Dottie had her eye exam. The results were very good.They are stable.
Sebastian said the meeting with the IRS went well and we will get the results later.
I went to Santiago and paid the property taxes for the land where the school is.
We had to get a blood test for Michelle that can only be done in Columbia. Guatemala is not able to do it here.
Any church, business or industry that does not grow is destined to failure. In the same way we as Christians need to grow. We will stagnate and not be very useful to the kingdom if we remain babies in Christ. Christians should grow in love, faith, zeal and knowledge. We should grow in good works.
But there are hindrances to many which prevent them from making progress in the Christian life.
- There is a lack of effort. Growing in Jesus is not automatic. Hebrews 5:13 refers to the fact that after many years some are still “babes” in Christ. They are spiritually lazy to pray, study, read the Word, worship and attend church.
- Another hindrance is discouragement. Some folks start well but get discouraged and quit. There could be personal problems, marital problems or church problems and so we just fold up our tent and quit.
- There is a law of disuse. I have a gun and as long as I use it and keep it well oiled it is useful. But one I allow it to sit from a lack of use it begins to rust. Paul continued because he realized that regardless of what things appeared to be his labor was never in vain. If you do not use your spiritual muscles they will begin to sag and become weak.
- The law of interference. Crops, flower, trees and other plants do not do well if they are too close to one another. Our spiritual growth is hindered if we allow people or activities to crowd out our spiritual life. Today there are more people in Walmart at 10am on a Sunday morning than there are in many churches. There are more people at youth leagues on Sunday than are in church. We have allowed the world to crowd out our spiritual lives. Even preachers can get so tied down in activities that they have little time to pray and study for the Sunday message.
Look for work needing to be done. Visit the sick and the elderly. Be a servant. Do not be one who criticizes. Get yourself going on a regular church attendance as well as regularity in your prayer time and study time. Never get so busy you forget about Jesus. Start a Bible study. Lead people to Christ. Constantly look for ways to grow.
School started today and I spoke to the students outside on the bleachers and it was freezing. Our classrooms have no heat.
Sebastian and Dorcas will bring our tax information to SAT (IRS) tomorrow. They specifically want to know about our school and how it is funded.
Oscar and Brandi are leaving for the states Thursday. She is going to show him around.
I paid the land taxes in San Bartolome. We straggle two counties so tomorrow I will go to Santiago and pay the balance.
What keeps us from serving God? Matthew 6:24 says you cannot serve God and the world. If you serve the wrong things you cannot be fruitful (Luke 8:14). Paul said we can only serve the one to whom we obey (Romans 6:16).
Some folks limit where, how and when they will serve. Moses argued with God about going before Pharaoh. “Who am I that I should…?” Jonah did essentially the same thing when he refused to go to Nineveh. He was willing to preach but only on his own terms. His problem was that he did not like the Ninevites. You are not a servant until you go where you do not want to go but God has called you to go.
Another truth that keeps us from serving God is our poor attitudes. For instance laziness and ingratitude are bad attitudes. We do not serve unless we are grateful.
Self-centeredness and pride keep us from serving such as Elijah when he sat in the desert and wanted to die rather than continue following the call of God. Seeking recognition will limit where you are willing to go.
If you choose not to serve God you will remain a servant of sin (Romans 16:16). Servitude leads to righteousness. It will lead you to eternal life.
We awoke to another very cold Sunday. We let the girls wear pants to church.
I am still so weak. My sermon was 20 minutes which you who know me will chuckle. But I just cannot stand up for a long time. Pray that I will regain my strength.
Angie’s father in Escatawpa, Mississippi has suit cases he will pay for if someone coming from that area could bring to Casa. You can contact Angie for instructions.
You and I are servants: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob & the prophets were known as “Thy servants” while Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Isaiah, James, Paul, Peter, Jude & John were known as “My servants”. You and I are called to be servants. Jesus was referred to in Isaiah 52 as the “suffering servant”.
What do we need to be a servant of Jesus? First we have absolute obedience. A slave/master relationship describes who we are in Christ. The slave has no rights, knows no law but his master’s word, is the absolute property of the master and gives unquestioning obedience.
Second, it involves humility. When we have a humble opinion of ourselves we are receptive to the dogma of giving absolute obedience. Paul realized this when he wrote in I Timothy 1:15 “I am the chief sinner”. When you finally see yourself as you are before God humility will overwhelm you.
