James Pranger - PM
Speaker 1: All right, we have a truck on the west side and east side of the building, is that the west side? West side? Is it the west side of the building that has their lights on? What color is grayish? Yeah, outside, is that your truck? You want someone to turn the lights off for you, a boulder for you. Bowl, turn the lights off for you. Uh. Well, good evening and welcome back to the Baptist Tabernacle. If you would, please join with me in standing organist singing no hymn number three brethren we have met to worship will sing the first
Speaker 2: and the last.
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Speaker 2: And now all around, let us love our God.
Speaker 1: Let's start that over, let's set that up. That was my fault. I ran into that. So that verse number four, let us love our God supremely.
Speaker 2: Let us love
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Speaker 2: at his table, will sit down, Crisfield.
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Speaker 3: Am a man well, it's good to have you back here with us tonight and looking forward to the service. I'm going to ask Brother Jim Childress to come and open us in a word of prayer. Brother Jim and Miss Phyllis Childress have been good friends of ours for the last couple of years. And we got to go visit them in Panama and see the ministry that God has blessed them with. And I was very surprised to see them here with us tonight. And always a pleasure to have them in the service. And so they are just in town for a little bit and then headed to Kentucky tomorrow. So be in prayer for them and that God would continue to bless them and use their work there in the country of Panama. Brother Jim, you come maybe give us just a word of update and then pray for our service.
Speaker 4: Nice to be with you. We're just now starting to come out of covid, so this is the first time I've been in a church service without a mask on since I can't remember when it's good to be with you. The Lord's Blessing, our ministry in Panama. This church has been a supporting church since our deputation time. And we thank you for your faithfulness for all these years. Something like forty four years, something like that. Forty five. Thank you for your faithfulness. Let's pray, Father. Thank you for the opportunity to be here tonight. Thank you for this church and has a strong testimony for the word of God, for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. We pray your blessings on the service tonight manifest your presence to us that we might be stronger edified to serve you better. This week we pray in Jesus name. Amen.
Speaker 3: All right, you may be seated. Got a couple of announcements for you and we'll get through these and then we'll continue on with the rest of our service. But if you wouldn't mind paying attention for just a moment first. Thank you. Thank you to all of the folks that came to the safety meeting this afternoon. Brother Tony Doss said that we got just about the entire schedule filled up. So that is great. Thank you so much for being willing to volunteer with that very important ministry. If you did not get to attend that meeting and you would like to help. Tony Doss is here tonight. You can check with him and let him know that you're interested in helping and he'll get you signed up and let you know when you can help. We do have a ah, we had a mission team meeting this afternoon. Went very well. Appreciate the input and ideas from our mission team dealing with not only global evangelism, but also local outreach. And they're a valuable part of our officer team here at the church. This coming Saturday, we are going to have a wedding shower for Bo and Lauren as they look forward to their wedding coming up in a few months, they'll be here at the church at 10 a.m. and they are registered at Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond. And so if you ladies are available this weekend, we would love for you to come be a part of that very special time. Of course, Lauren, having grown up here at the church, she's been very faithful, involved in many of the ministries that go on here. And Bo, he's just a nice guy, so we're excited for them and want to be a blessing to them as they prepare for their new life together. Next Sunday, we'll have our graduation Sunday and we'll be honoring our high school graduates. And so if you have a high school graduate that's here in the church, if you could let Brother Matt know so that we can be sure to have a gift ready for them, we want to recognize them and honor them this coming Sunday. Also next Sunday, we'll have a nursery workers meeting. And if that's for all current or prospective nursery workers, if you are currently in the nursery, please plan on being there for that. And if you'd like to become a part of our nursery worker team, then please plan on sticking around next Sunday morning after the A.M. Service. Next Sunday, we'll have a joint deacon and trustee meeting at four thirty. So please plan on being there for that. And then on Sunday night, next Sunday are energized. Kids first through sixth grade will be singing in the evening service and we're looking forward to hearing from them. A couple other things coming up next month. First vacation, Bible school will be June 7th through the 11th. And you can now register for that online on our website or through the Facebook page. And the more folks we can register beforehand, the smoother things will go on the first day, the more we can have an idea of who to expect. So please register online. Also, there are fliers available throughout the building. I know there's some over by the fellowship hall, the welcome desk, the check in station with some invitations that you can give out. And I mentioned this morning, I think we'll all be surprised with how welcoming and accepting people are going to be this year to receive an invitation to vacation Bible school. So please grab a few of those, hand them out in your community, in your neighborhood, at work, whatever the case may be. We want to get as many of those out as possible. And I appreciate our teachers helping us with that again, as they always do. Also, we had several folks bring in prizes for vacation, Bible school. We had quite a little pile going there this morning. We do still need some things for the VBS store. If you are familiar with vacation Bible school here at the Baptist Tabernacle, you know that the kids get points and tickets for bringing their Bible. Bring in a friend saying their verses. They didn't spin those tickets at the VBS store. And so we definitely need a large variety and quantity of items that they can spin those tickets on to incentivize them to to be participating throughout the week. And so if you can help us with that, you can drop those items off at the church office. And then finally, June 13th, we are going to be celebrating our sixty sixth anniversary here at the Collinsville Baptist Tabernacle. And so we want to celebrate not only what God has done over the past sixty six years, but also what God has done this past year, because it was definitely a unique and at times challenging year. There were a lot of ups and downs, but God brought us through it and God was faithful throughout every step of the way. And so we want to celebrate what God did here in our church over the last year. Those are my announcements for tonight. And if you didn't get a bulletin, hopefully you can pick one up still out on the welcome desk after the service is over. Use that to remind you of all the things that are coming up. It seems like I missed something this morning. Oh, men, tomorrow night. That's what it was meant. Tomorrow night we are doing our golfing outing and some of the guys we're asking this morning about transportation, we will take the the church van out there. If you'd like to meet us here at the church. We're going to leave at five o'clock to head down to the golf suites and we'll meet the rest of you there at six o'clock. Remember, it's six dollars plus the cost of whatever food. Do you happen to eat while you're there, you'll pay the six dollars to the church, the rest of it, you'll be on your own with the with the business there. But we're excited about that. Looking forward to a great time of fellowship together. All right. Let's all standing in where the man is going to come, lead us in a few more songs
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Speaker 1: I'm going to have, like a little boy choir up here, they're doing a tremendous job. They're singing even louder than I am. Good job, boys. That's a wonderful praise to our Lord, is to sing with our minds, with our strength under God. Hear you sing a wonderful song. Your father along him for twenty six.
