We have shared a meal with David Sills who wrote this article.  In fact our son David listened to him speak and felt like David S. had cleared up some of his theology questions.  That is great, because I am often at a loss with David’s questions.  I am sure many of you parents can identify with that.  David Sills has a great article Missions Doesn’t Stop When a Group Has Been Reached that is worth a read.  We are some of those missionaries that are working in an area that is technically “reached”, meaning over 2% of the population are evangelical christians.  Our little town is especially reached through the influence of the hospital and the school.  However, all around us there are towns that have no presence of the good news of Christ, and many that have never even heard.  Much less have the people been taught the fundamental truths of the faith.  From the article . . .

most would agree that faithful obedience to the Great Commission and reaching the unreached is more than a matter of speaking the gospel message and moving on. But how much more? Jesus answered that question. He said to teach them to obey all he has commanded. That statement must not be abbreviated. The task of the Great Commission cannot be compared to running through a large darkened building, flipping on a few switches and announcing that they now have light even though thousands of other rooms leave most people in darkness. If that is all one understands reaching the unreached to mean, then we must agree that the great tragedy of the world today is not that it is unreached, but that it is undiscipled.

More on Good Teaching

Since Allison shared some of what she took away from our lessons during Spiritual Emphasis Week, I thought I would share some of my own.  These are ones I pulled out that are different than ones Allison already shared.

People watch your life to understand your theology. – This one is good to ponder and think about in regards to what our life looks like to others.  He mentioned that he always wants  his life to be the best example of what a Christian is to his family and friends.

Disciples put others’ preferences above their own.

We need to watch Jesus and let him be our model in life.

God knows you need some trials to build spiritual muscles.  God knows exactly what you need to conform you to the image of Christ. – It was about this time when he mentioned that “during a test a teacher is always silent”.  I felt like a new understanding was opened up to me when he said this.

When God is giving you a blessing, give it out to someone else.  (teaching, smile, joy, money) – A reminder to be a good steward of everything, not just our money.

God is never late.  He is seldom early, but he is never late.

When you are going through “hell”, the important thing is to keep going.  Remember this is a season and that the Lord is with us in the valley.  (Regarding Psalm 23) – He also mentioned it is better to know the shepherd than the psalm.  

When the devil comes to you to remind you of your past, remind him of his future.

Wherever you are, be all there. – We can spend to much time looking back or looking to the future instead of looking at what God is doing around us right now.

The encouragement of good teaching

David Sills teaching during a lunch session.

David Sills teaching during a lunch session.

Last week was Spiritual Emphasis Week here at school and a wonderful team from a friend’s church in Arkansas came to do a VBS for the kids so that the adults could attend two sessions a day.  Our speaker was David Sills, who has written several helpful books on missiology.  His ministry is called Reaching & Teaching.  Even before the week began, there was some buzz about him.  Several of our friends had really enjoyed hearing him a few years ago and some had read one of his books.  The fact that he attended our same language school, ministered in Ecuador, and then studied missions and discipling made him instantly interesting for most of us.

Because Sarah had a fever, Will and I had to take turns going to the talks and we didn’t get to attend every session, but here are some good soundbites from what I did hear:

From Matthew 11:28 & 29 “Come to me, you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Take on the burden of obedience.

Persevere when there is not any fruit and then, if there is some fruit, be sure to declare “This is the Lord,” like the disciples in John 21:1-14.

As you work through culture shock, don’t throw our your first culture.  That is a rejection of what God has given you in your life thus far.  Just keep waiting and trusting and the abnormal will become normal.  When you have moved to another country, many of your shock absorbers are gone, and what you have left is metal on metal.  (It doesn’t sound pretty sometimes!)

From Romans 12:2, you must be transformed so that you can pick up God’s frequency. He is talking at a frequency that the natural man cannot hear.

God’s will is like a football field.  There are some boundaries, but you have space to run around.

On feeling like you can’t hear God when things are tough: Teachers are always quiet during a test.

During prayer, he asks God, What is not being done that ought to be done that I could do and if it were done, it would bring glory to Your name?

The closer we get to the light, the more we can see our own dirtiness.

God says you can start over, but the devil will tell you that you cannot.

Sorrow, regret, and remorse look back.  Fear, worry, and anxiety look forward.  Peace, rest, and trust stand still and look up.

We thank the Lord for providing sound teaching and relevant, helpful, practical guidance just when we have been seeking it.