This is the final post in our missionary call series. We hope that the Lord has spoken to your heart as you have worked though the previous posts.
In the last post, we saw that there is evidence to support the claim that, if one is properly relating to God and pursuing godliness, there is little to fear in terms of missing God’s call. We made the point that, just like the children of Israel following the deliverance from Egypt, they were not responsible to find the promised land. They were responsible to follow the cloud and the pillar. God would lead them as long as they were faithful in what they knew to do.
That’s what Augustine meant when he said, “Love God and do as you please.”
Loving God will have an effect on obedience to what you already know to do and will also have an effect on the decisions you make. But loving God is the key.
So, what does loving God look like? How can we put ourselves in the spot where we can believe that the decisions we make accord with the will of God?
We know that God’s purpose in His dealings with His children is conformity to the image of Jesus Christ. Paul tells us in Romans 8:29, “For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.” That is to say, to make us Christ like or holy. Hebrews 12:14 tells us to strive for holiness, without which we will not see God. So how do I pursue this holiness? How do I become more like Jesus Christ?
We find a pretty clear answer in 1 Timothy 4:7-8: “Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” Here, Paul tells Timothy that he needed to train or discipline himself for godliness, making the connection to an athlete who undertakes some physical training or discipline for the sake of sport. In the same way that an athlete undergoes physical training to become proficient at some physical activity, so the child of God must undergo spiritual training to become proficient at holiness.
The obvious question to be asked here is, so what are these training activities that will make me more Christ like and put me in a good place to follow God’s leading in my life? I am glad you asked.
There are a number of contemporary authors who have written significant books about this very topic – spiritual disciplines.
Richard Foster wrote “Celebration of Discipline” in 1978. More recently, Donald Whitney has written “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.” In his introduction to this book, Whitney states that there are three main catalysts that God uses to change our lives and make us more holy but only one is largely under our control.
He uses people to change us – the iron sharpens iron principle. He also uses circumstances – God works out all things for the good of those who love Him. And He uses spiritual disciplines. This catalyst differs from the other two in that when God uses the spiritual disciplines to change us, He is working from the inside out. And we must remember that there is a specific purpose for these disciplines and that is godliness or holiness. And this godliness or holiness is the place where we will most naturally follow God’s will or His direction for us.
Do you wonder what these spiritual disciplines are? You can probably guess some of them already, but you may be surprised by some that are in the list. We will list them to finish this blog post and then in the next year we will occasionally pull one of the disciplines out and examine it. Our prayer is that God will challenge each one of us to a deeper walk with Him resulting in holiness.
Here is the list of spiritual disciplines:
And don’t forget that the purpose of engaging in each of these disciplines is godliness. We are not saved by doing these things. Only God can save. But we are made more godly, more Christ like by the practice of these disciplines.
Do you already do some of these disciplines regularly? Which of these are surprises? Is there one or two that might be more challenging for you? Leave a comment and tell us about it.
Canadians recognize Remembrance Day, originally called Armistice Day, every 11 November at 11 a.m.
It marks the end of hostilities during the First World War and an opportunity to recall all those who
have served in the nation’s defence.
On this day of remembrance, I would like to challenge you to remember something else as well.
It is the Gospel, and it is not just for the new birth; it is for your new life as well.
I love to find and share practical methods or techniques for living the Christian life—ways other Christians live out their Christian faith day-by-day. As I speak with people, as I read books, as I listen to sermons, I am always looking for these tips that might be called “faith hacks.” I am going to share one with you today. It comes from Jerry Bridges and deals with the importance of preaching the Gospel to yourself everyday.
Bridges has written in several of his books about the importance of the daily practice of preaching the Gospel to yourself. In “The Discipline of Grace” he writes, “When you set yourself to seriously pursue holiness, you will begin to realize what an awful sinner you are. And if you are not firmly rooted in the Gospel and have not learned to preach it to yourself every day, you will soon become discouraged and will slack off in your pursuit of holiness.” He also gives an overview of the practice: “To preach the Gospel to yourself, then, means that you continually face up to your own sinfulness and then flee to Jesus through faith in His shed blood and righteous life. It means that you appropriate, again by faith, the fact that Jesus fully satisfied the law of God, that He is your propitiation, and that God’s holy wrath is no longer directed toward you.”
