To grasp the quality of dependence, we first must first look at the Founder of the Church and see dependence in Him.
“So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise” (John 5:19, read v.30 also). Even the Holy Spirit takes this same attitude; “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come” (John 16:13).
Jesus brings this issue down to ourselves in His teaching about the vine and the branches; “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5). He introduces this relationship with Him through the picture of a grape vine. The branches only live and bear fruit if they always live connected/dependent on the vine. The other alternative is separation from a vital food source and ultimate death. God wants us always connected to His life source in His Son.
According to Survival International, the most isolated tribe in the world is the Sentinelese, a group believed to be directly descended from the first humans to emerge from Africa. For thousands of years the people of North Sentinel Island in the Andaman Islands have been without the gospel. But we are praying that this will soon change so the Sentinelese can hear the Good News in their own language!
Randy and Tim will be visiting the Andaman Islands October 3rd to 14th. The purpose of this trip is to connect with the Karen Baptist (the Karen have been living in the Andaman Islands since 1925) and some local key leaders with YWAM. They will be meeting these connections and praying and searching for other key indigenous leaders.
Earnest prayer is needed so the Lord will put together a team of young, zealous and passionate disciples who will desire to make other disciples of all people groups, particularly those who have never heard the gospel – UNTIL ALL HAVE HEARD!!
More information about this people group can be seen at:
Two of our team members (Tim & Randy) are heading to the Andaman Islands next week to see if God will open a door for the gospel to reach the Sentinelese people group. Up to the present time, there have been attempts by others, but without success. We are asking you to stand with us in earnest prayer for God to make a way, and open an effective door, so that the gospel of saving grace may reach them.
Notice how clear Paul was about his commission with the gospel; “I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in [Jesus]” (Acts 26:18).
There is no mention of changing their culture, bringing education, buildings or money. Paul’s passion was the LIGHT OF CHRIST, the POWER OF GOD, FORGIVENESS OF SINS, and a place in the HOUSEHOLD OF GOD! That is the kind of passion we need in prayer for the Sentinelese people! I will post more about this people group tomorrow.
“There is no success without sacrifice. If you succeed without sacrifice it is because someone has suffered before you. If you sacrifice without success it is because someone will succeed after.”
Are we willing to sacrifice and suffer if required, and then give God the credit if there is success? Jesus puts this in perspective; “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty’” (Luke 17:10). This can only be our attitude if Jesus and His gospel is our ONE PASSION.
“I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ.” ― Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf
Do you want to be used by God? “First, sit down and count the cost” (Luke 14:28). Then determine to follow Jesus as your sole pursuit in life. This also has a cost. “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (9:23). To deny self is perhaps the greatest obstacle to having ONE PASSION for winning souls. The “cross” we are given is from God, so that we may not rely on ourselves, but on Him. Paul was effective in any circumstance because he had “learned in whatever situation…to be content” (Philippians 4:11). If it meant suffering, that was sharing in Christ’s suffering (3:10).
Being used by God requires that we have ONE PASSION – CHRIST!
Leonard Ravenhill said that “any true revival can be proven by the fact that it changed the moral climate of an area”. There seems to be a difference in the Book of Acts between those events where the Apostles preached the gospel message to evangelize and where they spoke to the religious people to convict them of their moral state. Peter’s first sermon addressed his own Jewish people (“Men of Judea”, “Men of Israel”, and “house of Israel) who were steeped in their religious traditions but had missed the message of the Old Testament (Acts 2:14, 22, 36). The result of this Spirit-filled message was that those who “heard this…were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the Apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”” (2:37). As the following verse shows, there was a dramatic ‘change to the moral climate’ through repentance!
Stephen answered the Jewish council and high priest as “Brothers and fathers” (Acts 7:22). Sadly, there was no ‘change to the moral climate’ because they refused to allow God’s Word to convict their hearts.
