems in the eyes of many, the world is not so lost. Could this be because the world has infiltrated the church? This could also shed light on why so many “Christians” want to be involved in world politics. They are quite bold to make their political stand and very reluctant to boldly proclaim Christ Jesus. From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. It seems the love of the world is driving them more than their love for the Kingdom of God.

A dived heart is a very serious problem.
Jesus explains, “The light of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thy eye be evil, (not single) thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that be in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (riches) Mt. 6: 22-24 “If therefore the light that be in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness.” The heart that is divided is deceived, satan is an angel of light, he told Eve, “your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Gen. 3: 5 Their eyes were opened and the light they received blinded them from the true light. The light was good and evil this is confusion, a double standard, spoken with a forked tongue. Today the gospel that is preached is also of a double standard, you can have Christ and the world as well.

In Hosea 10: 13 our Lord proclaims, “ Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.” This is what the church of America has done, trusted in her way and not the way of the cross. They do preach of the cross but they refuse to bear the reproach and shame of the cross. The word that Jesus gave concerning the Scribes and the Pharisees certainly can be applied to many of our leaders in the churches today. “All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do: but do ye not after their works: for they say and do not.” Ma.23: 3 If you have received light but are not able to walk in the light, you are in a greater darkness; than your ordinary lost person; the wisdom you have received is of this world and you have no understanding. “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28:28

“In the multitude of thy mighty men.” The church has been deprived from seeing the work of the cross in many of her leaders but she hasn’t lacked for mighty men, (1 Cor.1: 26-31) men with degrees and great titles like doctors, reverends, and his excellency. Men which draw disciples after themselves, heaping up treasures in the name of our Lord Jesus, who didn’t have a place to lay his head.

Unfortunately we all have been affected by this ungodly gospel in one way or another, most of the true believers have been upset with outlandish display of worldliness, to the point of being discouraged. Some have succumbed to the materialism being displayed and have become ineffective in their witness for Christ. Beloved let us take courage our Lord Jesus has not left us without instruction for this evil day.

“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy, break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness on you.” Ho10: 12

“Sow to yourselves in righteousness” My getting angry and pointing the finger at those who are obviously deceived is not going to help. If I can first sow righteousness to myself, then perhaps I will be salt and light in this evil time. We all need to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Jesus and no one else, in total obedience to him. “Reap in mercy.” This is the only way we can reap; with out love we are nothing. “But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These are they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep your selves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear; pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” Jude

“Break up your fallow ground.” Fallow ground is ground that has been neglected or allowed to rest. If a farmer wants to bring forth an abundance of fruit he must use the ground or it will not produce fruit. Our Lord Jesus is simply saying it is time to seek the Lord with all of our heart. I am sure there is a need in my heart for more work of our Lord Jesus, like Jude wrote, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. The promise is, if will do so, he will come and rain righteousness upon us. We could use some of that, amen?

If it is time to seek the Lord like never before, and I do think you will agree that is the last days and our Lord is coming soon.

I propose we put up a prayer vigil around the clock until Jesus comes. Very simple each one volunteers to pray daily for an hour. If you are so inclined, email james@usaforjesus.com and simply state which hour you want to pray. We will set up a
twenty four hour schedule and post it on our web site showing how many we have praying at the different hours, your name will not appear just a check on that particular hour. You may change the hour at anytime, just request the change by e-mail.
for those who might not know the web sites are usaforjesus.com and hisvisionmission@yahoo.com
Your fellow servant in Jesus our Lord,
James Lucas

Who Can be Perfect?

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Who can be Perfect?

For many years I have pondered this question, the common answer is, no one is perfect, only God. That answer has troubled me because Jesus said in Matthew 5:48 “ Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Obviously our expectations of our abilities as Christians and the Lords expectations are far apart. Therefore let us at least be responsible enough to investigate the matter. If our creator is telling us to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect, it doesn’t matter what we believe because he who is perfect is giving us a direct command, after all if Peter would have said, no man can walk on water, he would have remained in the boat, and never have experienced the great blessing of seeing what God can do through those .who are obedient.

All that Our Lord Jesus commands us is to be regarded and we should never limit our obedience to our lack of faith and understanding. Please open your heart to receive a greater vision of the wonderful work that is being accomplished already, if you indeed are in Christ Jesus. For Christ in you is your hope of glory.

