The following report is from Jona Recaman. Brother Jona serves as a pastor in Spain, whom HeartCry began to support recently. You may read his testimony here in addition to his report on the fruits of preaching through 1 Timothy below:
I am currently preaching the first letter of Paul to Timothy each Sunday morning. I have found this book more than appropriate considering that, in these days that we are living in, the church is reminded of its purpose in this world:
“I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.”1 Timothy 3:14-25
Truth is being poorly displayed and proclaimed in our churches in Spain. The increase of pragmatism and liberalism is affecting the way God’s truth is exposed in our society. That’s why we are fighting “the good fight” through the preaching of sound doctrine, and we are trying to “back up” our message with the testimony of a godly life.
One of the things that breaks my heart in my context of ministry is the presence of “peddlers of God’s Word” in neighboring churches. That’s the way the apostle Paul described his enemies in his ministry… those who were offering a diluted Gospel, which was not acceptable to God (2 Corinthians 2:16-17). Last month I had to speak with some of these elders in nearby churches that accused me of trying to stop the spread of the Gospel. Their accusation was based on my insisting that telling some brief stories and “inviting Jesus to your heart” is not the real mission of Christ’s church. It is not biblical evangelism. Verses like 2 Corinthians 2:16-17 is of great encouragement to me because it reminds us of our high calling before God: that we may speak in Christ, as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God. Pray for me that the Lord would strengthen me to be faithful to His Word, and to His Gospel… for I am not ashamed of His Gospel.
In addition to speaking with other churches, we are seeking to strengthen our families at church. One of our main concerns, of course, is the spiritual health of the marriages and families within the congregation. God’s plan for the family, as outlined in the Scriptures, is fiercely attacked in our western society. Even in subtle ways, pressure can affect our flock if we don’t invest in their knowledge of God’s design, and their confidence in God’s wisdom as he has revealed in His word. That’s why we are going to be offering a discipleship course over the next few months. Would you pray that God uses His Word to encourage and establish the families of our church, teaching us all how to conduct ourselves inside and outside the household of God?
In a desire to train men who are qualified according to elder and deacon qualifications set out in 1 Timothy, we have been holding a meeting. many of the men at our church. We are patiently anticipating how the Lord is going to grow these men. This men’s meeting is part of our work of training those who might be the future deacons and elders in our church. We are focused on the crucial task of entrusting God’s Word to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2). Even though we continue to faithfully hold these meetings, we have found these to be bittersweet sometimes. We delight in the attitude of some of our men who show evident love for the Word and sincere concern for God’s will. But we also see some who seem to just attend the meetings and don’t show much commitment. If they have something else to do, they will skip the meeting. Pray for wisdom as we discern God’s work on them, and as we may need to “admonish the idle” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). Pray for these men who gather for these meetings that God would call some out for himself into ministry as pastors, preachers, deacons, and humble servants of the church.