Bought by the Blood

June 16, 2011

Moms Are Missionaries

I usually like to think of my audience as primarily dads, but this quote for the moms is to great to pass up

At the very heart of the gospel is sacrifice, and there is perhaps no occupation in the world so intrinsically sacrificial as motherhood. Motherhood is a wonderful opportunity to live the gospel. Jim Elliot famously said, “He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Motherhood provides you with an opportunity to lay down the things that you cannot keep on behalf of the people that you cannot lose. They are eternal souls, they are your children, they are your mission field.

You can read the rest at the Desiring God blog here

January 19, 2010

Evangelism Is Not Something We Do

Filed under: evangelism,Matt Chandler,Missions,Suffering,trials,Trusting God — cubsfan1980 @ 3:03 pm
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Matt Chandler recently preached on missions and evangelism.  His perspective on how missions relates to his recent diagnoses of brain cancer is really convicting.

Mission is about the reign and rule of God…Evangelism isn’t something we do, it is the lenses by which we see the entire world.  We don’t do evangelism, our whole lives are about the rule and reign of God almighty…Six weeks ago when I found out malignant brain cancer I began a whole new set of relationships that in the end are about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the rule and reign of God.  I met a neurosurgeon and I am not going in thinking, “This is a neurosurgeon,” but instead I think, “The Lord is crossing my path with a neurosurgeon.  If he is a brother I will try to encourage him.  If not, I will try to reveal faith in Christ and the cross of Christ to him.”

-Matt Chandler

November 19, 2009

Spurgeon on the mission of parents

Elisha had to deal with a dead child (2 Kings 4:29-37). It is true that, in his instance, it was natural death; but the death with which you have to come in contact is not the less real death because it is spiritual. Boys and girls are as surely as grown-up people, “dead in trespasses and sins.” May none fail fully to realize the state in which all human beings are naturally found. Unless you have a very clear sense of the utter ruin and spiritual death of children, you will be incapable of being made a blessing to them. Go to them, I pray you, not as to sleepers whom you can by your own power awaken from their slumber, but as to spiritual corpses who can only be quickened by a power divine. Elisha aimed at nothing less than the restoration of the child to life. May you never be content with aiming at secondary benefits, or even with realizing them; may you strive for the grandest of all ends, the salvation of immortal souls. Your business is not merely to teach children to read the Bible, not barely to inculcate the duties of morality, nor even to instruct them in the mere letter of the gospel, but your high calling is to be the means, in the hands of God, of bringing life from heaven to dead souls.

Resurrection, then, is our aim! To raise the dead is our mission! How is so strange a work to be achieved? If we yield to unbelief we shall be staggered by the evident fact that the work to which the Lord has called us is quite beyond our own personal power. We cannot raise the dead. We are, however, no more powerless than Elisha, for he of himself could not restore the Shunammite’s son. Need this fact discourage us? Does it not rather direct us to our true power by shutting us out from our own fancied might? I trust we are all of us already aware that the man who lives in the region of faith dwells in the realm of miracles…

You are sent into the world not to do the things which are possible to man, but those impossibilities which God worketh by His Spirit, by the means of His believing people. You are to work miracles, to do marvels. You are not, therefore, to look upon the restoration of these dead children, which in God’s name you are called to bring about, as being a thing unlikely or difficult when you remember who it is that works by your feeble instrumentality.

-Charles Spurgeon: read the rest at The Spurgeon Archive

October 12, 2009

Jesus Authorizes Our Mission

This is one of this inspiring quotes about mission that fires me up and is great encouragement about being bold for Jesus.  It is from Chris Wright’s book, “The Mission of God.”  The emphasis is mine.

The whole earth, then, belongs to Jesus.  It belongs to him by right of creation, by right of redemption and by right of future inheritance – as Paul affirms in the magnificent cosmic declaration of Colossians 1:15-20.  So wherever we go in his name, we are walking on his property.  There is not an inch of the planet that does not belong to Christ. Mission then is an authorized activity carried out by tenants on the instructions of the owner of the property.

Suppose you are a tenant resident in your house or apartment and you are challenged about your right to be installing a new kitchen and bathroom.  Provided you can point to the written instruction of the owner of the property to attend to the matter on his behalf, your action is authorized.  If the one to whom the property belongs entrusts to you his purpose of renovating his property while you live there, then your “mission” is an authorized cooperation with and implementation of his or her “mission.” You are legitimately carrying out what the owner wants to be done on his or her own property.

