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Our life-long purpose is to disciple~equip~partner in the Great Commission with those who are living on the Gospel edges. These edges or borders are places where the tender shoot of the Good News has sprung up and is making an impact all around it. It’s spreading.
And it is, or is likely to stir up some controversy. It could turn into hostile responses by a few who do not want its presence in their community. You see the unsettling, mind-boggling, soul-stirring and life-changing message of the Gospel has always been like that good news to those who want to hear it and troublesome news to those who reject it.
And in some communities, there is a strong political and/or social push-back against those who embrace the message and those who are seen as in some way responsible for its entrance into their world.
We are not trying to be there for a weekend. Disciple-making is not about a 3-day retreat on the beach (although I will take that too). Discipleship is long-term, relationship-heavy, pressing on to maturity in Christ. The Great Commission and a commitment to living it out is an essential aspect of that maturity.
That maturity demands full allegiance and growing commitment to living in the light of His Word. It requires allowing the new source of life found in and through the Gospel to become the source of all energy and activity. It requires that we find our identity in Him.
It’s nothing short of a miracle when the Gospel breaks in and cleans house and it affects every area of life.
Journeying Together in 2017,
Thank you for dropping by to read this post. It’s going to be short and “to the point”.
Every time a New Year rolls around, we are compelled by culture and something deep within our selves to look at it as “new leaf” time. If my 2016 was filled with some wasted time, wasted money, wasted energy, wasted calories, or wasted anything, everything will scream at me to do something about it in 2017.
The problem is that I probably do not have the self-discipline that it takes to make a serious life-style change. I may want the results of such a change, but probably will not be very happy when I have to start saying “no” to many things that I prefer in order to achieve those result. I am way too weak and undisciplined by nature.
So I need something outside of myself to carry me through the necessary changes. I need accountability and I need to look outside of myself for the strength and purpose to make different lifestyle choices. I need to know that the reason I would make such a commitment is because it is the only way for me to grow to be more like my Master.
The truth is that a resolve to engage more fully in the Great Commission – the command to “go and make disciples of all nations”- is one of those many lifestyle changes that probably will be hard to make. Everything within our comfortable selves will react to the least hint that we are considering a sacrificial commitment to this. Our ego may want to be more involved, want to give more and pray more, BUT our enemy will not want us to do more than what is self-serving and prideful. To really sacrifice and earnestly pray, and to seriously consider our responsibility for it every day will make him very angry.
So here we go. We need to realize that the entrance into 2017 with a deep commitment to the Great Commission is an entrance into a battle-field. It may cost you much more than you would have imagined and it may get very uncomfortable before it is over. But what if in spite of knowing that potential cost…
- you say “yes” and you follow through on your commitments
- you say “no” and realize it is nothing less than disobedience
- you say “yes” but then later under the pressure of the moment your eager “yes” becomes a “no”
God in His grace is very willing to accompany you in your “yes”. He will not necessarily remove the hardships that are created by your “yes”. He will promise to be “with you always even to the end of the age”. He is looking for those who will exercise faith – because that “pleases Him”.
This is my message to myself in 2017. I am very prone to look for something easier. But I know that giving of myself to see people “reached with the Message of hope” is still the “way of the cross”. I still need to “pick up my cross and follow Him daily”. I know from experience that there will be difficult days in 2017. I will have to face those days with courage and determination to keep on following.
Blessed journey in 2017.
Your Fellow Sojourner,
2016 closed out with a great time with our family in the USA.
2016 was a full year of travel for us with many training events all across the region and many opportunities to be alongside the wonderful local groups of friends and followers of Christ that we have met along the way. We have cherished the opportunity to live out our “going and making disciples” with full assurance of the accompanying promise that Jesus gave that “I am with you always even to the ends of the earth”.
So what is ahead for 2017? Well none of us can really answer that yet. We do have some dreams and expectations for the new year. But really it looks like a lot more of the same kinds of opportunities we have had in the last few years.
Discipleship opportunities – to come along side the many groups of His Followers and encourage them to live out their own obedience to the Great Commission.
Training opportunities – to equip and develop the capacity of those who are engaging with the least reached to communicate the Truth of His Message in meaningful ways.
Partnership opportunities – to encourage and assist those who are doing important Great Commission work in whatever ways we can.
You can be part of this exciting and challenging work. You can pray, support financially, or join us for a first hand look at what is happening.
Let us know how you want to participate.
Your Fellow Servants,