Allow God’s Power to Work In Your Life

Allow God’s Power to Work In Your Life

By Jason Rishel, Missionary to Burkina Faso

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given untome in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the HolyGhost.

Matthew 28: 18-19

There is a West African proverb that states: Remember that when you wrestle a baby hippo, his mother is behind you in the bush.

This proverb, which seems a bit irrelevant to you unless you have hippos randomly walking through your backyard, is trying to point out the truth that just because an animal or person appears small and weak, it does not mean that they are. They may have a larger, stronger power giving them strength and support.

The Bible is an amazing book full of people doing extraordinary things. If you read Hebrews 11, you get a brief glimpse into some of the amazing things that took place: building a massive ship to survive a worldwide flood, parting the Red Sea and walking a nation of people through on dry land, bringing down the massive walls of a city, killing giants….the list could go on!

Reading the Bible, you might come away thinking, “Wow! These are some strong, amazing people!” But they weren’t. They were just ordinary men and women, weak and frail. But they served a great and powerful God—a God who loved them, fought for them, and protected them. In their strength, they could do nothing. In His strength, they were able to win stunning victories.

Often we make excuses for why we cannot be involved in world evangelism and the work being done at our church. We look at ourselves and think, “I’m no David; I’m no Paul, so I will just sit back and let someone more qualified come along and do the job.” But the same God who worked through David and Paul wants to work through you. Look what Christ says in the above verse in Matthew: “All power is given unto me (Jesus)…Go ye, therefore.” He is saying, “Because I have all power, you can go to the World with the Gospel. Because I have all power, you can get involved in that ministry at your church. Because I have all power, you can witness to that lost friend or loved one. Because I have all power, I can use your life to change this world.”

What are you going to allow the power of God to do with your life?

VBM Update From the Homebase – Week 4

VBM Update From the Homebase – Week 4

New Video for the Our Generation Training Center

Abide Ladies Conference

Join us for our annual ladies’ conference, Abide, on February 17th.

Click here for more information.

Another Youth For the Gospel Event - Camp Creek Baptist Church, Central, SC

Praise the Lord we have scheduled another Youth For the Gospel Event at Camp Creek Baptist Church in Central, SC. If you are in the area, please join us for food, fun, fellowship, and a challenge to take the gospel to the world!

If you would like to attend or have a Youth For the Gospel Event at your church, email me or click here for information.

Training and Support of VBM Missionaries

One of the tasks that the Lord has given VBM is the training and support of missionaries and interns. We were able to have a great time together last week as we all learned from each other and fellowshipped together. Please pray for our missionary team as they seek to take the good news of Christ to the world.

Click here if you want to find out more about what VBM does.

Who Stands With You?!

(another lesson from my recent class on Acts in OGTC)

“And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.” — Acts 23:11

Paul was living for God and found himself in a whirlwind of problems. Though each circumstance and outcome will be different for God’s servants, there are some great truths we can extract from Paul’s situation. 

  1. God always stands with His children. 

Paul was witnessing for God when it seemed almost every person turned against him. There will be times in your life that you will feel alone, but don’t forget God’s “great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4). You are never alone with God on your side. He said He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5; Isaiah 49:15). Get to know Him and stay close to Him, for it is He Who is with you even when you feel alone, afraid, or abandoned.

  1. God encouraged Paul when he was in a tough situation. 

You will probably never have the Lord, or an angel, physically come to you, but the Lord still whispers truth in your heart and ears. Sometimes God reminds you of a truth from His Word, or a word that was told to you by one of His messengers, or a song you learned long ago. There are moments you must get away to encourage yourself in the Lord as the Psalmist David did in 1 Samuel 30:6. There are other moments God refreshes your soul with His presence. However, encouragement comes, continue to look to God and be of good cheer. God is greater than your problems!

  1. God has a purpose. 

God told Paul he was going to bear witness for Him in Rome. God had a purpose for Paul’s situation, and He does for yours as well. Nothing can catch God off guard. God knew about Job, even when Job didn’t understand. God knows your struggles, and God has a purpose.

VBM Update From the Homebase – Week 4

VBM Update From the Homebase – Week 3

7 Confirmed!!!

We have seven Youth for the Gospel events confirmed and five more awaiting confirmation (a total of twelve). God is good!! You can find dates and details online HERE. Please consider joining us for any or all of them.

Golf III Coming Up!

We are in planning mode for the 3rd Annual Golf Tournament. Last year was a success bringing many golfers together, hosting them on campus for a meal afterwards, and raising funds for campus improvement. Stephen Cofield has been a tremendous help in making this happen. The information is already online, you can see more HERE.

OGTC Classes Started This Week

OGTC classes began this week. We had a good first chapel and are excited about what God has in store for us. Ty Pepperdine coordinates chapel services, and we had a great time together around God’s Word.

A Holy Stubbornness

(another lesson from my recent class on Acts in OGTC) 

“Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.” — Acts 21:13-14

 

In this passage, Paul announced he was going to Jerusalem. The brethren pleaded with him to not go. They were looking after his safety, but Paul believed strongly that God wanted him to go, and he would not be persuaded otherwise. After confessing he was willing not just to be bound in Jerusalem, but to die as well, they realized “he would not be persuaded, we ceased.” This is a holy stubbornness. 