But it is in “Respectable Sins” that he gives the practical example from his own life. Here is how he preaches the Gospel to himself every day:
Since the Gospel is only for sinners, I begin each day with the realization that despite my being a saint, I still sin every day in thought, word, deed, and motive. If I am aware of any subtle, or not so subtle, sins in my life, I acknowledge those to God. Even if my conscience is not indicting me for conscious sins, I still acknowledge to God that I have not even come close to loving Him with all my being or loving my neighbor as myself. I repent of those sins, and then I apply specific Scriptures that assure me of God’s forgiveness to those sins I have just confessed.
I then generalize the Scripture’s promises of God’s forgiveness to all my life and say to God words to the effect that my only hope of a right standing with Him that day is Jesus’ blood shed for my sins, and His righteous life lived on my behalf. This reliance on the twofold work of Christ for me is beautifully captured by Edward Mote in his hymn “The Solid Rock” with his words, “My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” Almost every day, I find myself going to those words in addition to reflecting on the promises of forgiveness in the Bible.
What Scriptures do I use to preach the Gospel to myself? Here are just a few I choose from each day:
As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)
“I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)
Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin. (Romans 4:7-8)
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
There are many others, including Psalm 130:3-4; Isaiah 1:18; Isaiah 38:17; Micah 7:19; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 2:13-14; Hebrews 8:12; and 10:17-18.
Whatever Scriptures we use to assure us of God’s forgiveness, we must realize that, whether the passage explicitly states it or not, the only basis for God’s forgiveness is the blood of Christ shed on the cross for us. As the writer of Hebrews said, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (9:22), and the context makes it clear that it is Christ’s blood that provides the objective basis on which God forgives our sins.
That has been his daily practice for many years. Why don’t you make it part of your practice, and see the difference it makes to begin each day reminding yourself of who you were, and who you now are in Christ?
Milton Vincent has written a little book called, “A Gospel Primer for Christians” that could be very helpful in preaching the Gospel to yourself daily. It includes hundreds of Scripture references to reinforce the truth of the Gospel.
Do you make it your practice to preach the Gospel to yourself? If so, what have you learned?
How do you go about it? Please leave a comment below to share your experiences.
You can also check out our blog page here where you can find updates from our missionaries around the world and various blogs for your own growth!
Change is something that comes as a result of something new happening; an alteration, shift, transition, or transformation. The result can be a positive thing or even a challenge for us because it may be unusual or unfamiliar at first.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
God allows us to experience new things so that we can grow and depend more on Him, so it is important that we remain focused on God during times of change and remember that He is the One
who is in control.
In Ontario, we experience four different weather seasons throughout the year:
spring, summer, fall, and winter.
These seasons vary and as a result they impact our daily living. What activities to do and not do outdoors, what to wear, what to cook/eat, etc. These seasons can even impact our moods and how we feel.
Spiritual seasons are also very significant and things we all go through.
Let’s do a comparison with weather and spiritual seasons and see how they can relate:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Let’s be encouraged to trust God in all seasons. We can be assured that we will not walk through any season alone. God is with us and as we trust and serve Him, He will make all things work for good in our lives.
What season are you currently in? How have seasons of change in your life allowed you to deepen your faith and get closer to God?
Please leave a comment below to share your experiences with others as we all continue to grow in this journey together by God’s grace. It would also be great connect with you. Simply click here to do that.
To Him be all glory.
When we hear the word impossible we think of something that is not able to be done and that can easily allow a person to be filled with: fear, uncertainty, worry, and helplessness.
Now, when we hear the word possible we feel a lot better because it tells us that something can be done. That gives us confidence, hope, peace, and assurance.
Today I’m happy to say that, with God ALL THINGS are POSSIBLE.
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God;
all things are possible with God.”
When we face situations in our lives that seem impossible, it ultimately gives us the choice to either focus on those things and keep struggling or to surrender everything to God and trust in Him.
There are several different things we can do to remain encouraged when trusting in God for the impossible. Here are 4 for us to look at:
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it,
and it will be yours.”
Prayer is the key to every victory that we experience in life. We need to constantly be in communication with God no matter what we are going through. We can have the assurance that God will answer us according to His perfect will for our lives.
“He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible
We need to have faith, to believe. This allows us to keep moving forward and to step into the great things God has for us. When things seem impossible, we need to remember that with God all things are possible. This verse demonstrates the power of faith, and it just takes a tiny bit of it.
What are you believing God for today?