Often, we see churches go to extremes in promoting “Revival” services, some for weeks. In speaking with a pastor recently after a revival event at their church, I asked what the result was? As he lowered his face, looking down at the table, he said, “Nothing, people have gone back to the way they were”! It is my conviction that revival only happens when we want a moral climate change to take place in our own hearts. Revival is a cry of the heart to God that He change what we cannot change. With His help, we turn away from the old and seek God’s help, “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Colossians 3:9-10).
There are times when I feel greatly challenged about my faith. Often obstacles, challenges, and our own doubts cause us to be weak in our faith and we then hold back for obedience to God.
William Carey, missionary to India said, “Attempt great things for God; expect great things from God.”
Nothing is gained, unless by faith we look beyond our own abilities to what God can do in us and through us. It is the surrendered heart that allows God to work, in spite of our weakness and challenges, then God will get the glory, not us.
"Owe no man anything," is His Word (Romans 13:8). To disobey is to court disaster. We have no right to go forward until God supplies the funds. Let us get out prayers requests for the needed first, instead of forging ahead, and the looking for the money that does not come in. If God can provide for our needs after, He can just as easily do so before. George Muller spent only what God gave him. He prayed first for the money necessary and waited for God to answer that prayer before going ahead. And that is always a safe procedure. We have no right to incur debts for others to pay. Let us get out of debt and keep out. Debt is a disgrace. It is dishonoring to God.” (1)
This seems like radical words, but they come from a man who invested much of his life in God’s harvest field and learned what advanced the mission work. From experience, I can affirm that being out of debt gives a freedom to obey God and be directed by Him. As a servant of the Lord, we are under His authority. Solomon was right when he said, “the borrower is the slave of the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). That is not freedom. It was the aim of Oswald Smith, and it should be our aim, to follow principles that accelerate the spread of the gospel, not hinder it.
(1) Oswald J. Smith, The Challenge of Missions, page 135.
The next quote from Oswald Sanders (below) inspires my heart in a special way. Knowing that the Lord will return, perhaps very soon, what kind of motivation should we have toward missions?
“If we want to bring back the King, if we want to hasten His coming, we must take the gospel to the last tribe, the last people, that last nation. We must go to “the region beyond” (Matthew 19:1; Mark 10:1), to the places where Christ has “not been named” (Romans 15:20). That was always Paul’s method. He did not enjoy building on another man’s foundation. The place of greatest need is always God’s place of greatest opportunity. Jesus never forgot the “other towns” (Luke 4:43) and the “other sheep” (John 10:16). (1)
As this issue relates to the return of our Savior, Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). In a day of self-proclaimed prophets about the ‘end of the world’, it is the duty of the Church to be occupied in obedience with our Lord’s command, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (28:19).
(1) Oswald J. Smith, The Challenge of Missions, page 134.
I am sitting at my desk looking at a map of Paul’s mission journeys. In those ten to eleven years before ending up in a Roman prison and traveling over 11,000 miles, his mission took him to major cities of Asia Minor.
Oswald Smith observes, “Paul’s method was that he seldom went to villages; he went to the cities. He never sought the back street; he sought the well-known, centrally located synagogue. He headed for the market place where everyone congregated. Within a few days or hours at the most, he had everyone talking. He planted the gospel (and churches) first of all in Ephesus, Corinth, Philippi, and Rome, all great centers of commerce and culture. From these large cities, the gospel was sounded out to all regions” around these cities by the new indigenous converts. (1)
This method is not commanded in Scripture, but as we observe the effectiveness of Paul’s ministry, it makes ‘evangelism sense’ to follow his example. The primary example of this is Thessalonica. The new converts in this major city “became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. For not only has the Word of the Lord sounded forth from you…but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere” (1 Thessalonians 1:7-8). That is missionary multiplication!
The verification of this method is in our own ministry. If you are interested, we would enjoy sharing with you what God is currently doing. Will you look closely at the models in Scripture and implement them in your ministry? REMEMBER, God’s ways are not ours, because they are better!
(1) Oswald J. Smith, The Challenge of Missions, page 134.
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