Saturday, December 24, 2011

Good News of Great Joy

As I was sitting here combing through the stories of Jesus birth, trying to find something new to write about, I realized everyone is trying to find something new, but what we forget about is what is old, the facts we know. The facts we know, but have not taken to heart.  In Matthew, I want to point out to you in Chapter 1 verse 21, an angel of the Lord tells Joseph “She will bear a Son and you shall call his name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” In Luke, a longer account is recorded. Let’s look at the announcement of Christ’s birth to the Shepherds. Luke 2:8-12 “In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’” 

We could go on and on about different aspects of the Christmas story and that would be great, but I want to leave you with a simple thought or two. God the Son came to this earth is the humblest form, as a baby. His purpose was simple, to save His people from their sins. He is the Savior of the world. The news from the angels was good news of great joy which will be for all people. The shepherds may have thought, “Here will be a great leader, who will free us from the Romans.” I am glad that Jesus did not free the Jews physically from the Romans, but instead He freed the whole world from our greatest enemies: death and sin. He freed the whole world from the power of Satan. He gives the gift of salvation to all men.  If one believes in Jesus Christ, that He died on the cross for their sins and rose again, he has accepted this free gift.  This indeed is the greatest news of all time and yet we do not proclaim it to others. If we truly think that this is the greatest news of all time will we not yearn to tell others about the Savior of the world? Maybe that is our problem. Maybe, we don’t really believe it is the greatest thing that we have ever heard. Maybe, we think that our Savior is not worth other people’s time and maybe this holiday season has made us desire the things of this world, instead of what is really important. Friends, look to Christ and thank Him once again for all He has done. Remember Christ’s amazing and wonderful sacrifice, celebrate His birth with joy and make Him the reason why we celebrate Christmas. I will leave you with this hymn to dwell on.

  1. I cannot tell why He, whom angels worship,
      Should set His love upon the sons of men,
    Or why, as Shepherd, He should seek the wand'rers,
      To bring them back, they know not how or when.
    But this I know, that He was born of Mary,
      When Bethl'hem's manger was His only home,
    And that He lived at Nazareth and labored,
      And so the Savior, Savior of the world, is come.
  1. I cannot tell how silently He suffered,
      As with His peace He graced this place of tears,
    Or how His heart upon the Cross was broken,
      The crown of pain to three and thirty years.
    But this I know, He heals the broken-hearted,
      And stays our sin, and calms our lurking fear,
    And lifts the burden from the heavy laden,
      For yet the Savior, Savior of the world, is here.
  1. I cannot tell how He will win the nations,
      How He will claim His earthly heritage,
    How satisfy the needs and aspirations
      Of east and west, of sinner and of sage.
    But this I know, all flesh shall see His glory,
      And He shall reap the harvest He has sown,
    And some glad day His sun shall shine in splendor
      When He the Savior, Savior of the world, is known.
  1. I cannot tell how all the lands shall worship,
      When, at His bidding, every storm is stilled,
    Or who can say how great the jubilation
      When all the hearts of men with love are filled.
    But this I know, the skies will thrill with rapture,
      And myriad, myriad human voices sing,
    And earth to heaven, and heaven to earth, will answer:
      At last the Savior, Savior of the world, is King.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Stroll Evangelism 2011

A chill in the air, numbness of fingers and toes, snow falling, music playing, people talking, Christmas in the air. That was the atmosphere of this evening’s Christmas stroll in Bozeman, MT. A group of us went out on Saturday to share the gospel and hand out gospel tracts to people in Downtown Bozeman. There were tons of people down there. So many that within the first hour and a half all five hundred of our Christmas gospel tracts were gone. We gave some other tracts, also. The Lord was good to us. Though there is not much to tell on my end. I would like to ask for prayer for all these people that received the gospel tracts this evening. We never know what the Lord will use or do with our faithfulness to go out and share the gospel. I would hope that someone would come to know the Savior through our efforts and maybe someday, when we get to heaven, we will find out what happened. Praise the Lord for the believers that came to help share the gospel. For many of them this was their first time out and a very new experience for them. I hope that they will continue to come with me in future times. Praise the Lord for everything that happened tonight. Without His help none of this would have even happened.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Job: The Intercessor

I have been reading in Job and I thought it was interesting that Job was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.(1:1) and he would go and make ten sacrifices, once a week, to God in case his sons and daughters had sinned.(v5) Job was the intercessor for his sons and daughters. We also have an intercessor for us, Jesus Christ. Romans 8:34b-"Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us." Also Christ is our great high priest offering Himself as a sacrifice once for all for all time.

