“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies--in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:7–11).
This year has come to an end, but God's work is not finished. Will you take time as 2014 slips into 2015 to ask God how He wants to use you to spread the glorious gospel of His grace - the unsearchable riches of Christ.
As a follow-up to yesterday's post, I want to quote a comment from David Hesselgrave in an article that reviews John Piper's book, Let the Nations be Glad.
"I am fully persuaded that the further our runaway world gets from the Bible the closer the church and mission must get to it - not just for information, but for sustenance and strength."
This statement confirms the heart of New Foundations International ministry. The solution to every problem we have personally, in our marriages and families, in the church and lack of focus on reaching the unengaged and unreached people groups of the world, is found in Scripture. The sooner we follow the pattern Jesus gave us and the early church, the more we will see God work through the gospel's powerful reflection in us to reach the world. "Then the end will come" Matthew 24:14).
Quotation from: International Journal of Frontier Mission, Vol. 13:1, Jan.-Mar. 1996.
"Worship...is the fuel and goal of missions. It's the goal of missions because in missions we simply aim to bring the nations into the white-hot enjoyment of God's glory. The goal of missions is the gladness of the people in the greatness of God." (See Psalm 67:3-4; 97:1).
Let the Nations be Glad! The Supremacy of God in Missions, John Piper, Baker Academic, 2003, page 17.
Many ask the question, "Why go (to other fields) before all have been saved here? There is so much to be done at home. Why not complete the work in the homeland before going to the foreign field?"
Consider these who left home to proclaim the gospel to those who have never heard:
Consider Jesus' instructions in Acts 1:8; "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and (in union with or even also) all Judea, Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Our task of reaching the unreached who have never heard is not independent of the field at home, but the fields that have never heard must be our priority.
Paul: There was one characteristic of Paul that stands out in his life; he pursued his purpose with total commitment. That mindset began with persecuting the church. But when God intervened his pursuit with a new purpose, even suffering would not stop Paul from following God's plan for him. In Paul's short stay at Ptolemais, the "prophet Agabus came down from Judea...he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, Thus says the Holy Spirit, "This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles." Without any hesitation, Paul made it very clear that "I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 21:7-13).
You and Me: Are we so certain of our calling and purpose? Even if knowing that persecution is ahead will not divert us from pursuing that purpose? Paul would not be persuaded away from the clear call and purpose of his life. Neither must we!
After Agabus and the other brethren realized that Paul was set on going to Jerusalem, they said, "Let the will of the Lord be done" (21:14). This must be the attitude of the church. If we cannot go ourselves, we must stand behind those whom God is sending out into the fields of those who have never heard the good news of Jesus Christ.
Paul: From the very hour of Paul’s conversion, he knew the purpose for his life because Jesus gave him that purpose. “But the Lord said to him (Ananias), “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15). As Paul grew in his relationship with the Lord, his purpose became clearer and he pursued it with laser focus. Notice these references and how Paul is crystal clear on what his purpose was:
In the very first letter Paul wrote, he says, “But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone;” (Galatians 1:15–16).
“Thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation,” (Romans 15:20). What is your one ambition in life? If it does not line up with God’s purpose for you, then it’s a wrong ambition.
(Read all verses) “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,” (Ephesians 3:8–13).
How clearly do you see God's purpose for your life? Have you let people (Gal. 3:1) or things (Luke 14:15-24) hinder you living your purpose? It is not too late! Accept the reproof and discipline of the Lord and see His grace flow into your life for living God's purpose (Revelation 3:19-22).
Notice how Jesus gives us the great model and purpose for ministry. “And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.” (Luke 4:42–44).
Is God making your purpose very clear? Like Jesus, are you willing to pursue that purpose and not allow anyone or anything to divert your energies and attention (See also Galatians 3:1)? Tomorrow we will look at the Apostle Paul and how he lived his purpose. If you understand God's purpose for your life and begin to pursue it, this would be the greatest Christmas gift of your life!
From the very beginning of Jesus’ life on earth, His path was constantly endangered by those who were bent on killing Him. First it was Herod who felt threatened by a baby called “king of the Jews” (Mt. 2:2). Then it was the religious leaders who sought to kill Him (John 5:18; 7:1; 8:37). The plot of the Jews and the cooperation of the Romans finally achieved their threats through crucifixion. BUT NONE of this distracted Jesus from His purpose! Note what Jesus says regarding His impending in John 12:27-28.
“Father save me from this hour? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name!!” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”” (John 12:28).
Are you secure in knowing and living God’s purpose for your life, no matter what you face? As Jesus was never distracted from His purpose by opposition, trials or persecution (death), let us have this same mind-set and follow His model so the Father is glorified through living our purpose! Tune in again tomorrow for more on God’s purpose for you.
Jesus knew His purpose in coming to earth as a man:
Do you know your purpose for being here on earth? What eternal impact will your life have? Please tune into this blog tomorrow for more challenging Scriptures about the purpose for which Jesus came to earth.
Please pray for the early state licensing we are allowed to print books GPHC in a Asia country.
1. On the approval permit printing and publishing books GPHC. An application to the state agency was sent for their approval for printing and distributing books GPHC nationwide last week. The State will accept and respond with a "Yes" or "No" on January 5, 2015.
2. Pray for 4 training courses; the location, training and number of participants pastors, leaders, deacons and members, of church attendance. (190 members).
3. Praying for God to open His doors so that we can work together to train 4 groups + 1 group of "Antioch" GPHC of leaders.
This opportunity has at it's heart the gospel reaching unengaged and unreached people groups in places that are experiencing persecution. Please be diligent in prayer!
Link To Our Old Blog: