07/31/09

Weekend Resource: Free book – Tortured for Christ

310wK4BYcrL. SL500 AA226  Weekend Resource: Free book   Tortured for ChristResource: The Voice of the Martyrs invites you to request complimentary copies of Richard Wurmbrand’s international bestseller, Tortured for Christ. Completely free.

Also, when you order the book, you’ll receive a free subscription to their monthly award-winning newsletter to “keep you informed on Christian persecution worldwide while sharing practical opportunities to help Christians who are persecuted for their faith.”

Click here to order the book.

Click here to visit their website and get involved in supporting the persecuted church through the VOM ministry.



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06/17/09

Colombia bound

 Colombia boundPrayer warriors, we request your support again. In a few hours a small team will fly out for Colombia to train a large gathering of youth at a local church. The focus is on decision making, which means bringing the gospel of grace to bear on the issue, pointing our hearts to Christ Jesus our Lord who alone is able to transform our hearts to seek the Lord in all decisions.
It is not a lengthy trip, but because we are partnered with nationals in the country who are already working to train small group leaders, the stay need not be long for the Spirit to work.

Please pray “that words may be given to us in opening ours mouths boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which we are ambassadors, that we may declare it boldly, as we ought to speak.”



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02/14/09

New eyes

Hell. Can I say I believe in its reality, if I can walk by someone headed for it and not say a thing? Hell, a place of torture like we have never experienced on earth, where God’s presence is completely withdrawn from them. The coming withdrawal of God’s presence  caused Jesus to sweat blood in the garden and to cry out on the cross, “Why have You forsaken Me?” I think if I am honest, I would have to say that I am not living like hell is real. I saw a short video clip at church recently where an atheist asked the basic question, “How much do you have to hate someone to not tell them about hell?” His point was that if you truly believe in God and hell, then how much do you have to hate other people to keep from warning them about hell and sharing the news of salvation with them?

Christ. How real is He to me? Yes, I am His child. But when I look at what He says…

John 14:15, 21, 23-24
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
21 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.”
23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

…I am left with a sickening conclusion: I don’t love Him enough obey. He told me to go make disciples, He didn’t ask me. He directly commanded us all to go make disciples of all nations (Mat 28:18-20). How did I find an exception for me in that command? How did I fall for the, “Evangelism is not my gift,” lie of the devil? Sure, some are gifted for it better than others, but is that any excuse for me to watch someone walk through hell’s gates? Those demons must be gleefully propagating such a lie, finding great mirth in the idea that Christians think that they can decide not to proclaim the single message of salvation to all men. We act like we know better than our Lord, we have something more important than our God-given mission to make disciples. How arrogant and destructive!

I have lived like evangelism is optional. No, evangelizing is not an option, for anyone. Both of Old and New Testament makes it clear that the one who has the message of salvation, but declines to declare it (or keeps someone else from declaring it!) is responsible for the blood of those he didn’t tell.

Jeremiah 26:12-15
12 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. 13 Now therefore mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the Lord your God, and the Lord will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you. 14 But as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you. 15 Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the Lord sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.”

Ezekiel 33:1-9
33:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, 3 and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.
7 “So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. 8 If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 9 But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.

Acts 20:24-26
24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.

I come to a clear conclusion that I can not say I love my Jesus unless I am obeying. He has given me commands that I am completely ignoring. I can not say I am following Him, if I am not doing what He gave His entire life up to do: bring men to God. What part of Christ’s life am I imitating if I am not imitating His love for men in bringing salvation to them? What a mockery of love to say, “I love You, but I won’t follow You. I don’t have enough love for you to give my life to Your mission.”

This is not a works-based salvation. I don’t evangelize to my own salvation. However, it is a clear barometer of my love for Him. I don’t love Him much if I won’t obey Him, and following Him in loving others by telling them the only thing that matters. I can tell someone anything I want, but if I didn’t proclaim the gospel, then I have only told them things that will be ultimately worthless if they are in hell. I have failed if I have refrained from boldly proclaiming the gospel.

It’s time to step out and forget about the results of my evangelism effort, and focus on just making the effort. What an amazing idea faith is! I can do something, trust the results to God, and just have faith that He will do His part (saving someone) if I do my part (telling someone). What a statement of faith it is to evangelize.

Father, I need to see the reality of hell and Christ. Through Your Holy Spirit, Make it so real that I see how clearly the eternal things are to be valued above the earthly. Open my eyes to the comfortable lie that there is a value in pouring my life into “worthy” things that have nothing to do with the gospel. Please forgive me for living life practically ashamed of the gospel, even if not outright saying so. Let me live in this reality, so that my whole life is dedicated to “Your kingdom come, Your will be done.”

“Give me Your eyes” – Brandon Heath

Looked down from a broken sky
Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight
Touched down on the cold black top
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breath in the familiar shock
Of confusion and chaos
All those people going somewhere,
Why have I never cared?

Chorus:
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

Step out on a busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide what’s underneath
There’s a man just to her right
Black suit and a bright red tie
Too ashamed to tell his wife
He’s out of work
He’s buying time
All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared?

Chorus
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

I’ve Been there a million times
A couple of million eyes
Just moving past me by
I swear I never thought that I was wrong
Well I want a second glance
So give me a second chance
To see the way you see the people all along

Chorus (x2)
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see



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