Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Our Death & Their Life

Left in darkness
Blindly running
Toward an horrific end
Carelessly rebelling
Against the Lord Most High
With only wrath
Awaiting them
They are utterly hopeless & helpless
Left on the outside
Distant & far off
Who are they?
They are
The Unreached
Those who've never heard
And have not seen
Of Christ
The One who is
The Way, Truth, & Life

Yet here we are
We are the people of the Cross
Children of the Living God
Citizens of a kingdom
That has come
And is coming
And Jesus Christ
Our King & Lord
Has commissioned us
To go make disciples
Of all nations
To be His witnesses
To the ends of the earth
Preaching His Gospel
Proclaiming His Name
And redemptive
Rule & Reign
To all peoples
To those who worship idols
Instead of the One True God

So brothers & sisters
Let us not get comfortable
Becoming lazy & complacent
Being self-focused
And oblivious
To the world around us
Deny ourselves
Take up our crosses
Dying to all
Comforts & luxuries
All that's familiar
Dying to our
Ambitions, goals, & dreams
And go with boldness
Fearing nothing but our God
Being empowered
By the Spirit of Christ
Clinging to His promises
Proclaiming this Good News
So that the unreached
May become reached
With the willingness
To suffer & die
So that they can have life
And have it more abundantly!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Remember Calvary

 We all have those days, where at the end of it, we feel like we've struggled greatly. Days, where that were just terrible, filled with pain, losing the battle to sin left & right, brought almost to despair. I mean c'mon! Life on this side of eternity for believers and unbelievers alike is rough. It's unavoidable and undeniable. Maybe it's could be a week or 2 filled with physical suffering, spiritual dryness, everything seems to fall apart. Gosh, I know I've had plenty of those for sure.
 So what is the remedy to those times? The Gospel of Jesus Christ. On this side of the Cross, we as followers of have no guilt in life and no fear in death. So take heart weary, worn, and bruised saint! Remember  and take hold of the Gospel, and the and the rich blessings & promises that flow from it!

Remember Calvary
And the old rugged Tree
The place where
His love was displayed
Remember the blood poured out
And the crying out
"It is finished!"
Our debt has been paid

"The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us." ~Psalm 103:8-12

"but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us." ~ Romans 5:8

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace," ~Eph 1:7

"And you who were once alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless, and above reproach before him," ~Col 1:21-22

"The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost." ~1 Tim 1:15 (my favorite)

"For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he pour out on us richly through Jesus Christ, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." ~Titus 3:3-7

For in those moments and days of distress, despair, suffering, and dryness; look to the Cross and remember. The Gospel can and will bring: healing, joy, restoration, refreshment, and renewed zeal and passion. Don't lose heart, my brothers & sisters! Remember Calvary!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Expanding....Vision -- The Horn of Africa

 Oooh...Somalia! Ha! For those who know me, and have spent time with me, know full well the heart the Lord has blessed me with for the Somali people. For about 4ish years now, I've had this heart and burden for Somalis; that they may come to know Christ. I've even come to the point recently that if God wants me to go to Somalia itself to do Gospel ministry there then...so be it! Oh, and If I perish....I perish, cause I know to who I belong!
 All that is to say though....if that's where the Lord leads me. Really wherever Somalis are is where I want to be; and they are all over the place! Well over a million in Kenya and Ethiopia each in refugee camps, then roughly 98,000 in the U.K., 57,000 in Italy, 81,000 in the United States, and over tens of thousands in other countries around the world. So as you can see....there is a wide variety of where I can go here to do Gospel ministry to the Somali people.
 Yet, as of a couple days ago, the Lord has reminded me of something. Since God shows no partiality, therefore the Gospel also shows no partiality too (Isa. 45:22). I share this because many people who want to be missionaries focus on a particular people group to do Gospel ministry among. Which isn't bad at all I'd say, but you think of the Great Commission....."Go make disciples of all nations...".
 Paul is a great biblical example of a guy who wanted to take the Gospel to more than just one people group. Just take a look at what he syas in Romans 15:19b-20:

 "--so that from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the Gospel of Christ; and thus I make it my ambition to preach the Gospel, not where Christ has been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation."

The apostle had this holy ambition to proclaim the grace of God in the name Christ to those who've never heard of the Name. You can see this in the book of Acts. Paul didn't just stay in Damascus once after his conversion. No no, being led by the Spirit he went all over the place proclaiming the Gospel. Places like Antioch, Macedonia, Philippi, Thessalonica, Corinth, and Ephesus. By God's grace the Lord used Paul to start or be a part in starting churches in these places. Paul apparently knowing God's heart, that He desires all people be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth., and is spurred on place to place, nation to nation.
 Now to give a modern day example. My older brother's pastor knows a missionary couple who have spent a good few years church plating down in Mexico (I believe). Upon the time of retirement age, instead of retiring these 2 saints instead went to Morocco to do Gospel ministry there. Boom! I love it! On mission, serving the Lord till there dying breath. That's how I want it to be! To be poured out, completely wrung out, up to my last breath; laboring with the Gospel among the unreached.
 This brings me to the reminder the Lord has put in my mind these past couple days. Yes, my heart absolutely aches for the Somali people for sure, but...there are a plethora of other unreached peoples within the Horn of Africa. Like the Garre, Dabarre, and the Tunni in Somalia; South Asian general in Djibouti; the Rashaidi and the Dahalik of Eritrea; the Kebena and the Wolane of Ethiopia. Not to mention many much more.
 So I ask myself yes I so much want to do gospel ministry to the Somalis, but all these other people groups too, who need the saving grace in the Gospel equally as much. Again the Gospel shows no partiality because God shows no partiality. Indeed Jesus died to purchase for himself a people from each one of the people groups I mentioned above. Then I ask myself, why stop with just the Somalis? Why not the Garre, and the Rashaidi, and the others. Paul had in mind Ephesus, Thessolonica, Corinth, and other places; so why not myself?
 So yes, I still do have the particular focus of the Somalis; they indeed will always have a special place in my heart...so to speak. Yet I believe the Lord is expanding my vision and heart to all unreached peoples of the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, and northern Kenya make up the Horn by the way)!
 So please pray 1) for the unreached in the Horn 2) the Lord to raise up laborers to bear the light of the Gospel to the unreached in the Horn 3) and that the Lord would give me guidance and discernment on where and how He want me to make an impact with the Gospel among the unreached in the Horn. For I'm willing to die, so that they may have life and have it more abundantly!