Nathanael Study

Dear brothers and sisters in the faith,

Thank you, for both your willingness and faithfulness to pray on behalf of the mission in Germany. The Apostle Paul spoke of the ministry and the message of reconciliation. What a wonderful truth, that God reconciles with sinful men, by Grace through faith alone in Christ. O, that the German people would listen to those ancient truths again.

The Psalmist Asaph writes about David: “With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand” (Ps 78:72). It is my desire and prayer, that the Lord would grant me this blessing of a right attitude and motive of a faithful heart, relying only on God through the ministry of the Spirit, to shepherd and guide the church in a God pleasing way.

In the Sunday services I have been preaching through Genesis, and the chapters of Noah and the great flood. Honestly, these days I quite often felt overwhelmed by floods of doubts, temptations, and discouragements. But the word, in the very center of the flood story, was a of tremendous comfort: “But God remembered Noah” (Gen 8:1). As I preached through the judgment and grace of God these last weeks, I was confronted with one member in particular, who keeps criticizing me. His attitude and words have become sharper and disrespectful, even bitter. Knowing that I am weak and sinful, and that I want to grow spiritually in the work of the ministry, I listened earnestly to his complaints. I decided to forgive all unloving and disrespectful behavior, and examine if there might be any rightful claim in the issues communicated.

One day that man came up against me and I asked him if we could meet and talk those things over. The evening before our meeting, I remembered King David, who was insulted by Shimei in 2 Sam. 16, and how he stopped his general in taking action. So, I entrusted myself to the Lord, and got ready to be cast with dust. After we prayed, the man told me about the list of things he planned on confronting me with. But while he was thinking about all the things, he was not able to sleep that night. After some hours, he got up and read the Bible and prayed. As he still could not sleep, he read a Psalm and was convicted that his attitude was sinful and wrong. He repented before God and went sleepless to work. He confessed that there was much bitterness in his heart. He discovered that this bitterness was not rooted in me, but rather in him. We had a very honest and encouraging talk. We prayed and praised God together, for His working of reconciliation between brothers.

Another incidence was a bit similar. A young man had a lot of trouble in his private life, and I did spend a lot of time counseling and encouraging him. When he moved to another place, he was very angry that I did not invest myself the same way in his life as before, although I tried to reach him several times. He broke off contact with me for a year, but then returned and asked for forgiveness. Those moments are very strong evidences to me that the Lord is working in a way, that no act of man could ever achieve. The power of reconciliation of sinful man with God in Christ does reconcile and triumph over the sinful wars and attitudes between men. I’m encouraged by the mysterious ways God has settled these matters.

Apart from those blessings after struggles, we have experienced an encouraging growth among our regular visitors. A young man who has attended the services for a year now wants to be baptized and join the church, despite his very atheistic parents. Would you please pray for him? Another man attending the church for 6 months now, has also asked to be baptized. He is very committed and faithful, clearly enjoys the fellowship, and has been growing spiritually through the preached word. We have also had a Romanian woman move into our area and ask for membership. We rejoice greatly in these things.

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

May God bless you.

Nathanael Armisen