 

There is a time to stand your ground and not move on or give in. Most of the times when one is stubborn, it’s because of pride and selfishness, which is not Biblically correct. The way in which we should be stubborn is to stand on what God teaches, not on personal preferences. Below are a few questions to ask yourself whether or not you should stand your ground: 

  1. Is it your preference, or are you preferring the other person? Is the reason for your good, or the good of another person? Romans 12:10 teaches that we are to prefer one another, not fulfill our own desires. 
  2. Is the reason a Biblical issue? If God’s Word doesn’t clearly make the issue one of importance, you should think twice before making your stand. 
  3. Are you certain God has placed this in your heart? It’s always better to obey God rather than man, but make sure the issue is directed by God and not by personal gain, feelings, or pride. 

Paul believed God wanted him to be a witness for Him, so his eyes, heart, and mind were set on going. May we be like Paul and stand strong when God leads. Be wise enough to examine your motives, and then follow what God wants, even when it doesn’t make sense or others don’t understand.

Are We Hindering the Gospel with Our Good Intentions?

Are We Hindering the Gospel with Our Good Intentions?

By Mark Coffey, Missionary to South Africa

21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. 24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Matthew 16:21-25

Jesus shared with His disciples the details of how the Gospel plan will be carried out. He shared how He must die on the cross, be buried, and rise from the dead. This plan, the Gospel, is the power of God unto salvation. It’s how the Spirit of God works to make people into a new creature. It’s how they can be born again. The Gospel changed my life and it’s the only thing that can change your life.

Peter rebuked Jesus because he didn’t like that plan. Peter’s plans and dreams went up in smoke. When Peter was thinking about making an impact on the world, he had something else in mind. He didn’t like the idea of Jesus being killed. In his mind, that was a bad plan because the one that he loved the most
wasn’t going to be safe. Sometimes in our quest for safety and security, we sacrifice what God wants done. It may seem like our intentions are good, but we
are being used as an instrument of Satan.

Peter received, in return, one of the harshest rebukes Jesus ever said to someone because he didn’t savor the things of God. He savored the things of man. He didn’t have an appetite for what pleased God. He had an appetite for what pleased man and, specifically, self. It looked like his main focus was on Christ,
but it was the opposite.

Many times as Christians we make the same mistake Peter made. Our idea of what we think is the best way to live as a Christian is contrary to what God wants from us. We don’t realize that what we do is the exact opposite of what God wants done.

There are many Christians who are not involved in missions. They don’t give and they don’t send. They think what they are doing is okay, but they don’t realize it is against God’s plan to carry the Gospel to the world. When people surrender to the mission field, they are surrendering to God’s plan to carry the Gospel to the world. When your church supports a missionary, they are surrendering to God’s plan of carrying the Gospel to the world.

We pray for our children to get saved, and then when they do and want to go across the world to be a missionary, we panic and say, “No, that wasn’t in my
plan.” Parents will object. Friends will be upset. Lost people won’t understand. People will fear for their lives. But are we savoring the things of God or the
things of man? Are we in favor of God’s plan or objecting to His plan? God’s plan is for us to deny ourselves, take up His cross, and follow Jesus.

It’s for Christ’s sake. It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s not about our family. It’s not about our comfort. It’s about God’s plan of getting the Gospel to
the world.

VBM Update From the Homebase – Week 4

VBM Update From the Homebase – Week 2

New Year and New Semester!

The Spring semester at the Our Generation Training Center has started! Praise the Lord! We are looking forward to a great semester ahead. It is always exciting to work with the young people that the Lord will use to reach the world with the Gospel!

Planning meeting For the Golf Fundraiser!

The planning has begun! Stay tuned for more information about the annual golf tournament in April. Make plans to join us this year. It is always a great time of fun and fellowship for the cause of reaching the world with the Gospel!

None of These Things Move Me

(Taken for a recent class on Acts in the OGTC)

“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” — Acts 20:24

This is a familiar verse to many people. The context is towards the latter portion of the life of Paul. He is determined to go to Jerusalem and the brethren are telling him not to go because he will certainly be taken and killed there. Paul hears their warning, but states that nothing is going to scare him or “move” him from this God-given desire. He doesn’t count his life dear to himself, and he wants to finish what he started, the ministry that God gave him. Most would likely run if they knew the hard times he would face, but Paul was not going to be moved by fears and uncertain future. Though there were times when Paul knew people were trying to kill him and he left (Acts 14:6-7), this time he stands his ground.

There will be times in our life and ministry in which we must discern when to stand our grounds, and other time we should move on. The Word of God and Spirit of God must be our guides, as opposed to following feelings and emotions. When God has led or does lead us, may we have the attitude of Paul to stand, not counting our life dear to ourselves, and not let uncertainty, criticisms, or fear hinder us or move us. Here was Paul’s advice to not be moved:

  1. Ignore Distractions. 

Whether ministry or secular world, a person that accomplishes much must learn to ignore distractions. Not all distractions are evil, but all distractions turn your attention from your focus.

