Monday, June 23, 2014

Today, my family is leaving for Utah. During our time there, we have several goals: 1) to engage in evangelistic ministry, 2) to meet with others committed to and engaged in church planting so that we can have a better understanding of ministry in their local context as well as develop key relationships, and 3) to strategize our next steps in moving toward church planting efforts in Utah. While this is a lot to do in a week and a half, our prayer is that God will guide our time there for His purposes and glory.

With this in mind, will you please commit to praying for us daily? Christ will need to bless us with the strength of his Holy Spirit to have any lasting fruit. We hope to provide updates while there, but we know that your prayers will be essential to an effective mission trip. Thank you so much for your continual encouragement and support of our ministry!

I want to leave you with an insightful quote from a book that I recently started reading by Stephen Tyng, a 19th century American Episcopalian pastor. In his Lectures on the Law and the Gospel, Tyng concludes his first chapter by reminding us of the need for spiritual enlightenment for salvation. May the Holy Spirit apply to the hearts of those in Utah their need of Christ as their Savior, providing our required perfect righteousness:

They who gain not this clear perception of the condition of man under the violated law, see not their need of the continued special influence of the Holy Spirit, to illuminate their minds, or to sanctify their hearts. They are led to doubt, or even to deny, his personal agency in the great work of man's redemption. In connexion with this, they are often deluded by the same ignorance, to reject the whole revelation of the Glorious Persons in the Trinity, — and the various indispensable doctrines of grace which are connected with it, such as the doctrine of actual satisfaction for sin in the Saviour's death,— of the imputation of his righteousness to believers for their justification, — and of the certain preservation of them in new obedience, by the power of the Holy Ghost. They do not feel themselves to be destroyed in sin; they see not therefore their need of the free and boundless love of the Father, electing them unto life, as the origin of their hope; of the divine merit of an Immanuel to bring them in acceptance before him, and into possession of this life; and of the Almighty agency of the Spirit to enable them to know and to receive the things which are thus freely given to them of God. Multitudes thus bring down their avowed system of religion to some low and miserable standard, which in fact almost assumes the sufficiency of their own nature, and their own works to meet the judgment and to claim the favour of God. All these are mistakes which spring altogether from an ignorance of his law. Let them obtain a thorough insight into its claims and character by the enlightening power of the Spirit, and they will then see how solemnly and fatally its demands and sanctions shut them up under the condemnation and bondage of sin; they will then see, that if any one less than God himself, undertake their salvation, they must assuredly perish; they will be convinced that no arm inferior to the Lord of hosts, can rescue them from the wrath to which they are exposed, or bring to them the victory they require; — they will humbly seek, and then shall surely find, the free and great salvation, which God has so clearly revealed, and so fully offered, in the provisions of his Gospel, — and they will realize the importance of the prayer before us, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law [Psalm 119:18]," — in discerning that all these advances in spiritual knowledge are dependant upon an accurate understanding of its character and claims (24-25).



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