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Speaker 1: I wish you could be in my position up here, not just for the boys singing, but I'm watching you all sway. I don't know if you know you're doing it, but you are swaying back and forth, as you're saying. It's just a phrase. I'm not saying it's bad. It's good. I mean, one day we will know it all. We'll know while we go through what we go through. We'll know why God made us the way he made us. Well, we'll know all these things. That's wonderful to know and to look forward to. And heaven. Let's sing that last verse when we see Jesus coming in glory. Oh, when we
Speaker 2: see Jesus coming
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Speaker 2: we shall be.
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Speaker 2: Well, understand why, cheer
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Speaker 3: Man, good singing tonight, we're going to take up our tithes and offerings at this time and trust that God will bless you as you give. Don't forget tonight at the end of the service, we are going to have a business meeting on approving funds to purchase a new church van. And so we'll talk more about that at the end of the service. But we're only able to have that discussion because of your faithfulness. And so we're trusting God bless you as you honor him with your gifts. I'd like to ask Brother Randy Sylvia Sereni if he doesn't mind to pray, ask God's blessing on the offering here tonight. A man you may be seated. Uh.
Speaker 1: Just as I am, I am broken, what a wonderful song this time we're going to be, uh, I guess privileged to have a wonderful special by the Ken Bacon is going to be playing his harmonica and singing a song without him.
Speaker 2: I mean. Yeah, I'm not saying that. Sign up to. Without him, I could do nothing without him on the plane. How could I get this right? Well, it. I'm going in, we have I am I could do nothing without him, I'm sure they fail without him, I would be drifting like him without saying, Oh, Jesus, Monty, do you know him today? Please don't turn him away. Oh, Jesus. Oh, Jesus. Without him, I would be nuts no matter where I am, I would be dying without him. I went there. Yeah, now we had I mean, it's like, well. Now. Larry. A cap of.
Speaker 3: Hey, man, thank you so much for that, really, Kenny and Miss Bessie. They've teased us with that for years since we got here. They'll every once in a while break out the harmonica and start singing at some of our fellowships and we always say, well, hey, you should do that in church. No, no, no. And I don't know how big brother Matt convinced him or brother Kenny felt now was the time. And we sure do appreciate that course. Many of you know the Bacons and Brother Kinney's of World War Two vet, and they've got a great testimony of how God changed their lives and set them on the right path to serving him. And if you haven't got a chance yet to meet them and talk to Brother Kenny and especially, you should definitely take the opportunity to get to know them. They're they're a blessing and a wonderful couple to have here at our church. And we thank God for them. And so tonight we're going to have another opportunity to hear from Brother James Prager, missionary to Siberia there in Russia. And before he comes tonight, we're going to show his video and you need to introduce it or anything. Just let it play. We'll show his video. And then after that is over, the brother James, you come on right up here and preach to us tonight. Let us know what God has laid on your heart for the service this evening. So you guys in the back, you hit the lights and let the video go ahead and play.