We continually hear that no man is perfect, how can we say that; when
we read what God said about Noah? (Gen.6:9) “ Noah was a just man and
perfect in his generations and Noah walked with God.” What are we to
believe? If God said Noah was perfect who are we to say he is not. I do
realize that Noah did not do every thing right in my eyes, I remember
reading he became drunk in his house and was lying naked. Obviously
Gods’ perspective and mine are not always on the same page. Then there
was Job. God lets us know in the very first verse of the first chapter of
the book of Job, what he thinks of Job. ‘’There was a man in the land of
Uz, whose name was Job; and that man, was perfect and upright, and one
that feared God, and eschewed evil.’’ Our Lords opinion of Job was very
high, no matter what his friends thought of him it didn’t change God’s
mind, he truly knew Job. You see God knew Job before the foundations of
the world. “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation
of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in
love:” Ep.1:4 Notice he has chosen us in Him (Christ). There is nothing in
Christ that is not perfect and holy. Job like all those who are in Christ
Jesus are called of God to be made in the perfect image of our heavenly
Father. “ Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,
that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us
not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it
doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall
appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man
that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 1John
3:1-4 Do you have this hope in you?

In Romans 8:28,29 Paul says, “ for we know,” do you know what Paul is talking about? Paul knew that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.” Paul knew all things that he would go through in this life were designed of God to bring him into the image of the Father, a perfect man, as his Father in heaven is perfect.

I do thank God that we cannot do any works to make us perfect but we rest in the wonderful work of God “ For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ep. 2: 8-10 Will Jesus do anything less than perfect? We are his workmanship, now we simply trust him and walk in what he has prepared for us. We need not understand how he will accomplish it but we know, “ he hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” 2 Tim. 1: 9 Then, “that great Shepard of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” Heb.13: 20,21 He will make us perfect in every good work. Because that which he has began in us he will finish. For you see we have come into that heavenly city, the church of the firstborn, among the spirits of just men made perfect. (please read Heb.12:22,23)

Like John said the world does not know us because it knew him (Christ)
not. For we have this treasure in earthen vessels. The perfection we
have is in Christ not in the flesh. The world cannot see what is only
seen in the spirit. We all “shall give account to him that is ready to
judge the quick (living) and the dead. (God knows those who are his)
For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, (we
were dead in our sins when we heard the gospel) that they may be
judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the
spirit.” 1Pt.4: 5,6

Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead; he said, Lazarus come

forth and he came out but he still had all the grave clothes upon him. He had all the appearance of a dead man but he walked out of the tomb, it wasn’t clear if he was dead or not even though he walked out of the tomb. Much the same for the ones, who are called out of the world into Christ they have been made alive in Christ, remember all that are in Christ are perfect. Even though it does not appear what they shall be until all the grave clothes are pealed off. Jesus reminds us be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect; this is what he is calling us to. If we sin however we have an advocate and we are to confess our sins and he will forgive us, and cleanes us of all unrighteousness.

Beloved in Jesus let us not worry about what we don’t understand but let us take heed to this verse in 1Ki 8:61
“Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.” To keep our hearts right with God is what he requires of us and if we do so, it will have an effect in our living for Christ. In Pro 4:23 it says. “ Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life”

We know that children aspire to be like their parents, they will try to imitate them and try to do the things that they do; but because they are small it is difficult for them. However the DNA is there and sooner or later they will grow and become like their parents; Paul also knew that the children of God are predestined to be made in the image of their Heavenly Father. The child doesn’t have to do any special work to become like their parents, it will come naturally; if indeed we are born again and have become new creatures in Christ the life of Christ will be made manifest and time will bring the maturity that is lacking.
When the disciples said unto Jesus, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John 6:27,28) That is all that he wants us to do. We should not manifest unbelief by trying to do the work that only God can do, but simply rest in Him and trust His work will be done, allowing the hope of Christ to bring the glory of Christ in us. “For the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Pro.4:18)

Trip to the Volta Region

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Clement Boadi
Clement Boadi01 January 2011 at 10:30
mum, thanks for the word of encouragement by his grace am doing well and we had a good visit with the blethrens and they were all happy to see us back again and you could see the zeal for the word.and they will love if you all remember them in prayers concerning the chief in their village is playing some dificulties on them to bring some drinks,mother and other things before they will allow them to fellowship and has giving them a period of time to settle that but his we had an opputunity to meet the chief and we shared the with him so we do trust God in that.Also there is one sister called rejoice and her son is very sick the face got swallowed up and busted due to that all his face is spoiled leaving one eye which also has pull out so she says God has disappointed her so she also has denied God but we visited her and shared the with her and some encouragement so she has started fellowship with the brethren and even came to the last meeting that we were there glory be to God for that, so do well also to pray for her and the son called edoh we got some pictures of the son so i will soon put them on facebook.again, they were washing their feet before taking Communion and using hard drink also but by his grace we had a teaching on that and praise be to God they are now following what the Bible teaches, so do well to pray for them. thank you very much mom and my greetings to brother james. my email adress is cboadi23@live.com

A good report from a man of warfare!

