Sunday, March 22, 2009

Missions Quote of the Day

Dawson Trotman (founder of the Navigators) once said, “If you can’t see very far ahead… go ahead as far as you can see.”

Nice quote from an evangelist, missionary and teacher!  Like Pastor Danny says, “go through the open doors”, when praying to discern God’s direction for you.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bob Sjogren

Our missions class, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, has been going incredibly well and I can’t believe the caliber of teachers we’ve had.  Two weeks ago was Jim Elliot’s old roommate and brother of Elizabeth Elliot and one of the former brains behind the URBANA conferences, Don Richardson was here because of the class and this week Sunday is Bob Sjogren, a well know author and speaker coming in from Arizona.  The guy is a gifted speaker and I highly recommend coming to the class. It will be well worth it!


We will be offering PERSPECTIVES again next September, Lord willing, so this is a great opportunity to visit and see what it is all about.

We crave clarity to avoid the risk of trusting

This week in our Perspectives on the World Christian Movement class (highly recommend it, this class is radically changing people’s “perspectives” on missions), we discussed our key world, “faithfulness”.  A great quote I just heard really summed it up well:  “We crave clarity to avoid the risk of trusting”.  I remember a conversation in college with one of the student government leaders. She wanted to know from God every aspect of her life (who she would marry, her job, etc).  But the Word says that it will be lamp and to my feet, and a light unto my path, not a giant spotlight, 2 miles down the road illuminating every pitfall, every blessing.   Why does God seem to place such a value on faith?  Why does Hebrews 11 tell us that without faith it is impossible to please God? Because only acting in faith does it show our true colors, our true motivations.  We crave clarity because it helps us avoid living in faith.  Living by faith is hard but it is essential to any relationship, how much more so for the most important one. 


In our class, we discussed the sufferings of virtually all missionaries as we took a look at 1 Peter.  Out of suffering, Peter penned this epistle to a church scattered by persecution throughout Asia.  God’s people have suffered, and only those with faith in God and a hope that this life was nothing compared to the “weight and glory” of heaven, could persevere.  Take one look at the many examples from Foxes book of Martyrs: “The account of John Huss: Accordingly, the bishops appointed by the Council stripped him of his priestly garments, degraded him, put a paper miter on his head, on which was painted devils, with this inscription, "A ringleader of heretics." Which when he saw, he said: "My Lord Jesus Christ, for my sake, did wear a crown of thorns; why should not I then, for His sake, again wear this light crown, be it ever so ignominious? Truly I will do it, and that willingly." When the chain was put about him at the stake, he said, with a smiling countenance, "My Lord Jesus Christ was bound with a harder chain than this for my sake, and why then should I be ashamed of this rusty one?" The flames were now applied to the wood, when our martyr sung a hymn with so loud and cheerful a voice that he was heard through all the cracklings of the combustibles, and the noise of the multitude. At length his voice was interrupted by the severity of the flames, which soon closed his existence.”  Faith will sustain someone through anything the evil one can fling. 


To answer the question, How do we build our lives upon faith in God? Nancy Missler, quoted on Chuck Missler’s website, Khouse, says:  “By daily choosing to walk in childlike dependence and trusting Him, even in the smallest of ways (Matthew 18:3); by being obedient to His Word (1 John 3:22); by appropriating His promises (Matthew 21:22; John 14:13-14; John 15:7); and, by loving others in His Name (Matthew 22:37).”  Real faith is not feeling, not seeing, not understanding and not knowing, but still trusting God. Real faith is being convinced that no matter what we see happening, no matter what we understand to be true, and no matter how we feel, God will be faithful to His Word and He will perform His promises to us, in His timing and in His way!