“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
We all fall short every day and we need to remember that. We need to check ourselves daily and ask for God’s forgiveness and for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We cannot successfully do the things that God has called us to without the realization that we need God, we cannot do it on our own.
We need to remember this when we are trusting God for the impossible.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”
Surrendering is not an easy thing to do, but it is necessary as we grow in Christ. We all have hopes, dreams, and visions. Let’s surrender these to God and allow Him to guide us so that He may have all the glory. This is what growing in Christ is all about, we are just vessels and our King of glory is worthy of all honor and praise.
Let’s be encouraged today, whatever impossible situation you are facing. There is hope and it is found only in Jesus Christ our Lord.
To Him be all glory.
I want you to take a minute and read Numbers 13. This is the story of Moses sending the 12 spies into Canaan to check it out. Now I want you to imagine you are one of those spies. You saw everything that they saw and you know only what they know. What are you going to tell Moses? Are you going to agree with the majority and tell Moses not to attack, or would you take Caleb and Joshua’s side? Okay, now I want to remind you that this land was the Promised Land, it was the land flowing with milk and honey. God has promised this land to you, as an Israelite. So let us rewind. Does your report to Moses change? Are you still afraid to go in?
The Israelites doubted God. They knew that this land was promised to them. They knew that the same God that brought 10 miraculous plagues on Egypt and gave them their freedom also promised them this land. Yet, in the end, they doubted that God would give it to them. They doubted that God would fight with them and help them win the battle. They did not even want to give God the chance to show His power and faithfulness. Sadly, that hasn’t changed for many of us today.
Have you ever received a task or a calling from God and said no because of fear? Maybe God called you to change jobs but you were afraid of the change and the unknown. Maybe God gave you the task of being a youth leader in your church but you were afraid of not being good enough. But the question is, why? Why were you afraid of accepting something that came from God? The same God that helped the Israelites win battle after battle, the same God that made the sun stand still (Joshua 10:12-15), the same God that blesses us with grace day after day. Why do we ever doubt that God will be with us and equip us for the task He has given us? The Israelites did not want to fight for their new land because they did not think they had the means to win. They did not give God the chance to show His power by defeating the Amalekites and Canaanites. Instead, they wanted to go back to slavery or die in the desert. Therefore, God did exactly that. The Israelites refused to believe in God’s strength and power and so God gave them their wish and they died in the desert rather than entering the promised land. All but Caleb and Joshua. These men had faith, they followed the Lord wholeheartedly, they believed that God would give them the land and so God blessed them and their descendants (Numbers 14)
We all should live our lives with the faith of Caleb and Joshua. They knew that, even though the Promised Land was filled with powerful men who could easily defeat them, God was on their side and He was more powerful.
They accepted the task God had given them because they knew that God would not abandon them. And God will never abandon you. If He gives you a task or calls you to something, He isn’t going to leave you on your own to do it. He has and is going to prepare and equip you for it. God knows what you can handle better then you know yourself.
“But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.” Numbers 14:24
I want to challenge you, and I take this challenge for myself as well. The next time God calls you or gives you a task, don’t say no, don’t even hesitate. Do not let fear stop you from seeing God’s power. Do not let it stop you from being an instrument that shows God’s power. Follow the Lord wholeheartedly, giving Him all your fears and having faith that whatever God asks of you, can be accomplished as He is with you. And we all know God can do anything, even through the weakest part of us. So say Yes!
What is the goal of discipleship? Why is it so important in the church? In our lives? Why do we have and need it? These are some of the questions that we will be looking at answering today. Being involved in discipleship is one thing, but truly understanding why we do it, brings you to a whole other level of discipleship.
What is Discipleship
Discipleship is the teaching of Biblical theology and lessons while modeling a righteous, Christ filled life style. It equips Christians with the Word of God, fellowship and positive relationships, encouragement, accountability prayer, and discipline. Discipleship isn’t something that is meant to be easy, or meant to end. It is an ongoing process that takes time, commitment, energy, effort, and patience. It is something that can’t be done on our own but must take place in community. It should take place in all of our relationships. If discipleship is teaching and modeling, we need someone to teach and model to; but, it is also about learning and growing ourselves, and for that we need someone to teach us and be a model to us as well.
