VIDEO End of the Spear – A Punta de Lanza

Jun 10, 2013

Is this a new true story adapted to film. Directed by Jim Hanon, the film tells an unfortunate event that took place in the mid-50s, when a group of American evangelical missionaries perished in the Amazon jungle spears attacked by Ecuadorian Waodani Tribe. Following this situation, widows moved to the region and stayed to live with this tribe, which meant a change of mentality of the Indians, who ended up neglecting violence.

Estamos ante una nueva historia real adaptada al cine. Dirigida por Jim Hanon, la película cuenta un lamentable hecho que tuvo lugar a mediados de los años 50, cuando un grupo de misioneros evangélicos norteamericanos pereció en la selva del Amazonas atacados por las lanzas de la tribu ecuatoriana Waodani. A raíz de esa situación, las viudas se trasladaron hasta esa región y se quedaron a vivir con esta tribu, lo que supuso un cambio de mentalidad de los indígenas, que terminaron por dejar de lado la violencia.

Children of the Father

Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. … You do the deeds of your father.” John 8:39b, 41

The phrase “chip of the same block” dates back at least to a 1621 sermon: “Am not I a child of the same Adam . . . a chip of the same block, with him?” (English bishop Robert Sanderson’s Sermons) Later, it became “chip off the old block,” referring to a parent (the block) and a child (the chip). We all know what it means: Children are often much like their parents.

Jesus affirmed this point when talking with religious leaders who were proud of their Abrahamic lineage but were also seeking to kill Him. Because of that disconnect, Jesus said they were not children of Abraham but were children of the devil (John 8:34-47). Jesus said He did what He learned from His Father and they did what they had learned from theirs (verse 38). That is a strong indictment, but full of theology. The whole purpose of the new birth (John 3:3) is to be transferred from one family to another (from Satan’s family to God’s—Colossians 1:13).

Ask the Father to reveal the family likeness in you by the fruit of the Spirit in your life (Galatians 5:22-23).

Behold, what wondrous grace the Father hath bestowed on sinners of a mortal race, to call them sons of God.  Isaac Watts

The Power of His Love

1 Corinthians 13:4-6

Today’s verses teach that love “does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6). This means believers aren’t to dwell on the harm others cause and write them off as hopeless, despicable criminals. Love enables us to hate the evil unjustly visited upon the innocent while valuing the one who committed the act. More simply, we hate the sin but love the sinner.

In spite of everything that seems apparent about someone who’s been driven to sinful actions, God has created him or her with the potential to be made into something good. Outwardly, it may seem as if a difficult upbringing, poor treatment, or negative influence has corrupted a person’s morality and worldview beyond repair. For such individuals, the capacity to love and rise above circumstances can get buried so deep that it may seem nonexistent.

God still considers the most evil and corrupt person worth saving. How do I know this is true? Because in John 3:16—one of the very first verses we teach children—He said that whoever believes in God’s Son will have eternal life. Many of us are guilty of thinking we deserve His love because we look good compared to those we deem unlovable. But God doesn’t work that way. He loves every single person, no matter how awful his or her sin may be.

God doesn’t want anyone to mistreat others; such sinful action will bring repercussions or discipline. But the Lord does extend His care, mercy, and salvation to anybody who wants it. He keeps no record of wrongs. He loves without conditions. And He wants us to love in the same way.

Forsake and Follow

“Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.” (Luke 5:10-11)

Perhaps we take too lightly the fact that the disciples “forsook all, and followed him.” This action involved at least two aspects, the leaving of their former life and the realignment of their loyalty.

The word “forsook” is used in a variety of extreme situations, including the “putting away” of a spouse (1 Corinthians 7:11-12; also “leave,” v. 13), and even death. “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up [same word] the ghost” (Matthew 27:50). This leaving implies a complete severing of a situation or relationship.

Furthermore, they forsook all. For Peter, James, John, and Andrew, this involved leaving a prosperous business; for Matthew, a prestigious position of wealth; i.e., their careers. Certainly each left their livelihood, security, training, possessions, relationships, hopes—everything! “Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33).

Next, the disciples needed to restructure their lives and loyalties to those of Christ. The word “follow” implies a unity of purpose and direction. Jesus told the rich young ruler to give up all vestiges of his materialistic life “and come, take up the cross, and follow me” (Mark 10:21).

