Death is Not Ultimate

Death is Not Ultimate

What I Learned Last Sunday

“If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” – 1 Corinthians 15:19-20

How does one functionally deny the resurrection of Jesus? As Pastor Mike shared last Sunday in 1 Corinthians 15:12-20, it is done as we, “Make this life ultimate and the after life an afterthought.”

Making This Life Ultimate.

Imagine with me for a moment. 

Say you are a young person with a clean bill of health. You view Life as one of infinite potential. Perhaps you are starting into a college career. Maybe you are ending your college career and looking forward to that new job opportunity. Or, perhaps you are recently married and everything seems to be moving in the right direction. 

All your present circumstances, your health, your success, and your comforts, are lining up perfectly. Life is good. Of course, you have had ups and downs through the years, but the downs never last long. In the back of your mind there are the beliefs, “I still have a lot of time.” and, “I have control of my future.” 

Then COVID. 

Then your job market dried up. 

Then civil unrest over accusations of injustice. 

Then your parents start speaking of the potential end of America as we know it on November 3rd. 

Then you lose a friend in the prime of their life. 

Many of these troubles, you avoid or rationalize. “I’m a healthy person and won’t get that sick.” “It’s just an election, and I will be fine.” “Things will get back to normal soon.” “It happened to them, but it won’t happen to me.” 

Then you see a headline in the news like, “If You’ve Just Had Covid, Exercise Might Not Be Good for You.” You read of potential cardiovascular problems that could arise if you contract the disease. Regardless of the truth of those claims, the thought is planted and doubts arise. If not COVID, it could be any thought or fear that questions your health, comfort, and freedom.

Anxiety starts to creep in. The comfort of youth and freedom are challenged. 

“What if COVID steals my health?” 

“What if things don’t get better in my country but worse?” 

“What if I die?”

But in Fact Christ has been Raised

“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead” – 1 Corinthians 15:20a

Fear, anxiety, and worry about the “what ifs” of life are obliterated in the truth of the resurrection. As shared on Sunday, Christ’s resurrection establishes four truths for the Christian:

  1. When we speak the gospel, we celebrate our present hope in Christ. Christ has brought us from death to life.
  1. Death is not ultimate (Not fearful). Death is the doorway to a realized inheritance of eternity with God.
  1. We are no longer in our sins. The fear of condemnation is gone. Christ has defeated the penalty of sin (death) in His resurrection.
  1. We are not to be pitied. Because death is not the end but the beginning of great joy for a Christian, there can be no pity for our death.

If anxiety is your response to the troubles of life, let the truth of Christ’s resurrection build hope in your heart!

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, Last three lines

“Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His Kingdom is forever.”

Standing in the Gospel

Standing in the Gospel

What I Learned Last Sunday

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.” – 1 Corinthians 15:1-2

On Sunday Pastor Mike shared from 1 Corinthians 15 the three-fold work of the gospel in a Christian. First, Paul reminds us of the work of God in us to save us in the past (whether five minutes ago or 50 years ago). Second, and vital, is that we do not merely look back to that moment of God’s work, but we stand now in the gospel, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:1. Mike said, “One massive evidence of your conversion is that today your hope for life and everything is Jesus.” And, “We will never be defeated so long as we stand in the gospel.” Finally, the gospel has future hope in that we are “being saved” as Paul says. God saved us in a moment in time (five minutes ago or 50 years ago), God is saving us (presently), and God will save us.

Question: What does it look like to stand in the gospel and look confidently to God for hope? Should a Christian life be filled with doubt, anxiety, and fear? What response should the past, present, and future understanding of Paul’s gospel awaken in a Christian?

Martin Luther’s Anfechtungen

In his biographical work* on the great reformer, Martin Luther, Eric Metaxas noted a time between July-September in 1527 when Luther was plagued with physical illness but an even more spiritual crisis or tribulation which he referred to as “anfechtungen”. 