So our mission on God’s earth is not only authorized by its true owners, it is also protected, nurtured and guaranteed by him.  We go in his name.  We act on his authority.  There is therefore no place for fear, for wherever we tread belongs to him already.
There is no place for dualism either.  We know of course that the Bible also affirms that the evil one exercises a kind of lordship and power over the earth.  But he does not own it.  His claim to do so, and to have the right to give it to those who worship him was exposed as fraudulent by Jesus in his wresting with temptation in the wilderness.  Whatever authority Satan exercises is usurped and illegitimate, provisional and subject to the final limits set by the earth’s true owner and Lord, the Lamb who reins from the the throne of God (Rev. 4-7).

October 5, 2009

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Proverbs 9:10

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.
-Psalm 130:3-4

“What does this mean?  It means that filial fer, the fear of a son for His father, is produced by God’s love for us.  More exactly, it is the result of discovering that the God whom we thought of with slavish, servile fear, the holy righteous, terrifying God of judgment and majesty, is also the God who forgives us through Jesus Christ.  He is just, yet he justifies the ungodly (Romans 3:26; 5:6).  He is righteous, yet he counts sinners as righteous.  One reason why we know so little of such filial fear is that we do not appreciate the Gospel!  If we would grow in grace so that we fear God like this, we must first return to the Gospel, and to the meaning of the cross…Filial fear is always the grateful response of sinners who have become saints.”  Sinclair Ferguson on the above verse.

There are two kinds of fear that we can experience.  The first kind of fear is one that we typically think of when it comes to fear, that of dread and worrying of if we can measure up to God’s approval.  This is servile fear, from servile we get servant or slave, this is a fear for those that are working to pay off someone they are underneath.  The other kind of fear is filial and it means reverence and awe.  The latin of filius is “son” and that is where this type of fear comes from.  It is in reference to how a child fears their father and because we have been forgiven through the blood of Christ, this allows us to experience filial fear with God.  Sinclair Ferguson says about this kind of fear:

“It is that indefinable mixture of reverence and pleasure, joy and awe which fills our hearts when we realize who God is and what he has done for us.  It is a love for God which is so great that we would be ashamed to do anything which would displease or grieve him, and makes us happiest when we are doing what pleases him.”

Yesterday I talked about how our standing with God never changes.  The way we walk in fear of God can change our experience of God.  We were created for intimacy and communion with God, but sin brings a barrier between us and God.  Through Christ death on the cross that relationship has been restored, but it won’t be fully realized until we are in Heaven.  While in this life, our walk with God will have varying degrees of closeness based on how we fear Him and if we choose closeness with God or closeness with the world.  The more I fear God the closer my friendship with Him. “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,” Psalm 25:14

We were not given grace to remain stagnant in it, but we were given grace to grow in it (2 Peter 3:18).  As we grow in grace we will be made more like Christ and our intimacy with God will increase.  Experience is very subjective and not always the best measure of if we are growing in the fear of the Lord.  Some effects of fearing God that we can be on the lookout for that will positively impact our experience of knowing God are as follows:

If I am fearing God I will grow in my desire to live a life of obedience.  “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him. (John 14:21)”  My life will be characterized by wanting to bring pleasure to God.  Ultimately I will place my hope in finishing the race well and hearing “Well done good and faithful servant.”  The smile of God will be more important to me then the praise of the world.  Children are called to respect and obey their parents and I am called to respect and obey God.  “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13).”

On the flip side of that, fearing God will mean not wanting to displease God or grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).  I will desire to put death to sin as sin blocks my view of God and feeds me lies about God’s love for me and who He is.  If I believe the promise of God and what He has done for me through the cross then I will seek to lay aside everything that hinders me from knowing Him more fully (Hebrews 12:1).  Fearing God means fiercely doing battle with my sin so that I can make my Father proud and give Him no reason to grieve over me.

Fearing God changes how I view the circumstances of this world.  If I fear God then I have nothing to fear in this life.  He is my stronghold and refuge, if He can save me from the hopeless situation that my sin had me in, then I can have hope no matter what I am facing.  “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1).”  When I fear God my perspective is changed and I see that if God is worthy of awe and reverence then He is also worthy of my trust.  Just a child trust their parents for everything, I can trust God for all that I need.  “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. (Proverbs 14:26)”

We have the privilege of being considered sons and daughters of God because of His awesome and unconditional love.  We were orphans with nothing good to contribute to God’s family and no merit of our own, but God freely chose us to be His own.  Our status before God saved us was dead in sin with nothing desirable to offer, but God didn’t bring us to life because of what we could bring to the table, but only by His grace did He regenerate us.  The reality of what God has done for us should transform how we view our blessing of knowing and communing with Him because we are completely undeserving.  His praises should ever be on our lips because He has given us everything.  My fear of God should be evident by how I proclaim His love for sinners because of what He has done for me.  As a child likes to look up to and brag on their parents I should do the same thing with God .