The Goal of Discipleship
So what is the goal of it all? Is it to make converts? Plant more churches? What is the point of discipleship? The goal of discipleship isn’t about making converts or even disciples; it is about making disciplemakers. What do I mean by disciplemakers? A disciple is a follower of Christ, while a disciplemaker is a follower of Christ who turns and goes and makes more disciples. They don’t just settle with being a disciple. But that’s not the ultimate goal; the ultimate goal of discipleship is helping others become more like Christ. This can in turn lead to more churches being planted, but ultimately the goal of discipleship is to be in fellowship with other disciples helping one another become more like Christ.
Why is it Important
Discipleship plays a very important role in the church as well as in our individual lives. Can a church without discipleship truly be a church? Would you go to a church where there is no fellowship, or teaching of the Bible or encouragement or prayer? I wouldn’t, and that is why discipleship is important for churches. It helps the congregation of the church grow and flourish in their faith lives. Discipleship is important in our lives because it is important in the church. Discipleship brings things like positive relationships, encouragement, support, prayer, love and new lessons to learn. All of these things are things that we need; not because we are Christians but because we are human. We need love, support and relationships in our life and, because we are disciples, we need these to come from other disciples. When we get these from other people who understand our faith, the encouragement and support that we receive will be agreeable with Scripture and with God.
But we need to remember that discipleship also brings accountability and discipline. If we don’t have people, other disciples, keeping us accountable to living like Christ, the chances of us straying are greater. Accountability from other disciples will help us stay aware of our life style and keep us from straying from living a righteous life. And with accountability comes discipline. From childhood, discipline has been important in our lives. When we wanted to do something bad, our parents disciplined us to teach us not to do it, and we still need this. When we do something that goes against what Scripture says, we need someone to discipline us. Not in the sense that we judge and punish them but we help them see the wrong in their actions and walk with them as they work to fix the issue. When discipleship takes place in our own lives and we are able to grow in our faith and continue to be more like Christ, the church will also grow with us.
How Do We Do It
Like I said, discipleship takes time, commitment, energy, effort and patience. It is a process that never ends. It should start the moment we decide to follow Christ, and it should never end. That is why it is important to make disciplemakers and not just disciples. Making disciplemakers will secure the ongoing process of discipleship as it is used to make more disciples.
But what does it look like to do discipleship other than just giving our time and energy to others? Discipleship is all about teaching and fellowship. It starts with disciples. These disciples than create a community (e.g. a church) with other disciples, they are in fellowship with others who believe in Christ and want to live like Him. Once this fellowship is built you can work on building discipleship programs like Bible Studies and Kids clubs and continue to make disciplemakers. It is important to realize that discipleship starts with disciples. It can’t work if it goes backwards starting with an organization, then programs hoping to make disciples. How can disciples be made if there are no disciples to help teach and walk along the new disciples?
In summary, discipleship is teaching and fellowship among disciples with the goal of helping each other become more like Christ. It is important that we have discipleship in our lives as, without it, we can’t grow in our faith walk and help build a positive community. Discipleship is about giving a reason for your faith. Through teachings, encouragement, prayer, support and good modeling we are able to show others why we have faith and how we live like Christ which can help them do the same. We all need discipleship, no matter where we are in our faith walk. If you are not involved in discipleship already I encourage you to go and get involved. Find a discipleship group to join or start one yourself with a few friends. Not sure how to start one? Take a look at the resources and blog posts at omscanada.org, or leave a comment and I would love to help you get started! Remember discipleship starts with you being a disciple that is in fellowship with other disciples.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters."
Then people are considering missions and being involved they will express an interest to their church and hopefully to a missions agency. By expressing their interest, they are making their first step on the journey to becoming a missionary, but, they cannot do the journey alone. They need our help! We need to be encouraging and praying for these individuals. But how do we pray for someone we don’t even know? How do you pray for such individuals? Well, there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong way to pray for someone, but there are suggestions on how we can pray for those interested in becoming a missionary.
1. Focus on God.
Begin by focusing on God. Thank God for his good will toward all people and his love for the world. Thank Him for His intensely personal love for this person and for the plan He has for their life. Thank God that Jesus’ death on the cross has cleansed this person of unrighteousness. And thank Him for the work of the Holy Spirit in this person’s life, and giving this person an interest in the missions field.
2. Thank God for the Person
Thank God for their gifts, potential, abilities, and skills. Thank God for the grace that is evident, and that the Holy Spirit is already at work in this person. Thank God for His promise to answer prayer.
