Two Obstacles to Taking Perspectives Overcome

(If you have not read my post from last Tuesday – Perspectives. I would suggest reading it first.)

Before I took the Perspectives class, I had many objections about why I couldn’t attend. Now, don’t get me wrong, I really wanted to go. I just thought that there were too many things blocking me from taking the class. Well, I found out that I was able to overcome those obstacles and my life was changed by taking that class.

Obstacle #1: Age

When my dad and I began to talk about the Perspectives class that was being hosted at our church, my first concern was that I was too young. Should I wait until I’m older? Then, I might be able to get more out of the class. But, my dad told me, “You know, you might get more out of the class if you were older. However, it might be more beneficial to take the class now because you will look at the world differently after the class.”

So, there is some advice from my dad. Now, being a high school freshman, I have taken the course and I say YES. Take Perspectives (even if you’re still in high school)! It will change the way you look at the worldwide movement of God and maybe even alter the course of your life.

Obstacle #2: Time

Ok. I have to be honest with y’all. The Perspectives course takes a lot of time and effort. There are readings every week and you are also required to attend a live class once a week. I, personally, didn’t think that I had the time to do all of the work.

Now, for some people that is a legitimate concern. You might have a full-time job. You could be a stay-at-home mom. You might be a high school junior with a ton of homework.

But, I found that there is a way to overcome this barrier. The first is to set a time to do your readings each week. Each Sunday, after my younger siblings went to choir, I would sit down and read. My dad found time to read while he waited for my sister to finish her bible study which he drove here to every week.

However, for me, I had to give up some of the things on my schedule. Normally, I would go to choir with my siblings. But, in order to have enough time to do the readings, I had to resign for that semester. Also, my highschool bible study was at the same time as class. So, I had to give that up, too. Was it worth it? I believe that, yes, it was.

So, what do we do with this? Well, if you were on the fence about taking Perspectives, I hope that this post has helped you to finish jumping that fence. But, if you weren’t planning on taking it, maybe now you are interested in finding out more. However, if you aren’t ever planning on taking the class, I hope that you can at least see how important it is and encourage others to go.

Perspectives

For the last 15 weeks, every Tuesday night, I have had the opportunity to attend a class called Perspectives. Perspectives has been extremely crucial in my Christian walk. Perspectives has taught me so much about how God is working around the world and how He wants us to partner with Him in reaching the ends of the earth with His wonderful, too good to be true, news. Perspectives on the World Christian Movement is a class for people of all ages who are interested in what God is doing in the world.

Why Perspectives?

God has a “world-sized” role for every Christian in His global purpose.Whether people go to distant countries or stay at home is a secondary issue. The primary issue is what most people are hungry to discover: vision to live a life of purpose. Discovering that vision makes this course valuable, and perhaps crucial, for any Christian. ~ taken from the Perspectives website

What is Perspectives?

Perspectives is a fifteen-week course designed around four vantage points or “perspectives” — Biblical, Historical, Cultural and Strategic. Each one highlights different aspects of God’s global purpose.

The Biblical and Historical sections reveal why our confidence is based on the historic fact of God’s relentless work from the dawn of history until this day.

The Cultural and Strategic sections underscore that we are in the midst of a costly, but very “do-able” task, confirming the Biblical and Historical hope.  ~ taken from the Perspectives website

Interested in learning more? Take a look at the Perspectives website.

Facing a Task Unfinished

This week I would like to highlight two more missions related songs which I have found recently. They are called Facing a Tack Unfinished and For the Cause. Both are written by Keith and Kristyn Getty.

Facing a Tack Unfinished

Missions sometimes seems like a task which is too large to complete, too impossible to tackle, and there seems no way for it to ever end. We will sometimes get discouraged and wish that we could give up. This song encourages us to continue the task until every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

“Facing a task unfinished
That drives us to our knees
A need that, undiminished
Rebukes our slothful ease
We, who rejoice to know Thee
Renew before Thy throne
The solemn pledge we owe Thee
To go and make Thee known

Where other lords beside Thee
Hold their unhindered sway
Where forces that defied Thee
Defy Thee still today
With none to heed their crying
For life, and love, and light
Unnumbered souls are dying
And pass into the night

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord 

We bear the torch that flaming
Fell from the hands of those
Who gave their lives proclaiming
That Jesus died and rose
Ours is the same commission
The same glad message ours
Fired by the same ambition
To Thee we yield our powers

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord 

O Father who sustained them
O Spirit who inspired
Saviour, whose love constrained them
To toil with zeal untired
From cowardice defend us
From lethargy awake!
Forth on Thine errands send us
To labour for Thy sake

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord 

We go to all the world
His kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord”

 

For the Cause

This is the anthem of Christ followers which I love so dearly. We proclaim Christ so that all creation and every nation may find salvation through the Son, Jesus Christ. His name is the name that is above every name!

