Dr. David Jeremiah tells of an editorial he saw in The Economic Times last fall. The writer said, “life does not exist for any particular end”, but rather for “joy, playfulness, fun”. Does it seem to you that a lot of folks have bought into that idea? Anyone who follows Jesus knows how misdirected that is. Life on this earth has purpose and meaning, and it’s not about self-gratification! As the Westminster Shorter Catechism puts it, “The chief aim of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever”. If we focus on glorifying God, we will find real joy, peace, and eternal life. One of the chief ways we can glorify God is by sharing the Great News of eternal life through Jesus!
“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” (The Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20 NASB)
Ever since I gave my life to Jesus as a sophomore in college, the Great Commission has burned in my heart. At first, I thought the primary verb in the passage was “GO.” So, I went. Anywhere and everywhere, I could share Jesus. Then, I learned the primary verb in the original language wasn’t “go “ but MAKE DISCIPLES. Go, Baptize and Teach are all necessary to “Make Disciples”. Although it seems that each of us is better equipped to do one of the three, we are corporately responsible for all three.
Melva and I have been privileged to “go” many places, to “baptize” young and old, and “teach” the Word of God. Thankfully, the Lord has given us a portion of “lasting fruit” as disciples have been made who are serving Jesus locally and around the world! Your prayers and support are a major part of that blessing! Please pray we will not lose sight of our Lord’s Great Commission!
April’s activities: April was a different kind of busy. We didn’t make any major trips and the ski area closed for the season. We were scheduled to fly to Oregon to help with a Celebration of Life, but bronchitis prevented that, so they played a recording of our singing and I prayed with the congregation by zoom. The month was spent meeting with Christian workers, families in distress, a Celebration of Life, and catching up on ministry projects. Our Saturday Night Worship group grew with some wonderful new faces, and we celebrated our Savior’s love shown through His dying and raising victorious from the dead!
In Memorial: Two more wonderful friends were received into their heavenly homes by Jesus. Bob Weeks, a part of our Lake City ministry from its early days, and Mike Vader, a godly cowboy and pilot, entered into the joy of their Master! As the Scriptures say, “Precious (of great significance) in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones” (Psalm 116:15). Please pray for their families.
Family: Thank you for your prayers for each of us. Melva and I are slowly recovering, Rebekah and Nick (Kailani) had a safe and enjoyable trip to Kauai, Stephen and Joy (Hannah and Bethan) spent a few days in London visiting the church Stephen is going to pastor, Tim and Sara (Elizabeth, Sydney) are excited to be buying a home, Steve and Annie (Samuel, Abigail) are staying busy and blessed with Steve working with various video and TV productions and Annie teaching school.
Finances: This morning I read an article on why Christians should be the most generous people in the world. I agree! We have been given soooo much. Our salvation, our health, our families, our freedoms, and much more. Thank you for being generous in your investments in the Lord’s work. We continue to be humbled and amazed as the ministry finances continue to prosper. We pray over every donation that arrives; that the Lord will bless the giver and guide us in how to use it to His glory.
Prayer requests: Please pray the Lord will anoint Melva and I with the Holy Spirit as we share His glorious gospel. Please pray for our voices to grow stronger following the various illnesses. Please pray as I train for and take my Forest Service “Pack Test” (I wear a 25-pd. lead vest for two miles at a fast walk).
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May the Lord Jesus richly bless each of you as we join hands in fulfilling His Great Commission!
Rick and Melva
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Rick Barton Ministires