Sovereign Grace Blog
And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice… (John 10:16 ESV)
This past week we received an ambassador report from Kim Erickson that we’re posting below because we think it is both a faith-building and helpful example of how to share the gospel with an unbeliever who may just be one of those ‘other sheep’ that Jesus loves so dearly. Also, remember to send us your own ambassador reports. Stories of overcoming fear, faithful sharing of the gospel, and leading someone to repentance and faith are a benefit to the entire church.
I just wanted to share with you about God giving me “another” chance to give the gospel today, August 3rd. He is so gracious to give us different opportunities to live our lives for Him.
I was down at Precept Ministries July 7-18th. We were inductively studying Luke 1-16. One of the things God was impressing upon me was the cost of discipleship, the cost of being a believer – not just “special” believers, but every believer.
23And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
24“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.
25“For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?
26“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
I was convicted in a deeper manner that my life should be characterized by saying “no” to myself daily concerning my wants and desires and “yes” to what God would have me do that day. Along with this, I was reminded that one of my primary jobs as a believer was to share the gospel with everyone because we are all sinners. There isn’t anyone who isn’t a sinner. But if this was true conviction I knew it would have to be played out in my life.
On the plane ride home from Precept Ministries I had to go from Atlanta to Minneapolis. It was a 2 hour flight. In God’s sovereignty I knew that whoever sat beside me on the plane was His plan. Was I ready? Well, it happened that 2 men sat next to me. They began arguing almost immediately when we sat down. One was accusing the other of being rude. As they continued, it was very obvious from their conversation that they were homosexual partners. Their arguing continued the whole trip; in the meantime I was praying “God, give me the words to say! What should I say?” I couldn’t discern His voice. I was disappointed in myself because the truth must be that I was too scared to really want to hear. But I kept thinking there had to be some way I could interrupt them and verbalize the grace of God available to them. But it ended up I didn’t say anything. I was so disheartened, so sad. Thankfully God wouldn’t let me be condemned; I was grateful for that.
Then today God gave me another chance! When Tim and I were in the waiting room at the hospital where our granddaughter was soon to be born, there was another man sitting there. I wanted to find out where he was from or where he lived because he looked foreign and spoke a foreign language. I was praying, “God, if he needs to hear the gospel, give me a way to do it!” He was there because his son and daughter-in-law had just had a baby. Since we had that in common, we talked about that for awhile. Then I asked where he was from. He said Pakistan! As we were talking, his son came into the room. While he was occupied in a conversation with his son, I pulled out my smart phone because I wanted to look up the national religion of Pakistan: 95% Muslim! My smart phone also told me some other things about the country like the different languages spoken there. As he paused in speaking with his son, I asked him what Pakistani language he spoke. We had a short conversation about that. Then I asked him and his son if they were Muslim. They said, “Yes.” So we had a conversation about how Muslims get to heaven. I asked them if they had read about Jesus in the Koran. They said, “Yes.” So at that point I told them who Jesus was and gave them the gospel. As I was finishing, they received a phone call and had to leave. In God’s perfect timing, I was able to “fit” what needed to be said in the amount of time they were sitting there. And God graciously reminded me that my job was to give the gospel not convert them.
I was so thankful that God gave me another opportunity and the courage to share His good news. It wasn’t that I didn’t think He wouldn’t give me another chance but I was grateful that He had built me up with His Word, not only as I was studying the book of Luke for myself, but also through His Word from Matthew 5 preached in God’s sovereign timing by Mark last week. My first-hand knowledge of the Word had helped me to stand in the “heat of battle,” and His Word preached from the pulpit spurred me on. I was also encouraged by other ambassador reports that we have heard throughout the year, and that as a church, God is indeed giving us opportunities and courage to be a part of the expansion of the kingdom of God. What a privilege it is to be ambassadors for Christ, begging others to be reconciled to Him.
- September 8 is kick-off Sunday (stay tuned for details about a meeting and picnic)
- August 15, 1:00 p.m. – Resolved ministry to the State Fair
- Rick Gamache | Genesis 1:26-27 | We Are Complementarian
For the last 40-50 years loud voices in our society have been telling us that there are no real differences between men and women, just the obvious ones. Now voices in “the church” are telling us the same thing. But what does God’s voice say? God’s word teaches that men and women are created in the image of God–equal in value and dignity and privilege and status before him. Yet men and women are created with different but complementary roles to fill in the church and in the home. God created these differences and he said they are “very good.” And so we are to embrace and celebrate and delight in our equality and our differences as men and women. We are complementarian in our view of manhood and womanhood because God designed us the way he did. And our great Designer makes no mistakes.
Please pray for Pastor Rick as he studies and prepares his sermon on this Shared (and controversial) Value. May the Holy Spirit illumine the truth as he meditates on the word and communicates that truth to the church. And may God prepare all our hearts to receive his truth and submit to his truth and respond to his truth in a way that brings us the most joy and God the most glory.
This past weekend, our friend Steve Bice graduated with honors from the Sovereign Grace Pastors College. We are thankful to God for how he has poured out his grace on Steve in his studies over the past 7 months. We look forward to God’s continued leading as Steve now transitions into an internship with Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville and furthers his education at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Great job, Steve! We are all thankful to God for his grace to you.
The Fluhartys have graciously offered to host a pool party for them during their time here. You are all invited and it would be a great way to get to know Fidel and Charo. It will be Saturday, August 17, from 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. Please RSVP to Kristi Fluharty and plan to bring a dish to share.
While they are here, we have come up with a list of opportunities to serve them, get to know the ministry, and help them connect with you, the church!
They will be arriving 8/13 and heading back to Bolivia 9/4. Below are some opportunities to consider:
- As mentioned on Sunday, we are looking to raise the funds necessary for their trip ($3,500). If you weren’t able to give this past Sunday to the special offering, you can get your donation to Stacey Fritz in the office.
- You could host them for a meal or take them out to a favorite restaurant!
- Invite them to participate in an activity that you love. Some ideas would be: boating, fishing, racquetball, Twins game, motorcycle/dirt bike, shopping, etc.
- Take them thrift store shopping for the kids! They have expressed interest in doing this during their time here.
- We would also like to collect clothes, shoes, school supplies, books, games, and anything a Spanish-speaking child would enjoy. There will be a table at church on 8/18, 8/25, and 9/1 to collect donations.
We have created a calendar for you to sign up if you would like to spend some time with them. Please add your name and the approximate time in this Google document.
We continue to praise God for his work through Sovereign Grace Church to display the gospel to the children and staff of Casa de Esperanza.
- Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King
- Holy, Holy, Holy
- It Is Well With My Soul
- O Church Arise
- All I Have is Christ
- How Great Is Our God
- Fill Us With Your Spirit, Lord
- Jon Hansel | John 14:12; 16:7, and Ephesians 5:18 | Shared Values: We Are Continuationist
This Sunday we’re jumping back into our Shared Values sermon series. Join us as we highlight the values and beliefs that form the basis of our unity and partnership with our family of Sovereign Grace Churches.