VIDEO The Key to the Missionary’s Work

The Key to the Missionary’s Work

The key to the missionary’s work is the authority of Jesus Christ, not the needs of the lost. We are inclined to look on our Lord as one who assists us in our endeavors for God. Yet our Lord places Himself as the absolute sovereign and supreme Lord over His disciples. He does not say that the lost will never be saved if we don’t go— He simply says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations….” He says, “Go on the basis of the revealed truth of My sovereignty, teaching and preaching out of your living experience of Me.”

“Then the eleven disciples went…to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them” (Matthew 28:16). If I want to know the universal sovereignty of Christ, I must know Him myself. I must take time to worship the One whose name I bear. Jesus says, “Come to Me…”— that is the place to meet Jesus— “all you who labor and are heavy laden…” (Matthew 11:28)— and how many missionaries are! We completely dismiss these wonderful words of the universal Sovereign of the world, but they are the words of Jesus to His disciples meant for here and now.

“Go therefore….” To “go” simply means to live. Acts 1:8 is the description of how to go. Jesus did not say in this verse, “Go into Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria,” but, “…you shall be witnesses to Me in [all these places].” He takes upon Himself the work of sending us.

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you…” (John 15:7)— that is the way to keep going. Where we are placed is then a matter of indifference to us, because God sovereignly engineers our goings.

“None of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus…” (Acts 20:24). That is how to keep going until we are gone from this life.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The great word of Jesus to His disciples is Abandon. When God has brought us into the relationship of disciples, we have to venture on His word; trust entirely to Him and watch that when He brings us to the venture, we take it.  Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, 1459 R


I AM A MISSIONARY

Are Christian Leaders More Likely to Commit Sexual Sin?

Are Christian leaders more likely than others to engage in sexual misconduct? To the extent that they are truly Christian, the answer is certainly no. But to the extent they are still human, the answer is that all too many have fallen here. And because of their leadership role, their sin is all the more damaging. How many trusting parishioners have been injured for life?

Recent days have brought a fresh spate of charges against Southern Baptist leaders and Catholic leaders.

In the circles in which I travel – most frequently Charismatic and Pentecostal – there have been some very public, infamous scandals. That’s why I devoted a whole chapter to the subject of sexual immorality in my book Playing with Holy Fire: A Wake-up Call to the Pentecostal-Charismatic Church.

To be clear, I did not write the chapter with a self-righteous, holier-than-thou attitude. Quite the contrary. I live by the kindness of God 24/7, and I’m the last one to throw stones, knowing full well that “there go I but for the grace of God.”

As for those who have fallen, the last thing I want to do is heap further condemnation on their heads. I’m all for restoration, knowing that our God is a redeemer.

It’s also important to remember that for every leader who falls there are far more who do not fall. There are plenty of God-fearing, God-loving, men and women of integrity who practice what they preach when it comes to sexual morality.

But the question remains: Why do so many fall? And, if we’re honest with ourselves, what kind of weaknesses lurk within our own souls?

In my book – again, with an emphasis on Pentecostal-Charismatic circles, which account for at least 500 million believers today – I laid out some of the principle reasons we fall into sexual sin.

Here’s an abbreviated version, adapted from the book:

1) Idolatry. Throughout the Bible, where you find idolatry, you find immorality, and the ultimate idolatry is the idolatry of me. It’s the mentality that says, “The world revolves around me. I draw attention to myself. I am an object of people’s worship and adoration. God may be important, but so am I.”

Certainly, this sounds extreme, but when you are hailed as the anointed man of God, when multitudes hang on your every word, when you are more of a superstar than a servant, when your name becomes more prominent than the name of Jesus, idolatry is near. And with idolatry there is immorality.

2) Power. We charismatics know a lot about power – and I mean the power of the Spirit. We have seen God perform miracles through us and have felt His anointing flowing through our bodies. We have touched sick people with our hands and seen sickness and disease leave on the spot. We have watched people fall to the ground because of the Spirit’s presence in our lives, and crowds have surrounded our vehicles as we drove away.

