INCREASE MY BURDEN…

“The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth laborers into His harvest.”

Today marks the beginning of our annual Outreach Conference at Desert Gateway Baptist Church. With the whole week’s services and activities focused on our theme, Increase My Burden, our prayer is that the Lord will allow us to see people through His eyes- as souls on their way to Heaven or Hell.

This morning, in our Homebuilders Class, we took the time to read Jeremiah’s words in the book of Lamentations, focusing on the verse when he was inspired of the Holy Spirit to write, “Mine eye affecteth my heart…” I truly believe that many of us are not as soul-concious as we ought to be because we are too focused on our self. Our eyes are pointed at our own needs and desires that we fail to see the needs of a lost and dying world! Lift up your eyes- it’s harvest time! Stop being so concerned about when the next paycheck will come, or whether you will be socially accepted at work, or attaining as much as wealth as you can. We should start concerning ourselves with the main thing- and that’s the souls of men. At the end of class, we showed a video entitled “Increase My Burden.” Afterwhich we prayed for God’s hand to be upon every aspect of the conference.

During the morning service, Pastor Leversee preached on having a heart for God. He spoke on how the Pharisees were so concerned about their outward appearance that they have “passed over judgment and the love of God.” Isn’t that like most of us? We want to make sure we look just right that we forget the judgment and discernment only God could give. We major on the minor things of life and we minor on the major things of life. Our discernment is all off! We become so petty that we fail to keep God first in our lives. We want to be so religiously accepted that we forget to share the love of God. When we truly have a heart for God, we will have a heart for people! Dr. Paul Chappell used to always tell us in college, “When the heart is pure, the vision is clear?” How’s your heart?

Tonight, our choir together with some members of our church that have been recently saved put together a presentation entitled “The Value of One.” Each person gave their testimony of what their life was before they got saved, how they came to know the Lord and the people involved in this process, and what they look forward to the most about being in Heaven some day. There was not a dry eye in the room. God is so good to us! If all we did was obey Him in his command to go and preach the Gospel, the thought of being able to obey the Lord would have been reward enough. But to allow us to see people saved and stay in our church- wow! What more can I say? After the presentation our Outreach Pastor, Brian Leversee, preached a message on “How to Increase Our Burden.” He took Philippians 4 and verse by verse showed us that God wants us to have fruit that may abound to our account. Even as he spoke, I thought about the individuals that shared their testimonies. They are fruit! They abound to our account! It was a powerful message!

Both messages challenged each person in our church. And it showed by the number of people at the altar during the invitation. Praise the Lord! If you are intrested in hearing the messages preached today or throughout the service, they are available on CD and can be ordered through our church’s website.

Another blessing of this week are the unsung heroes of our church- the nursery caregivers. Because of the services each night and all day both Sundays (today and next week), Amy had to schedule for sixty-six slots to have nurseries available for the conference. These caregivers do not complain. They enjoy having the opportunity to teach our children about the love of God. God bless them!

Then there’s the choir. Where would I be if it were not for the choir members and pianists of Desert Gateway Baptist Church? They have had to learn over a dozen songs just for this week. On top of that, all of them are scheduled to sing in special singing groups all week. I am so thankful to co-labor with such godly people. What pure vessels of honor for God to use to sing forth His message!

Overall, it was a very good day. However, around 9 a.m. this morning, one of God’s choicest servants went home to be with Him. Peggy Jose is the wife of Gale, one of the faithful deacons in our church. Two words describe this family- loyal and selfless. Gale and Peggy always sought to be a blessing to others. They were soul winners. For many years, they worked with the College and Career class, many of whom are spiritual successes today. Peggy always loved children. She worked faithfully in our nursery ministry and it broke her heart a few weeks back when her strength no longer permitted her to care for those children within our nursery. She often spoke with joy about her children, and twice the joy when speaking about her grandchildren. We love her and she truly will be missed. Our hearts and prayers are with her husband, Gale, her children Johnny and Jay, her daughter-in-law Kristen, and her grandchildren Audrey and Ayden. Please pray for this sweet family. For the lost, death is a “so long and farewell” but for Christians, death simply means, “See you later!”

Check in tomorrow as we continue our Outreach Conference with special speaker Mike Lester, academic dean and personal evangelism professor of West Coast Baptist College. Pray that God would continue to work in our hearts, the God would increase our burden, and that God would continue to give us opportunities to reach the world for Christ!

To hear today’s messages, click on www.desertgatewaybaptist.org.

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