We Are GCI Series | Reuben Rios

We Are GCI Series is a collection of videos where various GCI leaders and members are highlighted.

In this episode, GCI Pastor, Reuben Rios, shares a little about himself, why he likes to serve in GCI, and in what ways he connects the most with God.

Devotional – His Voice

Acts 8: 26-29 reads: “Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian… This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” Then Philip explained the meaning of the Scriptures to the Ethiopian.

This passage tells us a lot. First, Philip was available to hear the voice of God. And it is evident that the Lord, the Holy Spirit, wanted to use Philip to preach the gospel to this Ethiopian. Here, the Holy Spirit gave very precise directions to Philip, entrusted him with a very particular mission. And on the way, the Spirit spoke again and told Philip to approach the Ethiopian’s chariot. Philip again obeyed the voice of the Spirit.

We all want the Lord God to send us, to speak to us clearly in very special ways. Indeed, he has already spoken to us in the Bible and has revealed to us the most important thing: the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. But we always have questions when executing and carrying out his will. Many times we do not know exactly where to go or what to do.

Once a pastor friend told me that as we preach the gospel, the Lord God gives us a green light and we must keep moving forward unless God himself intervenes and changes the course. The risk is to go where we want and not where the Lord wants to send us. This passage has made me ponder what characteristics were in Philip that the Lord chose to speak to him. Or does the Holy Spirit just send anybody? I want the Lord to speak to me about very specific things in ministry. I want to be receptive to his voice.

In this example, the Spirit led Philip to minister to only one person. The Holy Spirit had been working with the Ethiopian preparing him for this encounter with Philip. Sometimes we may want great and important missions. But I ask the Lord Jesus to help me be willing to go even in small missions. The important thing is for me to be in his will. We need to be attentive to the voice of God, to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We need to know he does speak to us and sends us.

So this is my frequent prayer: Lord give me such a heart to listen to you, tell me what are you doing in my community, in my neighborhood, with my congregation, how can I participate in your work, where do you want me to go, what do you want me to do, who do you want to meet me with? What words do you want me to say? I am available for you, send me. Give me a heart receptive to your voice. Amen.

Hector Barrero Portrait

 

By Hector Barrero
Pastor
Bogota, Colombia

 

We Are GCI Series | Mat Morgan

We Are GCI Series is a collection of videos where various GCI leaders and members are highlighted.

In this episode, GCI Secretary-Treasurer Mat Morgan, shares why he has enjoyed the move to the east coast with the GCI Home Office, and the health of GCI’s finances.

Devotional – Our Rags to His Riches

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9 (NIV)

My granddaughters love the story of Cinderella, and I love reading it to them. The rags-to-riches story of the young servant girl has inspired many movie plots and fired the imagination of children around the world.

The Bible discusses the sacrifice of Jesus in terms of a rag-to-riches story: our rags to his riches. “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags”, it says in Isaiah 64:6. In this, Isaiah is explaining our need for grace. There is nothing we can do to gain or maintain salvation. All the rules we follow to that end, all the good things we do in order to try to qualify for salvation, are as filthy rags.

The problem is that, as hard as we may try to change and clean ourselves up, we remain stained with sin. It is only God who can remove those stains. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, God says to us, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you” (Zechariah 3:4). It is in Jesus that “we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

Cling to this promise today! Because of the cross, we go from our rags to his riches.

Prayer: Loving Father, thank you for Jesus, who died for me and rose for me, and has clothed me with the riches of his righteousness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

By James Henderson
National Director
Edinburgh, Scotland

We Are GCI Series | Judah Dwight Sanders

We Are GCI Series is a collection of videos where various GCI leaders and members are highlighted.
In this episode, GCI Pastor, Judah Dwight Sanders, shares a little about himself and why he likes to serve in GCI and in what ways he connects the most with God.

Devotional – May We Forgive Them

In the narrative of Jesus’ ministry on earth, there are many stories that demonstrated his profound love for those he encountered. And to be honest, many people he encountered were not necessarily that easy to love. But no other story captures the true depth of Jesus’ love, compassion and grace as that moment when looking down from the cross at the throng of jeering spectators and Roman soldiers, Jesus uttered through his agony the words, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

Forgiveness in the face of betrayal or hurt is seldom easy for us. The pain—both physical and mental—lingers, and too often our thoughts turn to anger and revenge. After all, somebody has to pay for what has been done to us. The Bible uses the big word “propitiation” to express that same sentiment. “Somebody has to pay.” When Jesus looked out at the crowd surrounding him – and by extension at us – he saw all the hurt and pain that would ever be inflicted upon us – and by us – as a result of the evil in this world. And in his love for us, he became that propitiation.

May we, through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, begin to see the people surrounding us through the same eyes that looked down from the cross. To see beyond the evil they may do, and to comprehend the unconditional love held out for each of them, and for us, by the Father, Son and Spirit. The Father’s forgiveness is already ours. May we graciously extend that forgiveness to others.

 

By Tim Sitterley
Regional Director USA Western Region
Eugene, Oregon

 

We Are GCI Series | Linda Sitterley

We Are GCI Series is a collection of videos in which various GCI leaders and members are highlighted.
In this episode, GCI Associate Pastor Linda Sitterley shares a little about herself and why she likes to serve in GCI, as well as why her hoppy taste buds are her guilty pleasure.