During one of these physical and spiritual crises, Luther believed he was about to die and responded accordingly:

He prayed out loud the Lord’s Prayer and then two penitential Psalms. He was not only physically ill but also clearly tormented in his spirit feeling guilty of past sins and generally unworthy…He asked everyone around him to pray for him, quite sure he was now dying. He lamented not having been counted worthy to shed his blood for the sake of the gospel as others had done. Luther was inconsolable, slipping away.

Luther later described this suffering more vividly to his close friend, Philipp Melanchthon, in a letter.

For more than a whole week I have been tossed to and fro in death and in hell, so that I am still drained from all strength in my body and am trembling in all my limbs.

I have lost Christ completely and have been shaken by the floods and storms of despair and blasphemy. However, as moved by the prayers of the saints, God has begun to have mercy on me and to snatch my soul from deepest hell.

Should we stand in the gospel like Luther in his hour of anfechtungen?

In Luther’s hour of anfechtungen, his focus was more on his insufficiency before God (which is true), but he did not move from his insufficiency to the overwhelming sufficiency of Christ!

A Christian’s present stand in the gospel takes into account two massive truths which John Newton articulated as:

  1. I am a great sinner (insufficient and damned before God).
  2. Christ is a great Savior (totally sufficient taking on my sin before God).

Question: What does it look like to stand in the gospel and look confidently to God for hope? 

Answer: Standing in the gospel involves a clear conviction of Newton’s two statements. “Yes, I am unworthy.” AND, “Yes, Christ alone makes me worthy.”

Question: Should a Christian life be filled with doubt, anxiety, and fear? 

Answer: See below

Question: What response should the past, present, and future understanding of Paul’s gospel awaken in a Christian?

Answer: For a moment of Martin Luther’s life, he suffered a lapse into doubt and unbelief that he was still in Christ. The idea of standing before God knowing he was a sinner brought immense dread to the point of believing, “I have lost Christ completely…”

Praise God, our hope in the gospel is not in any way dependent on our goodness but on God’s mercy.

“[God] saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit…” – Titus 3:5

Praise God that he brought Martin Luther from the pit of anfechtungen, reminding him of his hope in Christ.

Stand in the gospel today. Stand in the truth that you are not worthy and only worthy in Christ. 

Christ is a great Savior!

*”Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World”, by Eric Metaxas (Viking, 2017)

Christ’s Kids Starts on Sunday!!!

Christ’s Kids Starts on Sunday!!!

Announcements Christ's Kids

Christ’s Kids will be starting up again this Sunday, September 13th, at 10:30AM, and we are so excited!

What is Christ’s Kids? It’s a ministry that takes place during the Sunday worship-gathering hour at Ridgeview. It is for children from 6-months old to the 2nd grade. We exist to glorify God by coming alongside parents to help “train our children in the ways of the Lord” as we are commanded to do in Proverbs 22:6.

At Christ’s Kids we have teachers who LOVE Jesus and work hard to prepare lessons each Sunday that help the children grow in their knowledge of the Lord, and learn how they can live for Him. This year, all families must complete a Registration Sheet for their children, which includes a Covid-19 waiver. Click here to access that form. They will also be available Sunday morning at the check-in table.

Be sure to like and follow Christ’s Kids Facebook page for the latest info!  See you Sunday morning at 10:30! As always, we need helpers! If you are interested in teaching, leading music, or helping in any other way, please let us know.

Learning from Job and his God

Learning from Job and his God

What I Learned Last Sunday

“Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” – James 5:11

Last week we finished a summer-long study through Job. As we close this chapter, meditate on the applications Pastor Mike called us to. I encourage you to return to the messages on our site any time to reflect on suffering and the working of God through all things.

Seven Examples of Job’s Patience

1. Job worshiped God in his suffering.

Death. Loss. Suffering. Worship.

“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” – Job 1:20-21

2. Job suffered in his health, but defended God before his wife.

God allows Satan to strike Job’s health on top of all the pain and loss. 

“Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”- Job 2:9-10

3. Job lamented instead of grumbled

Biblical lament acknowledges the suffering, cries to God for relief, and fights any bitterness that would accuse God of wrong. As Pastor Mike said Sunday, “Lament is turning to God in all of your pain and hurt.”

