May 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The gospel writers reveal to us that our Lord and Savior openly wept on three different occasions. As you remember, the Lord poured out a heavy torrent of tears at the tomb of Lazarus, as He stood ‘face to face’ with the last enemy of death! Our Savior was groaning, in His Spirit, over the horrific visible consequences that the reign of sin had brought into the human race. Surely, He was also weeping, out of His compassionate love toward those 2 mourning sisters, Mary and Martha. We can be assured that our Lord was deeply touched with the feeling of the infirmities of this family who were so precious to Him. As He watched them grieving over their departed brother, Lazarus, Jesus knew an intimate fellowship with their sufferings and sorrows. After all, the prophet had testified that the Savior would be a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. The Lord has commanded us to “weep with those who weep”; and we know that He would never give us a command that He did not perfectly obey! However, I also believe that the Lord Jesus was shedding tears of sorrow for others around Him that day. He was weeping for those who were filled with unbelief. The great “I AM” stood in their midst, but their minds were thoroughly blinded by their own wicked skepticism. His heart must have been broken over their lack of faith in Him. Yet, they were about to witness the truth that ‘HE IS THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE’!

I believe that the Lord’s most profound and intense agony of tears occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane! The Lord of Glory gazed into that awful cup, which represented the unmitigated wrath of God; which would be poured out on Him, as our sinless substitute. He was facing the holy fury of God which was determined to be fixed against all, for ‘His law that we had shattered’. This fury was about to fall on the sinless lamb of God, on behalf of every sinner who would ever repent and believe the glorious gospel. Jesus, our Great High Priest, offered up tears, mingled with His bloody sweat, as He looked into that cup. His soul was exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death, as He willingly accepted to take the judgment that His people deserved, upon Himself!

But there is another passage that portrays a weeping Savior. In Luke 19:41, we find the following words, “When He came to Jerusalem, He beheld the city, and He wept over it.” The Lord Jesus looked over this people who had missed their time of visitation. He was reflecting on the masses of humanity, who had resisted His teachings, rejected His invitations, and refused His pleadings. He knew that His just wrath and fierce judgment would shortly fall on this city. In only a few years, the Roman Army, led by General Titus, would march into that place and slaughter over 1 million Jews, under the wrath of the Lamb! As He looked over this lost city, His eyes affected His heart; and then His heart affected His eyes. In the original language, this passage depicts Jesus as ‘wailing uncontrollably’ over the lostness of Jerusalem! Earlier, in the Gospel of Luke, we are told that Jesus cried out to them saying, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings; but you were not willing.” 

The Lord knew the judgment they would face because of their rejection of Him; still His prophetic eyes were overflowing with the sobbing of tenderness and compassion for them. Through His tears, we clearly see God’s earnest desires for the salvation of sinners through the broken heart of God the Son! What a vivid picture of the reality that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but He desires that the wicked would turn from their own way and live. The fact that the ‘wailings of the Lord Jesus’ overpowered His righteous indignation against their sin, clearly reveals to us the heart of God for lost sinners! Friends, we must not forget that the Good Shepherd rejoices over one sinner that comes to repentance. Yet, it is that same Good Shepherd that is anguishing over these who have gone astray, unto certain condemnation! 

This passage is such a powerful challenge for those who are followers of the Lord Jesus. IF we are going to be on mission with our Savior, certainly we see that we desperately need to walk in intimacy with Jesus; so that we, at least to some degree, would come to know His sympathetic tenderness and passionate burden for lost souls. 

Do you have a burden for lost souls? How long has it been since the Lord broke your heart over someone within the sphere of the influence of your life? 

IF we are walking in an intimate, marriage, relationship with the Man of Sorrows, certainly we should experience some familiarity with this travail of Jesus for lost sinners. Charles Spurgeon once rightly said, “There must be a travail, before there will be spiritual birth. If you want to win in prayer, you must weep in prayer”. Friends, if the great ambassador entered into Jerusalem with tears, should we not enter into evangelistic intercession with tears? I am submitting to you that nothing less than a “passion for Jesus himself” will infuse us with a passionate passion for souls! We ought not to look at the desperate condition of our nation, only with some political view point! We ought to look at the desperate condition of our nation, with tears for the vast millions of lost souls who are living on the brink of eternity, without a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus. Our hearts should be broken over the countless numbers of souls around us that are “living without Christ”; and our hearts should be shattered that those same souls are in grave danger of “dying without Christ”. Amy Carmichael, missionary to India, who served for 55 years without a furlough, said it in this way, 

Oh, for a passionate passion for souls
Oh, for a pity that yearns
Oh, for a love that loves unto death
Oh, for a heart that burns

Oh Lord God, would you not baptize us with a passionate passion for souls? The Bible tells us that the judgment of sinners will be a reality, for God’s justice demands it. Yet still, we see the mercy of the Son of God wailing profusely for those who are under His wrath! Oh, that this truth might encourage us that “God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the sinner should turn from his ways and live”. May it also encourage us with the truth, that God desires that all sinners would come to a “saving knowledge” of the truth. May this truth inspire us “never to think of the judgment of blatant rebels without also having a holy anguish for their souls”. May this reality cause us to know a sorrow and a grief in our hearts, for those perishing around us. May we be compelled to be involved in the evangelistic intercession for their souls!

