Forgiveness is man's deepest need and highest achievement.

-- Horace Bushnell, American theologian 1802 –1876

Dear Friends and Co-Workers in Missionary Ventures,

For several months we’ve been pondering how we could encourage you today, asking the Lord what He would say to us at this time. We pray this is a word in season.

As I begin this letter, I’m sitting by Lake Kariba in Zambia, Africa, resting a while after a day’s teaching to pastors in the bush. Not much is stirring at dusk besides nature transitioning from day to night noises. This moment calms and soothes my spirit. Yet many thoughts invade the tranquillity of the moment.  Thoughts of soon approaching days of long travel, trusting that enough support came in to cover the bills, wondering how much damage & cost await us at home from a plumbing problem, preparing for a third trip to the States this year and for ministry in India, concerns for MV personnel on the field and in the offices… You know!

Where is the rest for our souls?  I can handle the responsibilities, the long hours and the hard work when my soul is at rest.

In Africa and India, we teach the Word of God to thirsty pastors with little education, and mostly living in poverty. We are routinely challenged to review how we live and teach. What were the essentials of doctrine that Jesus taught his disciples in a similar scenario? He was so effective, teaching with such authority that people were amazed. His insight caused his disciples to ‘turn the world upside down” while the ‘learned’ religious leaders were left scratching their heads and discussing endlessly among themselves.

So what are the essentials? It can’t be too complicated because the uneducated can grasp and follow the teachings of Jesus. Certainly understanding and teaching about the Kingdom of God is important. Jesus began and ended his earthly ministry doing this and told us to do the same. Just as our respective nations have ethics, the Kingdom of God has the very highest standard of any earthly nation. One essential where we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness is on the subject of forgiveness. 

This brings us to the heart of our letter. Forgiveness. Some of you who cannot find rest for your souls. You are doing the ‘right’ things in your ministry but something is missing. Your soul is tormented and heavy. Could it be that you are holding unforgiveness towards someone?  We urge you to forgive those who have hurt or offended you in some way in the past or present, either in word or deed.

Forgiveness is man's deepest need and highest achievement.

We are citizens of a nation where righteousness, peace, and joy are its hallmarks. We must come up higher and live this way and not just know it in our heads. To forgive each other is an essential to achieve our best for His glory.

If you are struggling in a relationship with a colleague, please read on! Examine closely the parable Jesus taught in Matthew 18: 23-35. Forgiving one another from our hearts is not a suggestion by our Lord Jesus but a command. Plainly said, unforgiveness is a sin! If you cannot speak or work with a fellow missionary because of unforgiveness, you have a problem. Unforgiveness develops into a bitter root that will harm you worse than the offense. It will throw you into a spiritual prison. God doesn’t want to punish you; he wants to free you from this bondage. He provides everything for you, even the power to forgive. “Lord, forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” 

Our relationships with each other are treasures which we will take to heaven. Our projects and programs along with buildings and homes will remain here and fade away. Being right with God and right with each other are eternal in the Kingdom we serve. Evan Roberts, the renowned minister who led the Welsh revival, said, “God help us.  And He will!” Come up higher and forgive.

May you have courage and strength for everything this month and may you have rest for your souls.

Yours together in the Kingdom,

Luther and Sandy Meier

Vice President at Large

England

Col 3:12-13  Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.