Tag Archives: missionary

Preachers

Potential

“So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.’ But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart'” (1 Samuel 16:6-7 NKJV).

In my opinion perhaps the greatest challenge to missionaries is the development of indigenous leadership in areas where the church is young and opportunities for training are limited. How quickly can a new convert develop the spiritual maturity required of elders, deacons, and preachers? How quickly may we begin to trust those of different cultures of which our understanding is imperfect? Just when should we begin to push for independence and self-reliance on the part of mission churches? These are difficult questions with few obvious right answers. Continue reading Potential

decisions

If

“This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:11-13 NKJV).

It has become very evident to me over the years that conditional statements are often not recognized as such. This may be cultural, or in other situations may be influenced by lack of education or even by personal prejudices (we often do hear what we want or expect to hear, don’t we?). Continue reading If

valley-of-dry-bones

God knows

“The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ So I answered, ‘O Lord God, You know'” (Ezekiel 37:1-3 NKJV).

Has the world ever seemed to be in worse crisis than it is right now? Admittedly our perspective is narrow and our experience is limited. One cannot really compare different eras and millennia objectively because we simply don’t have all the necessary information. Continue reading God knows

fall of man

The cost of transgressions

“So the Lord God said to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.’ . . . To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children.’ . . . Then to Adam He said . . . ‘Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life'” (Genesis 3:14, 16, 17 NKJV). Continue reading The cost of transgressions

paul-3

More than conquerors

“As it is written, ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter'” (Romans 8:36 NKJV).

The email from Bangladesh stated that the preacher for one of the congregations there had been called out of his house by a group of eight or ten men and threatened, “You stop preaching here in this village or we will hurt you.” His response was to leave the village for a couple of weeks, then to return and resume his work. Continue reading More than conquerors

filth

A commitment to purity

“You shall not sow your vineyard with different kinds of seed, lest the yield of the seed which you have sown and the fruit of your vineyard be defiled. You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. You shall not wear a garment of different sorts, such as wool and linen mixed together” (Deuteronomy 22:9-11 NKJV).

Westerners visiting so called third world countries will often note the different standards of sanitation which prevail there. The use of polluted water, the profusion of garbage and litter, and neglect of what the visitor considers common hygiene prompt the reaction that “those people are just not clean.” The assumption often follows that they are merely lazy. Continue reading A commitment to purity

feeding kids

Hunger driven

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6 NKJV).

Though I am not a trained anthropologist or social scientist, and much less a psychologist or psychiatrist, I believe it is safe to say that simple hunger is one of the most powerful motivating forces in the human experience. Probably more time and energy has been expended worldwide throughout history in the pursuit of the next meal than in any other single endeavor.

People in prosperous, developed countries with a minimal percentage of chronically malnourished people might not truly appreciate the above assertion. But those who spend time in overpopulated, underdeveloped, and impoverished nations can testify to its validity. Millions go to bed hungry every night. Millions awaken with no certainty of even a marginally adequate diet during the day. Continue reading Hunger driven

Brass

Standards

“Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:29-31 NKJV).

A magazine advertisement for a certain manufacturer stated, “Not all brass meets our standards. But that is okay, people need doorknobs, belt buckles and French horns also.” Continue reading Standards

Lazy

Motives

“Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, ‘Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.’ And David said, ‘What have I done now? Is there not a cause?'” (1 Samuel 17:28-29 NKJV).

A lot of Asian youth enjoy T-shirts, just as do Americans. One that caught my eye somewhere said, “I am not lazy – I am selectively motivated.” I suspect that most of us might wear that shirt honestly. When it comes to things we really care about we can be quite energetic. Other things, well maybe not so much. Continue reading Motives