“For the cause of Christ the King
We give our lives, an offering
’Til all the earth resounds 
With ceaseless praise
To the Son

For the cause of Christ we go
With joy to reap, with faith to sow
As many see
And many put their trust in the Son

CHORUS
Christ we proclaim, 
The Name above every name:
For all creation, 
Ev’ry nation,
God’s salvation 
Through the Son!

For the King once lifted high
To cries of rage, of ‘crucify!’
Endured the cross
As every sin was laid
On the Son

To the King who conquered death
To free the poor and the oppressed
For lasting peace
For life and liberty
In the Son

CHORUS

Let it be my life’s refrain:
To live is Christ, to die is gain;
Deny myself, take up my cross
And follow the Son

Missionary Interviews #2 – Daniel and Stephanie Dias

      Thank you, Daniel and Stephanie, for taking your time to answer these questions! I am so glad that  I was able to interview you all.

How long have you been serving?

              We have been in West Africa since April 2008.
 
Where have you served?
              We originally went to West Africa to work in Guinea – Conakry.  Our goal was always to work in church planting but our mission asked us to help with a service ministry, a ministry that assists church planting.  The ministry was to help new missionaries arriving on the field.  We were new missionaries ourselves, but we decided to give a few years to this ministry.  We were there for only 17 months before leaving to have our third son.  We were still planning on returning, but two weeks after our depart there were political problems in the capital, where we were located.  Our mission asked all the missionaries in the capital to move to Dakar, Senegal.  Senegal is just North of Guinea.  A few months later, our mission board asked us to relocate to Dakar to keep doing the same ministry we were doing in Conakry. After much prayer we accepted, saying that we were going to give this ministry two more years.  Afterward, we wanted to pursue church planting.  After one year in Dakar, we reminded our mission board of our desire and they informed us that it would most likely be delayed since they needed to do People Group Assessment (PGA).  Our mission board has a focus in church planting and they use PGA to find out where the priorities are in a given area.  So PGA involves a lot of traveling, investigating, and visiting with local believers.  Our mission board was waiting to find a single person who could do this ministry.  We offered to work with it for the second year in Dakar since at that time there were no single missionaries available. We ended up traveling 7,000 miles in about 4 months, visiting 7 West African countries.  By the end, we had a list of the people groups that our mission board considered a priority and among them was the Bolon in Burkina Faso.  Since 2013 we have been in Burkina Faso, learning the local language of wider communication (Jula), getting to know the local church community, and preparing to live among the Bolon.  We just finished building our house in a Bolon village this last January. 
 
When did you first feel that you were called to be a missionary and how did that lead into what you are doing now?
              I (Daniel) was born into a missionary family.  My parents worked for 12 years with a small people group in Northeast Brazil.  By the time I was 12 years-old we had already moved to another region and my parents were helping a small church in the countryside.  My parents were always involved in raising the awareness of the local church concerning Missions.  We went with a group from our small church to a mission conference at the New Tribes Bible School where we watched a video about missionaries in Papua New Guinea.  They learned the language of a people group and gave them the Gospel.  One of the new believers asked the missionaries how long they had known the message.  Upon learning that the missionaries had known it for a long time, the new believers asked why it had taken so long to come and give them this Good News.  I then felt convicted of our responsibility, as the Church of Christ, to go and give them the Gospel.  Ever since that moment, my life has been geared towards church planting.  Every decision I have made has had the goal of reaching the unreached. 
              I (Stephanie) knew that God was leading me into missions around the age of 14.  I had a heart for missions, specifically the unreached people groups of the world.  I also knew that God has given me an ability to learn languages easily.  I prayed to be used wherever He would lead me.  I pursued a degree in elementary education since I figured I’d be homeschooling my children one day and it was during my time in college that God began to open doors for missions.  Through an MK friend, I learned about New Tribes Mission and their philosophy of missions.  This same MM also introduced me to my “future” husband.  After learning that my husband had a heart for Africa, we headed in that direction.  We studied French in Quebec, Canada and then raised support before leaving for West Africa.
 
