Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Target Audience of Pioneer Missions

God has commanded those who follow Him to proclaim His word to the world. As a result, Gentiles turn from their false worship and turn to obeying God. As believers seek to spread the good news around the globe, their target audience is those who have not yet heard that good news.

Those who have not heard are not another’s foundation.

Paul strove to preach the good news to people in places where the truth of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection had not yet been told.

Those who have not heard must see and understand.

One man who saw more than mountains. One man dedicated to His God. One man expending His life to bring the gospel to the lost. One man who knew how to pray. J. O. Fraser spent the majority of his life trekking up and down steep mountain passes working among a people often ignored by the outside world. The Lisu people. Their villages dotted the sides of the mountain ranges located in the southwestern corner of China. They themselves were bound by the dark cords of their heathen beliefs and their desperate worship of the demons that wreaked such fear and havoc in their lives. Such a people so steeped in Satan's darkness. Would the light of Christ ever break forth among them? Who would be the torchbearer? J. O. Fraser was God’s chosen man. Fully believing that it was his job “to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Corinthians 4:6), J. O. Fraser left behind his home in England and traveled to China to work among the Lisu people.

Paul’s statement in Romans 15 is both a paradigm for the work of pioneer missions as well as a challenge to follow his example. This challenge calls for dedication and determination. However, along with the seemingly daunting task comes also the reassurance of Christ’s own words that He has all authority and that He will be with us, “even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:18, 20).

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Scope of Pioneer Missions

When God’s word is faithfully proclaimed, it results in obedience of the Gentiles. Just how far does this mission extend? It extends to and involves the entire planet.

The world includes Jerusalem.

In the first century, Jerusalem was where Jesus was executed, where He rose again, and where His followers began proclaiming the truth of God’s word.
For us in the twenty-first century, we need to be faithful in first reaching our home communities.

The world includes Judea and Samaria.

The phrase “round about unto” expresses that Paul’s journeys did not take him on a direct route to Illyricum, but that rather he traveled around before reaching such a distance.

The world includes the remotest parts of the world.

God has created all humans on this planet. Thus, He seeks to save every tribe, every language, every race, every individual.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

30-Day Giving Challenge 2013

Since 2010, I have participated in the 30-Day Giving Challenge during the month of November. The premise is rather simple: each day of November be a blessing to those around you by giving each day. Since I have had a busy fall, I have realized that I really need to be intentional with my giving this year. So, this last week I sat down and planned out what I wanted to do.

I have put together a Pinterest board with some of my ideas. Check it out here if you'd like to see some of my plans.

As in the past, I will be blogging about my experience.

Also, I will be participating in the challenge by trying to make each of my "giving" acts anonymous. And thus, my posts might at times be a bit vague in order to keep things anonymous.

Come join me in the adventure!

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Result of Pioneer Missions

As individuals faithfully proclaim God’s word to those who have never heard it before, what happens? The result of pioneer missions is the obedience of the Gentiles.

Obedience comes by the messenger’s words and deeds.

Both the words of the messenger as well as the deeds – the actions – of the messenger must point the unbeliever to the gospel of Christ. Thus, the messenger becomes a living example of what it looks like to be a follower of Christ.

Obedience comes by the power of Spirit.

Ultimately, however, no messenger can make his hearers obey the word of God. That work can only be done by the Holy Spirit, as He works in the lives of the hearers. In addition, the messenger himself can only find the strength to carry out the proclaiming of God’s word through the power of the Holy Spirit.

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The Message of Pioneer Missions

Throughout the span of church history the sense of urgency to reach out with the gospel to those who have not yet heard has been impressed upon both the church collectively and believers individually. In Romans 15 the apostle Paul both eloquently pours out his burden to reach those who have not heard and summons us to follow his example.

The gospel of Christ must be the only message proclaimed.

Christ is the only way unbelievers can break out of their bondage. They have no hope and they live in utter darkness. How important for the light of the gospel of Christ to shine forth among them.

The gospel of Christ must be what the messenger boasts in.

Paul states in verse 16 that the reason God bestowed grace upon him was for him to take the gospel to the Gentiles. As a result, this is what Paul did with his life after his conversion. Because he followed through with the task God had given him, he was able to recount what God had done as a result of his obedience. In this Paul boasted and gloried.

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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Praise God, the Glorious Architect

God has created a universe that proclaims with a shout - and with a whisper - His glory. God has created a universe that provides us with our needs. In grateful praise, then, let us worship Him all the days of our lives.

Bless God all the days of your life.

The meditation, the thoughts, of the believer should be characterized by being pleasing to God.
“I’ll spice my thoughts with thee, and from thy word gather true comforts” (Henry Vaughan in The Poet’s Book of Psalms).
Because of God’s wondrous works, sing! Break forth in praise before Him. “Meditation is the soul of the religion. It is the tree of life in the midst of the garden or piety, and very refreshing is its fruit to the soul which feeds thereon. And as it is good towards man, so is it towards God” (C. H. Spurgeon).

All of creation joins in the song of praise to God declaring his power and beauty. Man, the pinnacle of God’s creation, should join in that song of praise. This he is enabled to do by the change wrought in him through salvation. Creation exists to point each and everyone of us back to God. As George MacDonald made the statement, “If the world is God’s, every true man and woman ought to feel at home in it. Something is wrong if the calm of the summer night does not sink into the heart, for it embodies the peace of God. Something is wrong in the man to whom the sunrise is not a divine glory, for therein are embodied the truth, the simplicity and the might of the Maker.”

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