Saturday, September 30, 2023
Saturday, September 30, 2023
HomeAll The NewsSTATE MISSIONS: In the Gap

STATE MISSIONS: In the Gap

“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none” (Ezek. 22:30 NIV). Although this verse deals with the sins of Jerusalem, I believe we have permission to apply it directly to our lives.

This is a very sad verse because Jerusalem was in a sad and horrible state — much like our beloved America spiraling down in every area of morality and decency. The Lord was saying through the prophet Ezekiel that He was searching for someone who would intercede for Jerusalem and do what was necessary for her salvation. When he looked, he found no one who would intercede for the nation and the city.

I believe we are at a time when God wants us to do less talking and more praying on behalf of our families, churches, communities and nation.When you and I pray for another person, we bring the power of God to bear upon that person’s life and situation. The word “intercede” comes from the Latin “inter,” — meaning “between” and “ced,” meaning “go.” So it literally means “go between” (according to the dictionary). Standing in the gap means to expose one’s self for the protection of something, to make a defense against any assailing danger, to take the place of a fallen defender or supporter.

Therefore, when we intercede for one another, our chief purpose is to fill in those gapsin one another’s spiritual armor and hold up that person so the enemy can’t gain an advantage over them. All through His Word, God has given example after example of those who interceded on another’s behalf — Jesus for one, the Holy Spirit, along with Daniel, Moses, Jacob and the woman of Canaan for her daughter. When there is no intercessor, breaches can develop in the wall around the Lord’s people, allowing the enemy to come in. When there is sin in the camp, we become vulnerable to attack. These attacks always bring trouble and that is why part of our responsibility, as followers of Jesus, is to pray for God’s intervention in the lives of others.

Basically, in our text, He found no one who cared! So please pray for your brothers and sisters as they strive to live a Christian life. Also pray for the lost that they might be saved. No matter how strong someone may look on the outside, only God knows what is happening on the inside.

From Our Missionaries

Misión Creciendo en Cristo (Growing in Christ), North Little Rock: Juan Carlos Posadas writes, “We met Oscar and Lisbet last week. They have two children, Emmanuel (age 5) and Santos (age 4). We were sharing the Word and praying with them. After the exchange of phone numbers, we were able to bless them with some things for their home.

“We also shared the Word and prayed with Ely and Alfredo. They have two sons, Dani Esau (age 5) and Berny Ariel (age 2). We gave them some items for their house, and they were very grateful and impressed by what the church was doing for them.

“Adriana is the mother of Karla (9) and Angel (8). Her behavior caught our attention since she was in front of the donations we had available for her, and on several occasions, she told us, ‘This could be of use to another family so I prefer not to take it.’ We also prayed with her and shared God’s Word with her.

“Javier and Aracely are going through some difficulties in their marriage, so we prayed and shared God’s Word with them.

“Please pray for each of the families contacted during the week, that they open doors for us so that the Word of God spreads among each member of their household.”

Faith Chapel, Flippin: Johnny Shew writes, “We had another great week at Faith Chapel. We tied for our second-best attendance ever, for both adults and children, and that was our previous best only two weeks ago. 

“We are praying fervently for the Lord to lead us into a new place with room to grow, either our own building on our own land or somewhere else temporarily. We just want the Lord’s will to be done.

“We received some bids to build what we would like to build that would meet our needs going forward and, to be honest, it seems impossible. The prices on labor and materials are incredibly high, but we know that ‘with God, nothing is impossible.’ As I said last week, ‘He will meet our needs according to His riches in glory.’ Therefore, we are simply praying and trusting in Him to open the doors, lead our mission and ministry and supply our every need.

“Please join us in that prayer. And please continue to pray for us, and for Faith Chapel, that the Spirit would give us utterance to boldly speak the gospel, and for Flippin, that He would soften and open their hearts to hear it.”