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Frontline News
—August 5, 2010
Tim Spurling
Snohomish, Washington
Well by God’s grace my brother Sam and I made it back safely from Ghana last week.
I would like to offer up a testimony of God’s greatness and healing power. Please let me take the time to recount the events of the last week. On my flight home, I was a little weak. Two days later, my family headed down to the Oregon coast, Lincoln City, for our annual family reunion.
That Sunday morning, the 25th, I was feeling quite ill with a very high fever, my symptoms were the same as last year when I came down with typhoid. I asked my father to take me to the doctor for the necessary meds. I was extremely sick with terrible nausea, vomiting and high and repeated fevers. He took me to urgent care in Salem on Wednesday. Increased nausea, fevers, and heavy sweats showed the meds were not working so, clearly, this was not typhoid! I battled the symptoms but by Friday morning I was so delirious my father took me to the ER at Samaritan Hospital in Lincoln City. I have no memory of the following events. I had a temp of 95, which then shot up to over 102°. My heart rate also shot up to over 130 beats a minute, several liters of IV fluids were administered. At 3pm I had become unresponsive and had to be intubated. The ICU doc tested my blood, positive for malaria. Because of the foggy weather, I was taken by ambulance to Spirit Mountain so I could then be “life flighted” to the Oregon Health & Science University Hospital complex and put in ICU. Several different teams of doctors and interns were involved in my care. Saturday morning I was diagnosed with cerebral malaria, the most deadly and rare of the four malaria strands. Because of the swelling in my brain, a very blunt Indian doctor told my parents, “For 65 year person, I give him 100% dead, for 22 year person, 50/50—and I don’t even think I give him that!” When my mother saw him the next day, she told him, “…well, then, that’s a win-win.”
All Saturday and into Sunday the nurses were pinching and poking me trying to bring me out of my coma, but I was totally unresponsive to any stimuli. An experimental malaria drug was flown down to OHSU from the Seattle CDC. It’s a drug not licensed for use in the US, (not much malaria in the States!)
Finally on Sunday afternoon, after many blood transfusions, platelets, more fluids, etc, meds, etc., I slowly came to. The ventilator and NG tube was removed. Later, when I tried to stand, I had to be supported because my whole body felt like lead! However, since then, by God’s miraculous hand, He has raised me back to full health! This was supposedly the first case of malaria the Hospital, an immense complex, has ever witnessed. Because of this, I was sort of a celebrity amongst the Doctors and Nurses who all had to acknowledge this great work of God!
We continue to hold up in prayer those unbelievers who saw this marvelous work of God, may He be merciful to them as He has been to us and reveal His Son in them.
I did not deserve God’s call into the fellowship of his Son. This last week I have been profoundly aware of the great privilege it is to partake of this resurrection life of Christ! Yet once again, Christ has saved my life and brought me from death to life. Praise the LORD with me for He is worthy!
Your brother in Christ, Timothy Spurling.

Update from Ghana.

