Moving Christians from the pew to the harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38
It’s good to be part of God’s project.
Last Sunday, I had the privilege of taking part in the baptism of a young lady in our home church. I spoke to her after the service, and she was simply beaming with the glory of God. It was a wonderful reminder for me of the importance of staying focused on the important things God has given us to do. Go, make disciples. Baptize them and teach them to obey Jesus. When we do, God helps us.
At our June Pastor’s Breakfast in Hermosillo, I shared some thoughts from the Apostle Paul that speak to the issue of why we do ministry. He addressed the topic several times, but the synopsis at the end of Colossians Chapter 1 is particularly good:
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.Colossians 1:24-29 ESV
Let me hit a few high points:
- He saw his ministry as a precious gift. It belonged to God, it was for the benefit of the Church, and he was to be a faithful steward of it. Indeed, his ministry was a continuation of the ministry of Jesus Christ.
- The content of his ministry is the Word of what Christ has done and is doing: “Christ in you.” Knowing this will prepare the people to stand mature before Christ at His coming.
- Paul endured hardship and worked hard at his task because he cared for the Church, understood his purpose, and knew he was accountable for it.
- When he did these things, God provided him with the strength and ability to stay in the fray.
These things that were so real to Paul are all true for you and me today. I want to encourage you that God is not done. You are part of the army that is continuing His ministry in the earth. He has entrusted you with a calling, a gift, and a message. No matter what the enemy throws at you, God will get you through. We have a job to do preparing Christ’s Body for His return. It’s my privilege to serve with you in that project.
Hermosillo was a blessing: I spent a busy week teaching, preaching, and meeting with ministers. The class, “Ministry to the Tormented,” was well received. In spite of the intense heat and some technical challenges, God did a nice job. The students were blessed. Many of them reported that they had never heard most of the material before and they found it extremely helpful. Another encouraging sign was the number of students who turned in completed assignments from our previous Level II classes. The homework for these courses is quite a bit more demanding than the first level stuff, but we see real effort being made. These folks want to grow!
I had the privilege of ministering on Sunday at Iglesia Orabes Hermosillo with Pastor Jose Santos Ramos. This is the church that hosted our Level I bible school from 2017 until 2020. They are doing a wonderful job of touching their world! I taught on the powerful implications of being alive together with Christ, sharing in the Zoe life of God. In particular, what does that imply for when we all gather together in one accord. We did, He did, and it was powerful!
Help Wanted: As you may know, I am working on several projects. The biggest hang-up is simply lack of time. There are not enough hours in the day for me to do all the stuff that needs doing. Pray for us that we can find two people: one to prepare written materials for publication, and another (or more than one) to help with translating them into Spanish.
Thank you for your prayers and support. I run out of creative ways to express how much we appreciate you. Your confidence in us has been an ongoing source of strength for Judy and me. Thank you!
Financial support can be sent to Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson at the address below or given online at www.fcftucson.org. Make checks payable to FCFT, you can designate for missions or pastorvirgil and it will get where it needs to go. It’s great to be part of God’s project with you.
PLEASE!!!! Don’t forget to visit www.pastorvirgil.com. There’s new stuff every week. You don’t want to miss it. Share it with your friends. You can help by looking at the Pastorvirgil.com Facebook page and hitting “Follow.” Whenever you see a post, share it. This will help us reach more people. We also maintain a Facebook page in Spanish @IEMFeonline.
Yours in His service,
Virgil and Judy Stokes
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson AZ, 85745