“I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, but trouble comes.” – Job 3:26

[Job speaking of God] “Though he slay me, I will hope in him;” – Job 13:15

4. Job spoke well of God.

A reflection of Job’s perseverance was his unwillingness to reject God despite the suffering.

[Following the first round of Job’s suffering] “In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.” – Job 1:22

“After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” – Job 42:7

5. Job knew he had a Redeemer who would advocate for him.

Rather than looking inward to himself, Job knew his only hope was in a redeemer to step in on his behalf. Job found no hope in himself. 

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.”- Job 19:25

6. When Job saw God, he confessed his ignorance.

Rather than defiance, Job confessed his ignorance upon hearing the word of God.

“‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” – Job 42:3

7. Job repented of his wrong thinking and words.

Job turns to God from sin for hope. 

[Job’s response upon seeing the greatness of God] “therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” – Job 42:6

Seven Examples of God’s Mercy and Compassion

1. God was kind and blessed Job.

God extended many undeserved blessings to Job. The only thing God owes us is to be God along with all that entails.

“…The Lord gave…” – Job 1:22b

2. God spared Job’s life.

God spared Job’s life and that is mercy and compassion.

“And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.”- Job 2:6

3. God was compassionate by revealing Himself to Job.

Job saw more of God in his suffering than he had before, and that is great news for us to hope for in our moment of suffering. “God will you show yourself to me in this trial?”

“I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you;”- Job 42:5

4. God accepted Job’s repentance.

The implication of the passage following Job 42:6 is that God accepted Job’s repentance. God considers Job worthy to be the intermediary between his friends. Do not take this lightly, when the sovereign King of all creation stoops down to extend forgiveness to a sinful man.

5. God provided a way for Job’s three friends to be justified.

God did not deal with the three friends according to their folly. 

“After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the Lord had told them, and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.” – Job 42:7-9

6. God restored Job’s fortunes.

God gave. God took. God gave again. God often gives what we do not deserve. What grace, mercy and compassion!

“And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. ”- Job 42:10

7. God took.

If God’s taking is leading you to a clearer vision of God, then it is God’s grace!

In Suffering

If in this suffering you will be,

More real and true and clearly seen,

Though pain will beg me cry, “Take this cup!”

In mercy use this trial and fill me up

More with you

Our Greatest Need in Suffering

Our Greatest Need in Suffering

What I Learned Last Sunday

Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted …I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you…” – Job 42:1-2, 5

Pastor Mike shared with us last Sunday that the greatest need of every human being is to see God for who He truly is. More than that, in our suffering, our greatest need is to see who God is (leading to greater trust in God) rather than to seek answers to why suffering is happening.

How can that be true when in our suffering, our first response is often to ask, “Why am I suffering?”

Our Greatest Need in Suffering is God…

…Because of who God is.

God is all-knowing (Psalm 94:11). He is intimately aware of every thought, fear, need, and desire in your mind and heart. He is so aware that the secrets of human hearts will be exposed by God when he judges (Romans 2:16).

God has power over all things. There is nothing that is too far out of His reach. He spoke the world into existence and breathed humanity out of dust.

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” – Jeremiah 32:27

God is all-wise and all-good. God is revealed in His Word as the absolute, irrevocable standard of rightness. Words used to describe God include righteous, holy (utterly set apart from all else), and good.

“Of a truth, God will not do wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice. – [Elihu speaking to Job about God.] – Job 34:12

God is gracious, loving, and kind. The absolute sovereign over all things does not owe His created things the smallest crumb. But, in the tenderness and kindness of God’s nature, He has given us a feast. God has revealed Himself to God-dishonoring fleas. God revealed Himself to Job–great grace. God reveals Himself to us–great kindness.

“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” [Paul speaking to Titus about the state of every human before Christ and those in Christ.] – Titus 3:3-7

Because of who God is…

…When suffering comes our only hope is to see God.

If God is everything we just read and more, then seeing Him is our greatest good no matter the circumstances.

You are being crushed by the weight of depression. Pressure is on every side. He is God. He is great. Look to Him for hope in your depression. 

