"In context, does John chapter 6 have anything to do with communion?"
I gave her a brief response. "No. John 6 deals with salvation, but communion is contemplation. It's important to remember that the Gospel of John is filled with visuals (born again, living water) that the people mistakenly took literally. If one uses John 6 for communion and takes it literally, they make the same mistake today that the people were making back then, and they might end up with a deceptive doctrine such as transubstantiation. John 6 is written that we might believe in Jesus and His work for our salvation (John 6:29); His words were Spiritual and not physical (John 6:63)."
She responded. "Ok good. The Holy Spirit had me on the right track. That's exactly what my Catholic cousin was trying to tell me…the whole eucharist thing. But I told him it was about salvation, etc. and nothing to do with communion."
May our Lord continue to teach us His Word; my prayer is that all who read this, would believe and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!
The true Message of the Job might actually surprise some. Warren Weirsbe in his book, With the Word, wrote this: "It is usually said that the book of Job deals with the question, 'Why do the godly suffer?' Actually, the theme goes deeper than that. Satan accused Job of serving God only because God blessed him. Unfortunately there are people with 'commercial faith' who say to God, 'If you bless me, I will serve You.' Is our God worthy of our worship and service, or must He 'buy' us with His blessings? Satan was not only slandering Job; he was also slandering the Lord! He was saying, 'God would not have any followers if He did not reward them!'"
When I read this, it really made me check my heart. Why do I serve God…and do I really love God? When you love God, you serve Him – not to get from Him, not to be blessed by Him, not motivated by greediness or selfishness, but true love for God will move us to serve Him simply because He is wonderful, and He is worthy (Rev. 5:8); He died for me, and He even lives for me (Hebrews 7:25).
I pray that the satanic accusation in the book of Job would not be true of me. Satan says that the only reason Manny serves the Lord is because the Lord has protected him from the trials, tribulations and tragedies of life; that the only reason Manny serves the Lord is because God has given him family, friends and plenty of finances. May it never, ever, ever be true of me, O Lord. And if/when those hard times hit, in different degrees and in a variety of ways, may I be enabled and empowered to say like Job, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him…" – Job 13:15
Today in my devotional reading I was blessed and reminded of the simple-fearful responsiblity we as Pastor-Teachers have, in handling the Scriptures and handing the Scriptures, to the people God loves so much.
The background to Nehemiah 8:8, was a revival that was going on in the hearts of the people; the primary reason for that revival was the return of the people to the Word of God (the Bible) - something Ezra was instrumental in bringing about.
"So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading." They just read the Bible (for 6 hours), made it clear, and gave the meaning to the people so they could understand what was being read.
My prayer, hope, ambition and passion, is that I would do the same. That this church, and all of God's church, here, there and everywhere, would let God speak; would rightly divide and rightly declare the Word of God, to the people of God, for the glory of God. If you come to Calvary Chapel El Monte, bring your Bible, maybe a notepad, but especially come with an open heart, cause we're going to do our best to give you God's Word.
(Here's some further Scriptures to ponder on this topic – Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1; 119:9, 105; Ezra 7:10; Amos 9:11-12; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12)
Today we had a service/outreach at a church on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. I not only felt, but I am, so unworthy to share the gospel with these people. Thank God for His amazing grace! People came to Christ at the outreach, "after" the outreach, and our hearts were full. And then, as if that weren't enough, we went to visit a woman whose husband just died, leaving her with 14 children – our hearts went out to her, and once again, God did a miracle in front of our eyes, and she prayed to receive Christ as well.
I'm so blessed to have come on this mission's trip. I have to confess, I missed my family, I missed my comforts of California, and the great country of America, but the investment pays great dividends – people's lives are changed forever – here on the other side of the planet – and here in the deepest recesses of my heart, Lord, how I long for my "religion" to be pure and undefiled! (James 1:27).
Among the many, many things that the Lord is doing while we're here in Cambodia, is bringing new people into our hearts. The missionaries, leaders and young men of Water of Life, the orphans we've got to spend time with – they're soooo beautiful – some of them I've gotten to know a little better, and they've stolen my heart.