Third, it involves loyalty. Servants must be loyal. A servant never considers his own profit. He only considers how his life can benefit his master. Too many claim to be servants of Christ but complain about having to obey His will. Some are negligent or lazy when asked to do something for Christ.
You do not HAVE to serve Jesus. But remember who you believe is to whom you become a slave. So it is either Jesus or Satan. Your choice.
Dottie asked that as a reward for taking off the brace that I take her to lunch. So I drove for the first time in 2 months.
We all are praying for dorm parents. I would appreciate it if you would make this a major object of prayer.
The Maryland team hoste a talent show for the children.Both the Americans and the Guatemalans presented talents.
The little book of Jude tells us in 1:20-23 how to be a mature Christian.
- V20: We will have a constant growth in faith. If you are not growing in faith it is for a lack of the Word of God. The Bible says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. If you are not growing in faith then read the Word. Build yourself up in faith.
- Constant spiritual praying. Jude tells us we will mature if we pray. A man who does not pray is missing out on a key necessity for growth. Talking to God daily is the duty and privilege of every Christian. Keep yourself up by praying more.
- Constant walking in the love of God. To be mature you walk in His love. You love what He loves and you hate what He hates. You never allow your earthly loves to take precedent over the things He loves.
- Constant patience in the Hope of Glory. Wait for it because it is coming. Heaven awaits the children of God. Paul had the opportunity to go to heaven early but he knew that he needed to wait and finish the task on earth. The glory that awaits us as adopted children of God makes me want to go home now. But we stay until He calls. Look you because He will call you.
- Constant compassion toward the unsaved. Jude makes it clear that the unsaved world needs us. Compassion allows you to withstand the ejection of your message to sinners. But if just one comes to Christ your life would have made a difference. Lift up the fallen!
- Constant hatred for the sins of the flesh. Jude knows that sinning is easy. But as a child of God we can overcome those sins by simply hating them more and loving God more.
Lee has a Bible class for 9 faithful young men. He asked that I share with them some of the miracles of Casa. There have been so many it was hard to choose 5 or 6. I prayed for them and then they prayed for me.
Ezdras resigned as pastor to Casa today. His wife, Candida, will continue to work here as a nurse.
The last Beatitude.
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus spoke of beatitudes. Did you know that the last beatitude mentioned in the Bible is in Revelation 14:13? It reads, blessed are the dead! Strange isn’t it? Well if they died in Jesus as Christians they are blessed.
Heaven will be a place of rest. Gravestones are correct if they read “Rest in Peace” or “Eternal Rest” on the tomb of a Christian. Many people are weary after many years of serving God. Others are weary because of trials, tests and illness. Heaven will be the long awaited rest for us.
Our works will follow us to heaven and so we will have the blessings of rewards. We were created for good works. The believer’s good works will bring rewards in heaven.
Mark 5:12 says there are rewards for enduring persecution.
Luke 6:35 says there are rewards for loving your enemies and doing good.
I Cor 3:8-13 says there are rewards for faithful service.
I Cor 9:17 says there are rewards for serving willingly.
Heaven is a place of reunion. This is another of the great blessings of God for us. We will know our loved ones there. There will be many “No mores”. No more sorrow, tears, death, crying or pain.
We who are saved will die with a beatitude because the best is yet to come.
Dottie went to buy groceries. My brace comes off Saturday so next week I will be able to drive her to shop.
The college students have begun enrolling in the various universities.
Jessica is speaking with various staff members about how the board can help.
There is a team here from Maryland and I gave them my testimony.
In Matthew 19 the disciples prohibited children from coming to Jesus. Jesus was very direct and told them to never forbid children from coming to Him. Often times we are not aware of just how young a child can be when he begins to think of God. Dottie was 5 when she first began enquiring about Jesus.
People often think that ministry to children is just to keep them from bothering the adults in the main worship center. But loving parents will bring their children to Jesus. There are youth workers, children’s church workers and even church bus drivers who believe that ministry to children is a very important action.
The disciples thought Jesus was too busy. They thought that adults were more important. The under estimated the love Jesus has for children. Jesus wanted to lay hands on the children and pray for them.
We need to see the full potential of children as God sees them. A child has a full and hopefully long life in which to serve Jesus. Every child is a child for whom Jesus died. Children who are converted are more likely to go into full time ministry as an adult.
Jesus valued children. Unlike us He was never too busy for them. No one should ever forbid a child from coming to Christ.