Monday, March 25, 2013

Simos Family Missions Newsletter

Simos Family ministry update from the Dominican Republic.
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Simos Family, Dominican Republic
We are building!  After a ground-breaking ceremony in February, Freedom officially began construction on 15 acres of land.  This has kicked off what will be the start of many years of construction as we seek to build a Christian, bilingual, prek through 12th grade school for the children of sugarcane workers.  Significant progess was made when a team joined us for one week to excavate, dig footers, build block walls, and pour a floor.
Ground Breaking and more!
We worked not only with this group of men, but also with a crew of up to 35 Dominicans.  We praise God for the safety that He provided, the work that He permitted, and the relationships that He started in the lives of all involved. 
Working for Freedom!
As the building continues, the preschool continues to operate and impact lives in the bateyes.  We are still able to use 2 churches in batey Lima as our classrooms, and we give thanks for this opportunity.  Speaking specifically about the 3-year-old class, we have seen great strides in the behavior of every child.  To God be all of the glory for this growth.  May He continue to work in us and through us. 

As a family, we spent three weeks in Indiana and Ohio during February.  We had a sweet time visiting with all and updating everyone about our ministry. 
Change a Life
This is Ahslily,  the can't-sit-still-in-her-chair child, who loves to go outside for gym class.  One day, we noticed that she couldn't stay in line to bat during baseball.  She wanted to catch every foul ball and missed pitch.  She chased down the ball and threw it back to Josh with such determination!  Will she be a softball player, coach, or trainer one day?  Only God knows, but how wonderful if someone would commit to pray for Ahslily now, to write to her now, and to encourage her now.  It's exciting to think about what the Lord has in store for her as she continues in our school.  If you'd like to sponsor Ahslily, click on her picture above!
Take a Trip!
Come Visit Us!
If you have ever thought about an international missions trip, please consider visiting Freedom.  We would love to have you come stay with us, and witness first-hand the ministry that the Lord has called us to in the Dominican.  Just click on the above picture for more info.
Building Fund
If you would like to play a part in the funding of our school, please click here for more information.  We are extremely excited about the possibility of having class in our own building.  We are waiting upon the Lord to provide the funding, and as He does, we will be faithful to build. 
Please prayerfully consider partnering with us.  Click here to give online.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bits & Bytes for Bagley Backers

March 2013
Bits & Bytes for Bagley Backers

Mozambique Flood Relief
The Wesleyan Church in North America has responded amazingly to the call to help fellow Wesleyans in Mozambique who have lost much in the recent floods. Mozambique Mission Director recently sent the following report about the distribution of relief:

We want to keep you informed about the Mozambican flood relief distribution that is being managed by the Executive Committee of the National Board in conjunction with the District Superintendents and District Treasurers in the affected Provinces.
On Saturday, March 16, 2013, Rev. Nhathelo delivered a truck load of clothes to the Chokwe Churches that were donated by Churches in the Maputo District to help flood victims in the Limpopo River valley. He then met with the Ex. Com. of the N. B. A. at a special meeting that he had called at the Bible College in Xai-Xai. The National Treasurer confirmed that the most recent electronic transfer of $20,000 had been received in the National bank account. Reports were received with regard to food distributions that have been made to flood victims in four different areas.
It was decided to make further transfers of funds to the Provinces which had received the first round of funding for another dispensation of food equal to the first, namely: Nampula $2000, Beira $2000, Zambezia $2000 and Xai-Xai $1000. A larger amount of $4000 was allotted to the Chokwe area due to the great need that has resulted from the extensive loss of summer crops sustained in the total inundation of their residential and agricultural areas. Funding was approved for construction and rehabilitation assistance for some of the churches which have sustained storm damage. These are as follows: Bela Vista $2,000, Guija $1,000, Nalazi $1,000, Cuamba $2,000, Chokwe, Quatro Bairro $2,500. An amount of $500 was approved to reconstruct the home of a retired pastor in the Xai-Xai area.
Once again, the members of the EX.Com. expressed their deep appreciation for the funding which has been given by the North American Church and asked me to convey their gratitude. 

Photos of relief being distributed can be viewed by clicking the "Read More" button below.

New Missionaries Appointed
In the past month Global Partners has appointed two missionary units to meet vital needs in the Africa Area.

