18

Oct

Jesus; the Greatest Word of God to Men

Written by Steven Frey

“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22

 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11

This week I was in our back yard raking leaves as a cold Manitoba autumn drizzle dampened my sweater and made the grass wet and slick around me. Fall time and the change of season was evident everywhere.

In many aspects I love autumn and was reminded of the verse from Genesis 8 which I quoted above. As long as the earth remains and the constancy of the seasons continue we see the goodness of God displayed in His common grace to everyone. And as the Apostle Paul states in the first chapter of Romans (my paraphrase): “What can be known about God is plain… because God has shown it… For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made.”

Javier and Cristina stand in front of a mural with the scripture verse from Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and preach the gospel” in both Spanish and Xi Ui, the indigenous Pame language

Tragically though, the first chapter of Romans does not end there, nor does it conclude happily. Indeed verse 32, the last verse in the first chapter states: “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”

Common grace, undeserved blessings that all of natural man receives from the hand of God is not enough alone to draw the hearts of men and women to Him. For, as the Apostle Paul continues: “Although they knew God (as evidenced through his creation and the common grace of God all around them everywhere), they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (v 21).

That was the sad and desperate condition of all of us before we were drawn by the mercy of God to salvation through the message of the gospel of His Son Jesus Christ.

I was recently introduced to a song which I believe beautifully and clearly shows the progression of divine revelation – through creation God whispers; through the Holy Scriptures he speaks; and through Jesus Christ God has shouted. Jesus, God’s greatest Word to men…

God Has Spoken (words by: Chris Anderson)

God has whispered through Creation
Making all with Let there be
His creative voice still echoes
Through the works we hear and see
Oh what power oh what wisdom
Oh what kindness God has shown
God has whispered through Creation
He exists and may be known

God has spoken through the Scriptures
Breathing out His sacred Word
Spirit-led the holy authors
Have declared Thus says the Lord
Teaching us of sin and sinners
Of God’s saving sacrifice
God has spoken through the Scriptures
Pointing us to Jesus Christ

God has shouted through the Savior
Greatest Word of God to men
Word made flesh Christ took our nature
One of us without our sin
Jesus highest revelation
Seeing Him is seeing God
God has shouted through the Savior
Praise the living Word of God

We must also clearly understand that this message of the gospel, the good news of God for the salvation of sinners, has always been the center of God’s dealing with man from the beginning of sin, and is contained throughout the whole of the Bible – both Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament scriptures point towards Jesus, while the New Testament reveals plainly the reality of the promised Savior and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This group of believers from Milpas Viejas walk five kilometers up and down the side of a mountain pathway to fellowship with the Church gathering in Agua Nueva

Indeed, It is only through Jesus as revealed to us through the written Word of God – the Holy Bible, that we can be saved. There is no other way to find or attain salvation than through faith in Jesus Christ.

But what does faith in Jesus mean? What is this gospel, this good news that saves? What is the message of salvation distilled into its most basic and indivisible elements?

I believe that the bible is clear on this and its message unwavering. Indeed the gospel is not good news to the sinner at first, and he cannot receive the good news of salvation until he first receives the bad news – the reality that he is a sinner and cannot save himself or come before a Holy God on his own, and that he needs salvation in the first place.

When a person has his spiritual eyes opened by the mercy of the Holy Spirit to see that he is a sinner beyond all hope of coming on his own before God, then I believe that there are six elements of the gospel that must become internalized and believed – not in some sort of head approval, but rather, deeply into the soul and heart causing a complete life change – a true conversion. These are as follows (I Corinthians 15):