THANK YOU Our hearts are filled to overflowing in gratitude and love for all the things the Lord is doing. He continues to open doors to share the glorious gospel all over the world. People from all over the world are downloading the sermons found on our website, as well as on Sermonaudio.com. We stand in awe of how the Lord is getting His Word out to hungry souls. We just want to thank you for your love, your prayers and your financial support. Thank you for your cooperation and partnership with us in this great commission. Even this month, the Lord has used your gifts to enable 3 Kenyan pastors to hold a Christ-Centered Evangelism Conference in Uganda; to help build needed space on an Ugandan pastor’s home; to help supply cement to lay a floor in a church in Kenya; support 18 church planters in Cuba; support Christian rehab centers in Russia; help with an orphanage in Kenya; support of pastors in Africa, purchase Bibles for a group of needy senior citizens, and help a Spanish Mission work. Also, we were able to give away hundreds of tracts, workbooks and sermon CD’s here in the south. These are just a few ways you have been involved in recent weeks. We hope you will be encouraged to know that your labor, your prayers and your gifts have not been in vain. The Lord is using you greatly, not only to encourage our hearts, but also as a vessel; helping us carry out the work He has called us to do. Dear friend, our desire is that this newsletter will not only encourage you, but also challenge you, to know Him more in your intimate walk with the Lord; as the Lord continues to challenge us in this way. May we increasingly become passionately passionate, even with tears, for the souls of men. Then one day those who sow in Tears, will reap in Joy.

II Cor. 4:5

Ed & Dianne Lacy

 

March 2010 Update

Psalms 96:1-3 implores us with these words, “Oh sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among the peoples.”

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As I begin this newsletter, I am filled with praise and thanksgiving, as I ponder the above verses in Psalm 96. I am so thankful that when the Lord saved Dianne and me, that He placed us in a church which had a passion for His great mission among the nations. As new believers, we were immediately taught that the ultimate purpose for our conversion was to glorify God, by fulfilling His global purpose! I testify with the psalmist saying, “Bless the Lord, Oh my soul, and all that is within me bless His Holy Name. For He has forgiven my iniquities; He has healed the disease of the dominion of sin; He has redeemed my life from destruction; and He has crowned me with His loving kindness and tender mercies! He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God and many shall see it and fear and trust in the Lord!” Oh, dear friends, when I reflect on the spiritually bankrupt condition that this agnostic musician was in, when the Lord Jesus found me, drew me, saved me and changed me, it is quite overwhelming! How grateful I am for His amazing grace that came to seek and to save a wretch like me. When I fell on my knees that autumn night in 1980, I never dreamed that my Lord and Savior would open doors for me to preach His precious Word all over this globe! Never could I have imagined that the Lord would grant me the tremendous privilege to declare the glory of His salvation and the wonders of His Word in over 20 nations and well over 100 foreign mission trips. It absolutely boggles my mind; and it humbles my heart to consider what an awesome blessing it has been, to be His mouthpiece to thousands of pastors, church planters and lay leaders on 4 different continents.

Even as I write these words, I can picture the faces of many of those hundreds of pastors, which represented over 30 different denominations in Uganda and Kenya. In my mind’s eye, I can see the hundreds of Baptist church planters and pastors in eastern Cuba; and I distinctly remember the faces of those Mennonite pastors from all over Nicaragua, that I recently had the great privilege of teaching in January. Also, I can picture many of the faces of unconverted people in recent evangelistic outreach crusades in communist Cuba! Friends, I am absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude, that the King of kings and the Lord of lords would allow this most undeserved servant to be an ambassador for Him, to declare His glory among the nations!

As always, we hope that this newsletter is a source of encouragement to you. Our desire is that when you read through the highlights of each opportunity, you will be encouraged to see how the Lord is using your prayers and your support for His Global purpose. The Lord is using you in ways beyond what you could ever imagine. He continues to open many doors for us to share the glorious gospel. Your prayers and financial support are not only a great and vital help in carrying out this global purpose; they are a great encouragement to us. In addition, one of our prayers for you is that when you see and read about the mighty workings of God, through simple, ordinary vessels like us, you will see the greatness of our God and be in awe of Him.

Friends, with all that is happening in our world today, from the economic chaos, the moral and corrupt downfall of so many, devastating earthquakes, wars etc., we would be remiss not to ponder the 2nd Coming of our Lord. Our God has promised; He will return. Until that day, may we all be consumed with His Global purpose, telling this world of our Great and Mighty God.

We love you dear friends, and thank our Lord and Savior for your faithfulness to Him and your love, your prayers and support for us.

Because He Saves,

 

Ed & Dianne Lacy