Mike and Shareen Bradley (photo on the right) from Kentwood, MI have been appointed as GoNet Employees to serve for 16 months at Pilgrim Wesleyan Bible College in Jembo, Zambia. They will be filling the gap left by Mike & Cindy Helvie when they left the field for health reasons.  Mike and Shareen are scheduled to leave for Zambia early next month.  Because they will be leaving before the next scheduled training program for GoNet Employees, Bob has been going over the material with them via Skype - Praise God for technology!

Dr. David and Dahlia Dyer from Palmer, AK have been appointed  as GoNet Volunteers to serve for three months (or more) at Kamakwie Wesleyan Hospital in Kamakwie, Sierra Leone.  Dr. Dyer will be serving as the primary doctor at the hospital while Dahlia will be caring for and home schooling their children. It is hoped that they will be able to leave for Sierra Leone by May. 

We praise God for the provision of these committed servants, while we continue to pray for long-term personnel for both assignments.

Nigeria Construction
This past November Bob traveled to Lagos, Nigeria for the dedication of the first Wesleyan church in the country. He was taken by surprise to discover that they would be a dedicating a building that was only half completed. The church has been operating a primary school nearby in rented facilities and the church building plan called for classrooms to be built on a second floor over the sanctuary. That construction has continued, and missionary Andrew Bondo reports the second floor has now been enclosed.  Praise God for the dedication, commitment, and hard work of these faithful Wesleyans in this new church.  . . .  Perhaps another trip to Lagos is order to dedicate the second floor!

Photos of work on the second floor can be seen by clicking on the "Read More" button below.
Africa Area Prayer Calendar
The African Area Prayer Calendar for April - June 2013 is now available. Thank you to all who regularly prayer for the needs across Africa.  To access the payer calendar simply click on the "Read More" button below.
Ghana 578

Praise Reports
  1. Praise God that the funds needed to bring the first phase of the building project at the Wesleyan College of Liberia to a point where they can begin using it have been promised and/or given.
  2. Praise God for the good response of His people to the call to help with flood relief in Mozambique.
  3. Praise God for the response of Bradleys and Dyers to serve in Africa.
  4. Praise God for significant progress being made on the construction project in Nigeria.

Prayer Requests
  1. Pray for the Africa Area missionaries as they gather for the annual Africa Area Missionary Retreat in Xai Xai, Mozambique April 11-14.  We will be ministered to by Dr. & Mrs. Dennis Jackson (Executive Director of GP), Tim Hibschman (Director of Missionary Care and Development for GP), and Michelle Bryant (Children's Pastor from Easley, SC).
  2. Ask God to move in the hearts and lives of church leaders in Zambia in their annual Missions and Leaders Conference in Lusaka April 15-18. Bob and Dennis Jackson will be flying up to Lusaka for the conference immediately following the missionary retreat.
  3. Ask for God to help and use Brenda as she teaches a course on "Other Faiths" at Emmanuel Wesleyan Bible College, Swaziland April 15 - May 3.
  4. Please continue to pray for God to call missionaries needed in Africa - doctors (Sierra Leone and Zambia) and leadership development (Ghana, Mozambique, Zambia, and Francophone Africa).
  5. Please continue to pray that the authorities in Zimbabwe will quickly issue residence permits for Randal and Candice Cheney and their family.
  6. Pray for God to help and guide Randal & Candice Cheney, Mike & Shareen Bradley, and David & Dahlia Dyer as they transition to life and ministry in Africa.

Support Report
We are about halfway through Global Partners' financial year and are about $5,000 behind our budget for donations. Please help us pray that God will continue to supply what is needed.

We are deeply grateful for all of you who faithfully and sacrificially give so we can serve. Thank you so much.
Online donations or monthly commitments can be made online by clicking here.

Printable Version
An easy to print version can be accessed by clicking the following link: PRINT VERSION.Thank you for sharing a print version with those who cannot receive the email.