Jesus Christ has come in the flesh: Virgin born, the Son of God, fully man and fully God – God incarnate.
Jesus died for our sins: Paying our debt that we could never pay and making a way that we can have peace with Holy God.
Jesus was buried: He body was dead and laid in a tomb for three days.
Jesus was raised on the third day: His body was resurrected from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is Lord: The central message of the Bible is that “Jesus Christ is Lord.” When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, by definition it must also involve the recognition of His lordship in our life, because the Savior who saved us when we received Him by faith is the Lord Jesus Christ himself.
Jesus is Judge: The Bible makes it very clear that both the righteous and the unrighteous will be judged by God. To those who are perishing this should be fearful beyond belief because as the writer to the Hebrews states: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”. In Matthew 10 Jesus’ own words of warning are: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell”. But to the saved believers in Jesus the Apostle Paul exults in Romans 8:34 “Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us”.
Mercifully for all of us, as Isaiah stated in chapter 55 as quoted at the beginning of this blog; God’s Word as contained in the Bible, and His effectual call through the Holy Spirit, is powerful beyond all measure and will never return empty, “But it shall accomplish that which [God has] purpose[d], and shall succeed in the thing for which [God] sent it.”

But there still remains a human link of faithfulness in the chain of God’s call upon the human heart. Because, as the Apostle Paul stated in Romans 10: 13-15: Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But then he poses the obvious question:  “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?”

Paul then concludes this thought with the words: “As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

This is a quote from Isaiah 52:7. In fact, Isaiah added the words “on the mountains”, reading “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news.”

How beautiful indeed!

It is my joy, as always, to direct your attention once again to the ongoing ministry as it is unfolding literally on the mountains and across the valleys of Mexico though faithful servants of God. Not perfect, but men and women unflinchingly and unbendingly faithful, whose feet are incredibly beautiful because of their selfless faithfulness to God’s divine call on their lives.

First of all, I urge you to remember to pray for Javier and Cristina and the ministry teams that they have developed around themselves as they labor for the Lord. As I have mentioned before in other blogs, both Javier and Cristina minister long and very difficult hours and sometimes I fear for their health and wonder if they could possibly face the danger of physical burn-out. They have every candle lit on both ends as well as in the middle. However, in truth, what a way to go – flaming out for the Lord! Still, they are human, and I encourage you to pray for their health and strength.

God continues to open doors for missionary outreach into new areas as the teams go ever deeper into the far-flung reaches of the Pame zone. Churches that have been established over the past months and years among Pame Believers are maturing, and new disciples are being added continually. Communities of Believers are now established in Tanlacut, Milpas Viejas, Agua Nueva, Chacuala, El Coco, Tanlú, Santa Catarina, and beyond.

There has also been a beachhead established into the very religious and cultural heart of the Pame region – into Santa Maria Acapulco itself, along with the sixteen surrounding communities which make up a combined population of 16,000 souls in that district alone, and a fledgling body of Believers has been established in San Diego, one of these surrounding communities.

The leadership conference that I referred to in my last blog did take place with much success, and Pame pastors and leaders were strengthened and encouraged. Javier hopes to continue with leadership training and encouragement on an ongoing basis.

Believers continue faithful to the Word and to Christian fellowship. An example of this is the tiny community of Milpas Viejas where Believers walk five kilometers up and down the side of a mountain pathway to fellowship with the Church gathering in Agua Nueva in the valley below.

The instrument of Christian radio continues to be a valuable tool in this far-flung mountainous region, bringing the gospel in their own native language to many who would otherwise not be able to be fed spiritually. As I challenged you in my last blog, I do so again: as an individual, your Sunday school class, your family, your coffee group, your quilting guild, your church, or to the limits of your imagination – to take this opportunity to raise funds for this very hands-on and practical project. If you would take it upon yourself to collect and raise funds for the purchase of the small radios being distributed by Javier and the missionary team many more new believers could be mentored in their walk in the Lord. If you are interested in giving towards this need please feel free to email me at steve_frey_74@yahoo.com and we can come up with some plans.

Besides all of their work among the Pame tribal people in the western mountains both Javier and Cristina are very busy in Cd. Valles and the surrounding communities as well. They not only pastor a church in community of Solidaridad where they live, but this year Javier is also serving as regional presbyter for the Assemblies of God, a role which he takes very seriously.

Cristina is very involved in various women’s ministries as well as serving the children and youth and their families in the Hidden Manna Children’s Work in the little squatter’s village of Buenos Aires. Besides this she heads up extensive Vacation Bible School programs throughout the region during the summer months. The past several years she and her team (many of them youth that have matured in their love for the Lord through the ministry of Hidden Manna) have held week-long Bible School programs for the children not only in the region surrounding Cd. Valles, but also in the far-flung corners of the western mountains in Pame villages.

