I write this on our return flight from Belgium, 33,000 feet over the Atlantic…
They did it! On June 7, Reuben, our firstborn (and the first of our 4 sons to be married), exchanged wedding vows and unique expressions of love and covenant with Carmita Hedman. She is the daughter of long-term missionaries to South America who are presently in Paraguay.
Quite a wedding it was… The one-hour ceremony was unique in several ways, with the giving away of the bride and groom by their families, chamber orchestra accompaniment, families sharing communion, and footwashing of the bride and groom. The wedding celebration ended with two barefooted participants! No wedding cake was served for these two health-conscious celebrants.
The menu for the reception was raisins, delicious fresh breads of various varieties, grapes, fruit juices, several kinds of cheese, spinach salad, fresh cut strawberries, stuffed mushrooms, nuts, etc.—very delicious and, of course, very nutritious.
Most important, however, was not the clothes, music, or the differences from the “traditional” wedding (whatever that may mean), but that two bright, energetic, and aggressive young people have a shared passionate love for the Lord Jesus Christ, are filled with the Spirit, and are anxious to follow Him in love and obedience anywhere in the world doing anything He in love would require of them.
They return to California and Minnesota for brief stays, then are off to India where they will serve national leaders in a tent-making ministry. We ask you to pray for them as they begin their new life together!
All-Sufficiency of Christ
The all-sufficiency of Christ is on my mind. In noting all the accruements to Christ’s ministry and message, I am compelled to emphasize the “simplicity in Christ” or our “single-hearted devotion to Christ,” as the New English Bible says it in 2 Cor. 11:3. Paul’s fear for the Church and his exhortation to “simple-hearted devotion to Christ” is relevant today and needs a re-emphasis.
It is no wonder Paul was “determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:1-5). “God forbid,” Paul continues, “that I should glory except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14). And again, “I continue to evaluate and calculate all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord and do consider them all as refuse that I may win Christ” (Phil. 3:3-16).
I remember Bro. Ralph Riggs, one of my professors at Bible college and a former General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, reflecting on Psalm 27:4, asking the students in the chapel that day if we could bring all of our aspirations to the “one thing” of the Psalmist David. The thought still continues to press into my spirit on many occasions, even after 33 years!!
Paul’s recorded prayers for the Church are a stark contrast to most prayers offered for the Church today. His prayers reflect the passionate heart of a man who viewed the Church in its broadest context in Christ Jesus. The petitions and praise cover the gamut of the Church’s beginning to its ultimate end. Very little, if any, is said about present creature comforts or temporal values.
Is He, the Lord, sufficient to be the emphasis of our preaching, ministry, and lifestyle? Can any other emphases be made that will make Him more attractive to the world and the Church? Do we remove the “singleness” of Jesus to make Him the contemporary Man, complete with laptop, cellular phone, uplinks and downlinks, updated mores, values, compromising lifestyles, and one of many means to happiness? If so, we dissipate and emasculate the Person and the Power of Christ.
Christ is all-sufficient—not only for salvation but for “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (II Peter 1:3-11). He Who alone can not only make us right with God, but is the “I AM” of God—the Way for the lost, the Truth for the deceived and blinded, the Life for those in the grave, Light for the blind, Bread for the hungry, Water for the thirsty spirit, the good Shepherd for the wayward, diseased, and wandering, the Door of hope for the hopeless, and the true Vine for our provision for answers to prayer, fruitfulness in our lives, and joy for the saddened and depressed.
On earth, the relationship of Jesus to the Father was unique. He was chosen before time, called to be a servant, and sent to earth to fulfill the will of the Father. He said only what He heard His Father say and did only what He saw His Father do. He came to make known the person, will, and ministry of the Father and to fulfill the Law as a perfect Man. On earth, the Church’s relationship to Jesus can be compared, in some ways, to the relationship of Christ to the Father. Some of the common elements are quite evident. To explore them would bring insight into our position in Christ and to our relationship with the world.
It is Christ Himself, not a doctrine about Him, powerful oratory, words or alliterations, or emotional appeals that may lack lasting commitments. “Christ IN us,” Paul stresses, as well as the “Church IN Christ.” In the first, we have eternal life. In the second, we live out His Life here on earth. Christ speaks of “My Body” for a sin offering, “My Blood” for our redemption, “My Life” for our eternal life now and forever, “My Word” to reveal the Father’s heart and food for the soul, “My Yoke” to know the delight of His will, “My Joy” that we might experience the ecstatic heart, “My Peace” for calm in the midst of the storm, “My Power” for our victory over our weaknesses, “My Grace” for our sufficiency for every contingency in life and death, “My Name” for our authority in prayer, “My Love” so that we may have intimacy and friendship with Him, “My Laws” written in our hearts for walking in the Spirit, “My commandments” for holy living, “My Barn” for our gathering to Him, and ultimately “My Glory” so we might ultimately see God FACE TO FACE!! CHRIST IS ENOUGH!! It is no wonder, then, that Satan’s motto is, “Anything but Jesus.”
It is our intention to return to the foreign field next year. At this juncture we are not sure where we will “land,” but we are confident the Lord has a place reserved and ready. If you desire, we still have some openings to schedule a meeting with you; this would include mid-week services as well. It would be our privilege to meet with you and share the Word of the Lord. We look forward to hearing from you.
The summer is almost ended. We have been doing extensive traveling to churches in several states. We deeply appreciate your prayers. Specifically, we ask for the Lord’s strength physically, emotionally, and spiritually; for His sanctifying power; protection in travel; wisdom for every decision; financial provision to complete the furlough process and future ministry needs; anointing for ministry; and guidance for the future. Also, we ask for your continued prayers for our family of four sons and our daughter-in-law.
We thank you for your faithfulness in prayer and support. The Lord has been and will continue to be faithful! Know you are in our hearts and continually in our prayers! Jesus is Lord! Maranatha!
For Christ Alone and His Kingdom,
Reuben & Carmen Sequeira