The more I meditate on the absolute Sovereignty of God the more I see God at work in all things.  God can cause or use (I believe both) situations that seem bad to us for His purpose and plans.  That why we should ALWAYS give thanks as the Apostle Paul says "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 These 5:18).  The other night at about 11:00pm the bathroom sink began to leak under the counter and I was unable to fix it.  I called the landlord but he said he wouldn't be able to come over until the following day after work.  I tried to shut the water off outside but it didn't work either; welcome to Mexico.  So I put a pan under the sink and would check on it every now and then and empty when it was full.  Of course this would be an inconvenience to anyone.  The next day the owner actually came over a little earlier and brought one of his workers with him.  As they were fixing the sink they looked at me and said "your a Christian right"?  I told them I was and then they began to ask me questions about what it means to follow Christ and what a true Christian looks like.  Before they arrived they had been talking about the owners brother who professed to be a Christian but still lived in a lifestyle of sin.  In other words he was a hypocrite.  Lisa and I were able to use this opportunity to preach the Gospel to them.  We helped them to stop looking at the brother and see their own sins before God.  It was a great time of being able to share what actually happens when one is truly converted and born again by the Spirit of God.  They eventually fixed the leak and were going to leave.  Before they left we gave them a couple gospel tracts to take with them.  I looked out the window a few minutes later and they hadn't left yet.  The owner was doing something else but his friend was sitting in the truck just reading away.  God had brought and ordained these men to be in our home to ask us questions about Christ that we might be able to preach the Gospel to them.  Praise God!  But not every inconvenience or bad situation turns out like this.  No matter what the situation is God can use it to conform us to the image of His Son.  Take persecution for example.  God uses persecution to refine, perfect, and purify the saints of God.  In Daniel, concerning persecution during the end times, God says "And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time." (Daniel 11:33-35)  Many can't see how one could give thanks to God in the midst of persecution unto death.  Yet God sometimes uses this very thing to bring about a greater good in His Saints.  You can see in Daniel that God uses these persecutions to refine, purify, and make white His Saints....  in other words they are being conformed into the image of Christ.  If we do all things "in the name of Jesus Christ" (Col 3:17) then God can and will use all things to conform us into His image.  And for this we can truly give God thanks in EVERYTHING. 

Yesterday Josef, Lina and I went to the open market by our house to preach the Gospel.  They have the market every week and it rotates around the city on different days.  Sunday, though, is always the largest market with the most people and vendors.  We arrived at about 11:00 or so and found a place to preach.  We each took turns preaching to the crowds.  The Lord enabled us to exalt the name of Christ and proclaim the way of salvation to many people.  During the preaching some of the people who were listening would come up to get one of the gospel of Johns that we had brought.   We pray God would draw them to His word and give them understanding.  When Josef was preaching he began to preach against the Catholic church and for Jesus.  He would explain what the Catholic church does and teaches and then quote scripture and show what the bible teaches.  You could hear people in the crowd who were just utterly shocked - in anger.  A couple of women came up and began to rebuke Josef.  These are people who claim to be following the Jesus of the bible yet react with anger and rage at the preaching of the truth.   How many people wouldn't be deceived if they would just pick up their bible, pray to God for understanding, and begin to read if for themselves!  Yet most people won't do this.  They are content with following blind leaders who make them feel good while they both fall into a ditch.  If you've ever doubted the depravity of man (definition at bottom of page) just go and preach to a crowd of people.  You will quickly see how people are totally consumed with themselves, completely selfish, despise God and His right to rule over their lives, and the fact that He is going to hold them accountable for ALL their sins.  Like the scripture says "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."  Yet from this sea of lost and wicked men there are some who will be saved!  (Acts 13:48)  God will give them grace to understand and believe the Gospel and they will cry out in repentance and faith being saved by the blood of Christ.  So we can confidently preach the Gospel knowing some will be saved by the grace of God!  We preached at the market for a couple hours and Lord-willing will be going back more frequently.  

God has continued to bless our outreaches in the village outside of Tijuana as well.  Each week there continue to be more adults and kids coming.  Some adults are starting to come solely because we've been ministering to their Children.  We always feed first with no conditions that they must attend the bible study.  Yet they all remain and specifically come for the bible study!  It's a beautiful thing to see the Lord drawing people and seeing a hunger in them for God and His word.  Please keep these outreaches in prayer!


Hannah, Hadassah, and Ethan have been making friends as well.  The girls are still learning Spanish, and like me, have a long way to go.  But the other day they had some of the children from the village come and spend the night at our house.  They were three sister named Cynthia, Fernanda, and Paola.  They didn't speak much English and our girls don't speak much Spanish.  But they seemed to understand each other just fine.  They had a great time just playing together and being kids.  Now I'm not normally a fan or promoter of Jack Chick but he's produced a good video called "The Light of the World".  We showed the kids the video which was very sobering for them.  In fact, Hannah came to us the next day saying she wanted to be saved because she knew that God would judge her for her sins.  It's interesting that she mentioned the judgment and not hell.  I do believe the judgment is what is going to be most fearful for people.  Having to stand before a perfectly holy, all powerful, eternal God, who has complete authority over your life and being made to give an account of your life.  The bible says that when Paul reasoned with Felix about rightousness, temperance, and judgment to come that Felix began to tremble. (Acts 24:25)  We explained to Hannah about Gods Grace and salvation through Christ.  That she must be the one who calls upon the Lord Jesus to be saved.  We're praying for her and can see that God is doing a great work in her heart!


Lastly, I thought I'd post some pic's of our new laundry boy.  He's not that quick at doing the laundry but he sure has fun doing it! 

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DEPRAVITY OF MAN:

Although fallen persons are capable of externally good acts (acts that are good for society), they cannot do anything really good, i.e., pleasing to God. God, however, looks on the heart. And from his ultimate standpoint, fallen man has no goodness, in thought, word, or deed. He is therefore incapable of contributing anything to his salvation.
- John Frame

 Romans 8:8
Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

 


Comments

03/09/2008 21:12

hey Sean and Lisa. Wow, I just want you to know that we are praying for you guys and rejoice when you rejoice and suffer when you suffer. I heard that you are all sick right now, but I know that God is absolutely soverign and will use this for your good and His glory. I check the site everyday to get updates and read the articles. I love you guys and we miss you.

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