3. Ask of God
Ask God to block the plans of Satan against this person. Ask Him to bless the person and to make clear to them His goodness in such ways that there can be no doubt that it is God and not coincidence or chance. Ask God to strengthen every good personality trait, every good desire and every right decision of this person. Ask God to make this person open and receptive to His voice and sensitive to His leading. Ask Him to release this person from any prejudice, to break any chain of sin or habit that may block God’s purpose. And ask God to surround this person with His presence and melt away any hesitation with His great love.
4. Claim God’s Promise.
Claim God’s promise to guide this person. Claim God’s promise to gather for Himself a people from every people, tongue, tribe and nation. And pray that God would send this person into the harvest to do His work.
Prayer is an important and powerful tool. Many things can be done through prayer. When we pray for those we may not know, it is our way of encouraging them. We are bringing them up to God so that through God we may join them on their journey of God’s call on their lives.
Each year, OMS spends time at different Mission Events where individuals express an interest in mission work. These individuals need our help and our encouragement. Please join us in praying for these individuals and that God will send more labourers into the harvest. If you would like to receive a list of names of individuals to pray for you can contact the office.
This content was adapted from Wesley Duewel’s book “Touch the World through Prayer” . It is used by permission of the Duewel Literature Trust, Inc. Greenwood, Indiana.
Going to church and calling myself a Christian automatically makes me a disciple. Or one would think. Calling yourself a disciple is a fancy way of saying you are a follower of Christ. But look at it this way. I can go to school and call myself a student but that doesn’t automatically mean I am going to graduate. Becoming a student, and attending school are steps in what makes me a graduate. Going to church and being a Christian are only little parts in what makes me a disciple. Being a disciple isn’t just going to church and saying I follow Christ, it’s an intentional process, and one a lot of us tend to forget, or even ignore.
1. Deny Yourself (Mark 8:34; Matthew 6:33; Luke 14:33)
This starts with repentance, and admitting to your sins which leads to a transformation. A baptism where you are born again in Christ. It continues with you making God your first priority in life. You give God your life, you leave the plans you had for yourself to follow God’s plans. You are no longer the driver, the one running your life. You must give God ownership to all that you are and to all that you own. It’s because of Him you have it anyways, right?.
2. Read, Understand and Apply Scripture (John 8:31; Matthew 4:4; Luke 11:28)
Reading Scripture is extremely important, but it is also important that we that we understand what it is saying and that we apply it to our lives. Often we read a passage and it leaves our minds the second after it enters. To be disciples we need to read Scripture but also apply it to our lives and this requires that we understand it.
3. Teach, Serve, Love (Matthew 28:20; John 13:34-35; Ephesians 5:1-2)
Teach others all that you know about Jesus, teach them to obey every command that he has given us. As a disciple you will always be a student but you must also be a teacher. Mike Breen says that every disciple must look like a sheep from the front and a shepherd from the back. We must also never stop loving. There is no shortage of commands and verses in the Bible that tell us to love as Christ loved. To be a disciple is to be an imitator of Christ; to love as Christ loved.
4. Transform your Mind and Live Righteously (2 Timothy 2:15; Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 10:31)
To truly be a disciple of Christ we need to focus our lives on living righteously and living free of sin. Yes, I know that as humans it is impossible to be completely sinless, but as a disciple we are called to a higher standard, God’s standard, of living. We can’t do as the world does. When we are born again, we need to transform our minds, attitudes and actions. We need to live righteously and act in a way that pleases God and brings glory to His name alone.
5. Counsel (Proverbs 11:14; Hebrews 13:17; Proverbs 12:15)
We are meant to receive counsel in our lives. It is said in Scripture that the wise receive counsel. When we try to live on our own and believe we always know best we are setting ourselves up to fall. You’ve probably heard the quote “two heads are better than one”, well it can apply to this. Seeking counsel and help from another disciple is better than not seeking counsel. Remember to use others in the family of Christ for help and advice.
6. Evangelize (Mark 16:15; Acts 20:24; Luke 4:18)
Evangelizing is an important part of being a disciple. We need to share of God’s grace and love. We must share the Gospel with anyone and everyone. Share your testimony of what God has done for you in your life. This can show others the power of God and also be encouraging for them. God is too good to keep to ourselves!