Hebrews 7:23-27 "The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself."

Hebrews 9:11-12 "But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption."

We can see that Job is a type of Christ. Job interceded for his children and making sure that their sins were covered. We have a Great High Priest who took away our sins, not just covered them. He saved us forever and always lives to make intercession for us. He has given us eternal redemption, through His great and wonderful sacrifice. What a wonderful Great High Priest we have!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The King and His messenger

There once was King, who sent his messenger out, to all the lands, to take a message. The messenger, before reading it to everyone, read it for himself. He noticed that there was bad news about a plague, that people would die from it and good news that the king had the cure for this plague. He decided that he would not share the bad news, for the reasons that the people would not listen to him or they might not like him for bringing such news or they might even kill him. So instead of reading the whole message, to them, he told everyone only about the good news, the cure. When the King heard of this, he was very sad. No one came to Him for the cure; they did not see a need for it. They did not see the danger of the plague and death. Many of them died without knowing that they were sick with the plague, all because the messenger did not tell them about the plague.

Friends, is this how we treat the gospel? Do we as messengers only share part of the gospel, the part that will make us liked by people, that will not get us killed, that will get us listened to? Or do we share the whole gospel both the bad news and the good news? Do we fear man more than God?  How can anyone come to know Christ if they do not know the reason which He died? How can they come to know the extent of His sacrifice if they do not know they are sinners, that they are sick and need a cure? If you just give someone the cure, they are going to think you are crazy and say “why do I need this?” But if you tell them about their disease and show them what will happen if they do not take this cure, then they will take it. People may not like you for sharing the gospel, because they do not want to give up their “fun” (sins). If you really care about people show them about their sin and that they will die and go to hell unless they believe in Jesus Christ and turn away from the world and their sins. They may not like what you have to say, you may die or they may not listen to you. They may not believe that they have a disease, but that does not mean that you stop telling them about it and showing them.

We serve the King of Kings and He has given us a message to give to all the nations. We are God’s messengers.  The Gospel is our message; let us give the whole message of the gospel, so that all may know of their disease and the cure of it. Are we going to be like the messenger in the story or are we going to do as our King commanded us?  Let us go and preach the gospel.

*Note: The gospel consists of both bad news and good news, but in reality it is all good news. We now know we are sick and there is a cure. That is good news!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Maker

John 1:3,10 - V 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. V 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

1Corinthians 8:6- V6“Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.”

 Colossians 1:16-17- V 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him.

V 17  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

 Hebrews 1:2, 10- V2-3 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,


Revelation 4:11-"Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created."

We see in these passages that Jesus Christ, the one who made everything. We see the maker of the universe, who made the stars and planets and galaxies billions of light years away and beyond. He created all things. What, I ask would make Him want to come to this earth in the form of a baby and then a man. Why would He want to come to one small blue planet and live among people that hate Him and want to kill Him? The Mighty Maker would come in a humble state, not flaunting and saying look at me, which He had every right to do, because He made us. Instead He came as a baby because there was something every important that He wanted to do for us. He wanted to show us His love for all of us who had rebelled against Him. So He willing died as the perfect sacrifice for His own creations sins. There is no greater example of love in all of the History of mankind. There is no greater gift given to mankind. For on that day that the mighty maker was beaten, bruised, blood poured out from his back and head, with the crown of thorns that has been shoved there. He was mocked spit upon, cursed and beaten. The wood splinters from the cross were pushed into His back as He stumbled up to the cross. Then He was nailed to the cross and left to die. This is how the Mighty Maker was treated, and yet He went through it all, because He loved us. I am amazed at such love. I am worthless, I am just one person in the billions of people who have lived on this earth and yet He died for me. He died for the whole worlds sins and He died for me. The Mighty Maker died for me. Oh what love, How can we describe it? How can we understand it? And yet we don’t need to describe it or understand it fully to know that we are loved by God. We have been saved from sin and Hell, because of Christ amazing love and sacrifice for us. Christ the Mighty Maker died for man His creature’s sins. Praise the Lord that He did not stay in the grave, but that He has risen from the dead and is seated at the right hand of God interceding for us. What an amazing God we have.

Monday, October 3, 2011

What Are You Living For?

