"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." Isaiah 55:1
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Dear Weekly Readers!
The following is an except from a letter that the FM Chairman and Pastor Robert Maki sent to Nigeria recently. This is shared here, as no matter where we live, we need the Good News of the Gospel! May God Bless your week!
Dear Elder...(e) God's Peace!
May the love of God through His son Jesus Christ and the communion of the Holy Sprit be with you now and forever.
As a Foreign Mission, we go forth as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has commanded when He said "Go forth through out the whole world and preach the Gospel, the good news to all people. The good news is the message of this Easter Season when God has so much loved us that He sent His only begotten son so that who so ever believes in Him, they will not perish, but they will have ever lasting life. What is it to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? Jesus didn't come to condemn the world, but that all might live through Him. Jesus is true man as well as true God. He was from the beginning of time. All things were created by Him and nothing is that was not created by Him.
Man was created in God's own image as a perfect being. But through unbelief, our first parents were beguiled and fell into sin. We have inherited that same sinful nature. Sin separates us from God. The word tells us, Flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom of God." It speaks further, "All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. There is no one who does good. No, not one." Jesus speaks, "You must be born again." The word teaches, through the working of the Spirit, we die to our selves so that we may live in Jesus Christ."
God has ordained that, "Through the foolishness of preaching, man might be saved." That preaching of the Word, the law, does its work within the very heart and soul of a man. " The word of God does not return to Him void." But it does that for which God gave it to do. Apostle Paul testifies, "The law slew, killed, me and I died, but yet I live. But not I. But Christ lives within me." That is how we become "a new creature in Christ. Old things are then all passed away and all things become new."
When Jesus was upon Calvary's cross, the sins of the whole world, yours and mine and every ones was put upon Jesus. Jesus was the price,the sacrifice, the penalty for our sin,the lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world so that you and I who could never pay even if we spent eternity in hell could obtain eternal life in heaven. God even turned His face from Jesus and Jesus cried, my God. my God, why has thou forsaken me? God loved you and me so much that He turned His face from Jesus and allowed Him to finish the work of salvation for us. He shed His blood as an offering for our sins. When Jesus said, "It is finished !" The work of salvation was complete. He gave up the ghost and died. The third day Jesus arose from the dead. He lives! and because He lives. when we are in Him, we also will live through out all eternity with Him.
We are covered with the righteousness of Jesus because He took all our sin from us and when our sins are forgiven and by faith, the blood of Jesus washes away all our sins,this we have heard and believe because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. When we stand before a righteous and all knowing God, We stand perfect, without sin,and God remembers our sin no more. Jesus said,"Come onto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden. I will give you rest. Come and learn of me. I am meek and lowly and I will bring rest onto your souls. Take upon you my yoke. My yoke is easy and my burden is light."
It is for this reason why we go forth and reach out with the inviting words of Jesus to all people. We don't preach ourselves, but we preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified. We have freely received of His grace, love and mercy. Even the forgiveness of sins, and we are commanded by Him to freely give. We can only give that which the Lord has given to us to those who want to receive.
The word of God is spiritual and as ones who have been purchased with a great price, even the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, we don't belong to our selves but we belong to Him. We are partakers of His kingdom and His kingdom is not meat and drink, not a natural kingdom, but it is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Jesus says, "The kingdom of God is within you." The emphasis isn't upon ourselves, or the works of our flesh or signs and wonders, but it is only upon The Lord Jesus Christ. "We are saved by Grace through Faith and that not of ourselves but it is a gift of God." Jesus and His work of righteousness within us is the reason for the hope that lies within us.
I write what I have for no other reason then for you to know what is it that we believe even as the ALC missionaries brought to Nigeria about fifty years ago and many heard, their hearts were touched and they believed and they turned to the Lord Jesus Christ even for the forgiveness of their sins. They heard the gospel proclaimed to them and believed it and walked in that newness of life believing and trusting upon the Lord Jesus Christ as their only hope of ever lasting life. Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes onto the Father except by me."
I leave you in God's tender care and pray He continues to guide you to walk in Christ by His Spirit and in the Word that is a light onto our feet and a lamp onto our pathway.
Your fellow servant in Jesus Christ! Pastor Robert (Bob) Maki Chairman Apostolic Lutheran Church of America Foreign Mission Board