7. Worship (1 Chronicles 16:23-31; Hebrews 12: 28-29; Psalm 113:3)
As a disciple we are to worship God in all that we do. It isn’t just singing songs at church on Sunday morning, it can be done in many ways. When we use the gifts and talents that God has blessed us with to honour Him, that is worship. You can worship God by playing sports, studying for school, and even cooking. Obeying the commands God has given us is a form of worship too. Worship God in everything you do!
No one ever said that being a disciple of Christ was going to be easy work. It takes constant work and effort. It is an ongoing process where you never stop learning and growing in your faith. Look at it like a journey. When you are going somewhere you have to keep moving until you reach that place. You can’t stop walking half way and expect to get there. On your faith journey, you have to continue to walk towards God by constantly working through the process of being a disciple. It doesn’t have to be done in any specific order, but everything has to be done. And we can’t stop. The process of being a disciple doesn’t end until the day of Jesus’ return, and Jesus has said that he will return when all nations have had the chance to hear the Gospel (Matthew 24:14). So where do you stand on the process of being a disciple? Are any of the tasks missing from your life?
How many times have you told yourself that you weren’t a good enough person for God to use? How many times have you thought that you were too damaged or broken for anything good to come from you? Well, you aren’t alone with these thoughts! Many Christians today believe the lie that they will never be good enough for God to use. But, that is all it is, a lie. God uses the broken and He can use you!
You are Chosen
We are God’s chosen people. God chose us because he wanted us to do His work. God doesn’t have favourites that He chooses. He chooses all of us. We may think that we will be the last chosen because we are more broken or we sin more but Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. We all have sinned! Before you were even born God planned your path, and he chose you for a specific purpose. You are a chosen child of God; you may be broken but it doesn’t mean you can’t be used. God isn’t done with you yet.
-Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 1:3-4, Philippians 1:6
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last."
God Walks with You
We may be broken, but God often uses brokenness for His glory. When God calls us to service, I think we sometimes forget that we aren’t doing it alone. I don’t know about you, but, as a broken person, if I were to try to do anything God asked of me alone and on my own, I would fail. So I am super grateful to know that I am never alone. God doesn’t call us to do His work and then just leave us to do it alone and on our own! He provides us with the strength, the knowledge and the tools to complete our task. In Matthew 28:19-20 we can find the Great Commission where God calls us to go and make disciples, but do you know how it ends? The Great Commission ends with God telling us that He will be with us the entire way!
-Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 118:6, Matthew 28:19-20
God Chooses the Least Likely
You may think God won’t call you to do something because you don’t think you are qualified to do it. That isn’t how God works. God doesn’t necessarily call those that seem the most qualified. God calls anyone and everyone and then He makes them qualified for the job. Don’t believe me? Well, look at a few examples in the Bible. Moses was called to speak in front of Pharaoh, but he wasn’t good at speaking. Elijah was a Prophet; he was also suicidal. And Job, Job went bankrupt but God still used him even after he had no money. These people may never be our first picks to do our work, but they are God’s. Why? Because God can and will use anyone. God wants to use those less qualified because it shows His glory more when He makes them qualified and they succeed at their work.
-1 Corinthians 1:26-31, Exodus 3-4, 1 Kings 19:1-18, Book of Job
God doesn’t necessarily call those that seem the most qualified. God calls anyone and everyone and then He makes them qualified for the job"
God knows how we humans work. He knows that we relate better to those of the same kind. If you went bankrupt and were struggling, who would you rather talk to about it, someone who has been where you’ve been, or someone who has never known the struggle? God takes what we call weaknesses and He makes them our greatest strengths. You may think that because you’re depressed you have nothing to offer, but you do! You have the ability to talk and help others who also are depressed in a way someone else can’t. He prepares you. Maybe you don’t think you have the money to serve, but if God calls you, He will provide the funds for you to go. He equips you. Look for ways that God may be preparing you for service because God can use you! You’re His chosen child and He has a use for you! Are you ready to let God turn your weaknesses into strengths?
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
A friend of mine was trying to decide what to do next in life and was struggling. She told me that she wanted to do God’s will but His will is so complicated and hard to know. But I think she is wrong. I think we are the ones that make it complicated. We try finding God’s will as a pinpoint accurate thing, but we should be seeing it as a whole wide circle.
One of the biggest questions when someone is considering doing missions is if it’s God’s will for their lives, "Does God want me to go, is He calling me?" This is a great question, but how do we know if it’s God’s will? Let's take a look at 7 tools that can help us discover God's will.
1. Walk with God – Proverbs 3:5-6
First things first, have a personal relationship with God. Read the Bible and do devotions daily. Pray and talk to God honestly. And get involved in Bible studies, and at a church so that you may learn more about God and His love for you.
2. Surrender Your Will — Romans 12:1-2
It isn’t our will with God’s approval, but it’s God’s will alone. To hear God’s will clearly, we must leave behind our own plans and get rid of any expectations that we may have. We must remain open-minded to what God is wanting for us.
3. Follow What You Already Know – The Bible
We aren’t starting from scratch when it comes to learning of God’s will. All Scripture is filled with guidance and God’s plan, not just for us individually, but for all humanity.
4. Seek Help – Proverbs 11:14
Seek guidance and input from Godly people in your life. Sometimes other people can see things in our lives that we miss. By sharing our lives with others, they can help us see more clearly what God is doing and what He may be calling us to.
5. Discover Your Gifts – 1 Peter 4:10
What are the gifts and talents you have that you can use to honor God? God has created us for specific roles and He has blessed each of us with the gifts needed to complete these roles. If we are able to discover our gifts it may help us have a better understanding of what God’s will is.
6. Listen – John 10:27
A good relationship is about talking AND listening. When we pray, we are fulfilling the talking part of our relationship with God. But have you ever sat in silence and listened while praying? Next time you pray, try sitting quietly for a few minutes. Clear your mind and open it to listen for God’s voice. Meditate on specific questions you have for God and even write down what you hear.
7. Listen to Your Heart – Psalm 37:3-5
God wants His children to be happy. As you grow in your relationship with God, His desires will become your desires. God’s will is not restricting or oppressing. When we follow God’s will for us we will feel peace, joy and freedom in God. Your heart will be one with God’s.
We can’t just ask the yes and no questions in life, and what we want can’t take priority. When asking whether you should do missions don’t wait for the yes or no answer. That may be the easy way to do it, but God has been showing you the answer your entire life. He has been preparing you every step of the way to do His will. When we develop an intimate, lasting relationship with God and learn to trust Him, our life’s pathway becomes clearer. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. If you need help knowing what questions to ask leave a comment with your email and we will send you a list!
The other day I was reading a devotional on the kingdom of God and it ended with this, “We need to be kingdom minded in everything we say and do”. Now this really made me stop and think about what it actually means to be kingdom minded. What does that look like?
Being kingdom minded is when we are aware that this is only our temporary home and each of us has a unique purpose here to help further the kingdom of God. We know that what we do is not for us, but for God.
We need to be kingdom minded in everything we say and do"
But what does it look like to be kingdom minded? What would someone see in us? And how do we become kingdom minded and continue to grow in that mindset?
4 Things People Should See
1. They should see God at the center of our lives.
To be kingdom minded is to keep God at the center of all that we do. We are aware of our actions and whether they would glorify God.
2. They should see us reaching out to others, and serving.
Being kingdom minded is to have a servant heart. It is reaching out to the poor and needy, even if we don’t benefit from it ourselves. Serving in the community is as important as serving
in the church.
3. They should see us sharing our testimonies.
Sharing our testimony is so important. You may think your testimony isn’t worth sharing, but trust me it always is. Even if you didn’t have a huge life changing event happen, or an exciting transformation story, your story still shares of God’s grace and love. And that is always
4. They should see that our priority is not our own agenda but God’s.
Being kingdom minded is to put God’s agenda before our own. Our number one priority should be furthering God’s kingdom by sharing of God’s love, peace, joy and grace.
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
4 Tools and Practices to Help Us Be Kingdom Minded
1. Devotions and Prayer
Spending quiet time with God in devotions and prayer is a great way to stay kingdom minded. This time will help you build your relationship with God and learn more of what he has in store for you!
2. Attend Church
Attending church is a great place to learn more about God and what it looks like to further his kingdom. You can also build strong relationships with other church goers. These people can
encourage you and walk alongside you in your journey to be more kingdom minded.
3. Become more Missions Orientated
Get involved in missions. Support a missionary, pray for a missionary, or go on a missions trip. These are great ways to get involved in furthering of the kingdom.
Supporting a missionary financially and in prayer is as important as going. Help in the way you think God is calling you to.
4. Bring God into all Daily Activities
Bringing God into all your daily activities allows God to be fully involved in your life. When God is fully involved you will be able to show God’s love and grace in every area of your life.
We are here on earth for a purpose. God calls us to glorify him in all that we do and say. Wherever we may be on the scale of kingdom mindedness, there is always room for growth. Our purpose is so much bigger then we can imagine and it will take time and effort to achieve. What have you been doing that shows you are kingdom minded? And what will you change to become more kingdom minded? Let these 4 views and 4 tools/principals help and encourage.
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”
Do you ever wonder if you are following God’s plan for you? Are you afraid that what you're doing or wanting to do isn't actually from God? It would be so much easier if God would write out his plan for us in clear English. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works for most of us.
Are you afraid that what you're doing or wanting to do isn't actually from God?
Making decisions in life can be very stressful when we are trying to do God’s work. It is even harder when we aren’t sure if what we're doing is from God. So the question is, how do we know if something is from God?
This is the most important tool and the first tool we should use when asking the question if our path is God’s path. Ask God to show you his plan for you for the situation you find yourself in. Psalms 25:4-5 is a great prayer to do this.
Jeremiah 42:3; Matthew 7:7
2. Go to Scripture
God has given the Bible for our direction, so why not go to it for help with making life decisions. Your decisions should agree with Scripture. If your reading of Scripture raises doubts about your plan, you may want to rethink it.
Psalms 119:105; 2 Timothy 3:16
3. Is it Glorifying?
Will your actions in the situation bring glory to God? We're called to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31), if it isn’t for God, it isn’t from God. Ask yourself, ‘would Jesus do it?’, for Jesus’s actions always glorified God. If Jesus wouldn’t do it, we shouldn’t either.
Romans 6:13; 1 Peter 4:10-11
4. Seek Counsel
Pastors, teachers, friends and leaders can all be very helpful in making decisions. Don’t be afraid to ask those around you for advice and for their input on the situation. Be careful who you choose, and pray about their words afterwards.
Proverbs 1:5; Proverbs 11:14
5. Is it Challenging?
If you think that you can handle whatever comes next in your situation on your own, take a step back. We need God in all that we do. If it's something God doesn’t need to help you with, if it doesn’t challenge your faith, it might not be from God. If faith isn’t involved, how will people see the God you have faith in.
John 5:30; Hebrews 11:6
6. Patience and Trust
Have patience and trust in God. Sometimes we don’t receive the answers we want right away, but trust that God will guide you and keep His promises. If the desire you have grows over time, or you hear it repeatedly over time, take note of it.
Psalms 27:14; Psalms 32:8; Proverbs 3:5-6; Proverbs 19:2; Proverbs 19:21; Isaiah 58: 11; Jeremiah 29:11-13; James 1:5-6
God created you and loves you, His path will never harm you. He only wants His best for us. Don’t rush to make decisions because time can be a gift. So go forth, be a blessing and glorify God in all that you do!
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”. –Romans 8:28 (NIV)
Has fear ever brought anything good to your life? Has it brought you peace, happiness, love? If it has, please let me know, because I want to fear what you fear. I have never gotten those things from fear. Fear has brought me regret, anxiety, loss, stress and pain, but none of these are good. None of these things are from God and, well, that’s because fear is not from God. In fact, God calls us not to fear!
But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine" - Isaiah 43:1
As children of God we have nothing to fear, so why do we still have fear in our lives?
Fear is Satan’s tactic to prevent us from doing the things we're called to do. It paralyzes us. When we give in to our fears and allow them to prevent us from doing something, we are letting Satan win.
Our fears are lies that we tell ourselves,
They won’t like ME.
I’m going to lose.
I’m going to get hurt.
I won’t have enough money.
They’ll make fun of ME.
All these fears are about us, and they are earthly fears. If we aren’t accepted, if we lose or go broke, it doesn’t change God’s love for us. They are things that only matter in this earthly life, but we know that this is only our temporary home.
Fear is nothing but distrust. For example, maybe we fear falling through a platform, that’s us not trusting that the platform will hold. When we fear things, we've lost our trust in God. God promises that He will provide for us, protect us and love us, and God never breaks his promises. So we have nothing to fear.
For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you”. – Isaiah 41:13
I leave you with this. Next time you have fear, don’t let it hold you back, turn the fear into trust in God. Use your fear as a reminder of the promises God has made you and that he hasn’t failed you yet. Turn your distrust to trust and your fear will disappear.