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This past April I had the privilege to travel with several friends down to Medellin, Colombia. Our purpose was to give a series of messages to the students of the Seminario Reformado Latinoamericano. A seminary aimed to train present and future pastors in Colombia. The seminary is in relationship to the ministry of Gospel Through Colombia. The mission of the ministry, which is stated on their page, is to equip church leaders in Latin America with sound biblical/theological training and personal, life-on-life discipleship in order to see the continued transformation of Latin American churches.
It was a great time to see and be a part of God’s work among the people of Colombia. We had the privilege to give a series of messages on the topic of personal holiness to the men in the seminary during our time their. After they finish up their time in seminary (8 months) these men go out to serve the churches they have come from. These men continue their connection with Gospel Through Colombia to receive discipleship and build connections with other pastors who desire instruction and training. So little by little faithful local churches are growing up throughout the country of Colombia. And it is through these churches that God is calling many to Himself and expanding His kingdom. So thankful I got to see and experience it.
Medellin fills a massive cove in the mountains. (Pic from Geoffrey)
Where classes take place
The main local church in Medellin
If you love a person, you will not act indifferently toward dangerous or destructive beliefs or behaviors simply to avoid offending him or her. Yet the new tolerance demands just that sort of indifference.
Tolerance says, “You must agree with me.” Love responds, “I must do something harder; I will tell you the truth because I am convinced that the ‘truth will set you free.'”
Tolerance says, “You must approve of what I do.” Love responds, “I must do something harder; I will love you, even when your behavior offends me.'”
Tolerance says, “You must allow me to have my way.” Love responds, “I must do something harder; I will plead with you to follow the right way, because I believe you are worth the risk.”
Tolerance seeks to be inoffensive; love takes risks. Tolerance is indifferent; love is active. Tolerance costs nothing; love costs everything.
Once again, Jesus is the supreme example of true Christian love, which is sometimes the antithesis of tolerance. His love drove Him to a cruel death on the cross. Far from being indifferent to the “lifestyle choices” of others, He paid the price of those choices with His own life, and lovingly paved the way for everyone to “go, and sin no more” (John 8:11 KJV)
-Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler, The New Tolerance (Wheaton, Il: Tyndale House, 1998), 95.
Worship is what is evoked by the presence of God. It is a response, not a self-initiated, creative activity on our part. Worship is the only activity that can involve the totality of our personality without any residue. All other relationships are partial. Worship is always extravagant; Elders throw down their crowns, Mary pours out precious ointment, people prostrate themselves. We don’t worship for what we can “get out of it”
Worship is the submission of all our nature to God:
- The quickening of the conscience by His holiness
- The nourishment of mind with His truth
- The purifying of imagination by His beauty
- The opening of the heart to His love
- The surrender of the will to His purpose.
All this is gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable, and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.
-Edmund Clowney. “unpublished sermon,” in Tell the Truth: The Whole Gospel to the Whole Person by Whole People, 3rd ed. (Downers Grove, Il: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 156.