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Bob & Brenda Bagley |
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Verse of the Day

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this.” -Galatians 5:22-23 Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pasillo de Dios de la Fe

Pasillo de Dios de la Fe

Un sermón del Rev. Keith Kiper
Medios Pastor-Boonville Wesleyan Church
en Hebreos capítulo 11 (CEB)
Hebreos capítulo once es a menudo llamado el "Salón de la Fe" o el "capítulo de la fe" de la Biblia.Eso se debe a que este capítulo se describe para nosotros la vida de aquellos que a menudo mantienen su fe, a veces contra viento y marea increíbles, incluyendo la tortura y la muerte. Esta sala de fe incluye a aquellos, tanto en el Antiguo Testamento y el Nuevo.Muchos nombres se han añadido a lo largo de la historia de la iglesia. Esta lista incluiría Origen, Juana de Arco, Martín Lutero, Juan Wesley, Huss, Tyndale, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, además de muchos otros en todo el mundo hoy en día. Algunos fueron perseguidos mientras que otros murieron por su fe. Muchos están siendo perseguidos y martirizados en todo el mundo hoy en día.Estoy seguro de que podemos pensar en los miembros de nuestra familia toda la vida, de nuestra propia iglesia que podemos agregar a esta lista que mantuvieron su fe.
Tenemos nuestra propia sala de fe aquí en Boonville Wesleyana. Nuestra sala de fe incluiría a aquellos que han luchado contra el cáncer, las enfermedades, las dificultades financieras. Sus rostros vienen a nuestras mentes como los recordamos hoy. Algunos han llegado a su recompensa. Otros todavía están con nosotros, alentándonos con su testimonio. A pesar de las dificultades que han enfrentado ... se negaron a rendirse y mantuvieron su fe como un testimonio de la gracia maravillosa de Dios. Nos anima. Otros han llegado a conocer a Jesús por causa de su testimonio. Todo esto lo mencionamos tienen algo en común. Ellos mantuvieron su fe porque confiaban en la palabra de Dios. Ellos mantuvieron su fe porque tenían una visión de algo mejor por venir. Es casi imposible fe separada y la visión.
  Como bien dice Comentario Barnes: "No hay ninguna parte del Nuevo Testamento de más valor que este capítulo en Hebreos, ninguno que merece ser estudiado con más paciencia, o que puede ser aplicado con más frecuencia a las circunstancias de los cristianos. Estos registros invaluables están adaptadas para sostenernos en tiempos de prueba, la tentación y la persecución; para mostrarnos lo que la fe ha hecho en días pasados, y lo que puede hacer aún en circunstancias similares. Nada puede mostrar mejor el valor y el poder de la fe o de la religión verdadera, de los expedientes en este capítulo. Se ha hecho lo que ninguna otra cosa podría hacerlo. Ha permitido a hombres y mujeres a soportar lo que nada más les permitiría soportar "Usted puede preguntar:. ¿Cómo sobrevivir y mantener su fe? Me gustaría ver cuatro formas hoy aquí.

1. VISION:   En la década de 1970 se estaban haciendo preparativos para las celebraciones de inauguración de Disney World en Orlando Florida. Muchos años de planificación y diseño había entrado en la construcción del nuevo parque temático. El fundador, Walt Disney no murió mucho tiempo antes de que Disney World abrió. Uno de sus dirigentes comentó que él deseaba asegurarse de Walt Disney World puede ver ahora. Otro amigo comentó: Hizo ver que, por eso estamos aquí hoy.
Estos miembros del Salón de la Fe sabía lo que significaba tener una visión. Poseían algo aún mejor. Sabían lo que significaba tener una visión celestial, una visión que miró más allá de los actuales juicios y tribulaciones.
Se prevé que el lugar que Pedro habla, un lugar donde pudieran participar de la naturaleza divina.
          2. CONFIANZA: Que 1980 Jack Handy filósofo dijo: "A veces pienso que usted tiene derecho a marchar y exigir sus derechos, incluso si usted no sabe lo que son los derechos, o quién es la persona que está hablando. Luego, al salir, cerrar la puerta ".
            La confianza puede ser a la vez algo bueno y algo malo.No era confianza en sí mismo o el falso orgullo que alimentó los primeros cristianos. Su confianza se situó en un omnisciente, omnipotente Dios del amor perfecto. Podemos tener confianza en la Palabra escrita de Dios, la confianza en que el Espíritu Santo puede guiarnos, consolarnos, y dirigir nuestros caminos no importa lo que venga.
Pablo nos da un buen consejo en Efesios: 6:17   Y tomad el yelmo de la salvación y la espada del Espíritu, que es la palabra de Dios.
18  ofrecen oraciones y peticiones en el Espíritu en todo momento.Manténgase alerta en la horca allí y orar por todos los creyentes.  19  En cuanto a mí, oren para que cuando abro mi boca, me sale un mensaje que con seguridad hace que este plan secreto b ]  de conocer el Evangelio.  20 Soy un embajador en cadenas por causa del evangelio. Ore para que el Señor me dará la confianza para decir lo que tengo que decir. "