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Ghana Update 02/24/10

Hello All,
Thank you for your prayer over the last week as we went to the Northern region to visit the former trainees. We made it safe, had a blessed trip and then returned home safe and sound.
Sammy Spurling and myself left Wednesday Morning at about three AM. It was about a 16 hour bur ride with a two hour lay over in the city of Kumasi. On the way there the we had a nice talk with the guy sitting next to us. His name was shadrach and he belonged to the 7th day adventist “church”. We had a nice time talking with Him about How Christ had freed us from the bondage of the law and has given his children life instead of death. We arrived in the city of Wa at about 7:00 to 7:30 wednesday night. When we got there Shadrach assisted us in finding our room and then asked if he could meet us the next morning so he could introduce us to his Mom and Dad.The plan was for me and Sammy to take the lead because I had to buy some parts for my motorcycle, then Tim and Mike would join us in Sawla 90 km south of Wa. So after a good night rest and visiting Shadrachs parents we were able to find the parts we needed and then it was back south to Sawla. On the way back the bearing on our tro tro(van) spoiled and so we were broke down on the side of the road for a couple of hours. We had no water and were in the hottest heat I have ever been in, so I was extremely thirsty. But other than being a little parched all went well.
We arrived in Sawla just shortly after Mike and Tim at around 4:30 Thursday afternoon. After getting settle into our room and taking a little rest we went and visited one of the former trainees out at some prayer camp( which is pretty much a place were there is no distraction so you can focus on Christ while you pray.) His name was Joseph and was encouraging to see him again.
The next morning after a very large amount of rice water we decided to go and visit Bole which is just 18 miles south of Sawla. Friday is Bole market day. That is were people from all over come to sell all sort of goods from vegetables to clothing. So our plan was to visit former trainees and to do a little shopping in the market.We were able to meet with some of our friends but a few had traveled to other parts of Ghana. We also met with an American from New Jersey who a volunteer for peace corp. . He is not a Christian so please pray for Him that the Lord would open his eyes. He is the only white person where he is so he is very lonely. We made plans to have a meal with him Sunday Afternoon which made him very excited. After finishing with visiting in Bole it was back to Sawla for the evening. That evening we were able to meet with the brother from the prayer camp again to see whether or not he would like to go out to a village near Sawla to investigate it to see whether or not we could come back to preach there.
The next Morning after borrowing a couple of motos we headed out to the village. We had a nice time out there. Mike was able to share the Gospel for about 45 minutes with the chief of the village. The chiefs response was I will not be a Christian because my idols are helping me. The idols helped his father and were helping him so he said that he would not become a christian. He boasted of the power he had because he worshiped the idols. He said that if he wanted to he could call the bees to come and chase us away. He wasn’t angry with us but was just explaining his position. The idol, which was just right behind us was a 2 foot pillar of mud. But he did however invite us to come back to his village to live there for a coupe of weeks possibly and share the Gospel with the people in the village. The name of the village is guirey and most of the people are idols worshipers. There is however one Methodist church in the village but I am unsure of how many people attend it.
The plan for Sunday was to go back to Bole and go to a couple of the churches where some of the trainees attend. Samuel and I attended the Bole Methodist church and Tim attended the Evangelical church of Ghana. Our meeting was somewhat discouraging to see, The pastor was not there and so the people were just going through some Methodist devotional which its mane theme was ending poverty and Gaining wealth by Faith. This particular Sunday they were talking about how to git people to come to there Church. They did not even use the Bible in all of this but were just following a manual for how to make a better church. During the study they asked us to share what we thought of the teaching and Samuel was able to encourage them to stick to the Bible instead of some man written manual for how to make a Methodist church. Some did not appreciate his encouragement but most did. I believe what he said was of the Lord and done in a humble and loving spirit. Jesus would have said it. Tim also had a chance to share st the ECG church and shared on the needed for the Churches to come together as the body of Christ. He shared how that if all the churches are just competing then the work will never get done. If every church is marking their territory and moving with a divided vision then their work will always fail. H e also received a positive response from the people and most agreed of their need to come together and the Body Of Christ.
After lunch with Matt(the white man) we were able to meet with a few more of the former trainees from Bole and to share with the our vision of going out into some of the unreached villages around their towns.
Our vision in all of this is to take some of the people who went through the training course and to now get them moving towards the work. So we want to take them into some of these villages and preach along side of them to help them to get moving. We are praying that the Lord would give them a desire to go out and to tell those who have not heard the truth. This work is far to big for a few white people so if the Africans themselves don’t catch the vision or should I say if the Lord doesn’t move their heart in that direction then it will never get done. Some of the trainees showed a desire to be involved in the work so we were encouraged about that . Please pray that the Lord would lead and guide us and the people there about how we should proceed in the next few months. There is a very great need in both the churches and unreached villages of Ghana for the divine Truth encased in Jesus Christ.
Love to all,
John Burwell
——————–

John reports!

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Dear Saints,
Just a little bit of news about whats been happening here. Friday the 22ND of January Sammy Spurling arrived in Ghana. Now he has been here for just about one week. He seems to be settling in quite well and is learning some of the Twi language. It is really nice to have him here with us.

Over the last few weeks we have started a few projects around the compound. We had some plants growing along the sidewalk of the house that were turning into a giant mess. Most of them were Vinny plants that needed something to grow on and so we trimmed all the plants and built some bamboo lattes along the walk way. We also have no place to put our motorcycle where it will be out of the weather and so we have been building a gazebo that we can sit under and park the motorcycle under. That way we kill two birds with one stone. The latest project we’ve started is we’ve started our garden again. We’ve started digging up the ground and have already planted some lettuce. We are hoping to grow lettuce,onions,green peppers,hot peppers, cucumbers, carrots and green onions.None of us are expert gardeners so it is always a learning experience for us.

