Posts Tagged ‘Christ centered preaching’

God Can & Does Use Meetings!
Dave and Larry Trotter with Pastors Cesar Santizo, Felipe Hernandez, Benjamin Romero & Victor Hugo Herrera

Dave and Larry Trotter with Pastors Cesar Santizo, Felipe Hernandez, Benjamin Romero & Victor Hugo Herrera

Meetings aren’t always fun, but God can and does work through them. This last week fellow MTW missionary, Larry Trotter and I met with the presbytery for northwestern Mexico (Presbiterio Fronterizo Noroccidental). The meetings were held in Ensenada, Mexico. The Lord gave me the added bonus of being able to visit our friends and to stay with Jesus and Yudy Petrikowski.

Christ-centered Preaching
Dr. Larry Trotter teaching on Christ-centered preaching

Dr. Larry Trotter teaching on Christ-centered preaching

The presbytery is filled with a great group of pastors and leaders. They are enjoyable bunch to be with. They gave Larry the opportunity to teach three sessions on Christ-centered preaching.

What a wonderful opportunity!

It lifted my spirit to see the interest the men and a few women displayed as Larry spoke on such an important topic.

Our prayer is that the grace of God will so fill this region of Mexico that individuals, families, communities and even cities will be transformed by the gospel.

New Church Plant Beginning in La Paz!
Dave & Peter (the small guys in the back) with Benjamin & Blanca Romero and Victor & Fanny and Karis Gonzalez in Los Cabos

Dave & Peter (the small guys in the back) with Benjamin & Blanca Romero and Victor & Fanny and Karis Gonzalez in Los Cabos preparing for new church planting project for La Paz, Baja California Sur

We rejoice in other important advances as God is opening up for us new opportunities in Baja. Victor and Fanny Gonzalez will be moving to La Paz, Baja California in May  to begin a new church planting project there. This will be the first Presbyterian church in this city. La Paz is the capital of Southern Baja California. It is a key city.

Pray for Victor and Fanny as they move from the Monterrey area to La Paz. It’s a big undertaking, and they will need much prayer support.

Looking for More Church Planters

One more exciting bit of news is that we decided on the dates for the first church planting assessment center that we will have for this presbytery. It will held in Tijuana in October of this year!

Hallelujah! That’s a huge answer to prayer. Now pray that the Lord will raise up the right church planting candidates as we prepare for the assessment center.

Prayer & Praise

Dawn and I are so grateful for your prayers. God hears! We see him answering in big ways, despite our limitations. He is bringing healing to our family, even as we walk through this valley that we’ve been passing through.

Sometimes I wonder what God is doing, but then I look back and I marvel at all he has done. Join us in praising him! He is worthy of our worship and adoration!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Meetings for the Advance of the Gospel
Our MTW team with some of the Mexican leaders

Our MTW team with some of the Mexican leaders

This weekend I’ve had the privilege of being in gospel advancement meetings in San José de Los Cabos. It’s been wonderful to be with fellow Mission to the World (MTW) teammates as well as pastors and leaders from the national church.

I must confess that at times the meetings were tedious, but overall I found our time encouraging. Everything happens through relationships in Mexico, and we had an outstanding time to get to know our Mexican brothers and sisters.

Christ-centered Preaching
Larry Trotter teaching on Christ-centered preaching

Larry Trotter teaching on Christ-centered preaching

We were able to play a key role in the meetings. On Friday my friend and our Mexico director, Larry Trotter did an excellent job teaching on Christ-centered preaching. He had the majority of the people there asking him when he could come speak and teach at their church.

Larry also preached a Christ-centered sermon on Sunday from Psalm 110. It was a great exclamation point to the churches 6th anniversary celebration. During the service three people publicly confessed their faith and they were baptized.

O Lord, That Your Church will Grow

On Saturday I enjoyed the opportunity to teach on church planting movements. My teammates, Peter Boling and Jim DeWitt assisted me. The group received it well, and I am very encouraged as we all leave.