Speaker 5: Spanning 11 time zones, Russia is the largest country in the world. It is home to 144 million people, 185 ethnic groups, and to our knowledge, there are less than 20 independent Baptist missionaries reaching all of Russia. The need for the gospel in Russia is great, but where the Prager family missionaries to the far east of Russia, I'm James. This is my wife, Amber, as our eldest son, Jacob, our daughter Macie Nathan and our youngest daughter, Mila. We are sent out of Cleveland Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, under the leadership of Pastor Peter Folger. In October of 2013, our family first moved to crusting, asked Russia to minister alongside a veteran missionary, Kevin Jones, in the Crosshairs Baptist Church. While in Krasnoyarsk, we served in many different ministries, as well as hosting an annual four week vacation Bible school program. We initially moved to crostini hours for the purpose of obtaining a residency permits to then later be able to freely move across Russia to gain more ministry experience in Russia and for Ambre to be able to get the necessary language lessons so that she would be able to freely speak in Russian. As we return to the field for our second term, the Lord called us to go back to the city of Magadan, where I grew up in the Far East. The city of Magadan is a port city located on the sea, of course, and has a population of roughly 95000 people. The city is in many ways secluded from the rest of Russia, the closest city to the west of us, as nearly 1400 miles away and normally requires three whole days to drive depending on the road conditions. Mageddon is also commonly referred to as the gateway to the Kalima, a name that many across Russia cringe when they hear because of its sad history, mageddon and its surrounding region was predominantly built on the backs of Japanese, POTUS and Russian political prisoners. Under the communist regime and the 1930s and 1940s, thousands of people lost their lives in the Mongolian region. Under communism, the average life expectancy of a prisoner was less than six months due to the horrendous work environment as well as the extreme cold temperatures. Our winters are extremely cold and long lasting, nearly seven months, temperatures in the wintertime regularly drop below negative 50 and at times will even drop below negative 70. Our summers are rather short and temperatures rarely reach above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The spiritual climate is equally as said. There are many different religions in Mogensen, varying from orthodoxy to spirit worship among the native Yavin and Yuku to people, spiritual oppression can be sense the very moment you step off the airplane and Mogadon. Many people are religious, but so few know and have ever heard a true presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Although there are several groups of people that meet on a regular basis and Margate on the need for the gospel is significant. The first six months in mageddon, we spent assisting another missionary work in the town of Sokal, about 35 miles away while missionary Eric Croppa was stateside on furlough. During that time, we were able to acquire an apartment in Manhattan and begin taking steps to start a ministry in marginal. Right about the time we were in a position to start holding Bible studies, the pandemic hit and delayed our plans. However, the last Sunday in August of 2020, we began meeting in our apartment living room with just a handful of people. It was such an exciting day to see the start of what we hope and pray will one day grow into a church, although we were delayed and starting, we use those months to integrate into our community and meet as many families as we could that live near us as a result. One family we met now faithfully attends our Bible studies. As the weeks progressed, we began to regularly have up to 20 people in attendance, our last service together prior to returning to the U.S. on furlough, we had nearly 34, four people in attendance. Since August, we have seen two young men trust Christ as their savior due to the pandemic the Lord Rama and his wife Mark to market on. Several months later, after attending our Bible study, he trusted Christ as his savior. Dema began attending our teen and young man's Bible study on Thursday nights. For ten weeks, we were doing an in-depth study of salvation. At the conclusion of that study, Dema trusted Christ as his savior. We are so excited to see how the Lord is working and blessing the ministry in mageddon. We covet your prayers as we return to the field this fall and continue serving in Magadan. We ask that you would pray that we will see spiritual fruit in the ministry there in Moghadam. We ask that you would pray we would continue to see people saved and disciple. Also pray that we would be able to find a new meeting place that would be able to accommodate more people. We are very happy to meet in our home for the time being. However, we are very quickly outgrowing it and in need of larger facilities. Pray that the Lord would send forth more laborers to the field of Russian. At times, serving in mageddon can be lonely, but it is such a blessing and encouragement to us knowing that you love us and faithfully pray for our family, we love you and we truly appreciate you. All right, I saw the video start to play and I thought, man, they liked it so much they want to watch again. But thank you so much for the opportunity, Pastor Boyd, to be able to be here. And it's been such a blessing to be able to be with you folks and meet so many of you. This is our first time being here. We're thankful for the opportunity. And I hope and pray that we've been able to be a blessing to you. And thank you so much to those that came up and. After this morning's service and shook our hands and shared a word of encouragement with us and also grabbed our prayer cards, we covet your prayers as we've just arrived back in the States about a month and a half ago and will be stateside traveling for a little while and then, lord willing, right in the middle of September, will be returning back to Russia. And I know oftentimes most missionaries, when they come back to the states on furlough, they spend a whole year stateside. But due to our residency permits or green cards that we have for Russia, we can only stay a maximum one hundred and one hundred and seventy nine days outside of Russia. Otherwise we would jeopardize those green cards. And it took us a while to get those and would bless us and being able to acquire those. And so definitely don't want to jeopardize that. And so as a result, we'll be going back, lord willing, in the middle of September. And so we cover your prayers as we get ready to go back. And it's actually probably a good thing that we're not away from a new work there for an extended period of time. And one of the things that oftentimes it's easy to forget specifically about missionaries is that as they come back to the states on a year long furlough, they're leaving a work for that expen extended period of time. And you can imagine what it would be like if your pastor took a year long sabbatical. What don't give you an idea is right. If your pastor decided to be gone for a whole year, that would be devastating in a church. And no doubt I challenge you specifically pray for the works of missionaries that are stateside on furlough, because no doubt when when the missionaries away that Satan attacks those works in ways that we sometimes can't even fathom or even imagine, because the man that God has placed specifically in leadership there to lead those people and to mentor those people is gone. So I challenge you to pray, pray for missionaries, especially the ones you support that are stateside on furlough. But just a little bit about our family. Some people have asked me, well, how do you how are you doing it? Speaking the language? And the Lord allowed me as a as a kid to grow up actually in