As far as the work, things are going along well but slow. The other day I talked to the pastor of the “Church Of Christ” who when I first started talking to him, was very quick to condemn anyone to hell who was not a member of “The Church Of Christ”. I guess the doctrine of the denomination of “The Church Of Christ” is that their group is the technical “Church of Christ” which Paul speaks of in Romans 16:16. They do not believe in denominationalism and do not refer to their group as a denomination but rather as the true Church of Christ. They say that if you are a member of the pentecostal denomination then you are not saved because only those who are of the “Church of Christ” are saved. What they say is right in a since. Someone can be a member of a denomination and still not be a member of the body of Christ. Which is the case I’m afraid in allot of the World today. But they have really twisted it in such away as to be very convincing if you didn’t know the Truth. They, in trying to destroy denominationalism have created simply another denomination.
Anyway I began to share him about the Church and had a wonderful time. It didn’t turn into an argument but rather we talked for about an hour on the subject. He let me do most of the talking and really seemed to be listening. He had to leave but invited me to come back next week. Please pray for me that I would be humbled before the Lord and that as I speak to him that the Lord would open his eyes to the truth of Gods Son.

We have been having some really good meetings here on Sundays. You can see that the Holy Spirit is really orchestrating the meeting. The songs and the things that are spoken on all seem to come together nicely so that you can see what the Lord is trying to say to His Church.
Everyone is healthy here for the most part. We thank you all for your prayers and support as we seek to see Christ Glorified among the Ghanaians.
By His Grace,
John Kwame
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Tim Reports!

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I did take a trip to Accra to iron out my permit inconsistencies. Turns out we actually got a two year permit, but they mistakenly stamped our passport with one year! So the Lord knows! Funny little addition, the woman who handles the payments recognised me right away and asked how my mother and father–you two–were doing! Just committing that whole situation to the Lord; we are now preparing to submit the residence applications for the whole Ball family.

The work has been going well. It’s a blessing to work with Mike, he has a humble servant attitude and is really a joy to work with. He likes the open air preaching and of course the door-to-door, he also has fit right into our bible study fishin holes around the area. The Austin, John and I have really gotten along well, our personalities temper one another’s nicely! The Lord sure knows how to put together a team! The Lord continues to open up opportunities in the North without us even having to really push on doors. The attitude of the people is drastically different than those here in the South, so we are very excited to labour in that region.

On a personal note, the Lord continues his work in me! The Spirit seems to, not necessarily be teaching me new things, but really reinforcing and giving me clearer understanding of things I thought I understood! Its one thing to have the theory down and be able to “teach” it–but another thing to have the life of Christ lived through you in everyday practical situations. We have come across the writings of T. Austin Sparks which have been a tremendous encouragement to us. This one book called “The Cross, the Church and the Kingdom” has really been used of the Lord to give a grander insight on the eternal purpose of God. He is a rare author who in every single book of his that I have read continually exalts the Lord Jesus and keeps him at the center. If you had the time I would love to send you the link to an online library of all his works!

At anyrate, a lot more I could say but I will close for now! Lord Bless and keep you and Mama Fran as you enter this New Year!

Standing in the grace that is in Christ Jesus! –tim

Update from Ghana

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Ghana Ministry

John Burwell for the team

Dear Saints,
This is just a little report telling what the Lord is doing here in Ghana. We have been really encouraged to see the Lord working each of our lives personally and as a team. The Ball family has arrived and have been here for over two weeks now a settling in quite well. It is really a blessing having an older man to join the work here and to have Mike’s experience as a missionary. We have really enjoyed the whole family. It is nice to have younger children around here again and to have Feilynn playing guitar with us and Mike on his mandolin. MaMa Faith has been cooking lunch for us guys which has been awesome! We used to eat just rice and stew; but since MaMA Faith arrived, we have had spaghetti, Oriental chicken, pigs in a blanket, chili dogs, and much, much more. She and her girls are wonderful cooks, and it has really been fun having them here!

Everyone is healthy by God’s grace! I was in bed with malaria for a few days but have recovered and am feeling strong once again. Please keep the Balls in your prayers that they would remain healthy and that they would stay clear of the malaria especially the younger once.

Our ministry is seeing a few changes now. On Mondays we were going to Bankyim, but now we have moved down the road to a village called Akyempim. We found a good place to open air preach there so maybe in the future we will begin to have open air meetings in that village. On Tuesdays we still go visiting the saints from our fellowship here in Tarkwa that we haven’t seen in awhile. On Wednesdays we are still having a service over in Camponasi which seems to be growing slowly but surely. On Thursdays we have been going to Tebrebe and having a good time out there but not having very many people for the meetings, so you can be in prayer that the Lord would do a work in the hearts of those people. Friday is just a witnessing day. We’ve been praying about once a week preaching on the local FM radio station, so please pray the Lord would lead us in this decision.

