Vicki and I sat down with the parents of our neighbor Paulo this afternoon, and with a family friend who was staying with them while recuperating from pneumonia. Paulo was also present. I presented a lesson about Jesus from John 1.1-18, with a two-page outline. Sr. Vicente and D. Georgina are very religious and committed to their tradition, so it will be a challenge as we present the gospel to them. D. Georgina prepared coffee and cake for us after the study. Paulo took the photo. They live on the east side of the city. We’ve had a good bit of contact with them through Paulo, as we’ve joined them in cookouts, watching the World Cup, and other get-togethers at his house.
Last night as I bedded down, I read three chapters of the Bible, one of them 3 John. Imagine my pleasant surprise to read this morning Ed M.’s devotional thought for June 3 on 3 John 6. Every saint ought to read this one-page meditation. (I recommend the entire yearly work.) Among other things, he wrote,
Christian obligation. Gaius gave travel assistance to some fellow believers (though they were “strangers” to him), III John 5. These itinerant preachers had mentioned his goodness while visiting John, III John 3. So the venerable apostle asks Gaius for another favor. “Send them on their way” in a manner that God would approve, III John 6. These traveling evangelists were worthy of such help because “it was for the sake of the Name that they went out,” III John 7. Christians have an obligation to underwrite the work of those who minister the word, I Corinthians 9:7-12a.
Why cannot every church help every missionary who seeks support, with some amount, at least? (The reason why not: they’re spending their monies elsewhere, mostly on themselves.)
Focus question: Am I going, letting go, or helping to go?
Textual note: NLT translates “brothers” as “traveling teachers,” vv. 3, 5, 10. Quite interpretative, but they were indeed traveling evangelists, what we today call missionaries.
“Latin America’s religiously unaffiliated population is projected to grow both in absolute number and percentage terms, rising from about 45 million people (8%) in 2010 to 65 million (9%) in 2050.”
Let us see this projection as opportunity to preach the gospel to a growing number of people without any religious affiliation.
“We are just as obligated to make our lives attractive and beautiful to others as we are to make them pure.” —Guy N. Woods, on 1 Pet 9.12.
“Hopelessness and helplessness are not options for Christians who serve a God who will work his purpose for his glory.” —T.S. Ranier, “Church growth and evangelism in Acts”
God gives courage to the simple and untrained who speak boldly about Jesus. May it be so today!
Urgency of the apostles. In spite of the warning, the apostles continued to speak about the Lord, Acts 4:20; 5:20,21. They talked about Christ because they were irrepressibly compelled to mention Him, I Corinthians 9:16; cf. Jeremiah 20:9.
Ed M.’s devotional today reminds us to not wait for “congenial times” to speak.
Focus question: How will boldness motivate me to speak up today about Jesus’ work of salvation?
Another quatrain, over on TFR:
During lunch at a spot I frequent, the owner of the restaurant came and sat down with me, chatted about life. We've talked about spiritual subjects before. Then I was almost finished and the owner of the quick print shop came and sat down, ate his lunch with me. Said he was going to visit sometime. I send them both emails once or twice a week about spiritual and biblical topics.
A new piece of the puzzle about how Pedro found us surfaced last night. He did much searching online for a church. His first contact with our material was on a now inactive site that had a link to one of our present sites. He didn't recall where it was. I suspect it might have been cristaos.antville.org. Lesson: Even old efforts can still bear fruit. #evangelism #internet]]>
Last night before leaving for Pedro and Karol's house, I received an email from a man in the city of Igaratá asking about the church. (The city is about 45 minutes from us.) He'd apparently found us on the internet, just as Pedro and Karol had. I read the email but didn't have time to reply right then. At Pedro's house he mentioned that he had talked that very day to a former coworker when he worked in Igaratá and recommended he look up our site. This coworker had helped Pedro rethink some religious questions. He didn't find a church he thought was biblical, so he started going to a denomination, but knew some things there were wrong. This was the same man who had sent me an email earlier in the day. So now Pedro was sharing with him the Lord's church that he had found. Pray that this man may find the truth and that the gospel may reach another city in our region of RMVale. #evangelism #internet #church]]>