Psalm 111
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
8 they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!P
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
8 they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!

September 26, 2009

The Gospel and Ethics

Filed under: Chris Wright,evangelism,Gospel,holiness,Missions,The Mission of God — cubsfan1980 @ 11:23 pm
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“We either adorn the gospel or we are a disgrace to it. Our ethics (or lack of ethics) support (or undermine) our mission…There is great missional and evangelistic power in lives shaped by the standard of biblical holiness and goodness.” Christopher Wright

September 6, 2009

The cross is central to mission

Filed under: Chris Wright,cross,evangelism,Missions,The Mission of God — cubsfan1980 @ 2:10 pm
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The cross was the unavoidable cost of God’s mission…The cross is the place of personal pardon, forgiveness and justification for guilty sinners.  The cross is the place of defeat for all cosmic evil and seals its ultimate destruction…The cross, paradoxically the most terrible symbol of death in the ancient world, is the fount of life…The cross is the place of reconciliation, to God and to one another…the cross is the guarantee of a healed creation to come…That Jesus died in my place, bearing the guilt of my sin, as my voluntary substitute, is the most gloriously liberating truth to which we cling in glad and grateful worship with tears of wonder.  That I should long for others to know this truth and be saved and forgiven by casting their sins on the crucified Savior in repentance and faith is the most energizing motive for evangelism.” – Christopher Wright.

August 29, 2009

Chris Wright on evangelism

Filed under: evangelism,Gospel,sin — cubsfan1980 @ 9:54 pm
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“In presenting the good news of the Gospel, the evangelist must also confront people with the bad news of the reality of sin and the danger of judgment.  The language of salvation only make sense if there is something to be saved from.” Christopher Wright

August 27, 2009

Prayer For Evangelism

Filed under: evangelism,Isaiah,obedience — cubsfan1980 @ 8:23 am
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“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” – Isaiah 6:8

Here am I lord send me.
Light a fire in my heart
So that I may go to the lost.

Give me a heart of compassion
For my coworkers and neighbors,
Make my heart break for their sin.

Remind of how lost I was
Before your grace saved me.
Help me to see that I would
Be the same as them
If my life was not submitted to Christ.

I want to trust you for their salvation
And walk in obedience to plant gospel seeds
Since you are faithful to tend to them rightly.

Use my like you used others in my life.
Your fame and glory is to great
To keep to myself.

July 24, 2009

Friday is For Fathers

“The thoroughness of Paul’s mission practice is that he was not content merely with evangelism and church planting but was concerned to build mature communities of believers who could think biblically through the ethical issues they faced in the ambient religious culture.  His pastoral and ethical guidance to his churches was thus as much part of his missional task as his evangelistic zeal, and just as theologically grounded to.” Chris Wright

According to Mark Driscoll in his free e-book “Pastor Dad,” every dad is a pastor to his family.  Therefore, the above quote, although it is directed to church planters, missionaries and pastors can have very real application to fathers.  If I am in paid ministry I should never view the job complete if someone gives a verbal commitment to Christ.  Anthony Bradley shares in the book Glory Road his testimony of how there was much confusion for him early on as he had no discipleship.  The same is true for father’s, our kids must be discipled and this is not a task that we should leave up to the church, but do ourselves as the church equips us for this work.

Paul didn’t want his converts to just attend church.  Actually, in the New Testament church there would be no casual attenders because just to do that would be risking their lives.  A Christian father’s vision shouldn’t be for his family to be casual church attenders.  Instead they should be taking part in community to grow in spiritual maturity so that they can discern what is God’s good, acceptable and perfect will by being transformed by the renewing of their mind through the preached word (Romans 12).  The father must lead in example by applying the word and and standing up for Biblical truth.

Father’s let us not be content to have our family be lukewarm even if we are on fire.  May God give us hearts like Paul’s for those that we are called to shepherd, hearts with a zeal for seeing lives transformed by the power of the Gospel.

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