a missionary home. And so when I was just six years old, our family, we moved to Russia, actually to the very same city, Mogensen, that we're in currently serving in now. And our family lived there for about nine months before we moved to another place. And so from the time I was six years old, all the way till I was 17, the Lord allowed me to grow up in Russia. And so I really learned the Russian language just like any other Russian kid would practically. And so when I speak the Russian language, I speak it fluently. I don't have any kind of accent. And so Lord allowed us. Then as you prepared us and equipped us, he allowed us to go back to minister there in Russia. And so we're thankful for that opportunity. But you may think, well, you know, it just makes sense that God called you to go back to Russia because you grew up there. Let me ask you this, what do you think about someone growing up in Florida being called to go to Russia? Because that's my wife, my wife, she did not grow up in a missionary home and she grew up in Florida, sunny Florida. She did not know what winter was or she didn't even know what snow practically was until she moved to Oklahoma to go to college in Hartland. And it was then at the heartland that God brought my wife and I together. And shortly after that, after we graduated and Lord allowed us to serve on staff at a church in Ohio. And then during that time, then the Lord began working in our hearts and dealing with us specifically about going back to Russia as missionaries. And there had been some issues with Russian different visa laws that seemed like had closed the door, that as a result my parents ended up having to leave Russia. But then right about the time that God was working in our hearts and calling us to go to Russia, go back, Lord orchestrated the events to have those laws changed. We're able to go on a regular visa initially and then apply for a residency permits, which we were issued, and then now we're be able to serve there. And it's exciting that this October to be eight years that we've been in Russia serving the Lord there. So we're thankful to be able to serve the Lord there. And we're looking forward to an exciting to see how the Lord is going to use us and continue using us there, specifically in the city of Margate and reaching the market on Regent. So thank you once again for the opportunity to be able to be here. And if you have any questions, I'd be glad to answer any questions you have after the service. I know oftentimes you think of Russian and you've got a million questions. And sometimes I'm amazed, honestly, at the amount of people in America that think Russia is still a communist nation. Anyone still think that? Russia, indeed, is not a communist nation, and ever since nineteen ninety one, it has been a democratic nation, is what they call it. And so because of that, it's a free country that we have freedom of of religion and so on, that sometimes those rights or those abilities maybe be infringed upon some ways. But for the most part, it's a free country that we are able to worship the Lord. And so we're excited that as God opened the door there in Russia to be able to minister there, that God has continued throughout the years to call people there to reach Russia. So maybe someone in here is dying to go experience the cold in Russia. Now, you know, it's not a communist place and you should prayerfully consider coming to Russia. And at first, if you want, you come visit us because we have the sand beaches right there in Mogadon. Maybe to call it to actually take your shoes off and enjoy the sand, but we do have sand beaches, in fact, both sides of our city, there's two bays there with with the sandy beaches. So we'd be more than glad to have you come visit if you have your Bibles this evening and ask you to take them and turn to the Book of Romans and the New Testament. Romans, one of the benefits of being a missionary and traveling in so many different churches and then being in a new church that you've never been before and probably a missionary here to Panama could attest to this, is that you can actually preach a message you've already preached before. No one will ever know. And so you can preach the message for a little while and get really good at a message and then no one ever know and they just think you're an amazing preacher until they hear you preach on a regular basis. But this is the message I preached in several churches or multiple churches before, but I hope and pray will be a blessing to you and a challenge to you as well, specifically by way of missions and praying specifically for missionaries. You know, it's easy to feel like you're fulfilling your colleague, your responsibility before God and supporting missionaries and giving to them financially. But I want to challenge you this evening that one of the very important aspects of partnering together with a missionary is not just giving to them financially or not just sending them an email periodically, but it's specifically praying for missionaries. And I think sometimes often in churches that we underestimate the power that prayer can have specific in the life and in the ministries. And so there's an importance, a huge importance in specifically praying for missionaries. And so if you find your place in Romans chapter number 15, I'd like to direct our attention here specifically to verse number 30. And we'll deal more or less with a half of this chapter here today. But for time's sake, because I know you guys don't want to get out too late, I was told if I preach 20 minutes tonight, you would all love me. So that was so maybe I'll try to fit within that parameter, but I'm not sure, but I tried, I always pretty short, but let's slow down in verse number 30. It says this now, I beseech you, rather, this is the apostle Paul writing. He says, no, I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ sake and for the love of the spirit that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, that I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judea and that my service, which I have for Jerusalem, may be accepted of the Saints, that I may come on to you with joy and by the will of God and may with you be refreshed now the God of peace be with you all. Amen. Let's go ahead and pray this evening and we'll get right into this message. Father, I thank you for today. Lord, I truly has been so wonderful to be in your house today. Well, it's been an encouragement. Lord, as we heard those seeking to praise you and to worship you and they're singing tonight, as we Lord heard the young men that were seated in the front, Lorde singing onto you. And then as we heard this other couple, Lord, I believe the vacant family, Lord, as they as they sing and see you. And truly, we just want to worship you and praise you. Thank you for that. Thank you how you've already minister to our hearts this evening. And father, as we have this time to open your word, father, once again, I pray that you'd have help us to have open hearts and open years that you would be able to speak to us tonight. More, if there's anything here this evening that is hindering that law, that you would remove that hindrance. So that you can freely work tonight in our midst. Father, we'll give you the honor and glory in Jesus name we pray, amen. As I look down in this passage, if I were to give a title to this message, which honestly I usually don't, and I know some preachers do alliterate it outlines and all this sort of stuff, and that's just not something that I'm gifted with. I had a teacher in college that everything, everything in all his notes is all liberated on. Honestly, I can stand it, but. I'm not one to alliterate, but if I were to give it a title would be this is the Apostle Paul's prayer letter to the Roman believers. And as we get into this passage, you understand why I would give it this title, because it's just kind of a natural thing that would take place to you if