I am grateful to be able to tell you that the drought that has crippled the region for the past three or four years has finally come to an end and the rivers and wells are once again filling up as much-needed, and much prayed-for rain has finally returned to the area. But please pray that the rainy season this year will be adequate to “finish the job” and not peter out too soon before the job is completed. Basically what falls during the twice-annual rains is what provides the region’s water for the year.

Also, I am personally grateful to report that God has been faithful, and that so far we have been able to meet our obligations financially to the ongoing ministry in Mexico. There is never much, but like the widow’s flask of oil and handful of flour there always seems to be another drop or pinch when needed for the work.

We continue to financially assist Javier and Cristina in their missional work among the Pame tribal group, ministry locally, the ministry with the children, and in keeping the vehicle road worthy for the mission outreaches up into  the western mountains. To those who are faithful in this giving; I thank you. God will reward you richly for your faithfulness.

My pledge to God has been that as long as there are funds to do so, Voice in the Wilderness will continue to assist the ongoing ministry in Mexico. It is my duty, however, to keep the need ever before you, the Church.

Notwithstanding all of the blessings which I have enumerated above I want to repeat a warning that I identified in my last blog entry of August 8 where I stated: “Please continue to hold up Javier, Cristina and the missionary teams as they continue to penetrate into this region of deep spiritual oppression and darkness [ie., among the Pame tribal villages]. Let us not be lulled into apathy or lack of prayerfulness because we see that God is apparently bringing spiritual advancement into this region so dominated spiritually by evil forces and demonic powers.

We must always remain mindful of what Paul stated in Ephesians 6:12: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places”.”

Indeed, there has been a powerful new opposition to the gospel encountered in the Santa Maria Acapulco area – the pagan religious and cultural seat of the region. After at first being received with apparent open arms, there is now renewed hostility. But are we surprised? Did we think that Satan and his minions would give ground without a fight? Or do we not realize at what level the battle really is?

Please continue to pray for laborers to assist Javier and Cristina in their work. They cannot do it alone. God is providing helpers, but the fields are white and the heads of grain full. Please pray to the Lord of the harvest that he will provide more workers.

Then finally, please also pray for Theresa and I as we make plans to spend a month with Javier and Cristina this winter. As plans stand at the moment, Pastor Fred Erb, and possibly one or two other brothers from Listowel Community Church in Listowel, Ontario will meet Theresa and I in Mexico around the end of January. Pastor Fred will assist Javier in a pastor’s/leadership conference in the western mountains, as well as meet with leaders and friends in the Cd. Valles area during the week that he and the other brothers will be in Mexico.

Javier and Cristina at a missionary conference with the three tribal groups in their area of Mexico. The embroidery and decorations are Tenek

After they leave Theresa and I hope to offer vision clinics utilizing the tools of Global Vision 2020 in the poorer of the Pame villages, training one or two nationals how to also do the vision clinics so that the work can go on even after we leave. (https://gv2020.org/)

You will perhaps remember that we had hoped to do this back in November and December of 2020 but had to cancel the outreach due to the newly introduced Covid-19 restrictions at that time: [http://www.vitwministries.com/wordpress/2020/08/the-lord-remains-in-his-holy-temple-let-all-the-earth-keep-silence-before-him/]

The Lord willing this time we will be able to fulfill this vision, thus providing the ministry with one more evangelistic tool. Please pray for us, and that the funds needed to purchase the vision kits will come in in a timely way before the end of the year.

And as always, thank you for being a part of the ongoing work. Thank you for being faithful in your prayers, giving, and love for the people of Mexico.

Your fellow laborers in the love of Jesus Christ,

Steven and Theresa






One Response to “Jesus; the Greatest Word of God to Men”

  1. Thanks Steve, we were able to get this. We will continue to pray for the darkness to be rolled back so Javier and teams can continue to moinister, etc.
    Blessings to as you and Theresa go down in January along with Fred. May God bless that time richly.
    Love to you all, Cleo and Char

    Cleo -Char commented on 10:27 am on October 19th, 2022


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