Categories
Life

Are you on mission for Jesus?

During the last week, I have felt a greater sense of being on mission for God’s kingdom. I won’t give all the details (it’s not like my whole life has been upended) but God has been so gracious to change some attitudes and perspectives — and that does make a world of difference.

So whether you are a businessman, a pastor, a retired grandfather, a stay at home mom, or a thousand other things, how are striving to be on mission for Jesus?  What are some practical things you have done or can do to influence people with the gospel?

Categories
Ministry

Are missions and the doctrine of election at odds? I don’t think so.

Some missionaries have said that if the doctrine of election were true, they would never have become a missionary. Well, I say, “I am a missionary because the doctrine of election is true.”

Where do I find this in the Bible?  In Acts 18, Paul is in Corinth.  You would not have found a more pagan city on the planet than Corinth in the first century.  Yet Jesus appeared to Paul in a vision and said, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people” (vv. 9-10).

Paul’s preaching didn’t elect people to salvation.  God elected them and the true sheep responded to the gospel message.  Remember Jesus’ words: “I have other sheep that are not of this fold.  I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice” (John 10:16).

Jesus does the bringing.  You do the preaching.  People will respond.

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Categories
Life

Long, Overseas Engagements Will Give Sweet Victory

A lot of you know that I’m engaged while living here in South Africa.  Carly lives in Nebraska, and will finish up her degree at UNL  in three weeks.  I wouldn’t recommend long engagements to anyone, especially Christians, however when you are separated by God’s call to minister the gospel and 10,000 miles of ocean, you fight through it and endure.

St. Augustine offers a wonderful comfort for why longsuffering and pain usually always result in sweet victory.  He says:

The victorious general marches home in triumph, but there would have been no victory if he had not fought, and the greater the danger in the battle, the greater the joy of the triumph…There is no pleasure in eating and drinking unless it is preceded by the discomfort of hunger and thirst…It is customary, too, for girls who are engaged to be married to delay the wedding for fear that a husband who has not suffered the trials of a long courtship may think his bride too cheaply won (Confessions, p. 162).

Well, it wasn’t Carly’s decision to delay our wedding to make me suffer, but she did willingly and joyfully join me on this adventure knowing that would be our road to travel.  It has been hard and wonderful.  And I’m thankful that in God’s great wisdom and insight, he thought it good for both of us to endure this time apart to make sure that our life together would not be a cheap victory.

Categories
Theology

Do You Believe in Djinn?

Here’s a post from earlier today on Desiring God from a missionary doctor working with Muslims.

The other day, I stopped by the house of one of my Muslim friends. He informed me that his 19-year-old nephew was in the hospital and he asked me to come and look him over.

No problem. I’m a Physician. I get this a lot.

The nephew had gotten pretty banged up when he fell from a three-story building, hitting a few things on the way down. Most of the injuries were not alarming and already taken care of—scrapes, cuts, bruises. He had also broken his heel, which will probably take a couple of months in a cast to heal up.

But the main thing was a broken jawbone. The x-ray was impressive, with several breaks. The answer seemed obvious to me: he needed an operation to get his jaw wired shut.

Enter the negotiations. 

Read the whole thing »

Categories
Life Theology

GenY Missionary: Share the Gospel Without Even Leaving Your Computer!

I just did a Google search of “gospel” and I saw, on the right sidebar, the “sponsored links” section.  The second link down said, “Spread the Gospel,” with the subheading, “Without leaving your computer sponsor a witness for Him now.”

It’s bad enough that we have teenagers who sit in the living room full of friends and text-message the ones in the kitchen.  It’s bad enough that blogs have become a pseudo-community for Christians who no longer “need” to go to a Bible study or seek face-to-face fellowship (not all of you, only some).  But, now, we are teaching people that it’s okay to not get up off your butt and spread the gospel with your mouth!  You can be a missionary — from the seat of your pants on the computer! 

Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m all about giving money and supporting missionaries.  I am a missionary and have financial partners.  However, people who support me are also called to be a witness themselves.  What does the ad on Google communicate though?  To me, it communicates that you can sit at your computer, punch a credit card number in for a missionary you have never met and call it “missions” and “evangelizing.”

I’m sorry, but it is neither of those.  You know what it is?  It’s getting out of doing the dirty work.  It’s getting out of being in the mess of people’s lives and sharing and being the gospel with them.  It’s getting out of being the hands and feet of Christ to the impoverished and uneducated in third world countries and giving them a living hope for this life and the next one.  And honestly, that’s a tragedy.