What does your job entail?
              Our mission has the goal of establishing strong, bible literate, indigenous churches.  As church planters, we have to learn the language and the culture of our target people group in order to effectively communicate the story given in the Bible.  Once we reach a high level of communication ability we start working with literacy, teaching the people group how to read and write in their own language.  We then translate the Bible verses that will be used in Bible teaching, prepare the lessons, and start the teaching phase of our ministry.  Our mission board works with a chronological teaching program that teaches the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  Once the teaching is done, we then start the translation of the rest of the Bible, hopefully now with the help of our brothers and sisters who recognized Jesus as their savior during the teaching time. We then go through the other phases of teaching that will expose the new believers to the entirety of the Bible story.
 
How do you think that your specific role in missions is especially important?
              We have the opportunity to present the Word of God to people in their heart language.  It is through the truth of His Word that the Holy Spirit uses to convince people “concerning sin, godliness, and judgment” (John 16:7-11). 
 
Do you have a story about how you have seen God work through your role?
              Although we are at the very beginning of our church planting ministry, we have had the opportunity to serve the local church everywhere we have been and it has been a blessing to be able to share more of the truths of the Bible everywhere we go.  The lack of knowledge of what the Bible says is widespread.  Although many people see Jesus as their Savior, some do not understand what that truly means.  We have had the opportunity to see people learn more of who they are in Jesus and see them be set free from fears that used to control their lives.  While learning Jula, I was talking to my language teacher about God.  He was a new believer and did not know much of what the Bible teaches.  I was explaining that although God is spirit, not having a physical body, He is not like the spirits his people worship and fear. I told my teacher that God is Eternal and the spirits only immortal.  He only understood the difference when I said that God does not have a birthday, that He was never born.  He was amazed by that because until then he thought that God was stronger than the other spirits but didn’t know why. We pray that we will see much of this among the Bolon in the future.
 
What training did you have to take for your job? (college degrees/ classes/ working with people on certain things)
              I (Daniel) went to Bible School, Missionary Training School, and Linguistic School as preparation to work as a church planter with New Tribes Mission.  The training took four and a half years.
              I (Stef) attended a Christian University so I didn’t have to do New Tribes Bible School. Even though Daniel had already completed NTM training, we had to do the missions training together as a couple.  Then we were placed into the advanced linguistics program where we spent a semester in Oklahoma studying Cherokee. 
 
What tips would you give a young person or anyone who is interested in this role? 
              You should ask God to search your heart and confirm your calling.  If you’re sure of God’s leading, then go forward, trusting God to open doors at the right time. He always does. There are some missions who do “vision” trips where you can visit the field before deciding where to serve.  Those trips can be helpful.
 
Is there any way that we can pray for you and the area you work in?
              Yes! There is a continual growing presence of Jihadist activity in our country and it’s creeping closer and closer to our village.  Pray for safety for the missionaries in the area and for wisdom for our team as we serve God in this new reality.
 
 
 
 
Other posts in this series…
 
 
 
 

Training Grounds For the Future

Remember what I said about school in my last post?  In the post, Mexico Vision Trip – Come I said that,

“School felt meaningless and I felt lazy when I was reading a book or just relaxing.”

However, school is not meaningless and it is ok to read a book or to relax when you’re tired. School has a purpose. It is important. But, why? 

School teaches you how to learn.

Now, one of my Dad’s favorite quotes about school come to mind. He says it every time we ask, “Why must I do school? Do I have I do this?”  It is,

School is where you learn how to learn.

It is as simple as that. 

We go to school and get taught how to learn. That way, when you are older, and you don’t have people in your life who are able to teach you things, you will still be able to learn something new. You will know how to teach yourself new and important things that you didn’t need to know when you were younger.

For example, you are driving to work and your tire pops. What do you do? You have never changed a tire in your life – never even seen one changed, for that matter. 

First, you would know that you need to find instructions on changing a tire. (Unless you are really ambitious and think that you can change a tire without instructions.) Once you find your instructions, you would read them and interpret what they mean. Then, you would change the tire, following the directions. Also, if you knew that you weren’t strong enough to change the tire, you would go and find someone to help. 

