The Mexico City Team
When you’re a team of 12, how do you even start to reach a city of more than 28 million people? That’s a question Todd Beel’s team in Mexico City asks itself a lot.
He and fellow IMB missionaries in the megacity hail from places ranging from Colombia to Cuba and from Korea to Tennessee. They represent a diverse collection of backgrounds and skillsets all working together. Some work with young families, others with theological training, and others with university students. And they have one vision—to see the world worship Jesus and for it to start right where they are.
This is a massive city, there are unreached people and places within it, and we want to take the gospel to those places.
“This is a massive city,” Todd said. “There are unreached people and places within it, and we want to take the gospel to those places.”
Todd’s team is seeing it start to happen already, and they’re seeing new believers catch a vision for reaching the nations. That’s exactly what they pray for. “Because this is a world-class city, it has connections around the world and people are coming and going every day, so this city has a reach worldwide,” Todd said.
- PRAY for churches to be planted in the unreached neighborhoods of Mexico City.
- PRAY for God to call out among His people in Mexico those that He would like to go into the most unreached pockets of the city, of the country, and out into the nations.
Devotion 2 on 1 John 2:12-14
Yesterday, we saw tier one of Christian maturity: little children. Today, we will spend our time considering the second tier: young men.
II. Young Men
John wrote in the latter part of verse 13, “I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.” Then, we read in the latter part of verse 14, “I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.” These young men are characterized by 3 things.
First, they are strong. It is a characteristic of young men, that they are physically strong. Spiritually, it is expected that as we grow out of childhood, that we would grow strong! Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” This word, “be strong” denotes inner, spiritual growth. The verb is in the passive voice, and literally means “be strengthened.” These young men are strong because they are strengthened. How are they strengthened? How are we strengthen? How are we made strong? That leads to the second characteristic of these young men.
Second, the word abides in them. We are strengthened by the word! If we are going to grow into young men and young women of God, we must be strengthened…and we are strengthened more and more as the word of God abides in us more and more. We must get the Word of God in us. We have to hear, listen, read, study, dig and do it consistently. It is important to note, that we don’t usually grow through big events (revivals, crusades, conferences, etc.), but in the mundane every day consistent exercise of the spiritual disciplines. We grow when day in and day out we go to the Scriptures with the help of the Spirit. We grow when we approach God’s word each day like this along with a willingness to submit to His will. May we learn to stay in the word until we hear from God in such a way that the word stays in us.
A third characteristic of young men is that they overcome the evil one. How does this happen? Young men have grown so that they understand how to war with the wicked one. Consider Paul’s words in Ephesians 6:10-17.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15 and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but with spiritual forces…but with Satan and His army of special forces. Let us not forget that they have much experience inspecting and dissecting hearts. They have a stunning ability to lead us down into the depths of sin by way of winding stairs that keep us from seeing the bottom of where we are going. We must stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Notice how many times we see the importance of standing firm in this one text.
a. Stand Firm v11
b. Resist v13a
c. Stand Firm v13b
d. Stand Firm v14a
Again Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” We must stand firm in the faith! How?
Put on the FULL armor of God. Don’t miss a piece! It is the whole armor of God. Satan is an archer that can split an arrow. You cannot leave even a small gap in your armor. Make sure it is the armor of God, and not your own idea of what is effective. Only standard issue armor will do. God tell us wha this armor consists of.
1. Belt of Truth
2. Breastplate of Righteousness
3. Shoes of the gospel of peace
4. Shield of faith
5. Helmet of salvation
6. Sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.
Please take note however that we must not confide in the armor of God, but in the God of the armor!
After all, this armor ultimately points us to God because it all points to Christ! As we think about the belt of truth, recognize that Jesus is truth. In John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. As we think about the breastplate of righteousness, let us recognize that Jesus is righteousness. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says, “you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousnessand sanctification and redemption.” As we think about the shoes of the gospel of peace, who is our peace? Ephesians 2:14 says, “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.” As we meditate on the shield of faith, let us not forget that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. Hebrews 12:2 says “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.” We have a helmet of salvation in Christ, because He alone is our rock and salvation. The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 62:2 “He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress.” Finally, as we consider the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, we know that Jesus Himself is the Word of God. John 1:1, 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. Put on the armor. Put on Christ! Romans 13:12-14 instructs us to do just that: Put on Christ! “The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” Romans 13:12-14
1. Are you strong? If not, why not? What is it that is keeping you from being strong in the Lord?
2. Is God’s Word abiding in you? If not, why not? What is keeping that from being a reality in your life?
3. Are you seeing victory over the evil one? If not, why not? What is keeping you from being victorious?
4. Are you dressed for battle? Have you put on Christ? THE GOSPEL