OPPORTUNITY: DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE

Five years ago I wrote a short childrens story, for years it layed dormant in a file on a flash drive.
flash drive.
About a year ago I put a note in the dashboard of my truck next to my speedometer, that read something like this: “Finalize Book: 1. Find a illustrator. 2. Create blog. 3. Promote Book.” I believe now more than ever in the power of keeping a “vision” before your eyes. The bible talks about this in Habakkuk 2: Then the Lord replied: “Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.”

More recently I was driving on one of the main streets in the small town that I work in and noticed a truck cap sitting in a empty parking lot with a sign taped on it that read: “FOR FREE”.

truck cap

I am somewhat of a scrappy guy and knew there was profit to be had. I quickly found a driveway to turn my vehicle around and then loaded the cap into the bed of my truck. After about five minutes of research I posted the newly found treasure to craigslist and within a few days sold it to a very happy buyer!

What to do, what to do with my new purse of cash. I waited and even asked God how I should use the money. I felt instructed to begin moving forward with the book. Long story (actually a rather short story) short, the money made from the cap was enough to pay an illustrator and even begin the printing process for the books. God has a way of working in our life that at first glance seems to be random and out of the blue. You want an example? A TRUCK CAP. What will make the difference is our ability to see and hear His very purposeful intentions for the presented opportunity.

I am not sure what will come of the book. I know what I hope to have happen… I also know that I am one more time going to, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it”.

I’d love to hear about the endeavors you are undertaking? Are there opportunities surrounding your life that you need to view just a little differently?

Want to check out the book? Visit: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WhyGodMadeArmpits

You can also “LIKE” on: http://www.facebook.com/WhyGodMadeArmpits

WHAT EXERCISE REMINDED ME ABOUT SPIRITUAL GROWTH

It is a great feeling after any amount of time has been spent in exercise.  There is a saying posted on the bulletin board at the gym I go to that reads: “No matter how slow you go, you’re still beating the guy sitting on the couch”. 

Image

Recently while exercising it hit me how comparable physical fitness and spiritual growth were.  Three things came to my mind as I thought about it:

1.  There will always be an EXCUSE.

If you are anything like me than you can relate to the amount of times I have made excuses or come up with other things to do (and I mean ANYTHING) rather than exercise.  We have a way of making things that are not important seem as if they really are if it will help us get out of what we do not feel like doing.  Or, in other words, are to LAZY to do.

It applies to spiritual disciplines as well.  How often do we choose other things rather than spending time in prayer or reading the Bible.  Even now as I’m writing I closed my mandatory reading on theology to start writing this blog.  Did I perhaps choose to write this blog to get me out of reading… maybe… ; )

2.  Accountability is NECESSARY.

There are certain days of the week that I know I will run into friends at the gym, they’re always there and it is encouraging to me.  We thrive off of each other.  We want to see each other reach our goals.  We can take advice and learn from one another. 

In our spiritual walk few things are as important as accountability and Christian friendship.  It is difficult to go against the current when you are the only one but if there is a team surrounding you the destination is much more attainable.  Accountability keeps us on course and true to our word, and His.  Nothing will catapult a person quicker and farther than when they allow their self to be surrounded with people who care about them and are like-minded.

3.  The more consistent you are the STRONGER you become.

Significant strides can be hard to notice unless viewed weeks or even months at a time when it comes to changing ones physique through physical fitness.  However, over time one will notice that they can run farther, run faster, and even handle more weight.  They have become stronger.  This comes through consistency and dedication but the results are well worth it.

These kinds of strides are possible spiritually as well.  No one should want to be the same person they were ten years ago or to be the same ten years from now.  This type of change is referred to in the church as “santification” but all that means is  we are progressively being made into the image of God in character and love.  This can be a painful process of self-sacrifice and self-examination but the fruit of our life will be much sweeter. 

Let me know of any similarities you see and how you plan to become stronger this year.

 

God bless.

 

THE LANGUAGE OF GOD

A few years ago I was a maintenance man at a hotel. The housekeepers would complete work orders and then I was responsible to fix what was listed on the work order. The only problem was ALL of the housekeepers only spoke Spanish, which also meant the work orders were in Spanish, I only spoke and read English. Needless to say, there were a few communication breakdowns. But, over time as we worked together the job was able to get done because we both desired to understand each other.

Communication is a transfer of information. Two parties are responsible for effective communication to take place: 1) the person sharing information must do so in a way that is understandable and 2) the person on the receiving end must desire to comprehend what is being shared.

God’s desire to communicate with us, and He does. God is an effective communicator. BUT, do we desire to understand what He is saying?

Regardless of what language you communicate in, God is speaking one language to mankind; GOD.

When God speaks, in all the varying ways that He does He is communicating one thing: He is God and we need Him.

When God speaks to us He is communication spiritual truth through human words (languages) and understanding. He has done this all throughout history:

A. God Spoke Through Prophets

Consider Daniel’s influence while serving under King Belshazzar. Once, while the king was throwing a wild party God used a hand to write a message to the king on a wall in his palace. No one in the king’s house could read or interpret the writing until they called for Daniel to do so.

Daniel 5:5-6
5Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. 6His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his knees knocked together and his legs gave way.

Daniel 5:25-28
25 “This is the inscription that was written: mene, mene, tekel, parsin
26 “This is what these words mean:
Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.
27 Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
28 Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

Think about this, why was Daniel able to read the writing and interpret its meaning? Was it because he was fluent in the unknown language that was written on the wall or because He DESIRED to understand God?

The king and his men had no desire to know or understand God and therefore could not interpret what God was communicating to them.