3. HAMBRE :   Éxodo 33:17-20

Biblia en Inglés Común (CEB)
17  El  Señor  dijo a Moisés: "Voy a hacer exactamente lo que has pedido porque tiene mi aprobación especial, y te he conocido por tu nombre."
18  Moisés dijo: "Por favor, muéstrame tu presencia gloriosa".
20  Sin embargo, "el  Señor  dijo, "usted no puede ver mi rostro, porque nadie puede verme y vivir".
Cuando Moisés le pidió a Dios que le mostrara su gloria, el Señor le advirtió que nadie puede verlo y vivir. Incluso en el Nuevo Pacto es verdad. Sólo los muertos pueden verlo. Ahora no estoy hablando de los muertos físicamente, pero los que han muerto a sí mismo. Cuando uno muere para sí mismo, hay un hambre renovada de experimentar a Dios en su plenitud por medio del Espíritu Santo. Juan Wesley llamó a esto la segunda bendición.Esto es lo que llamamos santificación en nuestras iglesias de santidad. Como cristianos debemos sacar fuerza de lo alto cuando deseamos y buscar la presencia de Dios. Ganamos fortaleza en tiempos de la depresión y la tribulación a través de la adoración colectiva. ¿Por eso congregarnos es tan importante para el cristiano. No sólo recibir a Dios "bendición s ... nos sentimos alentados por compartir peticiones de oración y necesidades. Dios puede mover entre nosotros cuando abrimos verter corazones en adoración.
            Esta hambre espiritual debe ser más que el hambre física que a veces tenemos. Aaron Wilborn escribió algunas nuevas palabras para una canción de la década de 1980.
"El pastor predicó hasta la 1:45, yo podría matar a por una hamburguesa y fríe,
no te preocupes, se feliz! "
Leonard Ravenhill , un pastor Inglés que ha fallecido recientemente comentó:
"Estoy harto de la cristiandad llamado de nuestros días. ¿Qué hay de sobrenatural en ello?¿Cuando la gente sale del santuario pasmado y no puede hablar por una hora porque Dios ha estado en la gloria allí? Querido Dios, tan pronto como salen, hablan de fútbol, ​​o los deportes o algo o que va a ser un centro de gran venta o en algún lugar. No estamos atrapados en la eternidad. "
Sí, eso suena duro. Pero creo que sí describe la Laodician o presente actitud tibia en muchas de las iglesias de hoy.

El reverendo Tommy Tenney, el autor de "la búsqueda de Dios" tenían algunas reflexiones sobre el hambre espiritual también. Tenney llamado hambre de Dios, "El camino secreto a la presencia de Dios."
 Mateo 6:33 nos dice
"En cambio, el deseo  primero  y ante todo el reino de Dios y su justicia, y todas estas cosas os serán para ti también. "
Cuando la gente le preguntaba cómo John Wesley señaló a multitudes tan grandes durante el Primer Gran Despertar respondió: "Me puse en el fuego, y la gente viene a verme quemar".
        Esa es la clase de hambre aquellos en el pabellón de fe de Dios poseía. Ese es el tipo de hambre que necesitamos hoy en la iglesia. Dios usó diferentes métodos en diferentes momentos a lo largo de la historia de su iglesia. Alguien bien dijo que la historia debe ser un puesto de guía, pero no un poste. Aunque creo que esto es cierto, no soy un esclavo de dispensacionalismo. ¿Qué quiero decir cuando hago esa afirmación. La Biblia nos dice que Jesús es el mismo ayer, hoy y siempre. Dispensacionalismo para mí es una palabra veinticinco dólares para las excusas. Algunos creen que todos los milagros cesaron con los discípulos. Yo creo que Dios todavía sana hoy, ahorra hoy, y puede hacer milagros en nuestra vida cotidiana. Si Dios se mueve, trabaja, y cura a su placer y dentro de Su voluntad. Pero también podemos limitar lo que hace por nuestra falta de oración y la falta de fe. Debemos sed de Él como los Salmos nos dice que los ciervos sed después del agua. Él entonces o responder a nuestras oraciones o nos da la fuerza sobrenatural de que sólo Él puede dar a soportar lo que venga.
        Smith Wigglesworth, a menudo referido como "el apóstol de la fe", fue uno de los pioneros del renacimiento (Pentecostal) que ocurrió hace un siglo. Pastor Wigglesworth mentor Lester Sumrall. Algunos de ustedes recordarán la audición Dr. Sumrall en la radio en el pasado. Sin perfeccionamiento humano y la educación fue capaz de aprovechar los recursos infinitos de Dios para traer la gracia divina a multitudes.