you read that as we read this passage. But it's important that as missionaries, as you partner with them, I believe would probably be safe to say that the missionaries that you partner together with, that they have a responsibility to report back and to write a prayer letter back, reporting on what God is doing and how they are continually to to continuing to faithfully do what God has called them to do. Now, I think we all know what would happen if all of a sudden those letters that they are sending out would all of a sudden stop. Maybe two months go by. OK. No big deal. Most missionaries sent out a letter every two, three months. Three months go by, four months go by, six months go by, all of a sudden you're going to be thinking what's going on? And so maybe at some point, whether it be a Misha's director or your pastor, you'll probably try to reach out to those that missionary family and say, hey, what's going on? Why haven't we received a letter from you? Are you OK? Is the ministry going well? Why? Because you want to be informed on what is taking place with as you partner together with them. They have a responsibility to do that. And so here the apostle Paul, that even though the this Rome, the Roman believers here, that as they aren't necessarily partnering together with that with the apostle Paul, he's pleading with them to partner together with them. And so he's giving a report more or less as to what God has allowed them to do and where God has allowed them to go and what God has done specifically in and through the life of the Apostle Paul. Because if you look at this, the apostle Paul, he has not even met these believers yet. These believers there in Rome, and he hasn't gone there yet. In fact, as we read this passage and the verses leading up to the verses that we read will find that he's saying that for for a while and I've had this desire to come on to you. So I want to direct your attention as the apostle Paul begins sharing about his ministry, what God has called him to do. I want you to notice what he said specifically in there in verse number 17. He says this, I have therefore, wherever I may glory through Jesus Christ and those things which pertain to God, for I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ have not wrought by me to make the Gentiles obedient by word and deed, but through mighty signs and wonders and by the power and the spirit of God. So that from Jerusalem and roundabout until Lyrica, I have fully preach the Gospel of Christ. So the apostle Paul is saying is, listen, I'm not going to exaggerate things, I'm not going to embellish the truth, I'm just going to share with you specifically what God has allowed us to do. I'm not going to claim some other man's work or some other work that God has done through another individual, but he says, I just want to share with you what God has allowed us to do. And he says, and what God has allowed us to do, all glory belongs to God and no one else. And so he's simply saying this is that from Jerusalem and around about Jerusalem all the way up to Illyria, as he as he states here, he says that I have fully preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and that no doubt, as he preached the gospel of Christ, that the Holy Spirit worked greatly and mightily in it and through him, that hundreds, if not thousands of people were saved. And so as he's as he's sharing this testimony of what God has done, I want you to fully grasp this idea of what he is saying, that from Jerusalem all the way to Lyrica, coming around about Jerusalem, all those entire areas throughout Macedonia says God has allowed me to preach in all these different areas. Not just preach to them all, but as the very next verse, he says this. Or at the end of number 19, he says this, I have fully preach the gospel of Christ. So in essence, what he's saying is in this entire area, wherever I could, wherever I was able to, I preach the gospel so that there wasn't a place remaining, that I hadn't preach the gospel. And that sits in this large area that he's talking. He says, I've been everywhere, I preach the gospel and God has used that and that, as we've seen throughout the Macedonian area, that we've seen countless churches started and countless people saved. And God is doing some incredible work. He says, I want you to know that all glory and honor belongs to God for that. So then he goes on the inverse number 20 says this, this is what he says, The focal point of my ministry has been, this is Yae. So have I strive to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation, but as it was written to whom he was not spoken of, they shall see. And they that have not heard shall understand. So you're saying I want to point out to you the focal point of my ministry has been not to go to the areas where there's already churches, where there's already believers, where they've already heard the gospel message preached. It said my focal point, the burden that God has placed upon my heart as he as we call me specifically to Macedonia, the Macedonian call. And then I feel like later on, God is going to lead me to the regions. Beyond that, he says this great, incredible burden that I've had in my life that I've sought to please God with and follow God with this, to go to those areas that have never heard the gospel message preached. Now, isn't that what missions should be about? I understand sometimes God calls us and God has called us to a city where there are other Christians and that God has called us there to play in a church, but ultimately God is called all of us individually and collectively. We as churches, as local body of believers, that God has called us to reach the lost with the gospel. And part in that is carrying the gospel to those that have never heard the gospel. Now, I know you could walk around Tulsa and you could find people that have never heard the gospel. No doubt that's very true. They. I don't want you to think about, too, about the countless countries. And I've never heard. The gospel. You know, our pastor of our church, after pastoring, he was in in ministry at our church for over 40 years, I believe that after pastoring for almost twenty five years, just a few years ago, he stepped down from being senior pastor, went into full time missionary work. Why, because God burdens them specifically to reach those people that have never heard the. God has called them to go to to help national workers in the 10 40 window to reach the gospel. Why? Because within the 10 day window, there's a large number of people. I believe it's estimated over two billion, if not more people. And many of those countries. Do not have a gospel. And see, that's what the apostle Paul was talking. He says, my burden, my vision is, is not to go with the gospel preacher. He says my burning vision is I want to go reach those people that have never heard the gospel. So that's what I've been busy doing. And as God has used this and as we've been faithfully serving God and God has used this to reach people, we give honor and glory to God for that. And he says this. And because of that, look down to verse number twenty two. Because of this burden, because of being faithfully doing what God has called us to do, he says this for which cause I have been much hindered from coming to you. Twenty three is an incredible version. So he says, I've had this desire to come to you there in in Rome and be able to fellowship with you, because no doubt I've I've heard how God has worked in your midst, how your young believers, you're on fire for the Lord. I want to come and fellowship with you that together we can encourage one another in the faith. But he says this. He says, Because I've been faithfully doing that, God has called me to do I have been able to come. Because God has not allowed me to. He says this, but now having no more place in these parts. And having a great desire these many years to come to, you went so where I take my journey into Spain.