The devil is the master distractor. Keep your focus on what God put in front of you. Guard your heart. What is that inner calling God has given you? Where has God placed you both positionally and geographically? God has given you a family, ministry, and various responsibilities, don’t let anything sidetrack you from those. Don’t be moved by criticisms, offenses, and “strife belonging not to him (you)” (Proverbs 26:17). Your success of focus is based on your ability to ignore distractions.

  1. Finish Your Course. 

Whatever God given you to do, whether it be similar or different than the assignment of others, finish it. When Peter asked the Lord concerning John’s role in life and death, the Lord replied, “what is that to thee? follow thou me” (John 21:21-22). The Lord wasn’t being mean to him, but the stern response was to remind Peter that he was given a course and must finish it regardless of what others do. Comparing yourself is unwise (2 Corinthians 10:13), keep your eyes on finishing what God has given you to do.

  1. Finish with Joy. 

Don’t just serve the Lord, serve Him with joy. Yes, your service to God is a duty, but it is a joyful duty, not something you have to do grudgingly. How you do what you do makes all the difference.

In Deuteronomy 28, when Moses was giving the list of blessings and curses, I find it very interesting something specific he puts in the list of curses. He told the Israelites they would fall in the hands of the enemies “Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart” (Deuteronomy 28:47). It appears God was not just interested in their service, He commands that they serve Him “with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart.”

God still wants His children to serve Him with joy. The many joy stealers of life will try to stop you. Determine to never lose the joy found in serving the Lord.

  1. Recognize Your Ministry is From the Lord. 

Paul was not shy to recognize it was the “Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” (1 Timothy 1:12).  We would be wise to remember this as well. If we’re in ministry because of someone else wanted it, or because of selfish motives, the storms of life will most definitely uproot you. But if it’s because you have “received of the Lord Jesus,” then you will continue because He has placed you there. Recognize that all you are, all you have, and all you do is from and for the Lord.

Opportunities To Preach In Schools

The team at VBM always enjoys preaching about missions and the cause of Christ in schools. If you would like for us to preach in your chapel and challenge your young people for Christ, please reach out to us. Email us here at info@visionmissions.com or call 770-456-5881.

Missions Trip Opportunities In 2024

The start of the year is a great time to think about going on a mission trip this year. The missions team at VBM plans many great trips all around the world each year. Prayerfully consider if the Lord would have you join us for one of the trips. For more information Click Here!

OGTC Graduation, May 3, 2024 @ 7 PM

Pray for the students that will be graduating this year and moving into various ministry work around the world. If you are able please let us know if you would like to join us! Contact us at info@visionmissions.com or 770-456-5881.

VBM Update From the Homebase – Week 4

VBM Update From the Homebase – Week 51

Merry Christmas And Happy New Year!

From all of us here at Vision Baptist Missions, we want to wish you a blessed Christmas and pray that you will also have a blessed and prosperous 2024.

Last Missions Class for 2024

The Lord gave us another good missions class this week. Thank you to the multiple teachers, and to everyone that attended.

We are looking froward to the class schedule that will start again in January. Praise the Lord for all that He has done in the training center this year!

Podcast, Mission Post

If you have not seen the podcast lately, or as of yet, I’d like to encourage you to check it out. You can find the podcast “Mission Post” on most platforms, and subscribe to it. We’d also be grateful if you’d be willing to rate it or give a review.

Knowledge + Understanding = Less Words

”He that hath knowledge spareth his words: And a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: And he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.“—  Proverbs 17:2728 

This goes against popular practice. We think if someone is knowledgeable, they speak more, speak last, and speak most. Although there are times to speak, this passage seems to say bluntly that the best route is to spare your words. Knowledge and understanding choose not to respond, or justify, or be witty despite strong temptations. And, according to this passage, even a fool can look wise if he’ll learn to be sparing in his words. So the next time you’re provoked, choose knowledge and understanding and spare your words. 

Sending Off Student Interns

In our last chapel service, we prayed over some of the students preparing to leave for their internship (Emilee Coffey wasn’t present, but here’s a picture of the others). We are extremely proud of these young people.

Here’s a list of the students headed on their internship right now, please pray for them:

  1. Nate Tannahill – leaving for Peru on Dec 18th, training under Joe Kotvas
  2. Zachariah Patton – leaving for Taiwan on Dec 19th, training under Mark & Natasha Tolson
  3. Emilee Coffey – leaving for Peru on Feb 8th, training under Patrick & Leslie Henry
  4. Ben Cherry – planning to leave for South Africa in February, training under Mark & Amy Coffey
  5. Gabriel Chedid – confirming departure date for Burkina Faso, training under Dallas Brown
  6. Noah Auxier – confirming date and departure

Upcoming Events

Scheduled 2024 Events:

Abide Conference – Feb 17, 2024

Golf Tournament – April 30, 2024

OGTC Graduation – May 3, 2024

World’s Cheapest Missions Trip – Week 1: June 11-14, 2024.  Week 2: July 23-26, 2024