Not only did God speak through prophets but He also spoke through His Son, Jesus:

Hebrews 1:1-2
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

B. God Spoke Through Jesus

Jesus only shared what the Father revealed to Him:

John 12:49
49For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.

But how did the people respond?

Matthew 12:38
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”

This is an amazing statement! If you have ever read the chapters prior to this verse then you know that they are filled with signs, wonders, and miraculous events.

Up to this point the following events have taken place:
*John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus.
*At Jesus’ baptism God confirmed His authority by descending like a dove upon Him and even spoke favorably from heaven about Him.
*Disease and sicknesses were healed.
*The demon-possessed were set free.
*He preached the Sermon on the Mount (the most radical, and applicable sermon ever preached).
*A dead girl was raised to life.
*The blind and mute were healed.

The Pharisees demanding a sign at this point would be like a reporter who has followed the career of a superstar athlete in the NFL. For years the reporter has recorded all of the plays and accomplishments, conducted interviews, and has even seen his trophies. Imagine the reporter asking the player after the final game of his career for proof of why he should be considered for the Hall of Fame. It would be ridiculous! The reporter has witnessed the events and has all the proof he needs as to why the player deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Are we any different with God?

Do we demand proof from Him that He’s speaking to us, despite all that we have witnessed, read, and heard from Him?

God is speaking to us in a way that we can understand and will use any means necessary to communicate to us. But if we do not believe our understanding will be hindered.

1 Corinthians 2:14
14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Your understanding of God and His ways may only be at a very surface level. All you may know is that He wants you to follow Him. Until you do your understanding of Him and the plan He has for you will be limited.

What questions do you have? Do you carry insecurities, doubts, or fears? God is ok with you approaching Him with these things.

God is ok with your questions but He is concerned with how you respond to His answers.

Ultimately, no matter how much we know or how strong we think we are both are no match for what God has to offer.

1 Corinthians 1:25
25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

Taken from sermon:

CONNECTING MELCHIZEDEK WITH JESUS

Recently I was asked about connecting the priesthood of Jesus with “the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 7:11). After reading through a few commentaries I found a collection of descriptions pertaining to Melchizedek. I believe the most important things to note concerning the connection of Jesus’ priesthood and Melchizedek’s are:

1. Both are priests and servants of God (Jesus is the Great High Priest, Hebrews 4:14)
2. Melchizedek gave bread and wine (Jesus gave His body and blood, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
3. Melchizedek bless Abram (Jesus blesses His children, John 17:20-26)
4. Abram payed tithes to Melchizedek (we pay our tithes unto God, Malachi 3:8-10)
5. Melchizedek priestly order was not Levitical (nor was Jesus’ He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, Revelations 5:5)
6. Melchizedek was the king of Salem, Salem in Hebrew means peace (Jesus is the Prince of Peace, Isaiah 9:6)
7. Melchizedek’s priesthood is forever (Jesus’ priesthood and rule is forever, Hebrews 7:24-27)

Some scholars believe Melchizedek to be a Christophany (an appearance of Jesus in the Old Testament). However, this is not really important nor is it exactly clear. It is more important to see the similarities between the two and how Melchizedek is a foreshadowing of the present rule of Jesus Christ.

    Chuck Smith’s Commentary:

“The king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is in the king’s dale. And Melchizedek the king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of El Elyown, or the God, the most high (Gen 14:17-18).
Or the most high God.

And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of the heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And Abraham gave him tithes of all (Gen 14:19-20).
So briefly we are introduced to this interesting mystical person Melchizedek of whom the scriptures speak very little. It tells us nothing of Melchizedek’s parentage, nothing of his mother and father, tells us nothing of his genealogy. All that it tells us is that he was a servant or a priest actually of the most high God. He came up to Abraham with what? Bread and wine which are the symbols of communion. And he gave these unto Abram and then he blessed Abram.

Now the lesser is always blessed by the greater. Therefore, in blessing Abram it puts him a level above Abram. And Abram giving tithes of all that he had to him, again it was signifying of the lesser paying the tithes to the greater, to the servant or the priest of the most high God. So Abram received the blessing, recognized the man as the priest of the most high God, gave tithes of all of the spoils that he had taken unto him. Nothing more is said of Melchizedek until we get to the 110th Psalm. And suddenly out of nothing that seems to relate to the rest of the 110th Psalm, we read the words, “I have sworn, and will not repent, I have made thee a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:4).

Now Abraham’s son Isaac had a son Jacob who had twelve sons, one of Jacob’s sons was Levi, and when the law was established, Levi was the tribe that was to become the priestly tribe. And so they were called the order of Levi or the Levitical order of priesthood, order referring to the family. Now here is an order of priesthood that precedes the Levitical order and is superior to the Levitical order in that Levi, in essence, when Abram paid tithes; great, great grandfather of Levi, Levi in essence was paying tithes unto Melchizedek.

So it puts the order of priesthood of Melchizedek in a superior order to the Levitical order. And God has sworn and will not repent; I have made thee a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek. That Psalm had to remain a mystery as did Melchizedek himself until we come to the book of Hebrews when the mystery begins to unravel.

For the author of the book of Hebrews when he begins to point out the fact that Jesus, though He is from the tribe of Judah of which the scriptures have nothing to say concerning the priesthood, but even though He is of the tribe of Judah, He is of the order of priesthood of Melchizedek, the superior order of priesthood. Thus, He can be the great high priest of those who will come unto God through Him.

Now Melchizedek was called the king of righteousness as well as the king of peace. King of peace is Salem, which is the early name for Jerusalem. So he was one of the first kings of Jerusalem. But he was also called the king of righteousness. Now it is interesting when he refers to Christ who is of the order of Melchizedek and he talks about Christ making intercession for us as our great high priest. “Wherefore we have a great high priest, even Jesus Christ the righteous” (I John 2:1). Again the repetition of that word the righteous, king of righteousness. We have a great high priest, Jesus Christ the righteous One literally, who has entered into heaven for us.