When your child dies, the only rock to cling is the God who holds all things. He will hold you. Run to him.

Your body is wasting away from disease. If God is who He has revealed Himself to be, then disease and trouble is our call to find Him as an everlasting refuge and strength.

Our only hope is to see God and trust…

…Because if God is everything He claims to be, no human reasoning or worldly answer to our suffering will satisfy in comparison to the God who knows your every need.

Do not allow the bitterness of the world, steal your hope and joy in God.

Do not turn to temporary relief the world provides and forfeit your soul to the God who judges.

Prayer

God, please help me see you so clearly that no pain, suffering, or loss turns my eyes away from you to the deceitfulness of sinful things.

Humble Yourself Before God

Humble Yourself Before God

What I Learned Last Sunday

Then Job answered the Lord and said: “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you. I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.” Job 40:3-5

The past three Sundays, we have studied allusions to God’s reply to Job (Elihu in chapters 32-37) and then God’s actual reply in the form of His voice in a whirlwind. Pastor Mike mentioned last Sunday how God’s answer to Job should invoke three reactions in us.

  1. God’s answer to Job should humble us.
  2. God’s answer to Job should warn us against self-confidence.
  3. God’s answer should give us great confidence in God.

Let’s meditate for a moment on humility for a moment.

Humble yourself before the Lord

What do we know about Job’s condition before God throughout the entire book? 

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. […] His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.” Job 1:1, 4-5

We know from Job 1:1-5 that Job’s attitude of his life was submission to God. Job feared God. Satan noticed it. God saw it. Job would offer sacrifices to God on behalf of his children. He knew that he and his family answered to and were under God. Job had a healthy fear of God we would say. He was humble before God.

What about Job’s response when suffering arose? First, we know from chapter 1:20 that Job worshipped God as a first response to the terrible loss that happened. Later on as well we see Job’s continual understanding that God is over him and his three friends. Look at what Job says in response to his friends’ foolish words in chapter 13.

Will it be well with you when he searches you out? Or can you deceive him, as one deceives a man? He will surely rebuke you if in secret you show partiality. Will not his majesty terrify you, and the dread of him fall upon you? Job 13:9-11

Job’s God is BIG throughout the entire book. He knows God is in control. He knows God has the answers which is why he continually seeks an audience with God. 

It is  interesting then that we see Job’s first words in reply to God in chapter 40:3-5. 

Then Job answered the Lord and said: “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.” Job 40:3-5

Why do we foolishly measure up the righteousness of Job and forget that he too, like all of us is, “…of small account” before the almighty God of the universe? Job’s righteousness did not earn him the right to puff up his chest in front of his boss and speak his mind. He was utterly and totally silenced. All of us should be utterly and totally silenced before God in humility now, for one day every human will recognize the greatness of God.

O that we would humble ourselves before God and realize in every breathing moment that he is over us! It is better to be a beggar and humble before God than a king with selfish pride.

Ask Yourself

Question: Does my response to the bad things that happen in life reflect a conviction that God is over me and over all things?

Question: Do I recognize I am under God while life is easy (the money is coming in, I am healthy…)?

Question: Do I give my day to the Lord for Him to be exalted in it, or am I more concerned about exalting myself?

Question: When God convicts me of my pride, will I respond in prayerful humility asking that He transform my heart to live under Him every moment of life?

Equipped for Every Good Work

Equipped for Every Good Work

Word in Season

Fresh out of college, I started working at a construction equipment manufacturing company. In my first week on the job, I found myself in a machine shop looking at a 9-cylinder diesel engine. My task was to work with a small group to disassemble and reassemble this engine. I graduated with a degree in marketing. To describe me as ill-equipped for this task was the understatement of the century. Alone, I was ill-equipped. 

As believers, we aren’t so different from this situation I found myself in. Our dead hearts were made alive by Christ and now we find ourselves sent into a world of which we are we are not supposed to be. (John 17:14-18). We are forgiven all sin but still struggle to live by the Spirit and not the flesh (Romans 8:5). We are called to die to ourselves and live for Christ (Matthew 16:25). Our Lord asks us to suffer with patience, be angry and not sin, spread the gospel to the ends of the earth, and practice meekness in the face of our opponents. Alone, we are ill-equipped.