Kumar is one of the men we discipled here in Tarkwa. If you remember from Austin’s former reports, he was the one whom we met on our first visit to the north and he was going to commit suicide because his mother had died. Tim and I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with him, and then he decided to come for our five-week discipleship course. After finishing the course he decided to go to the Volta region and join another former student from the course with preaching the Gospel in the Volta. Well, I just recently visited him and was saddened to find that he has joined the Jehovah Witnesses because they are providing him with a home and money for food. Apparently he was out of money and on the verge of death with malaria when the Jehovah Witnesses stepped in and helped him. So he feels like since they helped him, he should join them. We do believe he is saved and don’t think the Lord is finished working with Kumar but I do ask that you please keep him in your prayers. We trust that Kumar belongs to the Lord, and so we leave him in the Lords hands.

We are currently looking into buying a small van so that we go to our witnessing spots a little more efficiently. Please in prayer that the Lord would provide us with an inexpensive yet quality vehicle.

Well that’s all for now. Pray you are all doing well.

In Jesus Name,
John Kwame

Croc by the tail!

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Austin Ball and John Burwell are two brave young men that are willing to step out of the comforts of home to come and serve the Lord Jesus in Ghana. They have been doing a fine job up to now but they will be taking on
more responsability for the next month. Then Tim Spurling will join them in July, Lord willing Mike and Faith Ball will be coming in August. Like the picture reveals they are quite willing but just a little nervous. Francille and I will be flying to Oregon the 22ed of June, a week from today. Please pray for John and Austin. Francille and I also would like you to pray for us to be able to step quickly into what our Father has for us in the future.
We know that Jesus is coming soon and we want to be faithful until he comes.
James and Francille

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Timothy Spurling, John Burwell, and John Kwamy heading north to make discilpes. They are now up there and things seem to be going quite well. They have about ten students and everyone seems to be enjoying the teaching. Many of them don’t know how to read or write. That makes it a real challenge to teach them. There are many unreached tribes in this area, so lets pray that our Father will prepare labors for the harvest.

You sat on his idol!

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Jesus is Lord!

You just sat on their idol!
This is what my interpreter said to me. While we were in the northern district where we traveled to check out un- reached tribes. Francille and Janelle made up several loaves of banana bread and sent up with us; this and some medical supplies were given to different chiefs that we visited in four different villages. In the one village we found the chief sitting under a shade tree, we presented the gift to him and he was very pleased so I began to share the gospel with him. He was interested, so after about ten minutes of sharing, I asked him if he would like his people to hear this message? He said, yes, so I suggested that he send a messenger to invite the people and he did. While we were waiting I decided I would like a picture with him, so I sat down beside him at the foot of the tree, there was a flat rock there so I sat on it. It broke and it turned out this was one of their idols. When the people gathered we preached about God our creator and how we are the work of his hands and how wrong it is for us to worship the creation or things that we make. There was another larger idol standing just behind the chief. I wasn’t going to say anything about it but the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let me not address it. I told the Chief if he wanted the blessing of God on him and his village he must destroy that idol. One young man spoke up and said that he would destroy it; the Chief said in a very convicting voice that if he did that he would go crazy. These men could destroy it. (I had destroyed one already and nothing happened to me.) I told him I would be glad to destroy it, at first he seemed almost willing but later said no it was his fathers and he couldn’t destroy it. Some day soon, Lord willing, it will be destroyed and the people will come to Jesus. Our trip was a very informative time. We were gone for about six days. We found the Gonjar tribe, which is a large tribe, to be un reached. Most of them are Muslims but some are idol worshipers. The Birifor also is a very large tribe with just a few Christians among them. Through a brother we had discipled in Tarkwa (John Kwame) we met Peter Tungjie who is a Birifor, a very fine Christian man and who invited us up to teach disciples.

So much has happened in the past months, the Voetburgs have returned home and that has been a big change. Skip was a lot of help in so many ways, helping teach in the disciple classes and in the evangelism. The absence of the Voetburg’s has been felt, by many in the community; I have missed Tate or Brooks coming up from time to time just to give us a hug. I miss the times we spent in prayer in the mornings. However we also have received others coming over to help in the ministry. John Burwell and Austin Ball have joined our team and they have been a great blessing. Their enthusiasm and zeal is encouraging; they are developing their ministry of the word and the preaching of the gospel. They have been a good addition to the team. Tim Spurling and Clement have been enjoying having more young men to work with.