Now you see how the word of God is so beautifully tied together. Here is just a little snatch in Genesis. By itself we don’t understand it very much. If that was all that was said, Melchizedek would be just lost in history as a mystical character. We know very little about him.

And then when David comes along in Psalm 110 and said, “I sworn and will not repent, I made thee a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek”, you think, What in the world is David talking about? Psalm doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense until it’s all put together in Hebrews and we realize that Jesus is our great high priest. He’s not of the tribe of Levi, true, for He had to be the lion of the tribe of Judah to fulfill the prophecy of the Messiah. But He is also the priest, but not after the Levitical order, after the order of Melchizedek who has neither mother nor father or genealogy.

Now there are many Bible scholars who believe that Melchizedek was none other than Jesus Christ Himself. Very possible. Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Abraham rejoiced to see my day and saw it. They said, What do you mean Abraham saw you? You’re not fifty years old” (John 8:56,57). So Jesus could have been referring to this particular incident.”
http://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/comm_view.cfm?AuthorID=1&contentID=4727&commInfo=25&topic=Genesis

    Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

“This paragraph begins with the mention of the respect which the king of Sodom paid to Abram at his return from the slaughter of the kings; but, before a particular account is given of this, the story of Melchizedek is briefly related, concerning whom observe,
I. Who he was. He was king of Salem and priest of the most high God; and other glorious things are said of him, Heb. 7:1, etc. 1. The rabbin, and most of our rabbinical writers, conclude that Melchizedek was Shem the son of Noah, who was king and priest to those that descended from him, according to the patriarchal model. But this is not at all probable; for why should his name be changed? And how came he to settle in Canaan? 2. Many Christian writers have thought that this was an appearance of the Son of God himself, our Lord Jesus, known to Abram, at this time, by this name, as afterwards, Hagar called him by another name, ch. 16:13. He appeared to him as a righteous king, owning a righteous cause, and giving peace. It is difficult to imagine that any mere man should be said to be without father, without mother, and without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, Heb. 7:3. It is witnessed of Melchizedek that he liveth, and that he abideth a priest continually (v. 3, 8); nay (v. 13, 14), the apostle makes him of whom these things are spoken to be our Lord who sprang out of Judah. It is likewise difficult to think that any mere man should, at this time, be greater than Abram in the things of God, that Christ should be a priest after the order of any mere man, and that any human priesthood should so far excel that of Aaron as it is certain that Melchizedek’s did. 3. The most commonly received opinion is that Melchizedek was a Canaanitish prince, that reigned in Salem, and kept up the true religion there; but, if so, why his name should occur here only in all the story of Abram, and why Abram should have altars of his own and not attend the altars of his neighbour Melchizedek who was greater than he, seem unaccountable. Mr. Gregory of Oxford tells us that the Arabic Catena, which he builds much upon the authority of, gives this account of Melchizedek, That he was the son of Heraclim, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, and that his mother’s name was Salathiel, the daughter of Gomer, the son of Japheth, the son of Noah.

II. What he did. 1. He brought forth bread and wine, for the refreshment of Abram and his soldiers, and in congratulation of their victory. This he did as a king, teaching us to do good and to communicate, and to be given to hospitality, according to our ability; and representing the spiritual provisions of strength and comfort which Christ has laid up for us in the covenant of grace for our refreshment, when we are wearied with our spiritual conflicts. 2. As priest of the most high God, he blessed Abram, which we may suppose a greater refreshment to Abram than his bread and wine were. Thus God, having raised up his Son Jesus, has sent him to bless us, as one having authority; and those whom he blesses are blessed indeed. Christ went to heaven when he was blessing his disciples (Lu. 24:51); for this is what he ever lives to do.

III. What he said, v. 19, 20. Two things were said by him:-1. He blessed Abram from God: Blessed be Abram, blessed of the most high God, v. 19. Observe the titles he here gives to God, which are very glorious. (1.) The most high God, which bespeaks his absolute perfections in himself and his sovereign dominion over all the creatures; he is King of kings. Note, It will greatly help both our faith and our reverence in prayer to eye God as the most high God, and to call him so. (2.) Possessor of heaven and earth, that is, rightful owner, and sovereign Lord, of all the creatures, because he made them. This bespeaks him a great God, and greatly to be praised (Ps. 24:1), and those a happy people who have an interest in his favour and love. 2. He blessed God for Abram (v. 20): and blessed be the most high God. Note, (1.) In all our prayers, we must praise God, and join hallelujahs with all our hosannahs. These are the spiritual sacrifices we must offer up daily, and upon particular occasions. (2.) God, as the most high God, must have the glory of all our victories, Ex. 17:15; 1 Sa. 7:10, 12; Jdg. 5:1, 2; 2 Chr. 20:21. In them he shows himself higher than our enemies (Ex. 18:11), and higher than we; for without him we could do nothing. (3.) We ought to give thanks for others’ mercies as for our own, triumphing with those that triumph. (4.) Jesus Christ, our great high priest, is the Mediator both of our prayers and praises, and not only offers up ours, but his own for us. See Lu. 10:21.