Miles de personas acudieron a la fe cristiana en sus reuniones, cientos fueron sanados de enfermedades graves y enfermedades como signos sobrenaturales siguieron su ministerio.
Una profunda intimidad con su Padre celestial y una incuestionable fe en la Palabra de Dios trajo resultados espectaculares, incluyendo tres casos documentados de personas, habiendo resucitado de los muertos.

¿Por qué Dios utilizar algunos aquí y otros no? ¿Por qué algunos otros cicatrizados y no? No sé la respuesta. Hay algo en común ... individuos como este estaba de acuerdo con un hambre espiritual de la presencia de Dios y una voluntad de ser persistentes en la oración.

4. RESUELVO:   El diccionario define la palabra resolver como, " Para tomar una decisión firme acerca. "O para llevar a buen término suele tener éxito" Escucha lo que dice Pablo en Filipenses 1:27-29.
" 27  Lo más importante es vivir juntos de una manera digna del evangelio de Cristo. Haz esto, ya sea que vaya a veros, o que estoy ausente y escuchar acerca de usted. Haga esto por lo que os mantenéis firmes, unidos en un mismo espíritu y la mente a medida que lucha junto a permanecer fieles al Evangelio.  28  De este modo, no tendrá miedo de todo lo que sus enemigos lo hacen. Su fidelidad y el valor son una señal de su inminente destrucción y la salvación que viene de Dios.  29  Dios generosamente le concedió el privilegio, no sólo de creer en Cristo, sino también de sufrir por causa de Cristo ".
 La canción familiar, "He decidido seguir a Cristo" fue escrito por alguien que realmente sabía lo que significaba que resolver en medio de la persecución.

Las letras están basadas en las  últimas palabras  de un hombre en  Assam , al noreste de India, que junto con su familia se  convirtió al cristianismo  a mediados del siglo 19 a través de los esfuerzos de un galés misionero . Llamado a renunciar a su fe por el jefe de la aldea, el converso declaró: "He decidido seguir a Jesús." En respuesta a las amenazas a su familia, él continuó: "Aunque nadie se une a mí, todavía me siguen." Su esposa murió, y fue ejecutado mientras cantan: " La cruz  delante de mí, el mundo detrás de mí. "Esta muestra de fe se divulga para haber dado lugar a la conversión del jefe y los demás en el pueblo. [1]
La formación de estas palabras en un himno se atribuye al indio misionero  Sadhu Sundar Singh . [2]  La melodía también es indio, y titulada "Assam", después de la región donde se originó el texto. [3]  La oposición feroz es posible ya que varios tribus en esa área eran famosos antes de  la caza de cabezas . [4]
Un editor himno americano, William Jensen Reynolds, integrado por un arreglo que fue incluido en el 1959 Cancionero Asamblea . Su versión se convirtió en una característica regular de  Billy Graham reuniones 's de evangelización en América y en otras partes, la difusión de su popularidad. [5]
            Hemos echado un vistazo hoy a los miembros del Salón de la Fe de Dios. "Muchos de los que han partido antes que nosotros han hecho grandes sacrificios. Puede que seamos llamados a hacer lo mismo en el curso de nuestras vidas. No siempre se puede saber el motivo, pero conoce a Dios. Usted ve, el cristianismo no puede tener todas las respuestas. El cristianismo es la única religión que pide a todas las preguntas correctas. Al concluir hoy, demos vuelta a la página 385 y cantar "He decidido seguir a Cristo." Tal vez usted está enfrentando un juicio hoy. Jesús sigue siendo la respuesta.

God's Hall of Faith

A Sermon by Rev. Keith Kiper
Media Pastor-Boonville Wesleyan Church
from Hebrews Chapter 11 (CEB)
Hebrews chapter eleven is often called the “Hall of Faith” or the “Faith Chapter” of the Bible.  That is because this chapter outlines for us the lives of those who often maintained their faith , sometimes against incredible odds including torture and death. This hall of faith includes those in both the Old and New Testament. Many names had been added throughout the history of the church. This list would include Origin, Joan of Arc, Martin Luther, John Wesley, Huss, Tyndale,  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, plus countless others throughout the world today. Some were persecuted while others died for their faith. Many are being persecuted and martyred throughout the world today.  I’m sure we can think of those in our lifetime, family members from our own church that we can add to this list who maintained their faith.
We have our own hall of faith here at Boonville Wesleyan. Our hall of faith would include those who have battled cancer, ill health, financial difficulties. Their faces come to our minds as we remember them today. Some have gone on to their reward. Others are still with us, encouraging us with their testimony. In spite of hardships they have faced… they refused to give in and maintained their faith as a testimony to God’s amazing grace. They encouraged us. Others have come to know Jesus because of their testimony. All these we mentioned have something in common. They maintained their faith because they trusted God’s Word. They maintained their faith because they had a vision of something better to come. It is almost impossible to separate faith and vision.
  As Barnes Commentary well states, ”There is no part of the New Testament of more value than this chapter in Hebrews; none which deserves to be more patiently studied, or which may be more frequently applied to the circumstances of Christians. These invaluable records are adapted to sustain us in times of trial, temptation, and persecution; to show us what faith has done in days that are past, and what it may do still in similar circumstances. Nothing can better show the value and the power of faith, or of true religion, than the records in this chapter. It has done what nothing else could do. It has enabled men and women to endure what nothing else would enable them to bear.”You may ask: How did they survive and keep their faith? I would like to look at four ways here today.

1. VISION:  In the early 1970’s preparations were being made for the grand opening celebrations of Disney World in Orlando Florida. Many years of planning and design had gone into building the new theme park. The founder, Walt Disney died not very long before Disney World opened. One of its leaders remarked that he sure wished Walt could see Disney World now. Another friend remarked, He did see it, that’s why we are here today.
These members of the Hall of Faith knew what it meant to have a vision,. They possessed something even better. They knew what it meant to have a heavenly vision, a vision which looked past the current trials and tribulations.
They envisioned that place that Peter talks about, a place where they could partake of the divine nature.
          2. CONFIDENCE: That 1980’s philosopher Jack Handy said, ”Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what you rights are, or who the person is you are talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.”
            Confidence can be both a good thing and a bad thing. It wasn’t self-confidence or false pride that fueled the early Christians. Their confidence was placed in an all knowing, all powerful God of perfect love.  We can have confidence in God’s written Word, the confidence that the Holy Spirit can guide us, comfort us, and direct our paths no matter what comes our way.
Paul gives us good advice in Ephesians:6:17  “ Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.
18 Offer prayers and petitions in the Spirit all the time. Stay alert by hanging in there and praying for all believers. 19 As for me, pray that when I open my mouth, I’ll get a message that confidently makes this secret plan[b] of the gospel known. 20 I’m an ambassador in chains for the sake of the gospel. Pray so that the Lord will give me the confidence to say what I have to say.”

3. HUNGER:  Exodus 33:17-20

Common English Bible (CEB)
17 The Lord said to Moses, “I’ll do exactly what you’ve asked because you have my special approval, and I know you by name.”
18 Moses said, “Please show me your glorious presence.”
20 But,” the Lord said, “you can’t see my face because no one can see me and live.”
When Moses asked God to show him His glory, the Lord warned him that no man can see Him and live. Even in the New Covenant this is true. Only dead men can see Him. Now I’m not talking about the physically dead, but those who have died to self. When one dies to self, there is a renewed hunger to experience God in His fullness through the Holy Spirit. John Wesley called this the Second Blessing. This is what we call sanctification in our holiness churches. As Christians we draw strength from above when we desire and seek God’s presence. We gain strength in times of depression and tribulation through corporate worship. That why assembling together is so important for the Christian. We not only receive God”s blessing…we are encouraged by sharing prayer requests and needs. God can move among our midst when we open pour hearts together in worship.
            This spiritual  hunger must be more than the physical hunger we sometimes have. Aaron Wilborn wrote some new words for a song from the 1980’s.
“The pastor preached until 1:45,  I could kill for a burger and fry,
don’t worry, be happy!”
.Leonard Ravenhill , an English pastor who has passed on recently remarked:
“I'm sick to death of the so-called Christianity of our day. What's supernatural about it? When do people come out of the sanctuary awed and can't speak for an hour because God has been in glory there? Dear God, as soon as they get out, they're talking football, or sports or something or there's going to be a big sale downtown or somewhere. We are not caught up into eternity.”
Yes, that does sound harsh. But I feel it does describe the Laodician or luke warm attitude present in many of today’s churches.

The Rev. Tommy Tenney, the author of “The God Chasers” had some thoughts about spiritual hunger also. Tenney called hungering after God, ”The secret path to God’s presence.”
 Matthew 6:33 tells us
“Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
When people asked John Wesley how he drew such large crowds during the first Great awakening he replied, “I set myself on fire, and the people come to see me burn.”
        That’s the kind of hunger those in God’s hall of faith possessed. That’s the kind of hunger we need today in the church. God used different methods at different times throughout the history of His church. Someone well said that history should be a guiding post, but not a hitching post. While I believe this to be true, I’m not a slave to dispensationalism. What do I mean when I make that statement.  The Bible tells us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Dispensationalism to me is a twenty five dollar word for excuses. Some believe that all miracles ceased with the disciples. I believe that God still heals today, saves today, and can work miracles in our everyday life. Yes God moves, works, and heals at His pleasure and within His will. But we can also limit what he does by our lack of prayer and lack of faith. We must thirst for Him as Psalms tells us the deer thirsts after water. He will then either answer our prayers or give us the supernatural strength from only He can give to endure what comes our way.
        Smith Wigglesworth, often referred to as ‘the Apostle of Faith,’ was one of the pioneers of the (Pentecostal) revival that occurred a century ago. Pastor Wigglesworth mentored Lester Sumrall. Some of you will remember hearing Dr. Sumrall on the radio in the past.

Without human refinement and education he was able to tap into the infinite resources of God to bring divine grace to multitudes.
Thousands came to Christian faith in his meetings, hundreds were healed of serious illnesses and diseases as supernatural signs followed his ministry.
A deep intimacy with his heavenly Father and an unquestioning faith in God’s Word brought spectacular results including three documented cases of individuals being raised from the dead.

Why does God use some this way and not others? Why are some healed and not others? I don’t know the answer. There is something in common …individuals like this did share a spiritual hunger for God’s presence and a resolve to be persistent in prayer.

4. RESOLVE:  The dictionary defines the word resolve as, “To make a firm decision about.” Or to bring to a usually successful conclusion.”  Listen to what paul says in Phillipians 1:27-29
27 Most important, live together in a manner worthy of Christ’s gospel. Do this, whether I come and see you or I’m absent and hear about you. Do this so that you stand firm, united in one spirit and mind as you struggle together to remain faithful to the gospel. 28 That way, you won’t be afraid of anything your enemies do. Your faithfulness and courage are a sign of their coming destruction and your salvation, which is from God. 29 God has generously granted you the privilege, not only of believing in Christ but also of suffering for Christ’s sake.”
 The familiar song, “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” was written by someone who truly knew what it meant to have resolve in face of persecution.

The lyrics are based on the last words of a man in Assam, north-east India, who along with his family was converted to Christianity in the middle of the 19th century through the efforts of a Welsh missionary. Called to renounce his faith by the village chief, the convert declared, "I have decided to follow Jesus." In response to threats to his family, he continued, "Though no one joins me, still I will follow." His wife was killed, and he was executed while singing, "The cross before me, the world behind me." This display of faith is reported to have led to the conversion of the chief and others in the village.[1]
The formation of these words into a hymn is attributed to the Indian missionary Sadhu Sundar Singh.[2] The melody is also Indian, and entitled "Assam" after the region where the text originated.[3] The fierce opposition is possible as various tribes in that area were formerly renowned for head-hunting.[4]
An American hymn editor, William Jensen Reynolds, composed an arrangement which was included in the 1959 Assembly Songbook. His version became a regular feature of Billy Graham's evangelistic meetings in America and elsewhere, spreading its popularity.[5]
            We have taken a look today at members of God’s Hall of Faith.” Many who have gone on before us have made great sacrifices. WE may be called on to do the same in the course of our lives. We may not always know the reason, but God knows. You see, Christianity may not have all the answers. Christianity is the only religion that asks all the right questions. As we close today, let’s turn to page 385 and sing “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.” Maybe you are facing a trial today. Jesus is still the answer.