Wednesday, June 03, 2020

God places His agents everywhere

Joshua sent two spies to look over Jericho's strengths and weaknesses. It is good to do research in an area into which God is calling you. Lots of info can be found online but the real stories come from the people living in the neighborhood. Joshua, himself had been one of the 12 spies sent by Moses and knew the importance of gathering good, up to date information.

In Luke 10, Jesus sends out 72 of his followers in pairs to every town and place he would be visiting. They were to look for the person of peace; someone who was ready to receive the gospel. Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Luke 10:2)

In each town they would find a person of peace who would become a worker in the harvest field. Paul discovered such a person when he arrived in Philippi to preach the gospel. He did not have any local contacts, not even a synagogue. He went to the river, where a group of women gathered for prayer. It would not have been his first choice but here he met Lydia. She became a follower of Jesus and led her household to Christ, starting a church in her house. The Holy Spirit goes before us preparing people's hearts.

Joshua's spies went to Rahab's place where they could keep a low-profile and pick up some news. The King of Jericho found out and sent some guards to apprehend them but Rahab (who had hidden the spies) tells them they’d already left.

The spies were hoping to find an informant but they found an ally; a person of peace who provided provided protection, hospitality, and guidance. She told them of the fear that gripped the city when they learned of God's power. She confessed her faith and asked that she and her household be spared.

As a pagan and owner of shady business, Rahab was an unlikely ally but hidden behind the imposing walls of Jericho was a woman who carried the Divine Seed. Rahab was rescued and would become the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth, a Moabite widow, ancestress of David and Jesus Christ.

God uses unlikely people like Moses a murderer (morally unqualified) who did not speak well (physically unqualified) and David did not look like a king (boyish) nor act as a king (mishandled family matters.) In fact, Jesus was a friend of sinners! God uses the foolish to confound the wise.

At the same time, God has His people everywhere. Remember the men who had a donkey that Jesus was to ride into Jerusalem? The disciples didn't know them but they were ready and knew what to do. How about the man carrying water who knew the secret location to the upper room where Jesus would spend his last hours of freedom?

Knowing that God has people everywhere and that we might not recognize them, we must be ready for divine appointments.

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers,
for by so doing some people have shown
hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:2

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Meet Baptist Temple's 2020 Summer Intern Team

Baptist Temple welcomes four Baptist University of the Americas students as summer interns. They will work to help us navigate ministry in these changing times as we continue to reach out to our community with the love of God

Jonatan Solis is a native of Ecuador and is majoring in Human Behavior at BUA. He is called to work with children and youth and will seek to work as a counselor upon completing his education. He has served on many short-term mission teams including multiple trips to the Amazon region of Ecuador. Jonatan plays the guitar.

Valentina Sanchez is from Colombia and is majoring in Human Behavior at BUA. She had previously worked at Baptist Temple during the summer of 2018 as part of the BUA summer mission team. She looks forward to working in the garden and developing Bible Discovery Groups in the community.

Daniela Peña is from Colombia and is majoring in Music and Human Behavior at BUA. Her calling is to work with children and youth and plays the piano. This summer she will be working to develop Bible Discovery Groups in the community.

Juan David Cabrera is from Colombia and is majoring in Business at BUA. He will be applying his experience in church media to help enhance our current offerings and will be working with the team to use soccer and basketball to reach our community with the gospel.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

From Seed to Harvest

The Seed

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” Matthew 13:31-32 NIV

“The seed is the word of God.” Luke 8:11 NIV

The Sower

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” Romans 10:14 NIV

“He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly” 2 Corinthians 9:6 NIV

The Soil

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” Luke 8:5-8 NIV

“Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” Luke 8:10-15 NIV 

The Season

“Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”  John 4:35  NIV

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2 NIV

As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. John 9:4 NIV

The Sickle

“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:2 NIV

Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. Psalm 126:6 NIV

*from E3 Partners