This can be very humbling, as you realize you are nothing and He is everything. But it can also be very self-exalting, since you think to yourself, “Power is flowing through me.”

3) Revelatory Deception. Sexual temptation is bad enough, but if you add deception to the mix, it’s even harder to resist. One megachurch leader claimed that God told him he married the wrong woman, after which he allegedly pressured her to get a divorce, getting married to another woman seven days after the divorce went through. And who performed his new wedding ceremony? A pastor who himself was later caught in adultery.

It’s true that non-charismatics will be tempted to sin just as charismatics are tempted to sin, but they are less likely to use “the Lord told me” as an excuse to sin. It’s amazing what we can “hear” when the flesh really wants something!

4) Doctrinal Sloppiness.

A Facebook friend of mine wrote to me, sharing his frustration after a lengthy exchange with an African minister. He summarized the position of this minister as follows: “You know it, you cannot lose the anointing. The flesh is dead, you are a new creation, and sex cannot make you lose your anointing. The Bible is very clear on this, and the Bible cannot lie. You see, you are spirit, and you minister by the Spirit, but your body is flesh. So, whatever you do with your flesh cannot affect your spiritual power.”

With a doctrine like that, which exempts you from sinning because you are not your body, the sky (actually, the pit) is the limit for what your flesh can now do.

5) Unaccountability. Being part of a denomination does not guarantee doctrinal soundness or moral purity, and leaders can find ways to evade and avoid accountability if they so desire. But because so many of our charismatic churches are independent, and because so many are led by forceful leaders, we often have a recipe for extreme unaccountability.

I heard one megachurch pastor explain that when he didn’t like the way things were being done in his organization, he fired his entire board. They had no recourse against him and no way of holding him accountable for his actions, meaning he could steal money or sleep around, get caught, then fire his board and claim he was the victim. That is how he structured his organization.

Need I explain how this kind of mindset and leadership style opens the door wide to sexual sin? Need I explain how lack of accountability is a seedbed for moral failure?

To the extent I believe that I will not get caught, to that extent I think I can get away with anything. To the extent I feel that no one can hold me accountable for my deeds, to that extent I am digging my own spiritual grave, and to that extent I forget that I will one day give account to God.

Again, I do no write these words to condemn. And be assured that I’m preaching to myself before I preach to anyone else.

But one day we will give account to the Judge. Better to get our house in order today, while there is still time to repent, then on that day, when it will be too late.

Am I being too sober about this?

Just ask the victims of clergy sexual abuse.

By Dr. Michael Brown

https://barbwire.com/are-christian-leaders-more-likely-to-commit-sexual-sin/

Salvation and Sin

1 John 1:5-10; 1 John 2:1-2

One of the main reasons Christians doubt their salvation is the presence of sin in their life. According to 1 John 1:6, people who profess faith while continuing in a sinful lifestyle are deceiving themselves and walking in darkness. Verse 7, however, offers reassurance to those who are truly saved: Though they’ll still sin at times, this doesn’t mean they’ve lost their salvation. Today’s passage explains how believers are to deal with sin when it occurs in their life:

Confess your sins (1 John 1:9). Confession should be our first response when we stumble and fall. It means acknowledging to God that we’ve acted in a manner inconsistent with His character and standards and are in need of His promised forgiveness and cleansing.

Know that Christ is your Advocate before the Father (1 John 2:1-2). It’s never God’s will that we sin, but when we do, Jesus is our Defender in God’s courtroom. His sacrifice fully atoned for our sin and satisfied divine justice. When we repented and believed that Christ died for our sins, we were justified and declared righteous before God.

Know that sin is not a continuing practice in the life of a true believer (1 John 3:9). Since we’re born of God and the Holy Spirit abides in us, we cannot continue in sin. Although there may be brief periods of transgression, God’s Spirit works in us to change our desires and practices.

A believer’s disobedience brings the Lord’s discipline, not loss of salvation. However, as God’s children, we should never excuse our disobedience or abuse God’s grace by living in sin. Instead, we’re to pursue obedience and holiness.