But the Lord has plans to equip us to do his work and does not leave us alone. He has not only given us his Spirit and the body of Christ, but also his Word. His Word has many purposes, one being to equip the man of God. 

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

This means that on Sunday when we sit and hear the Word preached or attend a weekly Bible study, God intends to use it to equip us. How can we be better prepared to attend that Bible study or sit and listen to the Sunday sermon so that the Word equips us instead of going in one ear and out the other? How can we get better at applying truth and growing toward Christ?

  1. Recognize your Need: God sees our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7) and the posture of our hearts towards him. It is hard to teach someone who doesn’t want to be taught. We are better prepared to let God do his work on us with a heart posture of knowing we need his help. We come Sunday morning or to our mid-week Bible study wanting to be equipped. We keep in the forefront of our minds this purpose of God and we stop and pray that God would use his Word to do his work on our hearts. We get out of the habit of checking Sunday mornings off of our list and remember how much we need Christ to change us.
  2. Prepare:  It sounds almost too simplistic yet many of us don’t do this and it is so helpful. Read the passage in advance. We prepare for tests, we prepare meal plans, we prepare for sports practice, we prepare for that big presentation at work, but rarely do we prepare for Sunday morning. Spending time in the text before you come to church starts to prepare your heart. You will be more familiar with the passage and it will be easier to listen, understand, and apply. We need to hear things multiple times before they start to stick. The same goes for your Bible study; set aside time to read and think about what you are studying that week. If you don’t know what your pastor will preach on, ask him to share his weekly plan with you. It takes discipline to manage your time and priorities well and we must acknowledge that God’s equipping is needed more than just about everything else for which we take time to prepare.
  3. Engage: Be an active participant. Have your Bible open, take notes, write questions or thoughts about application. Then, talk to others about the sermon or engage with your Bible study group. As a leader of a Bible study, I can’t tell you how encouraged I am to hear questions from women because it means they are engaging with the text! Things stick more when we process them with others. Come to a Sunday night home group where you can discuss and apply the sermon. Plan to review the sermon as a family on Monday mornings at breakfast and have everyone share what they learned about God. If you are discipling someone, plan to talk about the sermon weekly with them. Ask others in the church how the sermon series has been affecting them spiritually. There are many ways to engage; let’s get in the habit of talking about application and how our lives are being transformed by God’s Word. 

I wasn’t equipped to put together that diesel engine and was useless to the three engineering majors in my group. I don’t want to find myself ill-equipped for the good works God has planned in advance for me (Ephesians 2:10). Let’s get better at applying truth and growing toward Christ as we come to church next Sunday and start our next Bible study this fall.  

God, Suffering, and Endurance

God, Suffering, and Endurance

What I Learned Last Sunday

“Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. – Job 2:10b

Let’s think through three questions to meditate on what we learned from last Sunday’s message.

Question #1:

How is God’s desire to display His own glory not in competition with His love for mankind? 

Answer:

If God is everything He claims to be (the very being for whom all creation was made), then revealing His glory for us to see and worship is a revelation of the ultimate purpose for all mankind. It would be better for us to see God and worship Him than to spend a lifetime gaining temporary things in the world apart from seeing and worshipping God (See. Mark 8:36). 

Question #2:

How is God’s glory magnified when I suffer?

Answer:

God is shown to be glorious when temporary things in my world are shown to be exactly what they are—temporary gifts from the Giver of all things. When God is the means and the end, the circumstances He wills for me (suffering or worldly success) are opportunities to worship. Give me wealth—Glory to and trust in God. Give me cancer—Glory to and trust in God. 

Though God does care for His children with temporary gifts, Scripture is overwhelmingly weighted toward preparing the Christian to suffer when the comforts of this life are found to be fleeting. Nearly every New Testament author alludes to some form of suffering that Christians will endure. We see the same pattern of suffering for proclaiming the truth in the Old Testament from Joseph in Genesis to the prophets.

