Praise the Lord that several pastors, elders, and potential ministry candidates were able to take a mini course on homiletics at our preaching conference in Cayo, Belize! PCA Pastor Jackie Gaston and his wife Mary Shea came out for a visit from their church in the Huntsville, Alabama area. Pastor Jackie taught great content focused on expositional preaching to the men while Mary Shea led a conference with the women.
At least one of the students shared that this course will help him tremendously in forming the structure for future sermons. Please be praying for those that attended – that they would continue to be used of God to preach His Word!
Please be praying for the launch of our first course of the newly revamped Reformed Leadership Institute of Belize, a ministry of the Presbyterian Church in Belize. We are asking the Lord to bring us many students from our congregations, whether congregants, leaders or church officers. It will be an online course with students watching videos and using a study guide during the week in preparation for a group discussion at our “learning community” meeting each Saturday at 5pm Belize time. Our first course will study the Apostle’s Creed and will last 10 weeks. Course content uses materials provided by Third Millennium Ministries, a Reformed ministry aimed at providing free theological education to all nations. May God be glorified and may the students learn and grow in the faith!
In God’s infinite wisdom He has appointed leaders in the church to further His purposes. In Acts 14, we read of the Apostle Paul’s terrible trial of persecution in Lystra. Paul was a former Pharisee – a Jewish religious leader – who had been converted after a marvelous encounter with the Lord Jesus (Acts 9:1-19). He then went on to be an Apostle and one of the greatest preachers of the early church. After having preached the Word in Lystra, some of his own countrymen “came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead” (Acts 14:19). Paul was willing to put his life on the line for Jesus. His desire was that God be exalted and that many would come to faith in the Lord Jesus and obtain reconciliation with God, forgiveness of sins, and eternal life.
Amazingly we read that Paul didn’t die and that he even went back into the city before leaving to preach in other places. But what else was Paul doing during these missionary journeys besides simply preaching the gospel message? Interestingly, this very chapter gives us insight into that question: “When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed” (Acts 14:21-23).