We have seen Tarkwa saturated with gospel literature. We have about 14 gospel tracts that Skip and I have written. These tracts, carry messages that deal with a variety of doctrinal errors and at the same time bring in the gospel. People readily receive them and read them and we hear many good comments about them. They are often asking for new ones. We have several good fishing holes where we go and evangelize. The people are accustomed to our coming and come out to hear the word of God, we have five such places scattered throughout the community. There have been several conversions and most of the ones we are discipling are coming from these fishing holes. The disciples are multiplying; we are now working with the sixth group here in Tarkwa. Several of the men we discipled are now helping with the teaching; Matthias, Clement, and Austin are helping me here. Our Heavenly Father has sent three up to the northern region, Tim Spurling (from Washington), John Burwell (from Montana), and John Kuamy (African.) to make disciples for five weeks. The needs up there are great. After the five weeks we will access the situation. Then try to determine what the will of our Lord Jesus is, as far as future ministry in the area. It seems the work is going on well with the disciples in Togo, also in the Volta region of Ghana.

Francille, Janelle, and I will be returning to the States in June. We have been praying for someone to come and help in the work here and we are glad to report that Mike Ball and family announced that they are coming in August. Please be praying for them, they still have six children at home and that will be a big endeavor to transfer them from Wyoming to Ghana. Having families on the mission field is a good thing; they will be a good testimony of a godly family unit.

We want to thank all of you who pray for us and support us in the work our Lord Jesus will reward you for your labor of love.

In Jesus,
James and Francille Lucas

Charles with tears in his eyes said;

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“I want to thank you from the Lord Jesus for all that you have done because now I know the Lord Jesus before this discipleship course I was religious but now I am righteous.”
That was Friday the last day of the five- week course. Then Sunday during our service he went up front and brought an excellent teaching on following the Spirit and not fulfilling the lust of the flesh. Charles is the one on your left. Hyacinth is on the right.

Tarkwa——-November 1st

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cimg13701dsc005821dsc005791dscoo579We have been doing a lot of evangelism, our Father has been showing me to teach the people like Jesus did he didn’t wait until they were converted to teach them, look at the sermon on the mt. Like it says in 2 Tim.2:24-26 “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;” Some times we just open the bible and begin to teach. Yesterday we went back to one place for the third time; the same people are still coming and they are full of questions, we were there for two hours. We have about three places like this now where we are teaching and preaching and the people always want us to come back. I believe we will have healthier conversions when people are fully prepared. We have always been told that the sinners cannot understand spiritual things. This may be true if we are limited to our ability to teach them, however the Holy Spirit is quite capable of bringing understanding even to those who are in gross darkness.

Greetings from Tarka!

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The Lord He is God.

We are now teaching our forth disciple group.
The evangelism has been going well especially in a village about five miles ouy of town called
Tebrebree. One brother in our third disciple group is from there (we call him II Samuel because we had I Samuel in our second group : ) and we have been going out there for some time now. Two men from there are now in this fourth group.

Our Father is training us how to reach the people. We have been writing gospel tracts that address some of the erroneous doctrines that are taught. One is titled THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL, another is titled
JESUS, we ask the question is Jesus God or just a man? One is titled ONE STEP it speaks of repentance, then one is titled DOES GOD HAVE A MOTHER? And one is titled THE MAN FROM GALLIEE.

Several of the disciples have been joining in on the evangelism. This an important part of their training.

I will share more later.
James

Great Things He Has Done!


Great Things He Has Done! has now been published into a book and is available at Amazon. This is the first book of the Lucas family legacy.

This story begins with a man and his wife coming to salvation by faith in Christ alone. Revelation of Christ transformed everything for them because Jesus introduced himself in such a marvelous way, they could not help but be renewed in mind and soul. They were challenged to live the way Christ brought forth in his word, to the best of their ability, not always managing obedience to its fullness but learning by the school of hard knocks.

In this short history of the Lucas family, each member of the family is brought face to face with reality of their own personal faith because they were there when the food supply was nil or when sickness was going through the family. They shared a deep conviction that it was wrong to make public their personal needs. Prayer was the means for every need no matter what the problem was. The family learned together this marvelous way of living.