IMG_5787

Dave teaching on Church Planting Movements

I do pray that the gospel will advance in Mexico, and I pray for your Holy Spirit to blow so that we will see many won to Christ, and many new churches planted. Jesus please do your might work!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Meetings for the Advance of the Gospel
Our MTW team with some of the Mexican leaders

Our MTW team with some of the Mexican leaders

This weekend I’ve had the privilege of being in gospel advancement meetings in San José de Los Cabos. It’s been wonderful to be with fellow Mission to the World (MTW) teammates as well as pastors and leaders from the national church.

I must confess that at times the meetings were tedious, but overall I found our time encouraging. Everything happens through relationships in Mexico, and we had an outstanding time to get to know our Mexican brothers and sisters.

Christ-centered Preaching
Larry Trotter teaching on Christ-centered preaching

Larry Trotter teaching on Christ-centered preaching

We were able to play a key role in the meetings. On Friday my friend and our Mexico director, Larry Trotter did an excellent job teaching on Christ-centered preaching. He had the majority of the people there asking him when he could come speak and teach at their church.

Larry also preached a Christ-centered sermon on Sunday from Psalm 110. It was a great exclamation point to the churches 6th anniversary celebration. During the service three people publicly confessed their faith and they were baptized.

O Lord, That Your Church will Grow

On Saturday I enjoyed the opportunity to teach on church planting movements. My teammates, Peter Boling and Jim DeWitt assisted me. The group received it well, and I am very encouraged as we all leave.

IMG_5787

Dave teaching on Church Planting Movements

I do pray that the gospel will advance in Mexico, and I pray for your Holy Spirit to blow so that we will see many won to Christ, and many new churches planted. Jesus please do your might work!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Bill Yarbrough teaching on Christ centered preaching with the pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo

Bill Yarbrough teaching on Christ centered preaching with the pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT)

It’s so encouraging to see the gospel make a difference in the lives of our friends on both sides of the border.

Christ-centered preaching

This week Bill Yarbrough went with me to the Lo Mejor del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat) pastors meeting. Bill gave a presentation on Christ-centered preaching. It warmed my heart to see the pastors smiling, laughing and enjoying learning about what for some of them would be a different emphasis in their preaching.

The pastors were laughing, because Bill has a good sense of humor, and he compared and contrasted what might be the opposite of Christ centered preaching. There is always the danger in preaching of placing burdens on people that they cannot bear. The problem is when we over emphasize our effort (moralism), and under emphasize Christ work for us on the cross and through his resurrection.

Moralism vs. the Gospel

Jesus spoke harshly to the scribes and the Pharisees for laying burdens on the people that they themselves could not bear. There is a danger when moralism is preached instead of the cross. I think most pastors, if they are honest, would admit that they have fallen into this trap before.

In Matthew 23:2-4 Jesus criticizes the religious leaders:

…For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and they lay them on the people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. —Matt. 23:3b-4 (ESV)

The Spirit gives life, but the law kills. The law isn’t a bad thing, but it isn’t life giving. It can only warn us what not to do, or what we should do. Only the gospel gives us the power to live the life that God wants us to live.

Paul encourages the Corinthians to live in the new covenant that Christ brought:

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. —2 Corinthians 3:4-6 (ESV)

Bill Yarbrough teaching the pastors at LMT

Bill Yarbrough teaching the pastors at LMT

Most people in ministry serve, because they love Jesus, and they want to help others. Yet if we are honest, we all struggle with a bit of Pharisaism. This is true of pastors as well as those that are attending the church.

If the church doesn’t preach the gospel, then people will get weighed down by burdens they were never meant to carry. They will eventually leave the church, or live a lifeless Christianity. The gospel is life giving. That’s why Christ centered preaching is so important.

Gospel Renewal

Our prayer is that the gospel would so permeate the San Diego – Tijuana border that the border is renewed and revived. It’s a work that only God can do. The Lord works through his church – his people!

Pray with us that Christ will be preached in such a powerful way on the border that we will see many lives transformed. O, that the light of Christ would shine brightly! O, that Christ will be lifted up and glorified in a powerful way!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org