The Table, Springdale: Clinton Morris writes, “We had such a great week. The internship with Drew has gone great. We put a lot of work into a working Constitution and Articles of Faith that the future organized church will operate beneath. We are excited to be mapping out Drew’s future schedule and interactions within the community. There are so many little things that need to be done, but the finish line is in sight. We have several good efforts and a few lessons to go. 

“The boardgame convention — Tablecon — has already attracted attention to the church. We have a family that has reached out about visiting us soon. There has also been so much more local support for the convention. I have put up posters throughout lower Missouri and parts of Oklahoma. Several game publishers have also sent donations to help with the convention. Now we just need the people to show up. If you would like to help/support in any way, please contact me at (870) 316-1519.

“I saw the unity of the church grow stronger this last week. I am so pleased and very tired. Thank you so much for allowing me and my family the privilege to serve God here on your behalf.”

Faith Journey, Benton: Bryan Clay writes, “It’s back to school this week for our students! We have been praying for our teachers, staff and students — for their protection and blessings on a new year. We hope everyone has a great year.

“We continued our study in Joshua this week. We spoke about what a mess we can get ourselves into without God’s guidance. Even though the Israelites had just come from a tremendous victory at God’s command at Jericho, they felt that they could go into Ai on their own and defeat them without God’s direction. God allowed them to see how miserably they would fail.

“We also do that as Christians sometimes. We see God’s blessings in our lives when we are obedient to Him and then try to do things on our own or in our own way and see that we always fall short without Him.

“I ask for prayers for all of those who will be starting the Faith Bible Institute again this semester. It is a college-level course covering Biblical principles and it really is a great course to gain a deeper understanding of the Bible. I hope everyone has an amazing week!”

Misión Gracia Soberana (Sovereign Grace), NWA:Roberto Marcelletti writes, “Grace and peace to you my dear brothers. Reading Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, in chapter 1 we learn that of all the churches to which Paul writes, the church of Thessalonica is the only one that is said to be worthy of imitation. I have no doubt that the others were also doing a good job, but she is the only one of whom this is

said. Paul praises three things that he could appreciate in the members of this church — their faith, their love for work and the firmness of their hope. If we continue further on to verse 6, we find a great help for those of us who, in His grace, have understood that every believer must live on mission and that discipleship is God’s plan to reach and transform the world. The verse says the disciples modeled (showed ) with their lives the life of Jesus to the new believer. So the essence of discipleship is imitation — the leaders imitate Christ and the new disciples imitate these leaders, making the gospel visible to them. This is the power of God made visible, and against such a church there is no power to stop it.

“This week was a week where many doors were opened for us in the work we are developing in the Northwest Arkansas area. By His grace, three people received Christ and one was reconciled, we gave food to two families, a woman began her discipleship in her home and we continued discipling the group of people we have already discipled for a few weeks. There are five of us who meet between Thursday and Friday to teach them and show them the gospel.

“We also went to the house of a man who has cancer to pray for him and talked with his wife. On Saturday, my wife organized an event with the Colombian community to raise funds for a young woman who has a tumor on her head, and on Sunday a woman came to have lunch with us and we shared the gospel.”

Pea Ridge: Jake McCandless writes, “We continued our regular Discovery Bible Study this week. Each of us was impacted by the simplicity in which the early church operated as we read in Acts 2. We were glad to have Patrick back with us (work had been keeping him away). Patrick and Amber are more of the rockstars

in our core group in Pea Ridge. We also continued talks on the use of Legacy Tea & More. We’re planning a worship night!

“Continuing with how we got here, last week I shared how learning about the believers in Iran blew my mind. Christianity is growing there at 20% while the US grows at 0.04%. They don’t have any buildings, property or bank accounts. They grow through simple Discovery Bible Studies that aren’t led by vocational pastors, but by ‘members’ of the church. In these studies, the lost begin discipleship before conversion. Through a chronological reading from creation to the cross, a foundation of the truth is laid. In this pre-conversion discipleship believers also build a habit of obeying the Word and sharing.”

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