IV. What was done to him: Abram gave him tithes of all, that is, of the spoils, Heb. 7:4. This may be looked upon, 1. As a gratuity presented to Melchizedek, by way of return for his tokens of respect. Note, Those that receive kindness should show kindness. Gratitude is one of nature’s laws. 2. As an offering vowed and dedicated to the most high God, and therefore put into the hands of Melchizedek his priest. Note, (1.) When we have received some signal mercy from God, it is very fit that we should express our thankfulness by some special act of pious charity. God must always have his dues out of our substance, especially when, by any particular providence, he has either preserved or increased it to us. (2.) That the tenth of our increase is a very fit proportion to be set apart for the honour of God and the service of his sanctuary. (3.) That Jesus Christ, our great Melchizedek, is to have homage done him, and to be humbly acknowledged by every one of us as our king and priest; and not only the tithe of all, but all we have, must be surrendered and given up to him.”
http://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/comm_view.cfm?AuthorID=4&contentID=641&commInfo=5&topic=Genesis

PASTORAL RESPONSIBILITIES

In the Pastoral Letters (1 & 2 Timothy and Titus), Paul writes to younger pastors, Timothy and Titus, instruction concerning their primary duties and responsibilities.  Paul addresses both men as a “son in the faith,” indicating the mentorship that would make such letters welcome.  Also, the numerical and spiritual age of Timothy[1] and Titus[2] would make the letters necessary being that Paul was both older and more mature in the faith.

In writing, I will detail five main responsibilities that the pastor should be concerned with in order to fulfill the purpose of such a calling[3], while also adhering to biblical instruction pertaining to the pastoral ministry.  The five key responsibilities that I see in the pastoral letters are: 1) Prayer for Everyone, 2) Proper Teaching and Instruction, 3) A Godly Personal Life, 4) Appointing and Equipping Leaders, and 5) Enduring in the Faith.

Prayer for Everyone

In the first letter to Timothy, The Apostle Paul does not wait long to stress the importance of prayer.  In doing so, Paul makes a sweeping generalization to pray for all people, including those in authority[4].  Paul’s reason for emphasizing prayer is that it is “…good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”[5] For the pastor, it is vital to be reminded that their work is ultimately to reveal Jesus Christ.  Examining this instruction also reveals a direct link between prayer and fruitful work.  God’s goal is in accordance with this prayer which makes it one that can be prayed with confidence because, “…if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked of Him.”[6]

Philip Towner writes, “Two obvious conclusions may be drawn from this instruction.  First, all believers have a necessary part to play in the church’s worldwide mission.  Second, each local gathering of believers is to participate directly and corporately in this work when coming together for worship.  Since Paul mentions this as being a matter of first importance, we ought to give careful thought to the place we give this task within our worship service and other church activities.”[7]

It would be natural for Paul to begin with this instruction because of his own hardships and victories alike both being covered in prayer.  We read in the Bible that Paul was in the midst of varying circumstances yet was sustained by Gods strength[8].  Paul receiving this strength throughout his life can be attributed to prayer: “I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power…”[9]  If Paul prayed such prayers for others one can safely assume that he prayed that way for himself.

Proper Teaching and Instruction

In writing to Timothy and Titus, Paul warns them of the dangers of false teaching and that any such teaching must be stopped immediately[10].  In order to fulfill such a command the pastor must be studied and well versed, able to clearly distinguish between truth and error.  “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”[11]  For Timothy, his first task in Ephesus was to command false teachers to stop teaching and studying worthless matters that were only useful for starting arguments[12].  Ephesus and Crete were both cultural “hotspots” which would make it necessary for both pastors  to recognize falsehood and be able to correct it with the Apostles teaching.  In Manners and Customs in the Bible Victor Matthews wrote, “Wherever the Greek, Roman, or Jewish merchant went, he took with him his goods as well as his culture.  Thus, in every commercial center (Antioch, Corinth, Ephesus), ethnic communities were established.”[13]  The people of Crete were known for being dishonest.  The Apostle Paul quotes one of the Cretans own who said that they were “always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”[14]  “In Titus 1:12 he quotes Epimenides a Cretan poet. Crete was without wild beasts; the poet’s sarcasm was that beastly men supplied their place: “the Cretians are always (not merely at times, as all natural men are) liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.” “To Cretanize” was proverbial for to lie, as “to Corinthianize” for to be dissolute.”[15]

The young pastors were also instructed to soundly teach concerning the conduct of both male and female on a ministerial and personal level[16].  The Apostle Paul sees fit to give clear direction concerning the care of widows within the church and their family’s responsibility to the widow[17].  Such advice would be greatly appreciated concerning touchy issues like this which could have been difficult to navigate through without counsel for the young pastor.  Paul also addresses other issues such as money[18], authority[19], and correcting others[20].

A Godly Personal Life

A pastor’s life must be a life that is safe to examine at all times.  Who they are in the face of fellow Christians should also be who they are in private.  I have heard it said that “Integrity is doing what you say you will do.”  I have also heard, “Who you are when you’re all alone is who you really are.”  Both statements apply to the personal life of a pastor.  Paul wrote to Timothy, “…set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity… Watch your life and doctrine closely.  Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”[21]  These instructions make it clear that there can be no compromise in the life of a pastor/leader.   The pastor should do all that he can to maintain balance, be blameless, and to avoid “every kind of evil.”[22]  This is important for three main reasons: 1) So the pastor does not disqualify himself from receiving the reward.[23]  2) So that the pastor does not cause another to stumble.[24] 3) The “world” watches their life closely.[25]

Appointing and Equipping Leaders

Titus first instruction from Paul is to “appoint elders in every town.”[26]  Timothy was also told to “entrust to reliable men”[27] the teachings of Paul that had been passed on to him.  It is necessary to appoint and equip other leaders within the church so that each member can effectively minister and so that the Body of Christ may be edified.[28]  As an individual member in the Body of Christ each person has a unique role to fulfill and gifting’s to be used; without which, the body suffers.[29]  These leaders must be tested and worthy of such placement.[30]  This mode of operation was modeled in Jesus’ relationship with His disciples[31] and in the early church in Jerusalem.  The net result is that the “Word of God spread” and the “number of disciples increased rapidly.”[32]  This type of impact would be an obvious goal of any pastor.  Paul knew how to effectively spread the gospel quickly and the importance of having godly support and encouragement.  Both would be possible by establishing godly leaders within the church and the community.

