Letter to the Saints

Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands

God's plan is that through the faithful ministry of every part, the whole body will grow to full maturity in Christ. The leaders of his church have been gifted, positioned, and appointed to train and mobilize the people of God for this "every person, everyday" ministry lifestyle.
– Paul David Tripp

That's the impetus behind Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands – God has designed it so that when he calls you to himself in salvation, he also calls you to be a servant of sanctification in the lives of others.

God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things in the lives of others.

That's what the elders at Covenant Hope Church desire– every member of Covenant Hope seeking to help one another follow Jesus better. When everyone is committed to this "every person, everyday" ministry lifestyle the whole culture of the church is transformed.

Our relationships with one another will reflect the transforming relationship Christ has established with us. So rather than shallow, casual relationships, we'll work for deeper, redemptive relationships that God uses for lasting change in our lives. 

What does that look like? 

One crucial aspect is recognizing that we do all that we do because of our hearts (Luke 6:43-45). Whatever rules over our hearts, rules us. So for our relationships to be deep and redemptive then the heart must be the target.

Become a Good Question Asker

In our conversations, we must seek to go beyond circumstances, situations, and relationships to what is going on in the heart. How is your brother or sister experiencing their circumstances, situations, or relationships?

Take time to listen carefully to one another, pay close attention to what is going on below the surface, and don't assume; ask questions to understand how they are processing.

    What fears do they feel?
    What dreams do they have?
    What are they hoping for? 
    Who or what are they trusting in?
    What do they desire?

Sometimes just asking good questions is doing the work of ministry. Through good questions, we help people to see themselves in the light of God's word. Good questions do more than help us get to know one another, they uncover where change is truly needed.

Lead Them to the Redeemer

But remember, we aren't the Redeemer, we're just his instruments! We can identify with them in their struggles, show compassion in suffering, and be gracious with their sins. So listen carefully, but then lead them back to the Lord Jesus, Our Great Redeemer. Remind them of his promises. Point them to his love. Walk with them in his ways. Comfort them with his salvation. Look forward to his coming.

As we behold more and more of Him together He is transforming us into His image, from one degree of glory to another (2 Cor. 3:18).

With love,
Mark Donald

The Last Together for the Gospel

A few weeks ago Mark and I departed for the United States for the last Together for the Gospel Conference. We gathered with over 10,000 pastors and church leaders in Louisville, Kentucky to be edified under the Word and encouraged one last time to remain faithful to Christ and his work. One surprise Mark and I both received, as well as a few pastors from UCCD, was Covid–19! By God’s grace, we’re all recovering. But for now, I want to reflect on three encouragements from T4G. 

Old Friendships

I didn’t know it when I left for the States, but T4G was like an old reunion for me. In God’s providence, I ran into my old youth pastor, Brian Richardson. He was my youth pastor from 6th–12th grade, and then he was the first boss I had when I entered ministry in 2009. Brian and I have lots of differences theologically, yet how refreshing it was to see him and his son–who I taught in Sunday school for two years. I was reminded of the deep unity the gospel brings. No matter our differences, Brian and I share the most important truths together. I’m so thankful for his investment in my life.

I also ran into my old college pastor, John Crawford. John is a dear brother who has become a ministry mentor to me. He is gentle, kind, and wise beyond years–a man I hope to become. What a blessing to run into him in the line to get a drink of water! John was the man I first saw true expositional preaching under. He walked us through the book of 1 Peter and I will never forget it.

I ran into over 20 ‘old friends’ while at T4G! Some of my friends were going through really difficult times and needed encouragement. Others–fresh in the ministry and excited. I left reminded of the rich friendships I have. What a blessing to labor for the gospel knowing that others are doing the same thing in different contexts.

Preaching

As one who preaches, it was refreshing and strengthening to sit under good preaching for three days straight. Every single message left an impression on me, and I only desire to continue faithfully opening up God’s Word and re-revealing God’s Word back to you. What an incredible, weighty, and joyous task it is to preach from and before God!

New Friendships

Recent and newer friendships were formed while at T4G too. It’s amazing how many people you can know through social media or through another friend, yet never meet in person. T4G provided a unique time to grab a meal, sit down over coffee, and share ministry burdens and blessings with new friends. Even as we walked down the street we would run into people and share ten minutes of edifying fellowship. So many pray for the work in Dubai, and so many have come through and seen it for themselves too. 

All in all, I left T4G encouraged and ready to keep laboring for the gospel here in the Middle East. While T4G has come to an end, I’m glad Mark and I got to be at the last one. I don’t think we’ll ever forget it!

With love,
Michael Abraham

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