I’m going public with my intentions. After reading through the book “Radical” by David Platt, I am embracing the challenge to read through the bible and pray for the entire world in one year. Now doesn’t that just sound like some “super-Christian” statement? I thought you would be impressed! The reality is, it is not impressive, it should be “normal” for me and for many other Christians. As American Christians, I sometimes wonder if we spend more time “planning” how we are going to do something and “brainstorming” the most effective methods, instead of just simply “doing” it. This year I want to replace my planning and brainstorming with “doing”.
So, last night I began my reading plan for the year. Yes, I do realize that it is more proper to start the reading plan on January 1st instead of Februray 1st. It’s amazing how many different “reading plan” options are out there. You can basically customive your plan to your liking (but does every reading plan really have to start on January 1st). Personally, I’m using the following webiste and plan to accomplish my reading goals for the year (My Reading Plan). Pray for me that God will use my commitment to ignite a deep, hungering passion for his world over the next 12 months.
I suppose some people may be curious about what it means to pray for the entire world over the next year. Operation World is a great resource and the one that I will be using. It outlines prayer needs for every nation in the world, and it simply walks you through praying for them on a daily basis. From what little experience I have with the book so far, I am thoroughtly impressed and very excited to be embarking on this journey. God has been teaching me that my heart for missions and the globe in lacking. I need a deep spiritual revival to give me a glimpse of God’s heart for all nations.
The reality that I face is that I am much better at explaining, organizing, and planning than growing an intimate relationship with my heavenly father on a daily basis. I want less of my man-made ways of running my life and more of Jesus consuming every detail of who I am.
Today, our church was blessed to have a special speaker, Daniel Punnose from Gospel for Asia
. Daniel is the son of the founder of Gospel for Asia and author, K.P. Yohannan
. I have heard representatives from Gospel for Asia speak before, so last night I knew that this morning I would be faced with an eternally focused message. In all honesty, there was a part of me that was fearful of that. Sure enough, Daniel brought the word of God with conviction and sincerity. Preaching from a familiar passage in John 4:27-35, he emphasized the last verse and Jesus instructions to his disciples…”lift up your eyes.”
For the better part of the past year, my wife
and I have felt at times like we are running on empty. Four kids, four and under presents its daily challenges, but the real challenge has come in my battle with my selfish, sinful nature. In all honest, I feel much like the disciples in John 4:35, who are so concerned with the physical (i.e. the harvest is 4 months away), that I am missing the spiritual (i.e. the fields are white for the harvest). It is apparent that when you are unable to take your eyes off of yourself, you miss the spiritual (“lift up your eyes”). I wonder if perhaps I am not alone in this “confession of a selfish 21st century Christian”? Not that it would make me feel any “better” about myself, because I know it is God who is stirring my heart (thankfully!). But I have to come to the realization, that without making the choice of doing things differently, I am just going to have the same ho-hum spiritual results. If I want a vibrant prayer life,then I need to eliminate the snooze button of my life and rise to pray while my family still sleeps. If I want the word of God to speak to me, I have to desire it above my physical appetites. This stirred heart of mine has challenged me to be moved!
Lord, you know all things and know my heart. Lord, you know my weaknesses. Move me. Change me. Teach me to live authentically so that because of the way that I’m living my life someone else will know the gospel! Lift up my eyes and stamp eternity on them! In Jesus’, precious, holy, saving name!
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” ~ Romans 1:16
Do I really
believe this verse exactly as I quote it? Or do I only half-heartily
believe it? As a Christian, I can say that I believe this verse to be the wholly, true, inspired word of God (2 Tim. 3:16). But do my actions demonstrate my belief that this truth is central to Christianity?
Do I really believe that the gospel is the power of God for salvation? SALVATION! Deliverance and freedom from the dominion of sin and the death sentence it deserves (Romans 6:23).
Do I really believe that the gospel is for everyone who believes? Knowing that he who believes and is baptized shall be saved and that the consequence of unbelief is condemnation (Mark 16:16).
Do I not remember that faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17), and that the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword able to pierce the depths of our souls (Hebrews 4:12)?
Or is my faith so small, and my confidence in the God I serve so lacking, that I shrink back from opportunities to preach that gospel out of the fear of man? LET IT NOT BE SO!
My simple prayer is this (join me):
Lord, use this verse to pierce me deeply and judge my heart (Hebrews 4:12), so that my excuses for not sharing the gospel would be exposed. Help me to be not ashamed of you before men and this sinful generation (Mark 8:38), so that I might live to glorify your name. Let revival happen in the hearts of men and women who believe the truth of the gospel, so that we may be bold and unashamed messengers for the only name by which men can be saved, Jesus Christ the Nazarene (Acts 4:12)!
Just a quick post today to encourage everyone to think eternally! I have a link on my side-bar which highlights an “unreached people group of the day”. It updates daily, showing a new group of people who are basically “unreached” with the gospel. Please considering partnering with the Joshua Project in prayer for these lost people as a way of obeying the commands of Jesus in fulfilling the Great Commission.
There is a great website for the Joshua Project, and you can add a link to your own website as well.
Let us look forward to the blessed hope and return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, where there will be people from every tribe, tongue, and nation before His throne (Revelation 5:9)!
At church, this past Sunday members from our church’s mission team to Manti, UT gave some brief testimony regarding their trip and how it changes them. I came away from their testimony thinking one thing…
What would it take for God to light a spark under me, to return me to my first love, and the passion I felt when I first called on the name of the Lord to be saved?
My thoughts this week are thoughts of interspection. I have used the scalpel of the word of God to cut open, examine my life, and attempted to root out all by products of sin (bitterness, strife, anger, and selfishness to name a few). My desire is to continually crucify my fleshly desires and take all of my thoughts captive and bring them to submission under Christ. I have found it to be true in my life that sin keeps me from the word, and sin keeps me from true joy in Christ
God has shown me that a humble heart of submission to His will, will begin to re-kindle that spark, and the Spirit of God will fan into flame the passion for His name to be proclaimed!