Enduring in the Faith

Paul closes his first letter to Timothy by encouraging him run to from godlessness and to “…pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.  Fight the good fight of faith.”[33]  Paul begins his second letter to Timothy by encouraging him to “join with me in suffering for the gospel…”[34]  According to scripture, ones “calling” does not exempt them from suffering but may even induce such trials.  Paul is acquainted with difficulty[35] and for that reason can relate to the possibility that Timothy may have been discouraged or tempted to quit.  John Piper, pastor and theologian writes, There are a good many reasons in the Scriptures to believe that the Great Commission will not be completed without suffering. One of these reasons is that when Jesus said that the gospel will be preached throughout the world as a testimony to all the nations, he also said in the same context, ‘You will be hated by all the nations’ (Matthew 24:9, 14). In other words, wherever you go among the nations, your efforts to bring good news of everlasting life will be met with joy in some and anger in others.”[36]  Later, in the second letter, Paul gives reason for such suffering, For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”[37]

CONCLUSION

The Apostle Paul’s letters to both Timothy and Titus read much like it would if a father were instructing his son.  The epistles contain wisdom, foresight, sternness, and defined goals, all of which are shared with an obvious affection and love.  Timothy and Titus were left with weighty tasks of further establishing work that had already been started within the cities and Paul obviously trusted their ability to complete this task.  Following Paul’s instruction would be vital for their success in pastoral ministry and would also help to provide sustainability and longevity in their overall life and work.  Adherence to the five responsibilities listed help to provide a solid biblical foundation for fulfilling God’s purpose for calling pastors.

For further study on Pastoral Leadership I encourage you to visit: http://www.dailychristianhelp.com/key-elements-pastoral-leadership/ & http://www.dailychristianhelp.com/pastoral-leadership-development/


[1] Acts 16:1-3(The fact that Paul mentions Timothy’s parents when referring to him may indicate his younger age.  If he was older and more established it would not be necessary to make mention of his parents.), 1 Timothy 4:12

[2] The Zondervan NIV Study Bible points out an interesting observation concerning Titus 1:4: “In all of Paul’s other salutations Jesus is called “Lord”.  Paul uses “Savior” 12 times in all his letters, half of the references being in Titus.”  This is worth taking note of because Titus could have been a convert through Paul’s ministry which would make him a “young” disciple of his.

[3] Ephesians 4:11-12

[4] 1 Timothy 2:1-2

[5] 1 Timothy 2:3-4, NIV Bible

[6] 1 John 5:14-15, NIV Bible

[7] 1-2 Timothy & Titus Commentary, Philip Towner, pg. 63-64

[8] Philippians 4:11-13

[9] Ephesians 3:16-18, NIV Bible

[10] 1 Timothy 1:3-7, 2 Timothy 1:16-17,  Titus 1:10-11

[11] 2 Timothy 2:15, NIV Bible

[12] 1 Timothy 1:3-5

[13] Manners and Customs in the Bible, Victor H. Matthews, pg. 213

[14] Titus 1:12

[16] 1 Timothy 2:8-15, 1 Timothy 3:11, Titus 2:2-6

[17] 1 Timothy 5:3-16

[18] 1 Timothy 6:6-10

[19] 1 Timothy 2:1-3, 1 Timothy 6:1-2, Titus 2:9-10, Titus 3:1-2

[20] 1 Timothy 1:18-20, 1 Timothy 5:1-2, 2 Timothy 2:24-26, Titus 3:10

[21] 1 Timothy 4:12 & 16, NIV Bible

[22] 1 Thessalonians 5:22

[23] 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

[24] 1 Corinthians 10:31-33

[25] 1 Peter 2:12

[26] Titus 1:5, NIV Bible

[27] 2 Timothy 2:2, NIV Bible

[28] Ephesians 4:11-13

[29] 1 Corinthians 12

[30] 1 Timothy 3:10, Titus 1:6-9

[31] Matthew 10:5-14

[32] Acts 6:1-7, NIV Bible

[33] 1 Timothy 6:11-12

[34] 2 Timothy 1:8

[35] 2 Corinthians 11:23-30

[37] 2 Timothy 4:6-8, NIV Bible

YOU ARE A INTENTION

While reading Acts 9 it is interesting to note that God was clearly speaking to both Paul and Ananias and how intentional He was in doing so.

Acts 9:3-15  3As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”  5And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”  Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.  It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”  6So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”  Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”  7And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. 8Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.  10Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.”  And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”  11So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.”  13Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”  15But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.  16For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

In realizing that God spoke to a man who believed in Him (Ananias) and one who didn’t (Saul) one should ask the question, “Does God speak to me?”  According to the bible, He does.

quotations

GOD SPEAKS TO EVERYONE.  There is, however, a difference between hearing and listening.  Surely you have been in conversation with someone who no doubt can hear you but is clearly not listening.  Depending on how focused the person may be on something else determines their ability to accurately understand what you are communicating.

Listening for provides a better opportunity to understand rather than simply hearing a faint voice, noise, or static.

1.      Have confidence that God speaks to you.

  • Creation Speaks To Us On Behalf of God (Psalm 19:1-4)
  • God’s Teachers and Preachers Speak On Behalf of God. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
  • God’s Word Speaks To Us (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • The Holy Spirit speaks To Us

John 16:7-8  7Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

If you have ever wondered if you are sinful, the Holy Spirit will prove to you that you are (I am too).