God is my greatest need in this life whether the Lord gives or takes away.

How is God’s glory magnified when I suffer? He is magnified because suffering has the ability to remove potential idols from our lives that could replace God.

Question #3:

If suffering is ordained by God as a test (as shown in Job’s life) to prove a Christian’s faith, how can I have confidence that my faith will not fail when suffering comes?

Answer:

The faith with which one surrenders to Christ to be saved, is the faith that will keep the Christian to the end. You will not walk away in suffering, because the Keeper will keep you. You can trust Him to keep you in suffering as you trusted him to save you. The work He begins in you He will complete

(See Philippians 1:6). He is able to keep you from stumbling and falling away (See Jude 24). He was the one who made you new, and He is guarding you for salvation (See 1 Peter 1:3-5).

 

Meet Lyubov Zheleva

Meet Lyubov Zheleva

Missions

Recently, the elders tasked the missions committee to find a new home for support that we were giving to a missionary couple who returned permanently from the field. The committee recommended that we support two pretty amazing people: Tanya Batueva (whom we introduced here) and Lyubov Zheleva. With this post, I’m happy to introduce you to Lyubov, and I am so glad we are a part of her support team.

Lyubov served alongside a Ridgeview mission team to Bulgaria a few years ago. She also visited Ridgeview last year, and even served as part of the worship team for a Sunday gathering. So, many of us have met her. Lyubov is Bulgarian, and she is now serving as a missionary to Bulgarian young people with Josiah Venture. Here is Lyubov sharing her new ministry in her own words:

Friends, it is so humbling to look back and see how God has been preparing me for this. Nothing in my life has brought more delight and joy than stepping into His will for me. Oh, how tirelessly God has pursued me; how privileged I am to call myself his servant, his friend, his daughter. My Father has saved me, is sanctifying me, and is now sending me… on a mission at home! I am sent on a mission with Him- to find the lost, to disciple the found and build up the church!

Besides serving as a local youth leader at my home church in Asenovgrad, I am particularly excited to step on board as the Bulgaria Intern Director!

Let’s commit to pray for Lyubov as she continues to raise support for this ministry and as she serves to bring the gospel to Bulgarian young people. May God bring much fruit from this, for his glory among the nations! Also, if you would like to support Lyubov, either with a one-time gift or monthly, you could give your gift to Ridgeview with a clear designation and we will make sure the funds get to Lyubov.

 

Meet Tanya Batueva

Meet Tanya Batueva

Missions

As I mentioned yesterday during the service, the Missions Committee has recommended, and the elders have approved, monthly financial support for two new missionaries: Tanya Batueva, en-route to Asia-Pacific; and Lyubov Zheleva serving in Bulgaria. Today, Tanya will introduce herself, and later this week we will spotlight Lyubov. Please be praying for both Tanya and Lyubov as they continue to prepare and to raise support for their respective ministries.  Without further ado, here is Tanya in her own words:

Hello Ridgeview! My Name is Tanya Batueva. I was born in Siberia during the Soviet Union times and grew up with the notion that there is no God. With the break-up of the Soviet Union, the iron curtain fell and many missionaries came to Russia. That’s how I learned about Christ’s love for me – through the ministry of missionaries! Their example taught me about God’s plan for the Church and later directed me to missions. In 2017, God opened a door for me to train for ministry – focusing on Bible translation. Now I am getting ready to go to the Asia-Pacific region to church-plant among unreached people groups and to translate the Bible into their heart language.

Tanya is presently in the US raising financial support. She is at 58% of her recommended support level. Tanya is tentatively planning a trip to Chadron in July, so you may get to meet her soon! She visited Ridgeview for several Sundays in 2017, and was scheduled to participate in Reach2020 – until a global pandemic made that impossible. Thank you for praying for Tanya, and if you would like to give to her financially, you can do that through Ridgeview. Just make sure to clearly designate the gift.

(Note: This support is part of the approved 2020 budget. We are redirecting support that Ridgeview was giving to a missionary couple who returned permanently from the field in March.)