Monday, September 10, 2007

Resurrection of Jesus; and the Ministries of Mike Bagby and Samir Diab

Yesterday was a great day for me in terms of renewing my faith in God, and in Jesus Christ my Savior.

Hope Chapel had a guest speaker yesterday. He isn't really a "guest" because he's originally from our church and he and his family are still a part of Hope. But you see, Mike Bagby and his family lives in Nicaragua. They are missionaries there. They are here for a visit and he was asked by our pastor to teach on the subject of resurrection. Mike's teaching on Jesus' resurrection is the best I have heard so far (and it's not even Easter Sunday yesterday!). He mentioned that Jesus' resurrection is the HUB of our Christian faith, for if Jesus did not resurrect from the dead, then we are believing in a false Savior (in other words, we're doomed) But Jesus did rise from the dead! The explanation, the evidence and the testimonies Mike incorporated in his teaching renewed my belief in a Risen Lord.

Then at night, we attended a gathering to listen what God is doing in Brazil through our missionary Samir Diab. I wish all of you have been there with me. Even as I am typing this post right now, I can feel my spirit rejoicing as to how God is using Samir in Brazil. I'll try to share briefly and hopefully you'd understand why I am so blessed with this.

Samir came to the Lord in 1994, here on Maui, and yes, at Hope Chapel. He and his wife were in the same discipleship group I attended. We all learned about how it is to be a disciple of Jesus as we attended this 9 month course (in 1994) taught by our senior pastor Craig. A series of events led them to go back to Brazil, and while there God called Samir to preach the Gospel there full time. He is now a pastor of this growing vibrant church and it gives me goose bumps to hear stories after stories of how God is working in this church.

What is pretty interesting is that Samir's testimony tied up with what Mike was teaching that morning. In one of Mike's illustrations, he mentioned how Jesus literally have shown himself to many Muslims in order for them to believe. In Samir's sharing that night, he shared that he's one of those Muslims. Jesus literally talked to him and asked Samir to believe in him. Oh, once again I say, I wish all of you were with me to church yesterday...

The significance of this whole "resurrection" teaching and testimony is profound in my faith. There are various times when Satan would fire his fiery darts on my thoughts asking "how sure are you of this Jesus? Is he for real? how do you know?" Sometimes I am confident of my answer and would say in my mind "Get behind me Satan, in Jesus' name". But there are other times when I would start to ponder "Yeah...what if? .. what if this Jesus is not real? what if he's just a lunatic? a false prophet?". I had to stop and think. And that's when Jesus would put me in a day like this, when everything...I mean everything, confirms without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is real, He died on the cross to save me from hell, He resurrected from the dead, and he will come again to bring us all to heaven."

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