Serbia: A November to Remember

A Continuing City

There is not much to report regarding activity or movement this past month apart from just simply continuing in what we have always been apt to do. Bible Study has continued as we have shifted from teaching topics and OT book study to doctrinal focuses to better equip and teach believers here with sound Biblical study and applications for life. The study has taken us through Romans which has been a great blessing to me as a refreshing reminder of the great salvation we have in Christ! Both Serbians and Vietnamese friends have benefitted greatly from our time in the word as a clear definition is being established on faith, salvation, sin, grace, and the work of Jesus Christ.

Photo by Alex Blokstra on

It has been a challenging time as day-to-day difficulties have persisted and increased in number for us and our friends here. Life here in Belgrade is a rat race (may not be so outside of Belgrade we have yet to know firsthand). There is so much promise and potential for those coming into the city but upon getting settled it proves to be an ever-taxing and constricting experience. It is a very transient place as students are coming in and out of universities, people from villages and cities outside Belgrade come here for work, and foreigners from all around come through with hopes of establishing a new life in Europe. With all this movement it truly is a competitive atmosphere as the supply for these hopes is not sufficient to help all who come. In this atmosphere, we have found a great strain on believers and unbelievers alike as much attention must be devoted to just making things work. It truly is a tough place just to live in. Why state this you may ask? Well considering what we are experiencing simply as foreigners in another land, we have learned something invaluable. An intent for life does not in any way substitute for a will for life.

“Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: 8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. 9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. 10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: 11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, 12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”

1 Thessalonians 2:6-12

Moving from Good Intent to God’s Will

It was not a matter of intent to partake in the call of God, there have been many that have great intentions but do not ever decide to actively take part. There comes the point in life where we must move from good intentions to a holy set apart will. God does try the intents and motives of our hearts but not to commend us or congratulate our good intents, it is rather to prove us in employing our own personal will. It is His work to lead us toward growth, and we can only grow when we partake with Christ in sanctification, first in salvation then in continued growth. It is through Him alone that we can hope to be used and utilized as true instruments of righteousness in this world.

“They encountered a love so willing to save them, they found the faith to receive it and do the same.”

Transformed to His Way

As a child, we all had childhood dreams of what we wanted to do when we grow up. Some shoot extremely high with their dreams while others maybe were more down to earth with a reasonable goal. Regardless of the dreams that we had and shared, what we all look to when there is a reunion or a gathering together again is, “how far were we willing to go?”. The passage above reveals a powerful truth for the Biblical Christian faith. The early apostles had neither selfish intents nor self-serving pursuits in their example of faith. Neither did they have such a narrow scope of ministry to just invest the gospel of God only into others. They were willing to display and live out the very example of Christ before our eyes, laying down their own lives unto death for another. Willing to invest their own souls into others in the name of true unadulterated divine love from Christ on High. They had such a powerful will to minister because they were first willing to leave intention. They left the intention to follow Christ for the will to follow Christ in faith. They decided to yield their lives unto God wholly instead of planning in the future or in measure over time. They encountered a love so willing to save them, they found the faith to receive it and do the same.

“The love of God must meet the will of man to be Transformational.”

Transformed To His WAy

The love of God must meet the will of man to be transformational. Jesus Christ was just that! Faith is becoming a matter of experience or passing efforts instead of being a matter of the heart and will. It is no wonder that love is waxing old and cold, or that institutions of religion are being deconstructed and redefined because Faith is no longer all-encompassing for life it is just an event, an experience, or continued efforts of attaining affirmation from others. The will of men is being made subject to the rudiments and teachings of this world instead of being subject to the living will of God, His Word, Christ’s finished work, and the pursuit of holiness made possible through Christ.

“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;” 

Heb 2:1-3

Now more than ever there is a great need for a great salvation of souls. Life is not going to be getting any more convenient or easier and faith is essential to get right. Please keep the Balkans in your prayers, there is an urgency for a Word of God revival, and for that to come about people must see they do have to choose in a big way whom they will serve with their life. Decisions are coming at greater costs and there are younger and younger people making lasting destructive decisions with long consequences. We must not neglect so great salvation in this time, pray for this precious place with this precious people so some may be saved.

Our Vision and Prayer according to The Great Commission:

“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore(Reach), and teach(Teach) all nations, baptizing(Immerse Them in Christ’s Truth) them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all(Challenge their capacity) things whatsoever I have commanded you:(Engage their faith in Biblical Responsibility) and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world (See Them faithfully kept by God’s Grace). Amen.” 

Matt 28:18-20

Please pray as we believe God to:

  • Reach: Evangelism to the Lost
  • Teach: Biblical Study and Training in the Word of God
  • Immerse others in Christ’s Truth: Fitting into the fellowship of the Church, discovering their Identity in Christ, and Observing the Ordinances
  • Challenge their capacity: Biblical Discipleship and Biblical Accountability
  • Engage their faith in Biblical Responsibility through His Ability: Opportunity and Leadership Development in the Church
  • See Them faithfully kept by His Grace: Faithful Feeding and Fruitfulness in their Lives

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