To Watchers, Workers, and Warriors:
Our sovereign God reigns in the heavens and will one day reign here on earth!
I have had something on my mind lately. It has to do with Jesus’ question to Philip found in John 6. “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat,” Jesus asks? “But this He said to test him for He Himself knew what He would do” (John 6:5). God’s tests are never easy. They are impossible! With 5,000 men to feed, besides women and children and no apparent bread or human source, I can understand Philip’s response. He went to his reason and his calculator! The command of Jesus was reduced to a calculator and a very astute businessman!
Jesus’ challenge to Philip to faith and obedience is a challenge to us all. Where do we place our faith when Christ gives us a clear command? What is our response? Do we run to Him with a humble and faith-filled heart? Do we know that He is capable of accomplishing through us when we go about it in His way and in His time what He has specifically commanded us to do? When the boat was sinking, Jesus asked them, “Where is your faith?” They had it, but had misplaced it to a natural reasoned approach to the situation: If Jesus is sleeping, our faith in ourselves and in our circumstances is hopeless!
I have been challenged again lately by the simplicity and breadth of Jesus’ commands. For instance, as I review His commissioning of the disciples, I am as struck by what He told them not to do as I am aroused to humility and staggering helplessness by what He commanded them to do. He commanded them to preach the Gospel, heal the sick, and cast out devils. And if that was not enough, He added, raise the dead—no small task for a rough-hewn group of chosen men and “rookies” in the ministry! The limitations to their ministry, I believe, had something to do with their dependence upon Christ for all their life’s needs as well as for the ministry and its results! May we, as His people, when the challenges to obedience of faith is presented to us, not rely upon the reason and the rationale to meet impossible tasks.
Sometimes, what may not be accomplished, may not have been His specific and living Word to us. To venture “by faith” beyond His specific Word for us, is to walk on the floating and empty bubble of contrived failure and frustration. To follow behind His Word is to sink into the morass of mediocrity, slumbering spiritual sluggishness, and lukewarm love. “Lord, give us the will and the discernment to know the difference and grace to believe and obey!”
This is probably our last newsletter from Europe before we leave for the States. This spring semester I accepted an invitation to teach third- and fourth-year students at Continental Theological Seminary located near Brussels. So, for the past 6 months, we have “stayed put” (almost—I have preached on weekends in neighboring countries).
It has been a challenge and blessing to “pour my life” into these eager and bright leaders of tomorrow who come from several countries. Even as I write this, graduation for the class of 1995 is just a few days away. Pastor Glen Cole, our pastor from Capital Christian Center in Sacramento, CA, is the commencement speaker. We are delighted that he and his wife, Mary Ann, are visiting the Continent!
Spiritual Leadership School
Christian Center, the English-speaking international church we attend, asked me to train national leaders—African, Spanish, Filipino, Romanian, Belgian, Portuguese, and Arab. We just completed the fifth session of this Spiritual Leadership School last Saturday. Our sixth and final session will be June 10 on the topic of Evangelism. We will conclude with Communion, Water Baptism, and an evangelistic “Celebration of Hope” rally in the evening. All these outreach ministries are planning, praying, and inviting their neighborhood and friends for this evangelistic outreach. Do pray with us!
Since last year I have been meeting with a group of men in discipleship training. What a joy to see God working in their lives and in their families. Being with these “laymen” is one of the highlights of my week!
It has also been my joy to minister on many weekend and mid-week services in several Belgian churches, as well as churches in Holland, France, and Luxembourg. What blessings the Lord has showered upon us and what variety of worship experiences among the Africans, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Belgians, and Filipinos. The same Lord is over ALL His church.
Thank you for your prayers and support. We know you are making sacrifices to maintain your commitment to missions worldwide. Know you are continually in our hearts and prayers.
We go back to the States in July for our first furlough in 6 years. We will leave here July 8, attend the Summer School of Missions in Springfield, MO (July 11-21), and then to California July 22. I plan to attend the General Council in St. Louis, MO, from August 8-14. Maybe I will see many of you there. We do not have a home, but trust the Lord will make provision for our Stateside furlough. We are sensing the “Wind.” We are confident of the Source though we do not yet know the course!
As to our family, Reuben, our oldest son, graduates in June with his two-year MBA from Leuven University here in Belgium. Paul is living in California and plans to begin his studies for his MA in the fall. Nathan completed his second year at Wesleyan University and will be in California for the summer. Stephen will begin his college days at Wheaton College in Illinois. Carmen has completed her term as a Christian school board member. She continues to co-teach a Spanish Bible study, teach at International Christian Academy, and prepare for our furlough! No small task! Also, Carmen, Nathan, and I celebrated birthdays since our last newsletter. Thank you all for your cards, gifts, and prayers. You blessed us!
Many of you have scheduled a meeting at your church. Thank you! We hope to see as many of you as possible. If any of you would desire to schedule a meeting, please contact us by phone, fax, e-mail, or in writing (mailed no later than June 25).
May the same Lord over us all bless you out of Zion. May He direct your hearts into the love of God and faith in His Word. May you all be filled with the fruits of righteousness, filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, and walk in the passionate love of God and full obedience to His Word. God is faithful! Jesus is Lord! Maranatha!
Secured in the Anchor of the soul,
Reuben & Carmen Sequeira