Dear friends of Mexico Ministries:
Greetings from Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, Mexico. I was here for 46 days straight, spent a couple of weeks at home, and have now returned to Tuxtepec. I hope you are as delighted and encouraged as I am when you see the pictures (on the back of this letter) of the progress being made here.
I was meditating recently about how many great people in the Bible were also great sinners who were forgiven by great grace. David, the greatest King of Israel ever, also committed some of the greatest sins ever. He broke at least half of the 10 Commandments, but God’s grace was sufficient to redeem him! Rahab was a prostitute who was redeemed and became an ancestor to David and to Jesus. The Apostle Paul was a persecutor of Christians who delighted in their deaths and called himself “the chief of sinners,” yet God saved him, transformed him, and used him mightily.
Why is it so easy to judge and condemn, and so hard to forgive like God forgives? This is something I need to work on continuously. In Romans 7.19 Paul wrote, “For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.” I tend to judge others by my standards, my culture, my customs. My culture comes from light years ago! New cultures are being formed daily. I may not be able to embrace them, but who has given me the authority to judge or condemn them? Maybe I should concentrate instead on the words of Christ clearly directed toward me: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged…How can you say to your brother, ‘let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a log in your own eye?” (Mt. 7.1,4) I don’t have a log in my eye. I have an entire forest in both eyes!
Let’s make a deal and pray for each other that we will not be so quick to judge and condemn, but practice grace and forgiveness and mercy. “Not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me, O Lord, Standin’ in the need of prayer.” The slave trader John Newton, who enslaved innocent people and murdered children had a powerful transformation when he came to Christ and penned these timeless words: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me…,” and a few verses later, “Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”
God bless you,