Mission Forward. Friday, May 19, 2023
It's been just over a month since the last posting. Not intentional, there has just been much going on in ministry, in mission, and for His Kingdom. That is a blessing. It is during some dormant cycles when we might wonder if anything is happening; or if anything "good" is happening at all. I believe that is a normal reaction. Yet, God acts, speaks, and works during all seasons: when things are seemingly quiet and when things are downright hectic. His presence remains and His will is being done.
Moving Mission Forward is essential. In the Great Commission, Jesus states: "Go into all the world, and make disciples of all people..." This was given and entrusted to those who remained: his disciples/followers, and the church that would launch into a cold, dark, Roman controlled world. No opt-outs. No claiming things were too busy and hectic. No excuses contained within. We could take His command as simply: "Go!" This is why we are committed to moving mission forward: Our Lord told us to, and that is enough.
I am grateful and humbled to serve alongside a community, a people, a Jesus-loving workforce that takes this passionately and in/with great faith. Through the year, we have opportunities to connect, fellowship, join together, learn, pray, serve, and witness to God's grace, love, and mercy. I am grateful to the Lord for leaders and servants who take His command seriously, and give so very much to give Jesus away...to lift Him up...to expand His Kingdom on earth. Together, let us continue to move this mission forward!
Prayer Mobilization Effort. Monday, April 17, 2023
From Easter to Pentecost, our region's focus is on prayer with over 500,000 praying each day for mobilization and mission. So much can be said about prayer: what it is, why it's important, how the Lord taught us how to pray, etc. Oswald Chambers once stated: "Prayer doesn't prepare us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work."
We have to be/become more disciplined in the action of prayer. It is essential and as Christ followers, we must be a praying people after God's own heart. So while we emphasize prayer and put it into focus during this season: it is a way of life. As we pray and seek to come closer to God, this is our prayer for today: "Lord, help us to become a praying people; that we would have your heart and vision for the lost, the broken, the rejected, and the world. May we not only seek Your plan and purpose, but may we truly be Your salt and light in action and in love. May Your Spirit fill us as we go and share and give away Your Good News! In Jesus Name. Amen."
Worship is... Sunday, April 16, 2023 @ 6:15 am
Over the years (decades now), it seems that a lot of effort has been placed into trying to define/redefine what Worship really is. Some have said a format, a style, and even a specific genre or type. So much is spent in transitioning to the "greatest" and "latest" in systems and technology. To a large extent, whether we admit it or not, like it or not, we have (in part) made Worship into an experience and we gauge it by how people react/respond.
In the Word of God and from His teaching: we see this truth: God is the audience of our Worship. That is, it is not about us; it's about Him. As His children, His church, His followers: we bring, deliver, and give our Worship to Him. When we get this, it changes our view and our perspective. Sure, we are built up and encouraged when our Worship magnifies Him, and He will use it to bring us closer to Himself. This is, in part, why we put priority on corporate Worship. His presence is manifested in ways we won't know of otherwise. God is faithful and when Worship and our desire to exalt Him is a part of our desire and everyday life, it will be evident.
Worship isn't an option. It's not based on how we feel or how things are going in our lives. Likewise, we shouldn't condition it on the subjective matters. Rather, it is to come from the heart, from the overflow of the heart, for Who God is and what He has done. As the songwriter wrote: "I worship You, Almighty God, there is none like You!" Amen!
He is Risen! Sunday, April 9, 2023 @ 6:10 am
Why are you looking for the living among the dead? He is not here! For He has risen, just as He said He would. It was accomplished. Our Lord did everything He said He would in His life, ministry, death, and resurrection. The truth of the resurrection and His victory was seen by many: the women; the disciples, the two on the road, and 500 witnesses at one time. But the reality of His victory over death and the grave is most convincing through the Holy Spirit, Who seals it within us once we believe, confess, and profess Him as Lord.
Jesus is Lord! He is the God-man! He is the One Who came, Who is here, and Who comes again! I hope that on this Resurrection Sunday you know Him; not just know 'about' Him. Do you know Him and love Him and receive Him? That is really the most essential questions that anyone can answer. He is risen! and He extends His invitation, today, to all who would believe. Let this resonate within your heart and mind: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whosoever would believe would not perish, but would have everlasting life" John 3, v.16). Have a blessed Resurrection Sunday!
The Resurrection is Coming: Saturday, April 8, 2023 @ 12:52 pm
It's Saturday afternoon. The earthly life of Jesus has come to and end. The illegal trial, conviction, flogging, and crucifixion is also over. He has been placed in the tomb. For those that followed Him and beheld what occurred, hope is seemingly lost. I/we can only imagine the sense of doubt, fear, and uncertainty that they felt. Being present to hear, see, and witness all of the events since He was taken into custody in the Garden on the heels of the Last Supper they shared together.
It didn't take long from the Palm Sunday chants of "Hosanna!" and "Praise Him Who comes in the Name of the Lord!" to turn to "Crucify Him!" So many lost perspective of this King of the Jews, Who He was, and what He was all about. Yet, here they are, in real time, trying to understand how this happened and what to do.
But Sunday is coming. In spite of the doubt, the fear, the stress, and the worry: Sunday is coming! While they may have failed to truly comprehend what He was teaching them over 3 and a half years; all had to be accomplished and fulfilled in accordance with the will of God. The Good News: Sunday is coming! Stay tuned.
Good Friday: Friday, April 7, 2023 @ 2:19 pm
Over the years many people have asked: What is the meaning of Good Friday? Where did the 'good' come from? How can it be good if it was the day the Lord was buried?
Good questions. Ones that I believe most Christians ask at some point, especially as we get closer to Him in relationship. Good Friday is designated as such because it is good for us; for you and me. It is the day that Jesus took our rebellion and sin and it was buried. He alone was the Perfect Sacrifice for sin, taking upon Himself all that was wrong with us and humanity. Through His incredible gift, we are given the invitation to come to Him and abide in His power and presence. Again, good for us because we could have never afforded it, earned it, or paid for it. [Read John 3, vv.16-17]. Praise God for His incredible gift!