Who Done It?

Everyone likes a good mystery.  Some like mystery movies.  Some like mystery books.  But most people like mysteries of some sort.  Why is that?  Because we are all intrigued with knowing what the mystery is.  You know...Who done it?  Or...Where'd they hide it?  Or...Which one is it?  A mystery is simply information concealed.  Mysteries are like the contents of a treasure box discovered..but yet to be opened.

As For Me

"As for me..."  This small tiny phrase carries a lot of weight.  It can be expressed in other ways:  "As far as I am concerned..."  Here is another one:  "When it comes to me..."  This little phase "As for me..." is used throughout the Bible to emphasize the deepness of one's conviction of something.  It is a definitive statement of one's belief in something or someone.

There Is No Shadow In His Presence

I was awakened by God's Spirit this morning rather early.  This is no uncommon thing with me.  Many things can keep you awake at night or wake you up in the middle of the night.  It can be a barking dog, too much pizza, or stress and worry over the day ahead.  But you just know it when it's the Holy Spirit.  Today...it was the Holy Spirit.

I've walked with God long enough to know that when this happens to me, it's time to get up and pray. 

The Path of Hope

If we allow ourselves (and many do), we can look at the state of our world and become very, very discouraged.  As a matter of fact, if not careful we can lose hope.  The world's economy has gone bonkers. Terrorism is growing world-wide.  There are volatile situations in Egypt, Tunisia, and other nations of the world.  Add to that natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, storms, and floods all over the world.  And then there are the personal challenges many face in relationships, joblessness, sickness, and finances.  It is very easy to lose all hope in a world that looks rather bleak.

How To Obey God

Could one actually explain how to obey God...in a blog post?  Why not?  To obey God is to serve God.  And from what I've learned...serving God is really very, very simple.  You see, we humans tend to take things that are simple and find ways to complicate them.  At least we are good at that.  We are no different when it comes to obeying God.  We make it complicated.  God never intended obeying Him to be complicated or unattainable.

Missions...the Heart of the Great Commission

When you hear the word "Missionary" several things probably come to your mind.  For many...a long slide presentation (with 2,016 slides) presented during a Wednesday night church service. Others might get the picture of a person, struggling to get by on the basic commodities of life in order to win someone to Jesus in a foreign land.  While yet others get the picture of an American family living in a walled-in compound, complete with all the comforts of the U.S. (including servants).  All of these are not wrong; because they at least originated from a desire to fulfill the Great Commission issued by Jesus.  In Matthew 28:18-19, Jesus said, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

The heart of the Great Commission is "making disciples of all the nations...".  Watch this closely. Jesus did not mean for His disciples to go and make disciples out of every person in every nation.  He meant they should go and make disciples of/from every nation possible.  Then those new disciples would go and make disciples from their own people and eventually other nations.  Jesus' plan is that there will be disciples in every nation, every people group, and every tribe on the face of the earth.  Because when there is, the gospel will have the potential to spread to every person.  This is the thrust of the Great Commission.  And I am convinced that the vehicle for the Great Commission is what we call today "Missions".

The command was to "make disciples."  What is a disciple?  A disciple is an avid "follower" of Jesus.  A disciple sits at the feet of Jesus (as the original twelve did), and learns from Him, listens to Him, and obeys Him.  A disciple is one who started as a convert, but committed to being a follower of Jesus.  Only disciples can make disciples.  And that's the point.  A disciple must be made.  Jesus spent three years making His original disciples.  They sat at His feet, listened to His instruction, basked in His great love, and carried out His commands.  Only disciples are qualified to fulfill the Great Commission.  Only disciples can change the world...one life at a time.  Only a disciple can be genuine Missionary, who commits to making disciples...anywhere on the planet.

It doesn't matter if one is involved in home missions, foreign missions, short-term missions, or long-term missions; the result must be more than souls saved.  The result must be disciples made.  Disciples change lives.  In my humble (but personal) opinion; short-term missions can be true missions (the thrust of the Great Commission) only when disciples are being made.  Short-term missions are effective when the same people groups are visited over and over.  Believe it or not, the Apostle Paul was a short-term missionary.  He traveled to various places sharing the gospel and winning souls.  He set leaders in place to make disciples out of those converts.  In addition, Paul revisited those places in which souls were saved to make sure disciples were being made.  Paul didn't traverse the inhabited earth because he liked to travel.  The call on His life to make disciples was the perpetual impetus that drove Him.  He would return to his base of operation only to launch out again to tend the churches established on a previous journey.  In addition, this short-term missionary stayed connected to those he won by his letters, also known as his epistles.

All believers should be made into disciples (although all are not), and should be involved in making new disciples.  When a person grasps this biblical concept those near them will be influenced by having their live changed...eternally!