“Always start something, continue it, and finish it—this is what it means to grow.” A recent Spanish chapel hosted special speaker Pastor Alfredo Olivares. Originally from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Pastor Olivares now serves as the Spanish pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Madison, Wisconsin. He noted that “there is not an experience so beautiful” as working with the plentiful harvest and seeing people grow and change.
When Pastor Olivares first read I Corinthians 15:58 on his own, he was challenged to begin living out the verse, which has now become his favorite. He used the verse to encourage his audience in Spanish chapel by pointing out each key part: “steadfast,” “unmoveable,” “abounding,” and “not in vain.” “Many churches are leading their young people in bad music, inappropriate dress, and poor teaching,” Pastor Olivares explained as he taught that, opposite to this, Christians are to remain steadfast—“maintained”—in their convictions and unmoveable in their faith.
In addition to maintaining faith, Christians must also be “always abounding,” which Pastor Olivares noted meant always moving forward in their work for God. He likened this forward motion to the movement of the earth. The earth always moves around in its orbit, but never moves from its orbit. Likewise, Christians should always be moving and keeping themselves focused on serving God, but never moving from faith and doctrine.
The main idea repeated throughout the message was that God uses Christians who adhere to this verse, whether they feel called into fulltime ministry or not. The chapel audience of Spanish students may not all be called as missionaries to Spanish-speaking countries, but Pastor Olivares reminded them that God could use them even in the United States. When Christians choose to be unmoveable in their convictions and yet always moving in their work for Christ, God promises their work will not be in vain. “Something in vain is something that disappears,” Pastor Olivares pointed out. “It is possible we won’t see immediate results, but by faith and believing God, we understand the recompense of God is waiting in heaven.”
Students who attend Spanish chapel are given the opportunity to hear special speakers as well as sharpen their Spanish-interpretation skills. “Spanish chapel is a time that I get to work on what I’ve learned [and] a time to be challenged in God’s Word,” stated Hannah Griffith, a sophomore Communication Arts major. “It’s neat to be able to recognize that you can praise the Lord in another language.”
Spanish chapel meets every Thursday during the regular chapel hour in DC 102 and is open to anyone who has some knowledge of Spanish.
Article submitted by Grace Peters