This article, by Becky Pippert, is a great inspiration for our pursuit of spreading the gospel and sharing our lives. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
We are no different than our neighbors, we all need this gift of grace. So when we approach relationships and share with those around us, it isn’t and it cannot be a top down or prideful approach.
Becky shared her faith with her hairdresser, though he wouldn’t have listened to someone on the corner handing out cards or waving a sign, he heard Becky out because she was there for him and he could feel her love.
The reason the One Year Challenge is a year and not a one or two week trip, is because relationships and influence takes time. If you want to make a difference by serving God in some places that are seeking workers, knock on the door!
The Bible describes sin as both rebellious unbelief and also idolatry. In today’s culture I’ve found that the concept of idolatry (using God-substitutes to give our life meaning instead of God) is often easier for people to initially grasp. At the right time we will need to explain both aspects of sin, but for now let’s look at how the issue of idolatry can be deeply relevant to unbelievers.
Another week with quotes from Hudson Taylor’s autobiography, comprised of various journal entries and writings!
If you are thinking of taking the One Year Challenge, Taylor and missionaries like him (William Carey, Jonathan Goforth, etc…) are excellent examples to learn from. Their strength was not in worldly talents, but absolute faith in the word and power of God.
“we should never lose sight of the higher aspect of our work—that of obedience to God, of bringing glory to His Name, of gladdening the heart of our God and Father by living and serving as His beloved children.” “I have grown older since then, but not wiser. I am more than ever convinced that if we were to take the directions of our Master and the assurances He gave to His first disciples more fully as our guide, we should find them to be just as suited to our times as to those in which they were originally given.”
The question is not about which side we are on. The old is gone, and the new is come. We stand with Jesus, see through his eyes. Let’s inspire one another by being examples of justice and peace makers. Below are two scriptural references to God’s approach to mercy and injustice.
58 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the descendants of Jacob their sins. 2 For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. 3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’
“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. 4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness[a] will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. 9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 11 The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. 12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14 then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
In terms of evangelism and identity, there is an effect here. People’s minds fill in a lot of gaps because they believe some of the traditions and culture that exists is from the Bible. This is what happens when the church praises God with their lips, but their hearts are far from him.
Let’s be lights in this world, salt on this earth.
We can’t just say “go” and forget to glory in the gospel that frees us to go. When we exult in salvation, we should prayerfully expect the Spirit in our midst to sweep us up in gratitude and wash us out past American shores.
Next time you preach on a missions passage, before firing Google up for the latest tear-jerking statistics, start with the gospel. Revel in it until it releases you from fear and invigorates your evangelistic impulse, until you can say with the Prophet Jeremiah, “There is in my heart… a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in” (Jeremiah 20:9, ESV).
Missions doesn’t always add up, but neither does the gospel. It doesn’t make sense that God would pour out wrath on His Son, redeem and adopt rebels, and make his riches ours by faith alone.
This week we continue with quotes from Hudson Taylor’s autobiography, comprised of various journal entries and writings.
If you are thinking of taking the One Year Challenge, there are several blessed lessons to learn from these examples who have given their whole life to the mission!
“It was to me a very grave matter, however, to contemplate going out to China, far away from all human aid, there to depend upon the living God alone for protection, supplies, and help of every kind.” “I thought to myself, “When I get out to China, I shall have no claim on any one for anything; my only claim will be on God.” “I found myself possessed of only a single coin—one half-crown piece. Still I had hitherto had no lack, and I continued in prayer.”
Rise Up O’ Men of God – Sung by the Singing Cadets. Though the style may be different from what you sing in church. The same great lyrics ring through. A call withstands for men and women to rise up and have done with lesser things. Not because we can earn our spot in heaven. No. We are saved by grace. The call to rise up is a blessing and honor to use our lives in a way that reflects the great love God has given!
Not about the ICOC movement specifically, but a phenomenon for the society as a whole.
This website is dedicated to the topic of how to do ministry for men and bring men to Christ.
If you are thinking about taking the One Year Challenge, consider not just the years experience, but the generational impact the seeds you plant could have. Reaching out to young men that become Godly men and faithful husbands/fathers.
For the teens! Teens around the world gathered on zoom for an International Teen Ministry Devo. The theme was “Fixing our eyes on Jesus”. Check it out here!
It’s a great blessing to learn the way of Christ at a young age and to gather with others that want to focus on God at a young age. If you are a teen thinking about taking the One Year Challenge, that’s awesome! Learn more info at the One Year Challenge Website.