3 Simple lessons from a trip to Southeast Asia

Well, I'm back from a powerful missions trip. I was given the thrill of being able to teach a variety of leaders, and preach in the context of several ministries, take part in a baptismal service with believers from an underground church, and what a thrill to share the gospel in a variety of settings.

The fruit that I am most grateful about is the change in my own heart. I'm not sure exactly why this is the case, but I come back home impacted more than ever before after a missions trip. I was stunned by three powerful components to Asian Christianity. 1) A Simplicity of faith, 2) A Comprehensive faith and 3) A Fruitful faith. Our faith ought to be characterized as pure and simple and then grow from "faith to faith" just as the mustard seed teaching that Jesus gives in the Gospels. Our faith should also be comprehensive (which in large part is reflected in the teaching on the leaven in Luke 13). It ought to impact every corner of our lives, both public and private. Last it ought to be fruitful. The Holy Spirit changes us when we hear and learn and submit to the Word of God. He will bring change in our life and that change will impact others as we live out the power of the Gospel by means of His Spirit and His Word. It is simply not enough to "know right." There must be a submission on our part to God's work and Word. I'm encouraged to consider the teaching in Psalm 19 that the Word of God will change my heart. That's a thrill because even as a believer, I have too much left over corruption from the old sin nature to change my heart without God's direct intervension. Consider the changes God's Word will bring into our life when we submit to the change:

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The statues of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever, the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold. sweeter also than honey and the honey-comb
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Psalm 19:7-10

I pray that the impact of what I've witnessed and learned will not leave me. We are too comfortable in Western Christianity. Instead of utilzing the resources that we have, too often we have become lazy and dependent on the "stuff" of our ministries than the God of our ministries. I wish you could have heard the stories and had seen the lives I witnessed. God is powerful...still...in this dispensation no less. I pray God will open our eyes in these days. How I am stunned by our Lord's patience and mercy with his children, with me. May our Love for God grow as we reflect on Who He is and what He's done. May God grant us a faithful determination to follow His Word and participate in His work!

Straight Ahead!

jt

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