This photo is of Pastor Hung and Pastor T. Pastor Hung (left) is originally from Vietnam, but 10 years ago he planted a church here in Cambodia, God is doing a great work through him; we will be giving away rice at the church he pastors, on Sunday…please pray that many will come to Christ. He has a heart to reach the world for Christ, including Vietnam and Thailand.
Pastor T (right) is the new Pastor in the village of Prey Veng; this is where we worked on the church structure on Wednesday and Thursday. Please remember him in your prayers as he embraces such a huge responsibility.
May we never forget that the main aspect of life is relationships. First our relationship with God, then our immediate family, then the people that God brings into our lives. I now am that much richer with so many beautiful people from the beautiful country of Cambodia!
What a blessing today was. At 7am we embarked on a 2 1/2 hour journey to Prey Veng, to do a medical outreach. Simple things we take for granted like vitamins, aspirin, ointment, antibiotics…shoes – are things these people don't have. One missionary told me that the province of Prey Veng is the poorest place in Cambodia. What an absolute blessing and honor it was to serve these beautiful people! You've got to check out the photos (Cambodia – day 2).
One incident that stood out, was a little boy whose feet were infected; some of the team washed and treated the bottom of his feet, but then I noticed he went on his way, without shoes…it broke my heart. We've decided to bring shoes to the children when we return to Prey Veng on Wednesday.
The photo shown here is a young man named Rachna, he's 18 years old, and today he prayed to receive Christ as His Savior! Praise God!!!! The other young man is Steven, he is a missionary here, and a translator.
We ended the night with a time of worship and the study of the Word with the youth…what an absolute blessing it was…so many youth in the middle of this big-time Buddhist stronghold, learning of and worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you so much for you prayers….and please, continue to pray!
We finally made it to Cambodia! It took us 27 hours to get here, but man, is it worth it! It was a long journey, but the Lord had me check my heart – how difficult it is sometimes to get out of our comfort zone, sometimes we need to get out of our time zone.
Today we got to know the area a little bit, we got into the Word, spent some time in prayer and worship it was so cool. We met so many beautiful people; The weather's a little hot and humid, and completely perfect.
I thought I would post a real quick video on us getting ready for a medical outreach tomorrow…we spent some time packing medicine and things we're going to be giving to the people – we leave for the village of Prey Veng tomorrow at 6am…please keep it in prayer!
We're at the airport in Singapore, so blessed! In 5 hours we take our final plane which lands in Cambodia! 1 hour flight – God, please do a great work – "What I don't know, teach me; what I don't have, give me; what I am not, make me." May we not come home EVEN the same, closer to the Lord, used by, and spent for Jesus! On the plane I worked through 5 chapters of Warren Wiersbe's new book, "On Being a Leader for God" – great book! Saw a study by Alistair Begg, and did some other reading and fellowshipping… "Lord, prepare my heart, may I have an overflowing love."
Here's a group photo of the 12 of us that are bound for Cambodia. I was absolutely amazed with all the people that came out to pray for us, to kind of – "send us off" – with so much love and so many words of encouragement. It really is those prayers that reach the heart of God, that make a difference in the hearts of all the people! I was also overwhelmingly amazed that the Lord had us in Luke 9:1-6 on Sunday…Jesus sending out the 12!!!! It's good to know that there's no word for "coincidence" in the Hebrew language. God doesn't need to, but He so graciously reminds time and time again, that He's with us…which is all that really matters.
Please pray for the family and the flock that will be left behind, for those of us that get to go, but most of all for the people of Cambodia, that they will be open to the saving name of Jesus, and that the Lord does a great work in every heart!
This morning I read Luke 23:42-43, "Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
The Lord used this verse to REALLY speak to me today. There may be times when I think (mistakenly) that I'm better than this thief…but I'm not. I'm just as bad and probably worse! This thief is actually representative of me. I was under condemnation, death was my just reward…but there was that day, I was hanging on my cross, dying, without hope, and I somehow mustered up the simple words to ask Jesus to remember me in His kingdom – acknowledging my sin and my need for the Savior. It was then that He said to me, "I promise, you will be with me in heaven, forever."
Saved, just like that, the thief lost his grief…through simple…heartfelt belief. How 'bout you?