The conviction of the Holy Spirit is a work of love in that He does not push you away from God but points you to Him.  While the Holy Spirit does seek to prove our sinfulness He does so because provisions have been made.  And really, if you and I are honest we are already aware that we are capable of doing and thinking things that are not right.

God’s goal is more than proving sinfulness.  He has made provisions because we are.

The New Testament of the bible is a freeing read because salvation is not based upon abilities but upon receiving.

2.      God wants to use you to confirm what someone else has been hearing.

Acts 9:17-19  17And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.

19So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.

The location of Damascus is interesting for at least two reasons: 1) Saul could have had very logical reasons for going there to stop the potentially rapid spread of Christianity because of the trade and commerce that took place.  2)  Ananias could have been dispersed to Damascus because of the persecution that was taking place in Jerusalem.

With that in mind, one should never forget that there place in time, both physically and geographically has the potential for GREAT purpose.

Put yourself in Ananias’s shoes:  Damascus could have been a city that He had always lived in.  Like, for many of us, Damascus could have become the “same old” town to him.  Or, he could have been forced there due to circumstance and for that reason he may have longed for what was familiar.  Either way, he was there for a significant purpose.

Like Ananias, you are where you are for a reason.

As purposeful as Saul was in going to Damascus, Ananias was just being faithful living life.

Where is your Damascus?

Your city?  Your family?  Your job?  Your church?

Concerning your place of familiarity or unfamiliarity will you be content in waiting for Gods plan to be revealed?

Saul could be coming to your Damascus?  Will you be there?

Taken from sermon:

WHEN GOD SEEMS ABSENT

Have you ever asked the question, “Where is God?”  I would guess that most often the question is not asked concerning where God specifically lives (What’s His address) but where is His help, voice, provision, guidance, protection, etc.

The Bible very clearly tells us where God is no matter where we might be.  God is closer than what we normally believe. He’s really, really close.

Psalms 14:4-5  There they are in great fear, for God is with the generation of the righteous.

Psalms 46:1  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Hebrews 13:5  Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

God clearly tells those who trust Him exactly where He is. He is with them.

Concerning God’s presence and accessibility, the following are some thoughts and questions that challenged me. See what they do for you.

I have found it to be true that when I begin to focus on the fact that God is with me, I begin to become more aware of His presence, His voice, love, acceptance, provision, etc.? When I purpose to push aside the noise of this life it creates awareness in my heart of just how close God is to me.  The problem is I am enticed to live in the noise more often than not. Noise creates confusion, distortion, and distraction.

For example, if I am watching TV and the volume is louder than my wife’s voice I have a hard time hearing her. The volume level (the noise) disables me from hearing her correctly and I begin to ask myself, “What did she say?” or I mishear her and respond in a foolish way.

Our relationship with God is no different.  In our little finite minds we begin to ask, “Where are you God in all of this?”  The pressures, demands, lies, our selfishness, and worries all seem to be closer than God, and in a self-absorbed way they can be.

However, we must remember, He is with us.

Have you ever in a time of worship or turmoil said something like, “God, I invite you here” or, “I want more of Your Presence”?  I have.   I don’t know if phrases like that are necessary even though the intent and reason behind those statements may reflect a sincere heart that loves God.  The point is He is already with us! It may be more appropriate to say things that correspond with His current condition, such as, “Thank you for being with me” and “I want to honor your Presence”.

When I begin to focus my time, energy, and attention all towards Him I become more and more aware that He there with me.

And so, is this a legitimate question to ask, “In the moments that we feel, think, know, or believe that God’s presence (in any way) is stronger or more tangible is it because He has opened a door or is “pouring out”?  Or, does God’s presence become reality in our life because we are actually honoring and focusing all of our attention on Him and who He is.  After all, remember He did say, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you”?

God has already given everything for us. We have access to Him because of Jesus, and He is the same yesterday, today and forever[1]. God has laid it all out on the table for us to have. So… in a time of an increasing awareness of Him being with me is it because He has “pockets” of His presence that He decides to unleash or, is because I have decided to honor the fact that He is with me and that He has done so much for me, thus enabling realization and revelation of who He is and where He is.

If it is true that all of His presence is there for the taking (honoring)[2], if He has withheld none of the privileges of being a son or daughter of the Most High[3], and if we have total access to Him because we are in Jesus Christ[4], then it is exciting to know a God who is very near and always with us!

God has made an offer to us through Christ. Everything that needed to be done has been completed; there is nothing more for Him to do. He has thrown a life-changing offer on the table for us to accept or deny.

God is not waiting to “pour out”, He already has. He is waiting for us to experience what has been there all along.

And so concluding, rather than asking where God is, it seems the better question to answer is “Where am I”?  Am I living in the noise or in the quietness of His presence?

You may not know Jesus.  If not, repent and honor the Son of God as the Lord of your life.  Read the Bible.  Find a church that teaches the bible and functions as the Body of Christ.

Have questions?  feel free to send a message or to leave a comment.

God bless.


[1] Hebrews 13:8

[2] Psalm 84:11

[3] Psalm 103:1-6

[4] Ephesians 2:18

WHEN GOD’S CALLING IS QUESTIONED

God calls each person, 1) To know Him and 2) to make Him known.  God has also gifted all people in specific ways that are supportive of how He would use us to make Him known.  These specifics could be referred to as “calling”.  The matter of “calling” is typically a pressing issue for all believers and non-believers at some point in one’s life.  For more content concerning our ultimate calling read https://doylevan.wordpress.com/2012/10/24/the-specifics-of-gods-will-for-my-life/.

