As I returned from this most recent 11th annual pastor’s conference in Kenya, my heart was overwhelmed with an exhilarating sense of inner joy. I rejoiced in the Lord over the truth that there were approximately 600 hungry and teachable pastors, church planters and spiritual leaders who were in attendance. It has been an incredible blessing to witness how our Lord has transformed the lives of hundreds of these men, with a tremendous “doctrinal reformation and spiritual revival”, over these last eleven years. As I gloried in the Holy Spirit’s powerful work in this most recent conference, I reflected upon the first invitation, which I received from a Minnesota mission organization in 2005. I was asked by the leaders of this ‘church planting and discipleship’ organization, to prayerfully consider a trip to Kenya, for the purpose of teaching “Christ-centered Evangelism” to a group of approximately eighty pastors. When I consider how the Lord has graciously multiplied that group of pastors to well over seven times that original audience, I am overawed with amazement and gratefulness to our Lord. Pastors and church planters now attend this annual conference from all over the nations of both Kenya and Uganda. Moreover, the glorious truth is that, ‘these pastors return to their various cities and regions, with the workbook that I have taught them, and then teach those truths to multiply in hundreds of congregations of believers. As a consequence, there is a powerful increase of the life-changing truths from the Word of God transforming the lives of tens of thousands of lives in East Africa, for the glory of God!
As I returned home, rejoicing in the Lord over the Spirit’s mighty operation in this most recent conference, I was reminded of Acts 6:7. “Then the word of God spread, and the number of disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Those original “Book of Acts disciples” were praising their Lord, because of the magnificent fruits of the mighty operation of the Holy Spirit in and through their lives. For God was gracing them with a tremendous harvest in the advancement of the Gospel with the amplification of new born converts and maturing disciples! This dynamic spiritual awakening was akin to a prairie fire, which was being moved along by the power of a gale force wind! But friends, what was the secret to this astounding spiritual success?
First of all, these original disciples were plainly and powerfully preaching the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. They were not attempting to impress men with any intellectual acumen, eloquent rhetoric or lofty discourses. They were not attempting to hide the “preaching of the Cross” behind a shroud of the power of positive thinking or felt-need centered pep talks. On the contrary, these men of God were determined to know nothing, except Jesus Christ and Him crucified! Their message was continually Christ-centered and cross-centered, in its focus!
Furthermore, these born again believers were worshipping the Lord Jesus with the totality of their lives. They fully understood the truth that the Lord Jesus Christ had transformed them from rebels into worshippers! They had been immersed with a overwhelming passion to “live and die in such a manner”, so that Jesus Christ might be magnified in their lives, as their Pearl of great price! So their lives were completely wrapped up in the worship of Jesus Christ and in witnessing for Jesus Christ. As a magnificent consequent, God was giving the increase; the word of God was advancing; and the disciples of Christ were multiplying!
|Charles Spurgeon has well said, “We are best equipped to testify to men and women, when we have been wrestling on behalf of those men and women"|
In addition, these believers were men and women of fervent and faithful intercessory prayer. They had learned well from their “three year attendance” in our Lord’s school of prayer. So they were now stirring themselves up to take hold of their Lord and God. These disciples knew a vital truth, which much of the contemporary church desperately needs to learn. For while the modern church is looking for more humanly invented techniques and tactics, God is looking for faithful intercessors, who will stand in the gap for the proliferation of the Word, the salvation of sinners and the multiplication of disciples! These original disciples had come to the corporate awareness that, “intercessory prayer is one of the highest privileges and holiest exercises which is involved in a genuine relationship with our Lord”! As Charles Spurgeon has well said, “We are best equipped to testify to men and women, when we have been wrestling with God on behalf of those men and women”. And what was the fruit of this ‘clear and concise Gospel preaching’, by these men who knew of true and spiritual worship; and were intercessory prayers warriors?”
Dear friends, “the Lord Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever”! The authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ is
Let Us Be:
still the power of God unto salvation, for any sinner and every sinner who will turn from their sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As we begin 2017, may each of us commit, afresh and anew, to be fervent worshippers of Jesus and faithful witnesses for Jesus! Oh, may we cry out to the Holy Spirit to immerse our hearts, so that they will also be boiling over in adoration and allegiance to Jesus! Furthermore, may we make a new commitment to be faithful and fervent intercessors for the evangelism of the lost and the multiplication and maturing of disciples!