Posts Tagged ‘James 5’

Starting New Churches to Expand the Kingdom
Dave with Pastor Victor Bravo & Sol at one of the church plants we helped start in 2015

Dave with Pastor Victor Bravo & Sol at one of the church plants we helped start in 2015

I enjoy most things about my job, which is a tremendous blessing. What an amazing privilege it is for me to be a catalyst for church planting on the Border and the Baja! I love the opportunity to help start new churches and support the pastors who lead them.

Yet if I’m honest, there are some challenges to doing this work. These churches are invading enemy territory, so there is backlash. There is a battle going on. My family has felt it, and at times suffered from it. The churches have endured it.

Sometimes I have to make difficult decisions that not everyone is in favor of. My desire is to honor the Lord, and to follow him. Dawn and I seek to pray, and to be sensitive to God’s leading. That’s not to say that we always get it right.

We depend on God’s grace, and seek to repent quickly when we hurt someone.

Prayer Support – Warfare Prayer
Dave with Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife Rocio and Aaron at a church we helped plant in 2014

Dave with Pastor Ivan Casados & Rocio and Aaron at one of the church plants we helped start in 2014

All this reminds me of the huge need we have for prayer support. As we have served here now on the Border the Lord has brought some wonderful people in to our lives. They are people that are committed to pray for us. We’ve met some friends that are gifted in warfare prayer, and we’ve benefited greatly from them.

This week we find ourselves in a period where we need much prayer and discernment as we move forward. Join us in prayer as we interact with friends and colleagues about the church planting projects that we are getting ready to launch.

I find it interesting in the very verse that Jesus speaks of the abundant life he came to give us, that the verse begins with how the enemy attacks us.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. —John 10:10 ESV

What a contrast! The enemy wants to destroy us, but we have this great promise in Christ. We can have an abundant life in the midst of the battle. Jesus defeated our foe on the cross and through his resurrection. That’s what we celebrate in Easter. Hallelujah!

Even though Christ secured victory for us the battle rages on. We have been given armor for this warfare, and prayer is also a means to protect us and to attack. James reminds us of the power of prayer and confession in James 5:16-18 ESV.

The Sunset at Imperial Beach

Sunset on the Pacific

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

What a wonderful reminder of how the Lord uses prayer to bring about healing and to change the course of nature! Do not grow faint as you labor in prayer. The part you play with us is huge!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Growing Together - Course on The Keys to a Transformed Life

Growing Together – Through the Course on The Keys to a Transformed Life

God is Taking Us Deeper

Over the last two weeks God has drawn us deeper. Dawn, Hannah and I have been going through a workshop on Keys to a Transformed Life. What’s made it extra special was that we were able to take our missionary colleagues Peter & Jenny Boling and Jim DeWitt. Four pastors from Tijuana and four church leaders from Ensenada also went with us.

2 Keys – Forgiveness & Repentance
Pastor Jaime Avila, Pastor Mario Perez and Pastor Ivan Casados with Calvin Anderson & Jeinny Escorcia

Pastor Jaime Avila, Pastor Mario Perez and Pastor Ivan Casados with Calvin Anderson & Jeinny Escorcia

Two of the keys we spent a lot of time focusing on were forgiveness and repentance. These are bedrock Christian disciplines. On the one hand, they are very basic to our faith. On the other hand, we often struggle to put them in practice.

We don’t like to admit that we are wrong. Our pride gets in the way. Yet forgiveness and repentance bring healing. God’s grace meets us at our place of weakness.

Luther said that all of life is repentance.

The Benefits of Confession

James speaks of the benefits of confession, even confessing to one another. A Christian practice that has mostly been lost on the church today.

And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (‭James‬ ‭5‬:‭15-16‬ ESV)

I can’t say that it is easy to open up and share about areas where we are wounded, but it is freeing when accompanied with forgiveness and repentance.

Turn to the father. He promises to remove our sin as far as the east is from the west. Learn of the father’s love for you.

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he removes our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. (‭Psalm‬ ‭103‬:‭8-13‬ ESV)

The Keys to a Transformed Life

Our Group – The Keys to a Transformed Life

It’s all part of the upside down kingdom. Where we see a flaunting of sin in the world, God calls us to repent. In many ways that word, repent, seems old an antiquated today. It sounds harsh, and yet it is what the Lord chooses to bring us healing and wholeness. God ministers to us through confession and repentance.

Also when we are willing to forgive those who have wronged us, we receive God’s healing touch. It is freeing to forgive. Jesus taught us to pray asking our Heavenly Father, “to forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.… For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:12, 14, 15)

That may be a hard passage, but it’s a wonderful promise. Forgiveness is an amazing gift that the Lord offers us. Come and receive his many gifts!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

 

 

Prayer essential for ministry

Prayer essential for ministry

I believe it’s important to start the year off well. Prayer is one of most productive initiatives we can engage in. Yet it’s also one of the hardest.

This year has started a little slow, since I’ve been a little under the weather. Last night things began to turn around as I went on a prayer walk with some friends in west Chula Vista. As we  walked and prayed it struck me how when we pray it can seem insignificant. It even might feel like a waste of time, and yet it’s one of the most important things we do.

One constant I’ve seen is that God works through prayer. Prayer is somewhat of a mystery, but the Lord hears the cries of his people. Jesus modeled a life of prayer. Paul continually prayed for the churches he started. James encourages us in prayer with a great promise.

“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.”

–James 5 16b-18 (ESV)

God uses our prayers!

God uses our prayers!

I confess that I have a long ways to go in prayer. I look to the Lord to lead and guide this year. I pray that my wife and I will grow together in prayer, and that our relationship with our Lord will deepen. Bring others along that we can encourage, and that we will spur them on as we inspire each other to pray. To keep doing the right things.

Do not grow weary in doing good. “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Gal. 6:9) I cling to this exhortation and promise as we begin 2013!

If I can inspire you this year in any way – grow in prayer. Grow in your love and knowledge of our Lord. Pray for and with us, that we will grow in the same way!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org