Do to an “off the rails” kind of week ministry-wise, I had an insufficient amount of time to work on my post for today. So, I’m going to eat from the forbidden fruit that is a re-posting of something I wrote for a different blog.
Below is a post I wrote the other day as a follow up to a post that was a word of encouragement to missionaries that serve around the world with Shepherd’s Staff.
I pray you’re as encouraged reading these things as I was while I reflected on God’s grace and faithfulness in my own life and ministry.
John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
In my last post, I made an attempt to use the truths that Jesus spoke in this verse to encourage those of you who are serving as missionaries in various places around the world.
In this post I’d like to share how the Lord has used the truths of this verse in my own life at three specific times.
The first time was in January of 1987. Our Missionary God had recently confirmed to my wife and I that He had set us apart to the work of planting a church in the second largest city in the Philippines, Cebu City. In response to this call on our lives, we plunged into His word seeking principles and truths that would help us to obey the call and to proceed with confidence.
John 15:16 was the first and most foundational verse that He drove into the depths of our hearts and minds. We knew that His desire was for us to take the truths of this verse as if He had spoken them directly to us. He wanted us to know He had chosen us, not vice-versa. That He appointed us to GO to Cebu City and to bear fruit there. And as a church planter, the truth that I really zeroed in on–that the fruit that we bore would remain.
We headed for Cebu in September, 1987. Five and a half years later, a small, but healthy church had been planted and the transition to a national pastor had officially taken place.
The second time was the day we actually flew away from Cebu.
At the end of our final full day as a missionary family in Cebu, we spent the night at the missionary guesthouse in the city that was operated by the Baptist General Conference (BGC). The BGC guesthouse was a beautiful little oasis in the midst of a large, busy, over populated, and polluted city.
Everyone who stays overnight at the guesthouse comes together every morning for an American breakfast. Before the prayer for the meal, the guesthouse director, (who happened to be a retired businessman from the Midwest), always reads from that day’s Daily Bread devotional and then prays for the meal.
Would you like to hazard a guess on what verse the Daily Bread focused on for that day’s devotion?
As soon as this brother began reading John 15:16, Helen and I looked at each other in awe. We knew that He cared about the details of our lives, but we never expected He would reveal His care at that level of detail.
It was an unforgettable moment that will be etched in our hearts and minds for eternity.
When our family walked out of the guesthouse an hour later to depart for the airport we were greeted by Pastor Bong and many members of the church. Needless to say, we were completely overwhelmed by His grace, His sovereignty, and His faithfulness to His promises that we had taken seriously.
The third time hasn’t actually taken place yet, but it is scheduled.
If my health holds up and no major unforeseen events happen, Helen and I will fly to Cebu City the first week of January to attend a special event on Sunday, January 13, 2013:
The 25th anniversary of Calvary Chapel of Cebu City!!!
Our Missionary God was serious when He spoke the truths of John 15:16 to us all those years ago. He promised that the fruit we went over there to produce would remain, and He has been faithful to that promise.
He’s worthy of YOUR trust in Him and His promises.