Christ issues the same call to discipleship to each of us. Peter asked Him the question which we frequently ask. “Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?” (Matthew 19:27). Christ answered, “Every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life” (v. 29). JDM

God has exalted one chosen out of the People

Numbers 17:1-13

To settle for ever the vexed question as to the priesthood, the Lord arranged a solemn ordeal to which none could object, and which all would admit to be decisive.

Numbers 17:2

Rods were the ensigns of government, the sceptres of the rulers. To submit the sceptre of each tribe to the Lord was a symbolical presentation of all their claims to him. All the rods were alike dead and dry, and it remained with the Lord to choose which he pleased, and quicken it into life and verdure.

Numbers 17:3

Owing to the destruction of Korah, the Levites were not divided as to who should be their claimant for office, but unanimous that Aaron should stand for them.

Numbers 17:5

God has a right to choose his own servants, and he will do so whether we will agree therewith or not. He gives life and fruitfulness to his chosen servants, and either silences the jealousies and fault-findings of the people, or else visits the murmurers for their offence.

Numbers 17:8

A miracle indeed! Here was not only life, but an instant and perfect fruitfulness, not caused by the season, but suddenly brought forth by the divine power! Surely this is the best proof of a divine call to the Lord’s work. Naturally barren, as men are, the grace of God makes his ministers fruitful unto God, through abiding in his secret presence, and thus they are known among the Lords people as the ordained servants of the Lord.

Numbers 17:10

This miraculous proof was meant to prevent future disputes, lest they should provoke God beyond all bearing.

Numbers 17:11

Moses was a wise man, but he did not follow his own opinion. His wisdom lay in complete obedience to God.

Numbers 17:12, 13

Not long could they be without some wicked complaint or another. This time they make light of their sin, and cry out against the severity with which their insolence had been repressed. It was time they had found fault with themselves rather than with the just judgments of God; but, indeed, it is very hard to bring Israel, or any of us, to true repentance.

From this whole passage let us learn that Jesus, our great High Priest, has life in himself, and brings forth soul-saving fruit, which neither the law nor the prophets could do—hence he is proved to be the true priest of God. If we also would have life and fruit, we must be vitally united to him, for apart from him we are withered branches only fit for the fire.

 

Jesus, we own thee priest alone,

Thou only canst for sin atone;

Thy sacred rod ends all the strife

Thou only hast eternal life.

 

Nor life nor fruit elsewhere is found,

Death sways his barren sceptre round;

But thou hast come new life to give,

And, joined to thee, our spirits live.

 

Is Jesus Christ a Fairy Tale to You, Or Do You Really Know Him?

1 Corinthians 1:5, 6

The State Hermitage, which is the most famous of all Russian museums, is located on the banks of the Neva River in St. Petersburg, Russia. Within its walls is a huge collection of religious paintings that were collected from the time of Catherine the Great. This museum, the former Winter Palace of the Russian czars, is fabulous beyond description and attracts millions of visitors who come to view this world-renowned art collection and to see the opulence in which the czars lived.

The first time I visited the Hermitage was near the end of the Soviet Union; thus, communism and atheism were still dominant in the nations that comprised the former USSR. As I walked past the section of paintings by Rembrandt, I saw the painting of Lazarus being raised from the dead by Jesus. The painting was so moving that it drew me nearer to observe the painting from up close. Then I read the plaque on the base of the frame, which said, “The Fairy Tale of Jesus Christ Raising Lazarus From the Dead.” I was stunned that Lazarus’ resurrection was referred to as a fairy tale.

But as I moved from that painting of Jesus to others that depicted scenes from Jesus’ life, I realized that they were all officially identified by State authorities as various “fairy tales of Jesus Christ.” Communists wanted to discredit the Gospel. By calling the works of Jesus “fairy tales,” they were attempting to put the Gospel on the same level as Peter Pan or as Little Red Riding Hood.