Will You Go Out Without Knowing?

He went out, not knowing where he was going. —Hebrews 11:8

Have you ever “gone out” in this way? If so, there is no logical answer possible when anyone asks you what you are doing. One of the most difficult questions to answer in Christian work is, “What do you expect to do?” You don’t know what you are going to do. The only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing. Continually examine your attitude toward God to see if you are willing to “go out” in every area of your life, trusting in God entirely. It is this attitude that keeps you in constant wonder, because you don’t know what God is going to do next. Each morning as you wake, there is a new opportunity to “go out,” building your confidence in God. “…do not worry about your life…nor about the body…” (Luke 12:22). In other words, don’t worry about the things that concerned you before you did “go out.”

Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do— He reveals to you who He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you “go out” in complete surrender to Him until you are not surprised one iota by anything He does?

Believe God is always the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him. Then think how unnecessary and disrespectful worry is! Let the attitude of your life be a continual willingness to “go out” in dependence upon God, and your life will have a sacred and inexpressible charm about it that is very satisfying to Jesus. You must learn to “go out” through your convictions, creeds, or experiences until you come to the point in your faith where there is nothing between yourself and God.

by Oswald Chambers

Our Poured-Out Devotion

Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.

—Philippians 2:29-30

That many Christians in our day are lukewarm and somnolent will not be denied by anyone with an anointed eye, but the cure is not to stir them up to a frenzy of activity. That would be but to take them out of one error and into another. What we need is a zealous hunger for God, an avid thirst after righteousness, a pain-filled longing to be Christlike and holy. We need a zeal that is loving, self-effacing and lowly. No other kind will do.

That pure love for God and men which expresses itself in a burning desire to advance God’s glory and leads to poured-out devotion to the temporal and eternal welfare of our fellowmen is certainly approved of God; but the nervous, squirrel-cage activity of self-centered and ambitious religious leaders is just as certainly offensive to Him and will prove at last to have been injurious to the souls of countless millions of human beings.   SIZ081-082

Lord, give me that “zealous hunger for God,” that “avid thirst after righteousness,” that “painfilled longing to be Christlike and holy.” I want to give myself in “poured-out devotion” for Your glory. Use me as Your servant, for Jesus’ sake, Amen.

 

Now unto Him that is able

Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.—Ephesians 3:20, 21.

 

All the simplest, most living, and most genuine Christians of our own time are such as rest their souls, day by day, on this confidence and promise of accruing power, and make themselves responsible, not for what they have in some inherent ability, but for what they can have in their times of stress and peril, and in the continual raising of their own personal quantity and power. Instead of gathering in their souls timorously beforehand upon the little sufficiency they find in possession, they look upon the great world God has made, and all the greater world of the Savior’s Kingdom in it, as being friendly and tributary, ready to pour in help, minister light, and strengthen them to victory, just according to their faith. And so they grow in courage, confidence, personal volume, efficiency of every kind, and instead of slinking into their graves out of impotent lives, they lie down in the honors of heroes.

Horace Bushnell.

 

Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.

William Carey.

 

Our Complete Safety

“And of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.” Deut. 33:12

Yes, there is no safety like that which comes of dwelling near to God. For His best beloved the Lord can find no surer or safer place. O Lord, let me always abide under thy shadow, close to thy wounded side. Nearer and nearer would I come to thee, my Lord; and when once specially near thee, I would abide there for ever.

What a covering is that which the Lord gives to His chosen! Not a fair roof shall cover him, nor a bombproof casement, nor even an angel’s wing, but Jehovah Himself. Nothing can come at us when we are thus covered. This covering the Lord will grant us all the day long, however long the day. Lord, let me abide this day consciously beneath this canopy of love, this pavilion of sovereign power.

Does the third clause mean that the Lord in His temple would dwell among the mountains of Benjamin, or that the Lord would be where Benjamin’s burden should be placed, or does it mean that we are borne upon the shoulders of the Eternal? In any case, the Lord is the support and strength of His saints. Lord, let me ever enjoy thy help and then my arms will be sufficient for me.

 

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