There are times, however, that despite an understanding of your purpose and calling these matters become questionable and even doubtable.  How does one respond in a time like this?  What keeps a person driven, intentional, and unmoved from their God-given calling?  God once pressed a question upon my heart that also revealed a key to moving forward despite doubt or insecurity.  The question:  “If you lack boldness to speak your calling, how will you ever have the courage to walk in it?”

His point I believe is that if we are too fearful to speak what God has called us to, probably more accurately, to hear ourselves say what we believe, how will we ever be able to actually live out the calling?

When something moves from the inside to the outside it becomes exposed.  It is revealed.  This can be startling because when our thoughts, dreams, or beliefs move from being internal to verbal one is opening the door to accountability.  It is much easier to keep your mouth closed.  However, accountability is foundational to long-term success, no matter the mission.

Before you decide to grab a megaphone and tell the whole world the secrets of your heart keep in mind the following principles:

1. Speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

In other words, don’t feed yourself a line of bologna. If you ask me bologna never tastes good, it’s the lowest form of lunchmeats. Living a lie is the lowest form of living.

When it comes to your calling don’t exaggerate.  Answering the call of God will typically not require one to change their personality, interests, or gifting’s.  What I mean is be you at all costs.  While the calling will mean that one’s character and the practical use of their gifting will need improving, continually, it will not demand that you be someone you’re not.

Sometimes we would rather walk in another’s shoes. They seem more exciting and look cooler.  The only problem is the shoe might not fit you.

Live out your calling.

Speak your convictions, what you know to be truth within your heart of hearts. Nothing could be more uncomfortable than trying to live out something contrary to what is within.

Psalm 86:11 (NIV)  Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

2. Don’t trust yourself.

If your heart desires God then your heart desires what He wants.

Romans 8:5  For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

If your passion is to live out what God wants (the things of the Spirit) then you can rest assured that the calling(s) that you feel impressed to speak about are placed there by God for you to live out (live according to the Spirit).
This is why God tells us to commit our ways to Him:
Psalm 37:5-6  Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

Measure the weight of Gods promise in this scripture.  God said that if we commit our ways to Him He will bring it to pass.  This should take the pressure off of our shoulders.  God has made Himself accountable… to Himself, and really, who better?

Look at the example between God and Abraham.

Hebrews 6:13-15  For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

It is like a guaranteed guarantee.  Human guarantees are based on circumstance and the words in fine print.  God is not like you and I.

He does not say one thing and then do another.

I once entered a car dealership because there was a guy holding a sign that said “BLOWOUT DEALS”. I naturally expected to see at least a few good deals. The salesman came out to greet us and I asked him, “Where are all the deals?” He then answered, “Deals? That is just a sign.”

I was a little ticked.

God is not like this.  He does not offer promises to us and then back out saying, “Well, that was just a promotional stunt.”

If God gives us a calling He will certainly help us to walk in it successfully. He only asks that we commit our ways to Him.
Don’t trust yourself. Trust God.

3. Realize, at times you only need to speak loud enough for yourself to hear.

There is definitely a time and a place to share with the right people what you believe God has placed in your heart to do or say. That time will come and when it does we should be ready to share.

However, there are times if we were to share with everyone our dreams or plans we would more than likely be laughed at, looked down upon, and even called foolish.

It can be hard enough to take your own eyes off of the surrounding circumstances, you certainly do not need any added unbelief and doubt from friends, family, and peers.

In those moments, like David, we only need to know what God has said, and to remind ourselves of it.

1 Samuel 30:3-6  So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive. Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

Imagine standing alone, realizing that you have lost everything to the enemy and yet the calling to become king is still inside of you. What once may have been a blazing fire in David’s heart at this point may have only been a burning ember struggling to keep its flame.

If you have tended a fire then you know when a flame reaches this point special care is to be given. Too much at one time will suffocate the flame and cause it to go out.

David could have stood up at this point and began to shout in the face of those following him, “I AM STILL GOING TO BE KING! KEEP FOLLOWING ME!!!

The people may very well have killed him. The flame would be suffocated.

David took special care; He tended the fire and gave it exactly what it needed: He strengthened (encouraged) himself in the Lord his God.

David spoke just loud enough for himself to hear.

Wherever you are concerning your calling may determine who you speak to and how loud you say it, nevertheless the fulfillment of your calling is dependent upon your willingness to speak up whether you need to hear it or someone else.

God bless.

THE ORIGIN OF MISSIONS

Concerning Missions it is extremely important to have a foundational understanding that the idea, purpose, and means of mission(s) begins with God.  This awareness matters because if an individual or church considers or participates in missions without knowing completely how and why they are doing so the impact of the effort could be lessened.

Ultimately the mission of God, and hopefully His church, should be to reveal who God is and why He is worthy to be honored above all and everything else.

The truth that God is by nature missional is revealed throughout scripture, particularly within the creation account found in Genesis and especially within the New Testament gospels that record Jesus life, death, and resurrection.  This attribute was modeled by Jesus and shared by His disciples.  Christians today also participate in this mission by duty and nature.

God is Missional

God is a missionary.  In the beginning verses of Genesis we read that God created all that we know and see.  He purposefully created through His own strength, and out of nothing, the universe.  One definition of “mission” that is helpful is: “a specific task with which a person or a group is charged”[1].  This meaning of the word “mission” is useful because of the context in which God created mankind: “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”[2]  Notice the word “us” as God was charging His triune nature; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to make man.  A couple verses later we read that God gave man a mission; multiply in number and rule over all creation.