I went to Courageous the movie recently. It was great, well worth the money I spent on it! What I was not expecting was what was in the previews. As one was about pastor’s daughter disobeying her father and going into the secular world and hooking up with a street dancer who wanted to express himself by secular dancing. One that, I was even ashamed to be seated there listening to the preview. The next one was about a church choir and how two people were fighting and competing to be the choir director at the church and trying to make the choir better. With several inappropriate comments thrown into the preview I was absolutely appalled at the message it was portraying. When some of the Christians around us started laughing at it I was disappointed and saddened that that was what the world portrayed as Christianity. I asked myself why? Why would the world look at Christianity like this? The only reason can be because we have been a poor reflection of Christ. We have been not been imitators of Christ. Friends why? Why have we been a poor reflection? Do we think we have a license to sin? Do we think we are good enough? What are we thinking? We cannot let sin continue to be a part of our lives. We cannot allow it to become a plant with a deep root, that is very hard to pull out. Friends God is calling you to a life that is honoring to Him. Let me ask you something. Why do we watch something that is not honoring to God?

What is a good definition of sin? Many times we think of it as what we think, say or do that is not pleasing to God. Brothers and sisters why is it not also what we listen to, or what we watch that is not pleasing to God. Do you think that listening to a movie that takes God’s name in vain is pleasing to God? I don’t think so. How about the cussing and swearing in a movie is that pleasing to God? Think of what you can do other then watch a movie? Share the gospel with someone, have a coworker over for dinner. We always want to be entertained instead of bring glory to God by sharing the gospel.  Do we really want to bring glory to God or do we want to satisfy our selfish desires. Think of the money you spend on one movie. Anywhere from $7.75- $11 for that amount you can buy 70 -100 gospel tracts. You could plant that many seeds in the hearts of men for the price it is to go to a movie. Friends, for a fee we satisfy our temporary selfish desires by going to a movie that is most likely not pleasing to God. Hmm something seems wrong here. I am saddened to see these things.

Friends it is time to become more like Christ, to hate evil and to love what is good. Why do we not stand up for this? Why do sit back and want to be entertained by sights of evil and ungodliness. Why do we fill our brains with such things? Why do we not fill them with the things of God? We need to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and pursue righteousness, holiness, godliness. Movies are only one example. What we put into our minds is what we imitate, what we reflect. That is why we are such a poor reflection of Christ. We do not want to reflect Christ, we would rather be doing something else rather than spending our time telling others about Christ, or getting to know our Savior more, and taking time to talk to him. What if you spent the time you watch the movies in prayer with your family or reading the Bible together. Can we ever get to much of Christ? No! we cannot. Friends, we cannot stand idly by waiting for a “great person” to come and start a revival. It must happen first in our hearts. We are the ones who must stand firm against the forces of evil. We need to live lives that are pleasing to our Savior. If we do not then why are we Christians, why are we followers of Christ. If our goal is not to live for Christ then what are we living for? We are living for ourselves. Friends, I plead with you to live a life that is for Christ and not for yourself.  We do not have time to waste on our selfish desires. Let us desire to do what God wants us to do and devote our whole beings to Him to do His will.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Foreword: Dear friends, I want you all to understand the new challenges that are on the horizon for the missionaries in Nigeria. This article will help you gain a better understanding as it has been written by one of the missionaries over there. Please, keep Tom and his family in your prayers as they are serving in Nigeria. There is a great need for missionaries in Africa. If we do not go and preach the gospel, then soon Islam will grab a hold of all of Africa. Please, keep that in mind, for there is only hope Christ and in nothing else. There are so few Christians who are willing to give up their lives for Christ's sake, why are we not all willing to? What do we have to fear? death? NO. We have eternal life so there is no need to fear death. Let us pray for God's will to be done in Nigeria.  - TJ

