We’re starting the new year looking forward, determined and optimistic. But we have a few things to do first…like, get rid of some stuff that slows us down. I think the beginning of a new year is a good time to evaluate and adjust. What slows us down? Weight and sin do. I’ve learned the hard way that weight is something that you’ve picked up that you shouldn’t have. It may not have necessarily been a bad thing, but just not something you should have committed to. Weight also is added gradually, and before long we’re tired and overwhelmed.
In 2 Timothy 2:4 Paul says, “No good soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” We tangle ourselves up in things that only distract us and hinder us from what the Lord has called us to do. Lay down your weight!
Then there is sin. I’ve heard it described as “missing the mark,” but I like what Randy Newman says in his book Questioning Evangelism. “When the Bible describes the nature of our rebellion against God, it paints an uglier picture than our simply missing a bull’s eye (Rom. 3:10-18). Rather than aiming carefully at God’s target, we turn our backs and shoot arrows everywhere else. Wanting to please ourselves, we ignore the true bull’s eye and set our affections on seductive targets that cannot satisfy, sanctify, or save. We are not primarily target-missers; we are self-centered, false-target worshippers.” Yeah, we didn’t just “miss the mark” we turned our back to the bullseye completely. What a vivid description!
So, having identified that which will hinder us in this race that the Lord has set before us, let’s be determined this year to keep our eyes on Jesus. In 1 Timothy chapter 6 (from The Message) it says, “Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses.” Run hard and fast to pursue a righteous life. I pray the Lord will strengthen our minds, bodies, and spirits as we follow hard after Him in 2019. Would you prayerfully consider partnering with us to take the Gospel where it isn’t? We covet your prayers and welcome the opportunity to go on mission with you!
The team got back about a week ago, and Jeff will be home next week. They have had a fantastic adventure with the Lord, and I can’t wait to hear all the stories. We will share some of their mission in next month’s newsletter. One of the guys on the trip was Hudson Hufham, a photographer/videographer (hud-productions.com). Here’s just a little of what Hudson’s experienced: “It was amazing to see the church prospering under less than ideal conditions. Nobody complained about the lack of leg space, the lighting, or the worship. People were there to fellowship and draw closer to God. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Hudson and the guys are pictured with a friend of ours who has a really cool God story. His name is Binod, if you’re interested you can read more about him at: ahamot.org/meeting-with-the-christian-thanka-painter-en/
On Jeff’s trek further up the mountain, he was able to meet a young man, Gautum. He is one of five followers in this large village, and they gather once a week for prayer & fasting. He was very cautious! It’s a start. Jeff told him He would be back in October with water filters. Oh, and by the way, the water filters are huge. HUGE. We are partnering with Sawyer Water Filters to provide clean water to the people the Lord places before us. We’ll definitely be loading up on filters on each trip! Please help us with this on-going need. The water filters cost us $17 each. It’s a great gift to those in need of clean water and an excellent way to share about Jesus, the Living Water, too!
Looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith,