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To Whom is Our Ministry?

In this week’s Bible Study, we heard about the message To Whom is Our Ministry?  If we think about this question and use the life of Christ as our main example, we see that Jesus started His ministry in Nazareth, then moved to Capernaum and then to the other cities.

Christ grew up in Nazareth and in Luke 4:18, He declared in the synagogue “to whom” His ministry was going to be with:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised

Our ministry has to begin where His began.  It is to the poor and the broken hearted, to the captive, to the blind, and to the bruised

“Dead bones don’t live and never will. But In God’s world, it’s very natural that in the supernatural they can live, and He adds that-in this day-the scripture will be fulfilled.  I will have a ministry to the ones that can’t make it”

Once Jesus left Nazareth and went to Capernaum, His power grew, His ministry began, and people were drawn to him, astonished at His Words.

Luke 4:31-32/40-41  - And he came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the Sabbath days. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.

My power and ministry will come where God is placing and directing me, in this, I will have power. It is possible, that in my “Nazareth” I get saved and grow and God speaks to me but I have no power.  But, as I leave my Nazareth, I find that I have a ministry and a power, as it’s the place God wants me to be.

The only reason Christ left Capernaum was so that His purpose would be discovered.   At some point Capernaum is supposed to end or else my feet can stay in Capernaum and not go beyond.

“My purpose is not discovered in the house but in the desert place”

When Christ left Capernaum He expanded His ministry.  Christ was going to love the ones that were going to respond negatively.  He was going to find and give to those who would never be able to give back, and to love those who would never respond, or to those that would respond negatively. Everywhere Christ went, He had the poor man and the Pharisee.

“Ministry is not just to the poor but to the unthankful”

I was never meant to sit in Capernaum.  I am His hands and feet.  Ministry will always go from one place to the other.

Nazareth - I learn the life of my Master.  Capernaum - God lets me grow and I get to see the comfort and the ability of what I am to have once I get to Heaven.  It is not my resting place and the place where I stop.  Other Cities - I learn how to suffer well and have an expanded ministry. I learn that the more I love, the less I will be loved.  I learn how to spend and be spent for others, to go outside and see the poor, and I am aware, looking out and loving my enemies.

“When you and I step out and go forward, it’s an automatic ministry to the one who gave it to us.  There is something at the core and it keeps us.  The boat can fill with water and it actually never capsizes.”

These thoughts were taken from our Monday night Bible Study. To listen to the whole message, click here.

 
Myself Apart from Christ, the Necessary Vision

This week’s message was about a double vision that God gives us. The first vision He reveals to me, which He will interpret in time and the second vision is of myself without God.

There needs to come a time in my life when I realize that I cannot go back to the way I used to live, that it can potentially kill me and therefore, it gives me a healthy fear in my heart regarding my past life.

“God Himself must take me to this place. To the degree I don’t allow God to devastate me and feel my separation will be to the degree I am not ready to answer the call.”

In Isaiah 8:13 the Bible says, “Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.”

God also reveals to us that without understanding who He is in all of His righteousness and who we are without Him, His righteousness can be devastating, as I can live my Christian life with an idea that I am “ok” spiritually speaking but deep within my flesh is reigning, rebelling and ruling my heart.

In Romans 7, the Apostle Paul talks about this deep reality of who He was outside of Christ and it devastated him. He was scared of himself and running a race other than the one in which Christ Himself held the reins.

“To the degree that I understand the defeat will be to the degree I understand He has the victory.”

The only way to deal with rebellion is to acknowledge that it is possible for me to secretly live my own life while calling it God. This life can even be a very good one. I can actually go forward in what I think God has me do and live in the flesh or I can live in victory and simply say “uncle, I give up! Take my life and let it be yours--it’s a mess”.

These thoughts were taken from our Monday night Bible Study. To listen to the whole message, click here.

 
Atlanta, Atlanta...

Sincere apologies for not having posted in awhile. However, I assure you that the silence does not mean that we have not been active.

Back in August, we took a trip to Atlanta, Georgia to help a friend, who actively participates in our bookstore outreach, salvage a house she owns.  But, what was just meant to be a home improvement trip quickly became so much more. While digging in the front yard, we mistakenly (or so we thought) hit the water main, which rapidly began flooding the neighborhood.  We called the city’s emergency hotline, and by God's grace, had great supernatural peace in the midst of this disaster and so were able to minister to the workmen they had dispatched, particularly one man named Cliff.  He began asking questions about what we were doing there in Atlanta, and also, what it is that we do as missionaries. We talked for a while and then after maybe a half hour, he left.  Three hours later, he came back and said, "I just have to hear more!"  We sat with him for another hour or so talking about how we plant churches, Bible Colleges, and raise up full-time Christian workers.  This was exactly what he had been praying for.  He invited us to his house the next day to meet his family, and to his church on Sunday.

As the long weekend continued, our interactions with Cliff and the people of that area, many of whom were formerly Hurricane Katrina victims, seemed nothing short of miraculous.  It was apparent to all present that God was moving.  God had brought an Acts 16 Macedonian man to us.  After we returned home, we continued praying, and God seemed to keep confirming--Atlanta!  The owner of the house there also recognized that God was speaking, and has dedicated the house to missions--amazing!

So now, we have made monthly commitments to continue taking trips down to Atlanta and have just returned from our second trip. As we are working with another non-profit, you can get frequent updates by visiting their website, Grace Outside.

 
Come Into My House and Abide There!

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying if ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.” Acts 16:14,15.

In June this year, one lady who was a fairly new member of the church asked if we could have a Bible Study in her house. She was very blessed by the words she had been hearing from the pulpit and wanted to learn more. As a wife and mother of two, with her husband traveling most of the time, her schedule was quite busy but she made a decision to take one day off work so that she could have this time to hear God’s Word. And so, in a little one-roomed house partitioned in two by a long curtain, we started meeting every Thursday morning.  She told me she had been raised in a family practicing witchcraft and was disowned when she made a decision to become born again. She was therefore very bent on learning the Word of God as she had seen the hopelessness and bondage in Satan’s Kingdom. She brought her son to our school for the same reason.

As we started, she invited some of her friends to the Bible Study and we began soulwinning in the area around and inviting people to come hear words of life. Some of the other ladies in the church have started coming too and they are excited about how God can use them to affect another woman’s life, many times going through similar trials to their own. We are also learning to care for one another and to lay down our lives for this is how people know the love of God. I love the hustle and bustle of getting all the children ready, carrying them on our backs and for some, dropping them off at the Grace Dormitory where the ladies take care of them until we return! Most of us are mothers and housewives. It is such an honour to have both physical and spiritual children. We look forward to the time together gathered round a Proclaimer (a device that plays the New Testament in our local language) hungry to hear the words that guide our feet in our homes and to areas BEYOND!!! Thank you for your prayers, support and encouragement.

Ida S. Bakuraira

 
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