From September 2014

A Friend in the ministry

saglevictory

A Friend in the ministry

On that final journey to Rome Paul traveled with two good friends, Luke and Aristarchus, who had been with him through thick and thin.  Luke and Aristarchus proved themselves to be true friends in the ministry.  We have several men and women in our church who have been serving with me personally for over a decade and some nearly 2 decades.  

Where ever there are people working together their will be disagreements.  God’s call for unity doesn’t mean that we all think and act exactly alike in areas of Christian liberty.  God doesn’t call for uniformity of standards and opinions but unity within our differences of personality, gifts, preferences, and minor doctrinal differences.  To deny differences among believers in the Christian walk results in a judgmental, prideful, and legalistic attitude. 

When People minister together in the church for long periods of times it brings God great pleasure.  How do people maintain such loyal and long lasting friendships?  They give each other the benefit of the doubt and don’t assume wrong motives.  They don’t react angrily in conflict but respond graciously with humility.  They work on loving each other as Christ loved them.  Most importantly they have unity based on the essentials of the faith.  God is ultimately most pleased with our unity surrounding the essential truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Paul said it clearly in I Corinthians 2:2  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  The gospel is Jesus Christ, the one and only way to heaven.  He is the one we turn to by letting go of our sins and receiving Him as Lord and Savior.  We trust in his blood sacrifice that cleanses us of our sins and makes us acceptable to God.  Ephesians 1:6-7  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

The key to long lasting friendships is to glory in the gospel of Christ and continue to be more like Him in every part of our lives.  May you be consumed with the love of Christ so that you will have the strength to develop and enjoy friendships that will last a life time.

Jerry Favor- Pastor at Sagle Victory Baptist Church

Central America and the Gopel

honduras

 I am writing this article while riding down the mountainside from Santa Lucia to Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  A group from our church is presently on a mission trip serving through the Maranatha Baptist Church of Santa Lucia.

To say life is different here than the US is an understatement.  I quickly discovered that Alto on a sign means to slow down slightly then hit the accelerator while steering clear of the motorcyclist passing you in the gutter! I also peered down several manholes as we straddled the deep circular crevices at high speeds whose metal covers had been stolen.  Pity the one who’s attention is diverted and loses his front tire and suspension or the careless worker who pops his head up for a quick look around!  On the other hand it was nice to see a McDonalds and Denny’s in the capital city and visit the “biggest” mall in Central America of which they are furiously proud!

The main thing we have in common with the people of Honduras is a desire at a little prosperity and spiritual peace and security.  The sad thing is that most people in Honduras will experience little wealth as well as finding little spiritual peace.  One can become materially prosperous but that prosperity will never satisfy until he is at peace with God.  However, one can have peace with God and be perfectly content and happy with little or no material prosperity.

We met many wonderful people with a deep faith in God and love for His word living in poverty.  They had all found forgiveness of their sins in Jesus Christ who died on the cross to forgive their sin and restore a right relationship between them and God.  They found the Saviour of grace and mercy as a welcome departure from the popular  religion of works, traditions, and sacraments.  That welcome gospel of the peace of Christ that was brought to them, in great part, via the many years of effort by bible believing churches bringing the good news of Jesus to the capital and the surrounding countryside.

The self sacrificing dedication of Christian missionaries deserves much appreciation yet all glory goes to God for every Honduran who believes in Jesus and finds forgiveness and realizes true peace of heart and the eternal prosperity of the soul.  Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!