"In Nigeria a stage is set... trouble is brewing. An Islamist sect called BOKO HARAM and a terrorist Christian counterpart MEND, both complacent about bombing and destroying innocent people’s lives are preparing to step-up their nefarious activities. Just days ago MEND issued notice to Boko Haram - they will retaliate in defence of Christian lives lost in Boko Haram bombings.  Looking on, and down on the mayhem in the making, is a government ill prepared but apparently doing their best, while clamouring to know what to do and to find solutions to this crisis. In the middle, innocent people are dying, and lives are being destroyed.  For those who escaped the bombs and bullets so far, Boko Haram is a household word instilling fear and terror! Even here at Ika, hundreds of miles away from the scenes of destruction, a taste of that fear visited our hearts and minds just last week.
So was it a man or a woman wearing that burqa?  People say it was a woman, and they remind me that Muslim extremist have successfully indoctrinated their women to take up their evil work. So we have many questions, like, "Why would a young lady dressed so modestly be here, all alone here at Ika?"  And while others insist that it was a man, the big question is, “Was he or she scoping our compound?  "Are we being checked out, maybe targeted for an attack? "  Maybe if we knew what was in the black vinyl bag we'd have answers.  It is told that the woman was carrying a large stash of cash, but more people are saying and believing that it was a man in the burqa and he was carrying explosives - a bomb. Now that's about all I was told, and of course, I was very sincerely cautioned, be careful, be ready! 
When all the talking was done, when imaginations ran tired from running wild, and when the tools had been checked and rechecked; the hour, the time for the generator to go off and the lights out finally came. In the eerie quiet and dark night, lightning streaked across the black horizon. Only an occasional low rumble of thunder could be felt more than heard. "So how do we find ourselves I asked myself?" "Are we, can we, and is it possible to be ready?"
Hours of waiting and listening to every sound wore on our patience, and then with the passing cover of darkness and the droning sound of the night’s falling rain, crickets announced the beginning of our new day.  Then a roster crowed, and then another.  Soon the sun's warm rays of life and light peeked through the clouds and glistened on the wet leaves in the trees. The roosters kept stretching their necks and crowing their heads off in their strange bird brain way to make themselves known for awhile. These were warming welcoming sounds, and signs and thoughts that made me smile along with relief and appreciation, and my prayer of thanksgiving during the dawning of that new day.  Once again prayers are answered, just as our Lord Jesus promised, "and be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Mat. 28:20b.  
With no one to trust more than themselves, and no one to put their hope in - like their government for protection, in the quiet and solitude of their homes people pray. Please join us in asking our Almighty Loving Heavenly Father for peace, for healing, for our leaders to find lasting solutions, and pray for those who minister, that we will be walking, talking, living examples of God's love and the hope we have in Christ Jesus. Pray... "May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Mat. 6:10.  

Tom Wheeler
Ika Mission Station
October 1, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Thoughts on Salvation and Christ's Sacrifice Part 1

Titus 3:3-7For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

We all were once:
1.       Foolish
2.       Disobedient
3.       Deceived
4.       Enslaved to various lusts and pleasures
5.       Spending our life in malice and envy
6.       Hateful
7.       Hating one another.

These are things that we were before we came to Christ. We wanted nothing to do with God. We thought we were good enough living in our sins to be good enough for God. But no there was nothing that we could do that would satisfy God’s great wrath against us. This was the evil state we were in.
Then a beautiful thing appeared. The kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind. What amazing kindness and love God had for us. This love appeared in the form of a baby in that day long ago. Love appeared as a man who grew up as we did. A man who was different than us. A man that would become the perfect Sacrifice for us. Yes a man, and not only a man, but also the second entity of the trinity, the Son. Jesus Christ fully man and fully God. God’s love appeared to all mankind and He saved us, not on the basis of deeds in that were done in our righteousness. Those deeds could not have even helped us to make our way to heaven. Though we thought they were righteous deeds God would not accept them. Our righteous deeds were not enough to make God send His Son to us as some means of gratitude. But God sent Him out of kindness and love for us as a free gift to us. Not because we deserved it, but because He loved us. He saved us according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing, by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, So that being Justified, being made right before God through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice,  by His grace, by His undeserved favor, we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. We are Sons and daughters of God. We are the inheritors of eternal life.

The beautiful picture is painted of us lost in sin trying to strive to make our own way to God, trying and trying and trying, with what we see as great righteous deeds. He sent His Son not because He was rewarding us for our righteous deeds, nor were there any righteous deeds that could have been enough to save ourselves. He saved us, because He loved us. He saved us according to his mercy and we have been justified by His grace. That amazing love, mercy and grace. And not only did He save us and then just toss us aside as if we were still filthy, but He brought us into His family and made us heirs, so that we would inherit eternal life. I am in awe of my Savior and His great love, mercy and grace, for me a sinner condemned and unclean. Praise the Lord for So great a Salvation as we have, today.