Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Tuesday, March 5, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSTATE MISSIONS: On Mission

STATE MISSIONS: On Mission

In John 5:1-7, we read the story of the man Jesus healed at the pool of Bethesda. I see in this incident in the life of Jesus a parallel to the great task of evangelism we encounter daily. First, I want to draw your attention to the fact that Jesus went (action word). The cripple did not come to Jesus, but Jesus went to him. An important fact that Webster tells us is that the word “went” is the same as “go.” As the

command in Matt. 28:16 the disciples were gathered, and Jesus told them to go. In Greek, the word go means “as you are going.”

We do not know what feast Jesus went to observe and that is not important for His real reason for going was to illustrate what He had said in verse 24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” 

I cannot explain what took place there, but it must have been extraordinary for the man to lay there for 38 years waiting patiently. No matter how you look at this miracle, it is an illustration of the grace of God. It was grace that brought Jesus there. Who would want to be around that crowd? In verse 3 of our text (the great multitudes), we see the human need, sickness, disease, brokenness and an inability to change their condition. Is it possible we have become so familiar with the command to do Missions that it has lost some of its meaning?

On a list 1-10, one being the most important, where would Missions be placed in your church? Better yet, on this same scale, where does Missions rank to you as an individual?

In verse 4, we see God’s provision that is the stirring of the waters by an angel of the Lord. Then in verse 7, we see the problem — there is no one to put the man into the pool after the waters have been stirred. 

When I read this, one thing that jumps out at me is, “What happened to the people who got healed? Why didn’t they help the others?” When we look at this story in the light of these questions, you can see that it is illustrative of our present state of evangelism. Sadly, many who have received the gospel messages are like those who were able to get into the pool and receive healing. It seems that once they had been healed they left that place where so many were desperate and needy and failed to help them under the gospel message that they, too, might be saved.

There are two extremes of experiences in evangelism which are so prevalent in the church today. One is a lack of results leading to hesitancy, and two is self-satisfaction leading to self-absorption. I want to see us move to the place of seeing evangelism as just a natural part of living the Christ-life and not as a rigorous duty to be entertained. When I read the words of the crippled man, I cannot help but hear the cries of men, women, boys and girls across Arkansas, America and the world who are wandering in sin’s darkness. 

I want to give you an example of what your support of Missions does hundreds of times a year. While serving as your missionary at Highland Hills, a member (Jo Ann McCann’s) mother came to live with her. JoAnn asks me if I would visit her mother. When I visited this kind and dear elderly lady and began to share the great love of Jesus and how He loved us so much to die in our place, the tears begin to run down her face. She looked me in the eye and said, “Bro. Paul, no one has ever told me that before.” She was well up in years and lost. She grew up with churches all around her and yet no one helped her to Jesus.

Friends, that breaks my heart for I know there are thousands just like her who are waiting, wanting, hoping that someday someone will help them right here in Arkansas. But praise God, because people like you and those that make up all our churches cared enough to send a missionary (me) to help this lady into the pool of God’s forgiveness. There is a church in Highland today that is still sending out the light — all because others cared enough to send someone.

There is no higher honor to be conferred upon the Christian and no greater privilege given to the believer in Jesus Christ than to be associated with Him in the great and blessed work of bringing a lost world to the knowledge of the truth. Truly this is being Christ-like — “for the son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

From Our Missionaries

Misión Creciendo en Cristo (Growing in Christ), North Little Rock: Juan Carlos Posadas writes, “On Monday, I met with German Rodriguez, who needed to hear the Word of God. After praying and reading the Word, German decided to start the discipleship process. Pray that his commitment is real and that he will be established in faith.

“During the week, we were very busy preparing the building for the celebration of the first wedding in our congregation. In some discipleship meetings we decided to use the time to decorate the building. 

“On Saturday at 3:30 p.m., we began the marriage ceremony between Oscar and Emelda, who decided to honor God with that step of obedience and have become a good example for the congregation. We were very happy, the whole church was partying and we enjoyed meeting the friends and family of Oscar and Emelda. Let’s pray for this marriage.”

Ebenezer, West Little Rock: Ruben Isturiz writes, “Thank God, we recovered attendance a little this week compared to last week. The Berean Group (Home Group) in Stonehedge Dr. was suspended because five of its members were sick because of allergies. I am very happy with what is happening in this group. New people are coming to hear His Word. 

“Last Wednesday was our second meeting at the Alcazar family home. Dulce is doing well, but she was having problems with spiritual battles. We have had great progress. My prayer is for a new Berean Group will come out of this place. They are in Shannon Hills.

“Thursday, I visited the Southwest Little Rock Berean Group. They are already a functioning group without my presence. It is a blessing to see them grow.

“On Sunday, I gave a Bible study to the baseball players. The season has started, and I am a baseball chaplain. 

“This week I will be very busy Monday, Wednesday, Thursday with the Berean Groups and on Tuesday with discipleship to some young people. Thank you for your prayers. To God be the Glory!”

Faith Chapel, Flippin: Johnny Shew writes, “What a great week at Faith Chapel! We had great attendance and an amazing time of worship! “We had one join this week, and we will be baptizing her at our mother church, The Bridge, next week. We have been praying for this lady for a long time, and God is faithful.

“Another that we have been praying for, Adam (the young man I told you about that left John 3:16) came back to service Sunday, praise God! He entered a different faith-based treatment program in Harrison, got a job and is attending church services and Bible studies there. He looked amazing, and he just kept talking about all that Jesus had done for him. Thank You, Lord, for hearing our prayers; and thank You, Lord, for your answers! 

“We thank you for your prayers for us, Faith Chapel and for Flippin. Please continue; He truly is answering them.”

The Table, Springdale: Clinton Morris writes, “I had great meetings on Monday and Tuesday. Several of our people are moving, so we have been helping them. We also had one of our visitors from a few months ago start attending regularly. “A few of our meetings were going over some more creative ways of engaging our community, and we may have a way to get into some of the public schools because of our newest attendee.

“Drew filled in for me in many of our meetings while I was away with my family for a few days. He also preached on Sunday. I am so pleased with his commitment to working and helping.”

Faith Journey, Benton: Bryan Clay writes, “‘This is the day that the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it’ (Psa. 118:24). God showed up and showed out for Faith Journey for our launch day on May 1. We held our very first meeting at The Cabin 3H today, and had a good attendance for the mission.

“We began our first service with a time of fellowship by asking everyone to pair up with someone they did not know and learn something about the other person. It was a great way to get to know others, and we had a lot of fun with it. We then began our worship time with music and singing led by Roy Hale, owner of The Cabin 3H. He has a gift from God with his music, and it set the tone for us to worship in God’s presence. I was able to share what I believe is God’s vision for Faith Journey and gave a sermon on sharing the gospel with all people (Luke 5:27-31).

“I would like to thank the BMA of Arkansas and our sending church, Celebration Baptist Church in Haskell, for allowing us this opportunity to serve and share God’s Word to further the expansion of His kingdom. It was a great day, and we are rejoicing in the Lord!”

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