This book will truly magnify the things that the Lord has done and hopefully will enrich your life.51h2bob5rkyl-_sx331_bo1204203200_


THE LORD IS MY PORTION SAITH MY SOUL
(therefore will I hope in Him.) La.3:24

I remember as a child how important it was for me to make sure I received my fair portion of the candy. Unfortunately most of us are still of that mind set. We want our portion of the things that are not even that good for us, indulging in the sweets of the world, because we are ignorant of the true riches. I now prefer my wife’s meat loaf over the sweets, but this has taken time for me to adjust my palette. Our Heavenly Father is very wise and patient with me, much more than I have been with my own children. Sometimes we make the right choices and when we do, He is well pleased and is quick to commend us. For example Abraham was tempted when the King of Sodom offered him the spoils of war. Abraham refused saying: ” least thou shouldest say I have made Abraham rich.” Then we read in the same context; ” After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying. Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” In other words God was saying, don’t worry you made the right decision, I will protect you and the King of Sodom doesn’t have the true riches but I am thy exceeding and great reward. (See Gen 14: 23 and 15: 1)

Is the Lord God your portion and is your hope in Him? So many of us (the children of God) get distracted with the cares of this life and we fail to seek Him. “The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lam 3: 25,26) Hope and quietly wait, that sounds easy enough but you and I know it is one of the most difficult things to do. The problem must be that our Heavenly Father is not the hope of our hearts. Jeremiah said: “The Lord is my portion therefore will I hope in Him.” I have been praying for the Lord to teach me more about waiting upon Him. It is hard to wait without faith and faith is the substance of things hoped for. Heb.11: 1 It’s not good enough to think my hope is in Him, my soul must say He is my portion. Beloved if you have also been guilty of this lack of hope don’t be discouraged we must all come to this place at some time in our lives. Even Jeremiah after going through some very hard times came to the point where he said, “my strength and my hope is perished from the Lord.” Lam.3: 18 Then he said; “My soul hath them (sufferings) still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. This I recall to my mind, Therefore have I hope. It is of the Lords mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” His hope was renewed in His God when he remembered Gods mercies fail not. That same mercy is there for you and I beloved. He also remembered how great the faithfulness of God is. Even when we believe not He is faithful. II Timothy 2: 13 Our hope is not in our selves, we well know our failures. Let us remember that Jesus is the author and the finisher of our faith, He is the one who brought us to have faith in God and he is the one who will see us continue in the same hope.

When hope is renewed to our soul, not merely to our mind, we will want our portion and we will find ourselves diligently seeking Him. Remember what is written in Heb.11:6. ” But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”

Christ in us is our hope of glory and if we hunger and thrist for HIM WE SHALL BE FILLED.

En Adam o En Cristo


Para la esperanza de la vida eterna, la cual Dios, que no puede mentir, prometió antes de los tiempos de los siglos. Tito 1: 2

En Adam! En Cristo!
1.Todos muertos Ro. 5:12 1. Todos vivos. Ef. 5:6 Ju. 5: 24
2.Niguno justo. Ro.3: 10 2. Todos justificados. Ro.4:23 Ti.3:5
3.La paga del pecado es la muerte. Ro 3: 23 3. Todo pagado. Heb.10: 10-14
4.Todos ofendieron la ley. San2:10 1 Jaun 3:4 4. Todo cumplido. Ma. 5: 17 Ro. 8: 4
5.Disobedencia de uno. 5. Obedencia de uno. Ro.5: 18,19
6.No pudieron cesar de pecar. 1 juan 2: 19 6. No continuo en pecado. 1 jaun 3: 9
7.La sangre de los animales no quita 7. La sangre de Cristo quita.Heb. 10: 10 y 14
el pecado. Heb. 10: 4 8. Todos nacidos en carne. 8. Todos nacidos de Dios. Ro 8: 3- 11
9. Condenados en incredulidad. Jaun 3: 18 9. Justificados por la fe. Ro.5 : 1
10. No entraon en reposo. Heb.3: 19 10. Hay reposo en Cristo. Heb. 4: 3
11. Trajimos la imagen del terreno. 11. Traeremos la imagen celestial.
1 Cor. 15: 45-49

Muchos preguntan pudimos perder la salvasion?
Esta pregunta no es relativo. Salvacion es de Dios. (como Jonas dijo) No tiene nada que ver con la habilidad humano. Biblica pregunta sera; Sabes en quien has creido? 2 Tim. 1: 12
No tiene nada de ver si cree la doctrina de Calvin o de Arminian, sino mejor preguntar estas plenamente convencido de la promesa de Dios? Ro 8: 38,39
Estas en Adam o en Cristo? Ro.5: 10
Los que estan firmes en la gracia tienen la esperaza de
la gloria de Dios. .
Ro.5: 2

Tienes tu Vida Eterna? Jaun 3: 15