A Prayer For Workers

30 04 2015

“He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  Luke 10:2

Many people don’t think that they can be a part of missions work in the world because they don’t have the ability to go, or they don’t have significant resources to give.  However, one of the greatest things that a person can do to impact the world for Christ is to pray.

Some will say, “I guess if I can’t go, and I don’t have anything to give, then I guess all I can do is to pray.”  However this kind of thinking diminishes the incredible power and the impact that prayer has on the work of world missions.  John Wesley said “God doesn’t do anything on the earth except through believing prayer.” and if this is true, then for the Kingdom of God to mightily advance in the world, it will happen through the faithful petition of His disciples asking for laborers to be sent into the world.

EM Bounds said, “The prayers of God’s saints are the capital stock of heaven by which God carries on his great work upon earth. God conditions the very life and prosperity of his cause on our prayer.”  Don’t forget that prayer is the primary work of Missions, and every opportunity to go or to give is built upon the solid foundation of Prayer.





Where Is Your Samaria?

29 04 2015

“… and you will be my witnesses… in Samaria…”  Acts 1:8

Jews did not get along with Samaritans.  The hatred between their two cultures had raged for hundreds and hundreds of years.  They didn’t associate with each other, nor did they like one another.  The cultures believed the worst about each other, and they were convinced that they were right in what they believed.

When Jesus told the disciples that they were to be his witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea, they probably nodded with understanding and agreement.  These areas were filled with people just like them… Jewish people.  They had the same religious background, they had the same heritage, they had the same nationality.  But when Jesus added in the region of Samaria, I can imagine the disciples taking a look at each other and wondering if they had missed something.  Samaritans couldn’t be a part of our outreach project, could they?

Yet the calling of Jesus wasn’t just to reach out to people who were like them, or even to people that they liked.  God called them to reach out to every person, no matter their religion, their heritage, or nationality.  So the question is, who are the Samaritans in your life?  Who are the people who are so different from you, that you have separated yourself from them emotionally and spiritually?  Is it an ethnic divide?  Is it a political divide?  It is a cultural divide?  You and I are called to step into and engage our Samaria.





Near and Far

28 04 2015

“…and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  Acts 1:8

The last words of Jesus to his disciples before ascending into heaven were that they would be His witnesses, his representatives, to not only the place where they lived (Jerusalem), but to the surrounding communities (Judea and Samaria) and to everywhere else (the ends of the earth).  This instruction wasn’t just a list of potential expansion areas for the gospel message, but it was a calling for the disciples to fulfill.  They needed to have all of these places on their radar screens as places to care about and to purposefully engage.

Now the world is such a big place, that many might find that invitation overwhelming, or at the very least, very intimidating, but at it’s core, God is simply calling His disciples to have a heart for the World, a heart for those who are near us and for those who are far away.  He simply wants us to have His heart for people.  He desires that everyone be saved and that none would be lost.  That has to be our heart too.

And when we have His heart, we will understand the need to share our faith with those near us, as well as with those who are far away.  The gospel is for every person!





Go!

27 04 2015

“Therefore go….”  Matthew 28:19

It is easy to stay where we are.  It requires little effort.  We are often comfortable.  We have agendas and plans and lives to live.  But to fulfill the great commission, we will have to leave our comfortable lives and step out into the world.  We will have to go.

To live the life of a disciple, you and I will have to understand that the fulfillment of that calling doesn’t just happen in our own isolated world, but rather it happens in both places that are near and places that are far away.  When Jesus says, “make disciples of all nations…” He is setting before His followers a mandate to see beyond our small circle of influence and to reach out into a world that may be far away, but is in great need of rescue.  We have not been called to stay… but rather, we have been sent.

“Therefore… Go.”





The Honor Paradox

26 04 2015

“If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”  John 12:26

True or False? The servant is not the one who is honored, but rather is the one who does the honoring. Trick question, its both true and false. Genuinely serving others is an act of humility and is not about getting a pat on the back; it is about honoring or placing others before ourselves.  However, we find this paradox in Christian service: because of the high value God has placed on serving, this act of honoring others through our service does indeed go full circle and brings honor back to us. In fact, I would say the honor we receive from serving is the greatest honor of all because it comes from God Himself!

Do we serve because God will honor us? No, that is not to be our motivation, but it is the outcome if we serve with a pure heart and a commitment to simply follow Him. Because He serves, we naturally will serve too.

By Paul Hansen





The Pathway to Greatness

25 04 2015

“If you want to be great in God’s kingdom, you must be a servant…” Mark 9:35

Jesus and his disciples were walking along when his disciples began to discuss who was the greatest and who was going to be the greatest.  Jesus listened as these self oriented guys began to argue more and more about who was the better man, and who was on target for being on the “All Time Great” list as a disciple of Jesus.

Suddenly Jesus speaks up and says, “If you want to be great in God’s kingdom, you must be a servant of all.”  His simple words swept through the disciples and shocked them into silence.  The words of Christ were so contrary to everything that they had been taught, as well as the culture in which they lived, that it was hard to take it in.  The pathway to Greatness had always been to rule over people, but Jesus’ words were completely opposite.  Jesus said Great men weren’t those who ruled, but those who served, and if this was the case, this required a complete change of mindset.

Jesus didn’t condemn them for desiring greatness, but rather He pointed them in the direction of being great.  For a disciple, the pathway to greatness is the road of service, and to walk this path, it requires a complete overhaul of the way we think about life and greatness as people.





God Doesn’t Forget

24 04 2015

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”  Hebrews 6:10

God doesn’t forget the service you do on behalf of Him and His people.  Although it often can seem as if God doesn’t see or care about all that we do, He does and He doesn’t forget.  What you do catches the eye of God.

When you begin to be aware of God’s watchful eye upon all that you do, it can change your attitude.  Knowing that God sees your attitude when you drive, when you’re asked to help, when no one is around or when you are in a big crowd, can keep you from allowing your heart to grow selfish and hard.  And keep this in mind as well.  He doesn’t just look at our external actions or appearance… He sees our heart.

And every time we show Him love by helping those who are a part of His family, God logs that into his never failing memory.  Whether it was 10 minutes ago or 10 years ago, God keeps your service for Him in mind.  And on the day when you stand before Him, He won’t forget all that you have done.  If you have been faithful, He will reward you.