However, my experience in the museum that day caused my mind to start thinking in another direction. I began to consider how so much about Jesus Christ really is a fairy tale to many people, including Christians who read their Bible and love the Lord. When they read about the miracles He performed, they relegate His miracle-working power to a limited historical time frame that is long past and to a people who are no longer alive. They then conclude that they cannot expect such miracles today. Thus, the only thing they really know regarding Jesus’ power is what they have read in the Bible. Never having personally witnessed His miracle-working power, they can only fantasize and try to imagine what His miracles must have been like. As a result, much of what they know about Jesus is purely mental, imaginary, or speculative—similar to the way they might view the hero in a fairy tale or legend.

But God never intended for Jesus to be only a historical figure who did something in the past. Jesus is alive today, and through the ministry of the Holy Spirit and His gifts, Jesus brings His supernatural reality right into the midst of the local church! This is why Paul told the Corinthians, “… In everything you are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you” (1 Corinthians 1:5, 6).

The Corinthian church was so abundantly endowed with spiritual gifts that Paul says they were “enriched” by Jesus with gifts of utterance and knowledge. “Utterance gifts” would include the vocal gifts, such as tongues, interpretation, and prophecy. Knowledge gifts would include the revelation gifts, such as the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, and discerning of spirits. Prophecy could also fall into this category.

According to Paul, the Corinthian believers were loaded with these types of gifts. In fact, they had so many of these gifts in operation that Paul used the word “enriched” to express the extent to which these gifts were operating in that particular local church. The word “enriched” is from the Greek word plousios, and it means to make extremely rich (see January 23). It describes incredible abundance, extreme wealth, immense riches, magnificent opulence, and extravagant lavishness.

This Greek word denoted people whose wealth was growing so fast that they were never able to quite figure out how much fortune they possessed. With their wealth, they ruled and controlled society. Hence came the word “plutocrat,” which is used in today’s world to portray a person who is endowed with great wealth, opulence, fortune, and power.

When Paul uses the word plousios to express how many gifts of the Spirit were in operation in Corinth, he is telling us that this church was filthy rich with spiritual gifts and manifestations. In fact, Paul went on to say, “So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:7). The words “come behind” are taken from the Greek word hustereo, meaning to fall short, to be inferior, to be left behind, to lack, or to come in second place. Paul uses this word to say, “In regard to spiritual gifts, you are second to none when it comes to the manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit. No one has more gifts of the Spirit in operation than you do.”

Paul told them that these gifts were vital, for they “confirmed” the “testimony” of Christ among them (1 Corinthians 1:6). The word “confirmed” is the Greek word bebaioo, which means to make firm, concrete, or stable; to authenticate; to verify; to guarantee; or to prove to be true. The word “testimony,” from the Greek word maturios, describes a personal testimony that is so strong it could stand up to scrutiny in a court of law. But when a “testimony” (maturios) is “confirmed” (bebaioo), it is extra powerful! Now we not only have a witness—that is, a person or a group of people who possess concrete knowledge and facts—but we also have confirming evidence brought forth to validate their knowledge and verify that their report is bona fide truth.

Now let’s connect this concept to the gifts of the Spirit in the Corinthian church. According to Paul’s account, the believers in that church were enriched, loaded, and mightily endowed with the gifts of the Spirit. These gifts, he said, confirmed the testimony of Jesus Christ in their midst. What did they know of Jesus Christ? What was the testimony they possessed and proclaimed about Jesus Christ? From a historical perspective, they had been taught and therefore knew that:

  • Jesus was a Prophet.
  • Jesus was a Healer.
  • Jesus was a Miracle-Worker.

However, the Corinthian church didn’t just intellectually know these things about Jesus because of books they had read. They experientially knew Him in this way because the gifts of the Spirit literally energized and authenticated what they intellectually knew of Jesus.

By means of the Spirit’s manifestations, Jesus the Prophet operated before them all in their church services. They didn’t need to fantasize about what Jesus the Prophet was like, because Jesus the Prophet regularly operated in their midst through the gift of prophecy. They didn’t have to try to imagine what it had been like when Jesus healed the sick, because the gifts of healing mightily functioned among them, causing them to experientially know Jesus the Healer. There was no reason for them to speculate about what it must have been like to see Jesus’ miracles, for they consistently had the working of miracles operating in their church services, making Jesus the Miracle-Worker a reality to them. The gifts of the Spirit lifted Jesus right off the pages of history and brought Him into the midst of the Corinthian church services.

