Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Break

Spring break is finally here! I am down at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) in Roach, Missouri with a bunch of friends from NTBI Jackson. We left at 10pm on Friday night and drove for ten and a half hours to get here early Saturday morning. It was a long and exhausting drive and I'm simply glad that I didn't have to drive. I've been having an amazing time, have been challenged from talking to people here, and am getting excited to go here after Bible school. On Sunday I went to a church nearby with some people where we heard a tribal leader from Brazil. He spoke Portuguese and so one of the teachers from MTC was there translating for him. It was incredible to hear this man open the Scriptures to us and share his heart with us concerning tribal people around the world. He, along with tribal leaders from six other countries, were to meet the next day in Florida with many different mission organization to discuss how they could all work together in order to reach tribal people with the gospel. Towards the beginning of his time sharing with us he talked about the concept of the chief in his tribe. Our idea of the tribal chief is of one who is in charge of other people, but the real character of their chief was of one who, in a sense, "led by example" and did something first for others to follow them. He equated this with how Jesus is our example in that He has already done what He calls us to do in humbling ourselves and giving up our lives for God. I have been memorizing Philippians 2:1-11 for my Christology class and am daily challenged from simply going through the process of saying it and reading it repeatedly in order to memorize it. Philippians 2:8 says, "Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Thinking on this passage constantly has been pointing out to me time after time the ultimate example of humility that Jesus has set and I am always thinking of how I can have the same attitude of Christ.

Being here at MTC has been making me think more about the future and is reminding me that I am at Bible school not only to be grounded in the Word, but to prepare for a life of ministry. I think that lately I have had my primary focus on my studies. This is not in any way a bad thing, but through it I have been somewhat neglecting the people around me. Part of my training at Bible school is also to grow with other believers in that we should have a mutual building up of each other toward godly lives in unity. Philippians 2.3-4 has also been on my mind almost incessantly lately: "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others." I've been trying to think of ways in which I can serve those around me and truly consider others as more important than myself. It's been amazing in that as I have been striving to have such an attitude it is easy to serve others even when it means that I might be doing something that I wouldn't necessarily like to do. I have been called to love the body of Christ in the same way that Christ loves me; I must sacrifice my wants, my desires, and my own self to the body of believers. In this way I love others and so show my love of God by caring for those whom He has deep care.

As I grow in having such an attitude of obedience and humility of Christ I ask that those who read this may solemnly think upon this and please read Philippians 2.1-11 if nothing else. I need the body of believers and the body needs me to sacrifice myself for it. Please pray for me as I learn to lean on God and trust Him to work through me in my daily life in that I would have the attitude of Christ. Ephesians 4:1-3 says,

"Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."