Don Stewart[3], author and apologist, suggests that God ultimately created mankind and the world for Himself[4].  This conclusion is in agreement with the familiar doctrine of Missio Dei (Mission of God).  George Peters, author of A Biblical Theology of Missions wrote, “It is understood throughout Scriptures that the end result of such Missio Dei will be the glorification of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.[5]  Or in other words, Gods purpose is that He be honored through and in all things.  To properly understand biblical missions, one must understand where missions originate.  Missions originate with God because it is His nature. Portions of an article by Mary Sue Dreier, Associate Professor of Congregational Mission and Leadership at Luther Seminary, will help to further understand the concept of Missio Dei:

“Mission isn’t a program of the church; it is an attribute and activity of God, bringing God’s redemption to all creation… Mission does not belong to the church; it belongs to God. One cannot subordinate mission to the church nor the church to mission; both are taken up on the missio Dei, which became the overarching concept…  The church shaped by the missio Dei is missionary by its very nature as well…

            The doctrine of the Trinity is the theological key to understanding missio Dei. Historically the Trinity has been the theological resource for understanding the nature and actions of God in the world. So as the church became energized by this new understanding of mission, theologians looked again to the doctrine of the Trinity to explore more fully the attributes and activity of God in mission in the world…

            From the Western Christian Church came this notion that the Trinity is a sending God: as the Father sends the Son, and the Son sends the Spirit, so the Spirit sends the church. To participate in the missio Dei is to be sent into the world for the sake of the world.”[6]

The foundational understanding that mission is more than an effort of the church but is also one of Gods attributes is key to understanding why the church should be missional and how God displayed this characteristic to His creation.  Without grasping this concept, the impact of missions is reduced to an earthly level rather than eternal.  If missions is not understood as the heart and nature of God it could become something that individuals and church bodies do out of obligation rather than inspiration or as a means to “do their part” rather than fulfilling the will of God.

The mission of God is most obvious in the sending of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Because God is love[7], eternal[8], creator[9] and omnipotent[10] it is also necessary that He be missional by nature.  Because God loves and creates He would naturally redeem.  Because God is eternal and knows all things He knew what He was getting into.  For God to be insufficient in mission would cause a dilemma in the salvation process; how would He save without sending?  The essence of mission was not something God would need to develop or acquire but rather have simply because of the other attributes He already possessed.

When Adam and Eve fell into sin God declared that the serpent would ultimately be defeated[11].  In the book of Revelation we read of the victorious fulfillment of God’s declaration to the snake, “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”[12]  Within these portions of scripture, among many others, two important aspects of missions are revealed: 1) A commitment to send.  2) The act of being sent.  Both are significant.  Without understanding a need there will never be a desire to help.  If action is never taken the desire will remain only as emotion or knowledge.  The act of sending is what releases the potential that lies within the desire or promise to help

Jesus declared His purpose for being sent boldly on multiple occasions, one example takes place when He continued teaching those who believed in Him while his mother and brothers waited outside for Him[13].  Another instance while Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, “…You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.  But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.”[14]

The Disciples Were Missional

Those who were close to Jesus certainly were able to pick up on the fact that Jesus had an ultimate goal that He was going to accomplish.  However, they did not always understand[15] and at times even tried to prevent Him[16] despite their participation and close relationship with Jesus.

Eventually the disciples recognized the mission of Jesus after His resurrection from the dead.

The disciples upon being commissioned to “Go into all the word”[17] took those words to heart and put into movement what being birthed in their heart: the desire to reveal who Jesus was/is through any means possible and to declare why He alone is worthy to be glorified.  This is evident by their obedience to wait in Jerusalem as Jesus instructed[18]  for the much needed empowering to witness that would come through the Holy Spirit[19] (Again, regarding the missional character of God, we are able to see the sending nature of God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit).  Immediately after this event occurs the disciples began to teach and preach as the Spirit led.

The Apostles followed the model of mission displayed by Jesus within the body of believers by appointing other disciples to the work of the ministry so that they could focus on teaching the Word of God[20].  The Word of God was able to spread out from Jerusalem to other regions such as; Rome, Galatia, Corinth, Ephesus, and even remote areas like Crete and Malta by the missionary efforts of men like Paul, Barnabus, Peter, and the other believers.  These men were motivated by a desire for other men (and women) to experience the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ in the same way they had because of this nothing but the Spirit of God stopped them in their efforts to glorify God and to make Him known through Jesus Christ.

A Christian Should Be Missional

In some ways the potential to spread the gospel today has never been easier, due to advancements in travel ways and communication and the speed in which we are able to do both.  However, in some parts of the world Christians face many of the same persecutions and trials that the early church faced.

All true Christians should find that they are on mission be that in their home, workplace, neighborhood, country, or other parts of the world.  Wherever one finds ones-self they should also find that a need to share in the mission of God is necessary.  The world has not changed in regards to sin and neither has God’s heart or character.  God is a saving God and therefore a sending God.  The Christian is the sent and called one to deliver the message of Christ and to declare the glory of God.

 

Mission is not an issue to be avoided because in doing so one is denying the character and nature of God.  Missions are not an idea of man or an effort of the church but rather an attribute of God and His followers.  For the Christian and the Body of Christ being missional should come as a natural response to the Spirit of the living God within them.  Being missional is necessary as long as we are on this earth and surrounded by other people the need to present the gospel and to glorify God will always be present.


[2] Genesis 1:26, NKJV Bible

[5] A Biblical Theology of Missions, George Peters, pg. 9

[7] 1 John 4:8

[8] Revelations 22:13

[9] Colossians 1:16

[10] Acts 2:22-23

[11] Genesis 3:15

[12] Revelation 1:18 NKJV Bible

[13] Luke 8:19-21

[14] John 7:28-29 NKJV Bible

[15] Luke 18:31-34

[16] Mark 8:32

[17] Mark 16:15

[18] Acts 1:4

[19] Acts 1:8

[20] Acts 6:1-7