 

First Corinthians 1:6 could be translated:

“Everything you’ve heard and believed about Jesus Christ has been authenticated, proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, verified, and guaranteed to be true because of the gifts of the Spirit.”

What does all this have to do with you and your relationship with God today? If there is no operation of the Holy Spirit’s gifts in your life or in the church you attend, an entire supernatural element of Jesus Christ is missing from your life. God never intended for your salvation to exist only on an intellectual level. He gave the Holy Spirit to the Church to bring the overflowing, abundant life of Jesus Christ right into the life of His people! There is a whole level of understanding Jesus—who He is and how He operates—that can only be comprehended by observing and participating in the working of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit wants to confirm everything you know about Jesus. He wants you to know Jesus the Prophet, Jesus the Healer, and Jesus the Miracle-Worker. When these gifts operate through you or on your behalf through someone else, they give testimony to the fact that Jesus is still alive, still healing, and still working miracles today. Thus, by means of these marvelous spiritual gifts, the Holy Spirit both teaches you and speaks on behalf of Jesus Christ.

So are you ready for the Jesus of the Bible to step off the pages of history and into your life or into the life of your church? If the answer is yes, ask the Holy Spirit to start moving supernaturally in your midst. And if you sense an inner nudge to step out in faith and let God use you in spiritual gifts, don’t hesitate to obey. That’s the Holy Spirit talking to you! Perhaps it’s your turn to step forth and allow the Spirit of God to work supernaturally through you!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I thank You for the ministry of the Holy Spirit and for His powerful gifts that make Jesus so real to me. Help me understand my need for the Spirit’s gifts. Arouse a spiritual hunger inside me that makes me earnestly yearn to experience more of these gifts in my life and in my church. I know You gave the gifts of the Spirit because we need them, so today I am choosing to open my heart so I can experience more of Your power as these supernatural gifts begin to flow through me.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I am a vessel for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts operate through me and bring the living reality of Jesus Christ to me and to those who are around me. I am not afraid to obey what the Holy Spirit prompts me to say. I am not hesitant to act when the Spirit prompts me to step out in faith. Because I obey the leading of the Spirit, God’s power mightily flows through me to others who are in need.

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Have you ever thought that the miracles of the Bible were for a different time, not something you were supposed to experience on a consistent basis in your life or in your church?
  2. Can you ever recall a time in your life when the gifts of the Spirit operated through you? If so, what was that experience like?
  3. In order for you to become a more yielded vessel so the Holy Spirit can use you, what changes do you need to make personally in the way you think and the way you believe?

 

Ministering To Others

In “ministering” to others, whose needs are being met? Theirs? Or yours?

 

How much of our efforts in “ministry” are veiled, or even subconscious attempts to meet our needs to be stroked or recognized? Could it be that often our primary concern with those under our charge is that they show up, conform, perform, and… well… basically make us look and feel good?

 

In the business world, “glitz,” bigness, “movement,” image, and pandering to people’s whimsical needs is standard operating procedure. Is it possible that in our push to “succeed” in our ministries, we have often transferred carnal and pride-driven methods and values from the “world” into the church? If that is the case:

  • Our ministry has, sadly, become “market-driven.
  • Feeling better has become more important to us than finding God.

You will not find Jesus debasing His ministry to this level. Nor should we.

 

It is axiomatic that whenever a person is maturing toward full-stature in Christ (Ephesians 4:13), there is a death to self in the life of the discipler. Notice the cost to Jesus on our behalf:

 

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)

 

Or Paul’s sacrifice:

 

I am again in labor until Christ is formed in youI die dailyand die to selfI endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen… ” (Galatians 4:19; 1 Corinthians 15:31b [Amplified]; 2 Timothy 2:10a)

 

So here is the question you and I must ask ourselves: “What is our motivation with the sheep entrusted to our care: Their maturity, or the meeting of our needs?

 

The degree of sacrifice which you and I are willing to expend on their behalf to bring them to spiritual maturity makes the answer to the question self-evident.

 

Few people will take notice of our sacrifice in ministering to others. But what difference should that make? Are we not committed first and foremost to His glory over ours?

 

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)