In this example, you 1. recognized your problem, 2. figured out how to solve the problem, and then 3. solved it. Does this sort of sound like those math word problems we have to solve each day?

So, we go to school to learn how to learn.

For those worried teachers out there, yes, it is extremely important to know how to read, write, solve problems, and interpret information. 

Life prepares us for the future.

Life, as it is now, is a training ground for what life will be like tomorrow, next week, next year, or the next season in my life. What you are experiencing today, will prepare you for a challenge you have to face in your future. 

I did gymnastics for four years and I loved it. I practiced at home almost every day. To perfect my cartwheel, sometimes I would do more than a hundred in one setting. 

Now, I don’t believe that gymnastics is what I will do for my career in the future, but it did teach me an important lesson – Perseverance.

Perseverance is steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

When I was practicing my cartwheels, I did cartwheel after cartwheel after cartwheel. Those cartwheels were not perfect overnight. I had to be patient with myself and continue to practice, even when it seemed like I was going nowhere.

So, the experiences you are facing now are training grounds for you to live out what you believe and to learn new skills that you will use for the rest of your life.  Go.  Train hard!

 

 

 

Mexico Vision Trip – Reflections

 

A child looks out her window, sitting on a tattered, worn bed, wondering what her purpose is in life – wondering if she even matters. She has never had anyone say to her, “Good job.” Never has anyone shown her love. All her life she has always been told that she is stupid and good for nothing. 

Is this how children deserve to grow up – wondering why they were left at a children’s home or an orphanage?  Or asking why their parents don’t care enough to take them back home?

No! But, unfortunately, there are over 140 million orphans in the world. These children either have no parents, have parents who can’t support them, or parents who just don’t want them. 

This breaks my heart. But, it breaks these children’s heart more than mine. It rips their hearts in two when they find out that they are not wanted or cared for.

(It is important to watch the video for the rest of the post to make sense.)

That is what we did that week we were in Mexico. When we went to the children’s home, we played volleyball and soccer with the kids, showing them that they matter to us. We painted their nails in order that they might know that they are loved. When they drew a beautiful picture or did a fantastic cartwheel, we told them so. 

Also, to show that their safety and needs were important to us, we painted their dirty walls and cleaned out their rubble filled back yard.

What I learned this week is that no matter what language you speak, what you look like, where you live – we all want to laugh, have fun, and be loved. But, most importantly, we all need a Savior. We are all sinners and we all desperately need Jesus to save us.

 

 

Missionary Interviews #1 – David and Zoe

 

   I was so excited when I found out that I would be able to interview David and Zoe*.  I appreciate their insightful and helpful answers! This is the first missionary interview in the series, so, let’s begin…

How long have you been serving?

   We have been serving in missions for 18 months.

Where have you served?

   We have been serving in Western Asia.

When did you first feel that you were called to be a missionary and how did that lead into what you are doing now?

   I first felt called to be a missionary in my mid-20’s when I took the course, “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement.”  I learned from a number of missionaries throughout the course about God’s heart for the nations and the various roles in the Great Commission and also the various organizations there are in missions.  Currently, I’m a church-planter serving in an unreached country that is only 0.005% evangelical Christian.

What does your job entail?

   There are a number of aspects to my job.  I’ll arrange it sequentially.  Firstly, in order to be a missionary full-time, I needed to raise financial support.  My wife and I spent over a year meeting with individuals and churches sharing the calling God had on our lives and the opportunity to partner with us financially and answer questions people had.  Once we departed for the field, we had to set up our lives and adapt to the new culture.  So we were (and are) learning and thinking about how the common person lives and how we are to adapt accordingly.  Next, we began (and are continuing) to learn the native language.  This takes years to accomplish and varies based on the difficulty of the language.  Our desire is to become proficient enough to communicate the gospel without significant barriers to understanding the message.  Furthermore, our job is to preach and share the gospel.  Once people believe, our job is to disciple, equip, train, and gather believers.  It’s incredibly important that we raise up national leaders so that the church can grow and multiply through the native people. As the church grows and matures, we are to discern when to fully hand over leadership to nationals.  Once that takes place, we come alongside the church and offer support and encouragement in order that it may truly be an indigenous church.

