The Knowledge of the Glory and the Sea

Habbakuk envisions the day that the knowledge of the glory of God will cover the sea. It was spoken of in prophecy. How He will complete that is through the message of the Gospel.

It is impossible to think about the sea without visualizing incomprehensible amounts of water. The aquatic life that never breaches the surface of the oceans is unaware that water is the essential and omnipresent reality of its world. Yet Habakkuk envisions a day when the knowledge of God’s glory will fill the world above the surface of the waters such that all of humanity will be consciously in awe of the one whose glory surpasses our comprehension.

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The Essentials of an Effective Church

The essentials of an effective church are the unseen things. Karl Vaters reminds us that an effective church is more than just a fancy website and a pastor who’s hip and wears skinny jeans.

There are only three essential elements for a church to be effective:

1. People who genuinely love Jesus

2. People who genuinely love each other

3. People who share that good news with others

No, that’s not a new list. If it was, they wouldn’t be essential. They’re a simple restatement of Jesus’ Great Commandment and Great Commission to love the Lord with all our heart, love our neighbor as ourself, and go make disciples

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What We’re Reading Today

From Alister E. McGrath’s Mere Apologetics: How To Help Seekers & Skeptics Find Faith:

Evangelism is different. It issues a personal invitation: ‘You are invited to the feast! Please come!’ Apologetics lays the ground for this invitation; evangelism extends it. Apologetics establishes and proclaims the plausibility and desirability of the gospel; evangelism summons people to enter into it and share in its benefits.

Slow Down to Accelerate

Becoming preoccupied with the best strategies, the best decision-making process or the best method can actually slow us down and eventually hinder us from focusing on what’s most important when it comes to becoming a missionary: the heart.

Ironically, to accelerate things, we must slow down. That’s because mission is ultimately God’s work. No matter how big the task, He is the one who does the heavy lifting; He is the one who brings acceleration. He does so not by accelerating tasks but by accelerating usHe doesn’t focus on tasks the way we do; He focuses on hearts.

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Go for the Value of the Gospel

Some big decisions are difficult to make, but then, some are not.

If, for example, your child had a terminal illness and the doctors recommended highly-invasive and risky surgery, though the risk was high, we can be sure that no parent would hesitate to make that decision if it would save their child’s life.  Similarly, people don’t have a huge problem moving to another country if promised a stable and multi-million-dollar salary.

We can see from these examples, that the speediness and sureness in which we make our decisions depends on the perceived value that that decision will bring. In the two examples, the precious life of a child and the promise of a large salary make it easy for any person in that situation to decide.

Should it not be for us Christians and the decision to be missionaries for His Gospel?

Missionaries like Paul and Luke found it easy to make big decisions for God, to move to new strange lands and to persevere under persecution because they saw the value of the Gospel.

Often times it may be difficult for us to make the decision to go on a mission, because we don’t see the value of the Gospel to the world. But the Gospel is the most valuable and precious treasure in the world.

It is more valuable than any multi-million dollar salary.

It is more valuable than any promise of a comfortable life-style.

It is more valuable than any relationship and even our own lives.

It is more valuable because in it is the promise of a reconciled relationship with the God of the universe, access to the sanctuary of God, and the promise of a new life that is free from the clutches of evil.

In Paul’s letter’s he shares 3 particular things that make the Gospel valuable.

  1. The Gospel is the power of God that brings salvation (Romans 1:16-17):

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

  1. The Gospel is the treasure – the life of Jesus – in our mortal and weak bodies (2 Corinthians 4:7):

 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

  1. The Gospel is God’s extending to us his favor – now! (2 Corinthians 6:1-2):

As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says,
‘In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.’
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

Let us be like Paul and his companions: ready and able to make big decisions for God, and ready to go anywhere for the sake of the Gospel.

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What We’re Reading Today

From Francis Chan’s Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit

The world is not moved by love or actions that are of human creation. And the church is not empowered to live differently from any other gathering of people without the Holy Spirit. But when believers live in the power of the Spirit, the evidence in their lives is supernatural. The church cannot help but be different, and the world cannot help but notice.