Unidentified: I will come to you.
Speaker 5: You are you catching a little bit what he's saying about number twenty three? But now having no more part in these places. So his focal point has been reaching people that have never heard the gospel and preaching to those people that have never heard the gospel. So this entire area from Jerusalem, around about Jerusalem, all the way to Lyrica, this entire area in essence, what he's saying is I preached everywhere. And these people, they've all heard the gospel and so that now, because God has allowed me to accomplish this great task. This place has been proselytized. They've heard the gospel that everyone has heard it. And now I'm following God's call. Disspain. God, you've used me in this area here in Macedonia, you've used me here to reach these people. Now, God, I believe you're calling me to go to Spain to do the very same thing there, that because your gospel message is not being preached. They have not heard the gospel that I'm going to follow you over there to Spain. And he says when that day comes that I come to Spain. And I'm on my way to Spain, no doubt I'll be traveling right past. And that day, lord willing. I'll be able to come in and see you. Notice what he says this. For I trust twenty four, for I trust to see on my journey and be brought on my way through the word by you if I first be somewhat filled with your company. And then he goes on to say, but in the meantime, I'm on my way to Jerusalem and verse number twenty five, and he says, I'm going there to minister to the Saints. Why? Because the very next version, 20, verse twenty six, he says this, that the believers in Macedonia, which are not rich people, there are poor people yet the believers there in Macedonia seeing their brethren and the Jewish believers there in Jerusalem suffering because of persecution and the hardships and the trials that they had. Faces said they had take up an offering, a collection of sorts, and they've entrusted in me to take it all the way to Jerusalem to be a blessing to those brethren, their. Kind of little bit about what we talked about this morning, right? Loving one another. And they recognize that as the apostle Paul came to them bringing the gospel, that a proper response then would be to say, you know what, we love our brethren in Jerusalem. So. We want to help them. We want to be a blessing to them, and so the apostle Paul, we are delegating this responsibility for possible for you to take this financial gift and you to take it back to Jerusalem to be a blessing to those. So he concludes these things and then he says this once again and verse number twenty eight, when therefore I perform this and seal to then this fruit, I will come by you and disspain. And I'm sure that when I come to you, verse twenty nine, when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing in the Gospel of Christ. So already, twice in this passage, she's already said, I want to come to you want to come to you want to come visit you. I want to have that fellowship together so that we collectively together. Might be encouraged, might be refreshed. So he says this, that when I come. I come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. And then he pleads with them, he concludes that all. Diverse number 30. See what God has done, you see where God is leading me. You see what God has allowed me to do and what God has accomplished in the souls of countless souls that have been reached with the gospel, he says. And this is the way that you can have a very real part in what God is doing in and through our life and ministry. He says, strive together with. Now, notice how he says to strive, he says this. Beseech you, Bretheren. For the Lord Jesus Christ sake and for the love of the spirit. That you strive together with me in your prayers. To God. For me. Partner together with me and strive together with me by praying for me. You know, this is really incredible to think about this first. We were alive two thousand years ago. That we could have a part in the greatest missionary, perhaps, that ever lived or walked this. The apostle Paul. You're saying that by you faithfully striving together for us and praying for us, praying for me. That you can have an active part. And what God is doing in and through. My life. And what God has called us to do. Is that an incredible thought? Meanwhile, I believe this very same truth stands true even today, that as missionaries, as they as they go out and as you partnered together with them, even more than financially contributing, that you can have an active part of what God is doing in in Africa or in Asia or in Panama or in Russia or wherever it may be that you can have an active part in that. You're a participant in. By faithfully striving together with them and praying for that. Why wouldn't you want to do that? See, it's easy to sit in your pew and every week, if you do faith, promise and you contribute to faith, promise missions, it's easy. Everyone's trying to pull out of five or 10 or however it is much it is that you give it's easy to pull out your pocket and put it in an envelope and designate it missions and just forget about it. I gave my money. I did my responsibility. Yet you're robbing yourself specifically the blessing of having a very active part. And knowing what God is doing specifically and praying for those. But he doesn't stop there notice as he goes on, he says this, Pray for me, he's pleading with me, saying for the Lord Jesus Christ sake, he's pleading with you to say, pray for me. And he says this this is what you can pray for me specifically about. First off is this I have three points this evening, and I know you're thinking to yourself three points. He's already been preaching for 20 minutes. I promise I'll go quick. Three points this evening is this first off is this is how you can pray for me, says this, that I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judea. Notice what he's saying. Remember who the apostle Paul is? He was the one that used to persecute Christians. That on that road to Damascus, God completely changed his life when he