How do you think that your specific role in missions is especially important?

   All people play an important role in the church and in the great commission.  Church planting among unreached people groups is especially important though because people in our country do not have access to the gospel and Jesus told us to go to the ends of the earth.  People are born, live and die without hearing about Jesus in some parts of the world.  Therefore, it’s vital that missionaries bring the gospel to them that they may be saved by placing their faith in Christ.  Further, we don’t see that our job is complete until those people who do come to faith by our evangelism are gathering and are worshipping in the context of a church.  We don’t want to simply lead them to faith and then move on, but rather see them worshipping with other believers and recognizing that they are an essential part of the body of Christ in the context of a local church.

Do you have a story about how you have seen God work through your role?

   We are in the early phases of church planting, but have seen God begin to plant seeds with our language helpers and teachers.  Just recently, my wife began meeting with my teacher from my language school at a local university for private tutoring.  My teacher said that she knows whether or not a student is a missionary within a matter of minutes of meeting them based on the expression on their face and their attitude.  She said that she just notices a difference in their life.  However, this is the first time she has ever had a missionary student in her home for tutoring.  We have been explaining the gospel to her, and she said it’s the first time she has been able to understand the joy that missionaries have in their heart.  We are thankful for all of those faithful missionaries who shined the light of Christ.  We are hoping to see by the fruit of their lives and ours, along with our words, that she comes to faith in Christ. 

What training did you have to take for your job? (college degrees/classes/working with people on certain things)

   I went to seminary and received a master of divinity degree.  However, it was not absolutely essential that I get the degree in order to do my job, but I highly recommend biblical education.

What tips would you give a young person or anyone who is interested in this role? 

  1. Pray. I recommend the book Operation World.  It’s a prayer guide for all the nations.  You can learn a lot about the world through that book, pray accordingly, and God may prompt your heart to a particular field.
  2. Prepare to be challenged.  Missions is a very difficult job (but incredibly rewarding as well) and people need to be ready upfront for a challenge.  Life is full of challenges, especially for those who serve the Lord in ministry.  It’s His way of molding and shaping us to be like Jesus.
  3. Serve in ministry in your own context.  It’s important that you learn how to minister in your own culture and language before attempting to do it in a foreign one.
  4. Talk with your pastor before you seek to go to the field.  Having their support and blessing is crucial.  Unfortunately, some pastors in the US don’t have a heart for missions, and if that is the case, it may be more difficult to get to the field or have their blessing.
  5. Take your English grammar classes seriously. It sounds like strange advice, but if you have to learn another language, it’s helpful to know your own language and how it works really well.  It will benefit you when you study a foreign language eventually.
  6. Study your Bible.
  7. Read missionary biographies and texts for ideas and encouragement.

Is there any way that we can pray for you and the area you work in?

   Pray as we continue to the learn the language in Western Asia.  We really long to be proficient in the language so that many can clearly share the good news and eventually plant a church.

 

   David and Zoe have a great task before them. Please take a moment to pray that the Lord will give them the strength and perseverance to continue the job which He has given them – to make His name great.

*These are pseudonyms for security reasons. 

Introduction to Missionary Interviews 

 

Missionary Interviews – Introduction

   Missionary Interviews will be a series where I will … (you guessed it) interview missionaries. There are so many different jobs that missionaries do. There are translators, nurses, pilots, mechanics, and even computer programmers who serve God by using the skills they have. And, when one is looking at the career options within missions, it can be quite overwhelming.

The neat thing is that God has given us specific gifts and talents which will equip us to complete the task/job He has planned for us to do.

Why Am I Doing Missionary Interviews?

If you are like me, you have (or when you were younger) flip-flopped between what “I want to be when I grow up” many times. For me, though, I have always known that whatever my profession was, I wanted to be a missionary.

So, I thought that it would be a great idea to interview different missionaries and see how they serve God in a specific area. Also, I would like to discover how they came to know what God wanted them to do for Him.

Now, I understand that God has called us to do His work in many shapes and forms. For some, it may be mission work. But, for others, God may have called them to be a light shining through the darkness in their neighborhood, workplace, or school.

Even if you do not feel called to be a missionary, I would like to encourage you to still read the Missionary Interview posts. It is always beneficial to learn about how God is working all around the world.

What Exactly Will Missionary Interviews Be Like?

