Summer Update 2017

 

ON THE ROAD AGAIN


 Zach and Jess at Camp Harlow

Zach and Jess at Camp Harlow

THIS HAS BEEN A YEAR FULL OF TRANSITION.

Zach was asked to be a pastor at West Sound Church. This has been a wonderful opportunity for us to continue pining the Gospel in Kitsap County.

We continue in Contenders Discipleship program, and look toward future opportunities to serve Jesus.

News bites:

  • We have moved to Silverdale Washington. This has been a great decision, and we are enjoying the new home with smiles and new memories.

Prayer points:

•That those we go to would receive the Gospel with Belief.
•Our financial support team would grow. •The local network of pastors and christians to join us in our endeavor.

June engagements:

M.A.D.D.

Life Coaching 

 

July engagements:

FIVE MILE LAKE

CAMP MORROW

 

PREACHING THE TRUTH OF GOD ONE DAY AT A TIME

Prayer, Support, and a Holy tension.

This road we have been on for nearly three years now has had difficulties. Throughout our missionary journey we are continually reminded of the passage from Romans chapter ten “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”

We have had times of hardship, and times of great victory. At times our hands have been calloused as well as our knees from prayer. Our tattered hearts match our tattered bibles, but the road is not at an end.

The journey of raising support is never over. Even as I write these words I think of how Jess and I live with this Holy tension of living on faith that God will provide on one side and the other the very real responsibility to provide for ourselves. It is with a joyful heart motivated to preach the word to any who will hear that I ask you to join our team of committed supporters financially, in prayer, and in telling people about a couple in Silverdale Washington who desire to preach the good news of Jesus at no cost to those we are going to.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS, CONTINUED SUPPORT, AND FELLOWSHIP.

-ZACH AND JESS RICKS-

Inside This House

It is morning, and the light is peering through the window of the door giving light to the house. From my seat in a black pin legged chair against the wall I see the tree my wife and I brought in from outside. We decorated it with lights, bells, and some ornaments.

There is much that could be said about an evergreen tree. When I was younger I wondered why a tree would be brought inside the house, and why we put lights on it, why gifts would be placed beneath its branches.

I think now I know why…

During christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Who lived a perfect sinless life, performed miracles, brought the good news, gave gifts to mankind, and in perfect obedience, because of his love for his Father, allowed himself to be taken by his creation, subjected to being beaten, mocked, and crucified, having the wrath of God poured out on himself instead of us, the guilty.

Crucified upon a tree.

When I look at the tree in our home. I see many things.

I see, like the tree remains ever green, Jesus remains ever the same.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

-Heb. 13:8

We bring the tree inside our home and see it every day, I should bring Christ into myself more and more each day.

“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.”

-James 4:7-9 (Emphasis mine)

I see lights on the tree, and like the lights Jesus said he is “…the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

-John8:12b

Like Christ is the Light of the world we are called to “…do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life.”

-Phil. 2:14-16a (Emphasis mine)

And

“…You are the light of the world. A city that is set of a hill cannot be hidden…Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

-Matt. 5:14,16 (Emphasis mine)

The tree needs also to be kept in water. Jesus Christ said “…whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

-John 4:14

We place gifts under the tree. Jesus brings the greatest of all gifts. He brings you the ability to know God.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

-John 3:16-21

Though the tree will die, and be put out the house when the season is over, it is only a symbol for us. Remember what Christmas is. Do not just look around but observe what is around you. Ask WHY? Search for answers.

In a simple thing as seeing my Christmas tree I heard the word of God brought to my mind by the Holy Spirit. Text after text, word upon word. This is what it means to walk with God. This is what it means to hear His voice.

Jesus Loves you and He wants you to know the Father, and believe in Him. It is my prayer and desire that you would do just that. Jesus is real, he can be known, and he wants you to know him.

Merry Christmas.

Whom Do You Serve?

Just before the sounding of my alarm I awoke to the beautiful form of my wife who lay curled up beside me. Her face even in sleep telling me of our new nature of grace and beauty. The result of a life in obedience to Jesus. Kissing her I arose. But even before my feet could reach the floor a faithful friend came once again to the forefront of my waking mind. Often does he come. He is a question who remains ever consistent and true. Without fail four familiar words echo thunderously through my mind: Whom do you serve?”They brought me once again to the battlefield where Paul says in his letter to the church at Ephesus “…we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” [NKJV] Do not mistake me. I know that we have a war on two sides: that which is seen and that which is unseen.

Whom do you serve?

What then is the purpose of such a question? Is it to serve myself or to gain favor from God Almighty? May it never be. The nature of the question necessarily begs another question: “What are my options?” From my life experience and from the wisdom of many before me I currently rest upon this conclusion. That there is no option. You either recognize that there is One who is served or you rebel and do not serve Him. For the sake of this article I digress.

Whom do you serve?

This question is faithfully brought to me nearly each day. It began during my time at Ecola Bible School. Before class began the dean of men shared with the first year students, of which I was a member, an excerpt from the book of Ephesians. Specifically he took us to the sixth chapter. Where something old was made extraordinarily beautiful: the Armor of God.

How precious ought the armor of God be to a saint. It supersedes all earthly armament. With its core purpose to “…withstand in the evil day.” Faithful and true ring those words penned by Paul. This letter having been written while under Roman guard during his imprisonment in Rome. It is these soldiers where Paul drew his model of the Armor of God. At the time of it’s writing a majority of the known world was under Roman rule; in particular, the areas where the Gospel message was being proclaimed. This move by Paul was simple and brilliant for this reason: everybody would have known the attire of a Roman soldier. Each soldier would have: helmet, breastplate, waist skirt [made up of of leather strips], a type of greave [designed to protect the tibia], footgear, shield, and sword. In comparison Paul’s example is missing a component. The greaves. You would think that the Armor of God would be complete. This not the case when the two are set side by side. Paul says: “…put on the whole armor of God.”[NKJV] I believe that any soldier of common sense would see benefit in protecting his legs. I do not encourage looking beyond the words of Scripture but here we can draw a common sense type of conclusion: that Paul left it out on purpose. He says “…having shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace.” [NKJV] I would suppose that a soldier of Rome, when attired for war, would not “shod his feet in preparation for peace,” rather for war. When I prepare for a time of peace I think of it like this: warm sunshine, a chair, a cup of coffee, and taking off my shoes, and kicking back to read.

To my mind again comes the question:

“Whom do you serve?”

I serve Jesus Christ and Him crucified and risen. Paul wrote “… when He (the Father) raised Him (Jesus) from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head of over all thingsto the church…” [Eph. 1:20-22 NKJV]  We see that the victory is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Kings of old would ride out with their armies to war. Our King Jesus is not riding out, but seated. And seated at the right hand of the Father. A place of honor and favor. Seeing our Lord seated with victory in hand. We wage war notfor victory but from victory.

“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like flame of fire and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. And the armies of heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.” [Revelation 19:11-14 NKJV]

The fact that He will be riding a white horse, and those of us who are of the cross (the armies of heaven), is of great importance. After a war or battle when the king would return to the city from a field of victory he would ride a white horse. In Revelation, Christ, and the armies of heaven, are riding out to wage war ON white horses. Not wearing armor but robes of fine linen with Christ having the sword. Proclaiming victory before the final battle has begun. That is Jesus. It is He whom I serve.

“Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS

AND LORD OF LORDS.


With a sigh, which bespoke of my inability to do what I desired, I slipped my feet to the floor determined to give my all to serve my King.

Lord Jesus, help me to do just that. Help us all who proclaim you king do so from a position of penance.


 Written By: Jesus+Zach

Written By: Jesus+Zach