met them, when he met God. Two hours before, he was the one persecuting Christians, but now he's the one preaching on proclaiming the very same gospel that he had persecuted others for. Can you imagine the hatred that the people in Jerusalem and Judea specifically would have for the apostle Paul? That in their eyes, he would be the most traitor, why? Because he was the one that was serving out the war. He was the one that was the the greatest leader of them all. Yeah, he turned his back on all that to follow after. He was a traitor to that. And so the apostle Paul is saying is here that as I've been delegated this responsibility of carrying this gift to the believers there in Jerusalem, he says, and that's what I'm walking right into enemy territory. Those people, they hate me. They want nothing more than to destroy me and to put me to death and to kill me. To persecute me. So you're saying, pray for me? Then as I go literally into the gates of hell. As I go into this place where there's people that literally hate the gospel. Pray for me that the law to protect. Pray for me for my protection. And second, I want to point out to you this evening he says this, that my service, which I have for Jerusalem, may be accepted of the Saints. In essence, what he's saying is that as I go to Jerusalem and I bear this gift, in essence, it's a return of their investment as they've partnered with me and as I've gone to these other areas, as I as I seek to be a blessing to the believers there in Jerusalem. Pray that it be a blessing to the. Pray that this work that has been delegated to me to do that, God has led me to do. That would be a blessing, that would be profit. So secondly, what is saying is this is pray that the work that God has called us to do. That B profit. That God would give us fruit. That God would bless. Thirdly, I want to point out to you this evening, I said I'm going to go quick with these points. Thirdly, he says this, that I may come on to you with joy by the will of God and May with you. We refresh. So the third thing that he points out is this, he says that as. God blesses and a god as God allows me to accomplish this thing with Jerusalem. Pray that God allows me to come be with you and. So that collectively, together, as we worship the Lord together, whether we have Bible conferences, whether we have preaching sessions together as we have fellowship together, whatever it may be, that but that as we come together, that that time would be a refreshing time and an encouraging time. Why? Because. Doing the work of the Lord. There are a lot of times when you get beat down. There's a lot of times, and I'm sure the missionary here to Panama that's been there for, I am assuming, over 40 years now. There are a lot of times in ministry that as you serve the Lord, there's a lot of times when it's discovered. And sometimes what means the most to a missionary is. Just receiving that word from someone that stateside, this thing, hey, listen. Just want to let you know. And I remember as a child. We had come back to the states and. We had we're at a conference in Ohio and the Rochester family, we're playing, they're singing, ministering. I remember specifically a song they sang at this church was called A Cross, the mine's. If ever heard that song, the words go something like this across the miles. There's someone praying for you. Across the miles, there's someone on their knees lifting. Your name. To. You know, I can remember sitting there and listening to that song and those words resonating over and over and over in my ears. Then now, as an adult, as God has called us back to Russia and we've been ministering there, and then as God called us to get on and I tell you the last two years for our family, they were rough. Lord led us to my granny, led us to buy an apartment that really was a dump. And Lord, let our family to go through a remodel project. And literally when we moved into our apartment or condo. Our family literally lived in one room with little side room off of it. For four months. Family of six. You know, your parsonage here, they have. Smaller than that. For four months, no kitchen. Everything else is dirty. For four months, until they finally had living room, area, kitchen, hallway that was clean, where we didn't have to put on our slippers every time that we wanted to leave our room to go to the bathroom. Why did we put ourselves through that? Sometimes I question it myself. Why? Because we knew that God wanted us there and this was the way that God could use us and then knew that God could use for us to reach. What can I tell you, there are so many times that we're just discouraging. You know, one of those discouraging times was right after I had completely finished it all. Everything was going great. Six months in just this last spring. Pipe burst in the attic of our apartment building. And all of a sudden at six thirty in the evening, we have water coming through the ceiling in our living room. And I think to myself, God, why God, why would you allow this to happen? Thank the Lord really protect us during that, but what I'm trying to get across to you is this is oftentimes missionaries face some of the most discouraging things. Why? Because as they're seeking to please God and seeking to reach the loss that have never heard the gospel, that no doubt we have an adversary that is actively pursuing us and attacking us, seeking to discourage us and try to get us to quit doing what God has called us to do. Why? Because he has a stronghold in those areas. And he's seeking to get us to get discouraged, to quit, to leave the field so that we can't continue administering their. And he says this is even the apostle Paul. He's pleading with these Roman believers, saying this is pray that we can come together and that we can be encouraged together. So simply put, this evening, it's very simple, he's saying this is pray with me and partner with me in this. So pray, first of all. Awarded Sun Protection. Pray that the Lord God bless our fruit, bless our labors, that you give us fruit for our labor. Then thirdly, he says this. Let's pray that