For the Missionary Interviews, I will be asking different missionaries questions about what they do, why they believe their job is important in missions, what kind of training they needed for that job, etc. I will also ask them to share their “missionary journey story” and tell about how they were called into missions.

I am so very excited about this new series and can’t wait to start! 

Posts in this series…

#1 – David and Zoe: Church Planters

What is the 10/40 Window?

   Have you ever heard of the 10/40 Window?  

The 10/40 Window is the rectangular area of North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia approximately between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north latitude. The 10/40 Window is often called “The Resistant Belt”… The original 10/40 Window included only countries with at least 50% of their land mass within 10 and 40 degrees north latitude. The revised 10/40 Window includes several additional countries that are close to 10 or 40 degrees north latitude and have high concentrations of unreached peoples.  ~ Joshua Project 

Facts about the 10/40 window

  • The 10/40 Window is home to the majority of the world’s unevangelized countries.
  • The main religions that are in that area are
    •  Islam
    • Buddhism 
    • Hinduism 
  • There are a good number of non-roman scripts in that area.
    • A roman script is like the characters that we use in English. 
    • A non-roman, or complex script is like Arabic or Thai. 
    • If you are interested in how computers handle complex scripts click here. (This presentation will need flash.)
  • The 10/40 Window is home to some of the largest unreached people groups in the world.

10/40 Window – Joshua Project – The Joshua Project has an article that goes further in depth about the 10/40 Window.

 

 

For His Great Name

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.  ~ Psalm 29:2

   Many people have traced the story-line of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, showing God’s great plan to redeem His people. But, what if that’s not God’s ultimate mission? What if He has a bigger plan in mind than saving us? What if, His plan is to glorify Himself? 

   “Wait a minute!” you say. “What do you mean? Do you mean to say that God’s sole purpose is to glorify Himself?” Here are a few verses in which God says this

For my name’s sake I defer my anger;
for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,
that I may not cut you off.
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
for how should my name be profaned?
My glory I will not give to another.  ~ Isaiah 48:9-11

    (When God talks about His namesake, He is referring to the glory given to Himself. This can also be thought of as making His name great or famous.)   

   Ok. But, what about all those stories in the Bible?  What about the ten plagues – especially the tenth one? What about Pharaoh and all his men who drowned in the Red Sea?

And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” And they did so. ~ Exodus 14:4

Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses. ~ Exodus 14:31
   Through the exile of the Jewish nation, God was also glorified. How did this happen? God tells Ezekiel why He was ending the Jewish exile … 
 
 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land.         ~Ezekiel 36:22-24
    All the miracles Jesus did – those brought God glory as well. We can’t forget how God was ultimately glorified: through Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection. 
 
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” ~John 12: 27-28
   So, now we have come full circle. Why did God save us and is that His ultimate mission? Why did God save sinners and adopt us into His family?
 
   Was it to save us from hell? Was it to restore our fellowship with Him? Or to allow us to live with Him forever?  No. Although these things do happen when we trust in Christ, He saved us to bring Himself Glory!
 
Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.  ~ Ephesians 1: 4-6
    Now, you might be thinking, “Is God being selfish in wanting all this glory? Is it wrong for this to be His mission?” The answer to both of those questions is NO. He is God. He is holy. He is perfect. So, first of all, He can’t do anything wrong. 
 

And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” ~ Isaiah 6:8

   Second, He deserves all the glory and praise we can ever give Him. He created the world out of nothing! He is the rightful ruler of all.

Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, Lord, and you are exalted as head above allBoth riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.  ~ 1 Chronicles 29:10-13

   What do we do about this? He has saved us in order that we might bring Him glory. What a responsibility that gives us. We should live our lives with the purpose to glorify Him and to make His name great! Our reaction to God’s grace should be a deep desire to tell others about Him and to spread His fame around the world. Jesus said … 

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” ~ Matthew 28:19-20a
 
   What a huge and brilliant task! How will we ever get this job done? 
 
   Thankfully, God has not given us an impossible task. I left off the last part of the verse from Matthew 28:20. It says, 
 
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
~Matthew 28:20b
  God will give us the strength to finish the race He has set before us. He will always be with us no matter what. We can trust Him! He will win! 
 
 They [the beast and the ten kings] will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”
~Revelation 17:14
 
For His Great Name
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