as we come together. That we would be refreshed. And encouraged. Collectively, together in. You know, you can have a part in all three of these. All by striving together. It's an incredible. You know, I mean, you may think to yourself, well, what kind of danger do missionaries. You know, I could remind you of a family that just a few years ago, the family had literally the Westco family, they literally just arrived on the mission field. Not a week after they arrived in the mission field, the family, they were traveling in a vehicle, they got caught in the crossfire. The husband on that family, I believe they had six or seven children. Got shot, and just like that, he was gone. Only we can feel. Two or three years, I believe, is the second year into our family living in Russia. My wife, she loves to run. Who'd have thought running could be a dangerous sport? And as she was running and she was just completing a ten mile run, she was running across one of the streets at a crosswalk. Didn't see or she didn't see the car in the car hit my wife. And I thank the Lord that the Lord protected her very much. So she ended up walking away with just a fractured foot. It could have been a lot worse. You know, I'm sure everyone here in this room, not everyone, but a lot of you probably have seen YouTube videos of the way they drive in Russia. You know, it's it can be dangerous on the roads at times. Foreign countries, the way they drive there, it's a lot different than they do here in America. You know what, I can't help but think as I look back at the times that God has brought us through the trials, the hardships that God has brought us through, or the times that God has protected our family. I can't help but think this one. Wonder who is praying for our family right in that. When God encouraged our heart, when God used something to minister to our hearts. I can't help but think.
Unidentified: I wonder who was.
Speaker 5: Seeing the truth of the matter is, folks, this evening, is this as you could be that very same. And any missionary that you support, that you faithfully, regularly pray for, you could be that very one person that that missionaries I wonder who is praying for. I wonder who is praying for. And you can be that very same person. Praying for that person right in the moment when they need that encouragement and they need that strength to continue on. You could strive together with. So this evening, as I conclude, can I challenge you in this? Pré. Much. Don't just give and forget. Actively pray. For your. I'd be amazed what God can do in and through your life and in and through their life. When you participate, actively strive together with your missionaries, not just in. But in praying for the. Let's have every head bowed, every closed. As we begin the invitation now before we pray, I just like to ask one question. This evening. There be anyone here this evening and say, but the anger as you are preaching, Lord spoke to me specifically about this, praying for. Any could be anyone here this morning, this evening that would say, this is my hand, would you pray for me? That I would pray and do a better job of praying for the missionaries and striving to gather with them and praying for them, if that's you the same, you just raise your hand real quick. I just want to see your hand. Thank you for those. Hands all across the room. Can I challenge you this evening that if God spoke to you, why not come forward this evening and say God? Truly burden me and give me a burden and a vision to minister to missionary. To pray for that. Because they are doing what? God has called you to do. God's called us all to go to the mission field and reach people. Not all of us can go. Those missionaries, they've gone in your stead. Let's be faithful. To partner with them and praying for that. As their father, I thank you for this evening, I thank you for your work. Lord, I thank you for those that raise your hands. I said the are. God, I pray that you'd help us all to get a grasp and get a hold of this very true. We need to pray. Actively. Pray for our mission. Would help us to have an. Lord, thank you so much for the testimony this church has of supporting missions for many, many years. Father, I pray that you'd give them that many more years of being able to faithfully support. Lord, that it wouldn't just be a mission of giving, but it would be a mission of going. Emissions of. Striving to get. Father, we ask that you have your will and we know in this invitation. Jesus name, we pray. And as the piano begins to play, now's your chance if God spoke to you, why not respond? Why do you think God please help me? To be faithful, to strive together, to pray for our missionaries. Lord, please help me.
Speaker 3: Certainly come here to the altar, you can kneel there at your seat, maybe you can't kneel, maybe you can stand and pray or sit there in your pew and pray and ask that God would do exactly what we've heard from his word. Tonight, you protect our missionaries who bless their ministry, and they'd be refreshed those times when they're able to come and spend time with other believers. Let's spend this time asking God to be with our missionary family, many missionaries around the world that are serving him.
Speaker 2: Oh, take my love. And make it all the. I think my poor heart. Charged with the high grade love DBI. Today. By way. My passion, self and pride.
Unidentified: Hide. I now
Speaker 2: surrender Lord and
Unidentified: be. I'd also
Speaker 2: only go. Most revival comes from the. Cynda Reavie. I will start the work with. The. They were deklin. Powell will supply our needs for. The now. Oh, Lord, I humbly
Speaker 3: thank you very much. You may be seated for just a moment. Um, appreciate that message for us tonight, Brother James, and glad to have you here and have benefited from your preaching ministry. And I know I've been challenged and hopefully encouraged, uh, in what, uh, needs to be done in support of our missionaries at this time. We would like to enter into a quick business meeting just to handle.
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