C. T. Studd Quotes – #3

   The previous C.T. Studd quotes we looked at were

  • If Jesus be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.  C.T. Studd Quotes – #1.

  • Only one life, ’twill soon be past only what’s done for Chirst will last.                                  C.T. Studd Quotes – #2

   Ok. So today we are going to explore this one…

Reflections: Studd says here that he would rather “Run a rescue shop within a yard of hell,” than “Live within the sound of church or chapel bell.” This shows us his heart for the lost and his desire to share the gospel with them. I pray that God will give me the same desire and heart for His children around the world.

The Very Next Thing – Casting Crowns

Casting Crowns has just recently finished a new album called The Very Next Thing. I was originally just going mention the song Make Me a River, but I realized that almost all of the songs have to do with missions or God’s glory. Here are four of them…

  1. The Very Next Thing 
  1. Make Me a River
  1. What If I gave Everything
  1. No Other Name

   (I included the lyrics for this one because a couldn’t find a lyric video.)

One name holds weight above them all
His fame outlasts the earth He formed
His praise resounds beyond the stars
And echoes in our hearts
The greatest One of all
His face shines brighter than the sun
His grace as boundless as His love
He reigns with healing in His wings
The King above all kings
The greatest One of all
Lift up our eyes, see the King has come
Light of the world reaching out for us
There is no other name
There is no other name
Jesus Christ, our God
Seated on high, the undefeated One
Mountains bow down as we lift Him up
There is no other name
There is no other name
Jesus Christ, our God
Find hope when all the world seems lost
Behold the triumph of the cross
His power has trampled death and grave
Our life found in His name
The greatest name of all
Lift up our eyes, see the King has come
Light of the world reaching out for us
There is no other name
There is no other name
Jesus Christ, our God
Seated on high, the undefeated One
Mountains bow down as we lift Him up
There is no other name
There is no other name
Jesus Christ, our God
The earth will shake and tremble before Him
Chains will break as Heaven and Earth sing
Holy is the name
Holy is the name of Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
The earth will shake and tremble before Him
Chains will break as Heaven and Earth sing
Holy is the name
Holy is the name of Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Lift up our eyes, see the King has come
Light of the world reaching out for us
There is no other name
There is no other name
Jesus Christ, our God
Seated on high, the undefeated One
Mountains bow down as we lift Him up
There is no other name
There is no other name
There is no other name
There is no other name
Jesus
 

C.T. Studd Quotes – #2

   So, the last quote we looked at was

If Jesus be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.  C.T. Studd Quotes – #1.

   Here is our quote for today…

Reflections: Like the fist quote, Studd talks about how we should live our lives. He said that “No sacrifice can be to great for me to make for Him.” This quote reminds me that, in brief-

   Life is short. There are a lot of things that you can do with your life. But, only those that will make a difference that will last forever are those that are done for Christ.

C.T. Studd Quotes – #1

   At Perspective’s class a few weeks ago we learned a little bit about C.T. Studd. He said some things that are worth spending a few minutes pondering. Here is the first quote …

 

   Reflections: Jesus Christ died for me. He paid the ultimate sacrifice for me – He gave His life. I should be willing to go wherever He calls me to go and do whatever He asks me to do. I should be willing to live a life that reflects and glorifies Him in EVERY way.

 

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

Jesus, Come Into My Heart. Amen.

    “Jesus, come into my heart. Amen.”

   That was the prayer I prayed about twelve years ago on February 28, 2005, two months before I turned three. It changed my life forever. Now, you might be thinking, “Huh? Why would Alyssa want someone to come and live in her heart?” And, that’s what I’m going to tell you in this blog post – why a girl of 2 would want someone to live in her heart… 

   Our world is amazing. God created everything just by speaking. 

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
~ Genesis 1:1-3
   God is holy. This means that He is perfect and never does anything wrong.

 “The Rock [God], his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he…” ~ Deuteronomy 32:4

   Also, He wants us to live with Him in Heaven forever.

   But, we break God’s law and disobey His commands. We are all sinful. Sin is anything we think, say, or do that breaks God’s law in any way. Exodus 20:1-17

“Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” ~ Ecclesiastes 7:20

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” ~ Romans 3:23

   “Wait a minute,” you might say, “I’m a good person. I hardly ever do anything wrong.” 

“For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.” ~ James 2:10

    This verse means that if you break one law, even a so-called “small sin” such as a lie or a mean thought, you are guilty of breaking all the laws.

   This creates a big problem. Because God is holy, He cannot stand sin. He must punish it. And, the punishment for sin is death. 

“For the wages of sin is death,” ~ Romans 6:23a 

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins.” ~Ephesians 2:1

   We are spiritually dead in our sin. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves. 

   Do you know what? God loves us even though we sin. God loves us so much that He made a way for us to live with Him in heaven forever. He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. He took the punishment that we deserved. He died in our place.

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ~ Romans 5:8

   How could Jesus do this and how is He any different from you and me? Well, Jesus is God incarnate – God in human flesh. He is totally God and totally man. He had a body just like us, yet he never sinned. He lived the perfect life we could never live. This allowed Jesus to take our place. God punished His Son instead of us. 

     Jesus didn’t stay dead. He rose again three days after He was buried. He defeated death and conquered the grave! 

“And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
~ 1 Corinthians 15:4

   What do we do with this? Jesus died on the cross in our place so that we can live with God forever.

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  ~ Romans 10:9

   We need to confess our sins, repent (turn away from them and toward God’s ways), and trust in Jesus’ work on the cross to save us.

  “What must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” ~ Acts 16:30b-31

    So, when I said “Jesus, come into my heart,” I was, in a way, saying, “Jesus, I believe that you are God’s Son. I believe that You died on the cross to save me from my sins. I can’t save myself. Jesus, I put my trust in you to save me. Please come and be the Lord of my life. I put my life in your hands, Jesus.” 

   Now, I have told you why I asked Jesus to come and live in my heart. But, I have not explained how or why this decision changed my life forever.

   When I trusted in Jesus Christ as my Savior, God sent His Holy Spirit to live inside of me. He does this for all believers. 

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” ~ John 14:26

“And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit…”‘ ~ Acts 2:38

   The Holy Spirit reminds us of different things that we have been taught about God and His word. 

  One of the other ways that my life was changed is a sense of peace and God’s presence in my life. When I am afraid, I can pray to the Lord and read the Bible. This peace that the Lord gives is nothing like you can ever have without Him. It is the kind of peace where even if you are to die in the morning, you aren’t scared and you know you are in God’s hands.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” ~ John 14:27

  This is why, after I gave my life to Jesus, I was able to say “I have Jesus in my heart!” As a two-year-old, I could know that Jesus was really alive and that He was my Savior. He gave me joy, joy that only those who are saved by Christ’s blood can experience. He gives us joy and peace in all circumstances.

   So, through moving, missing friends, and losing those whom I care about, Jesus sustains me and gives me the strength to live for Him. 

   And, this is why and how my life is changed by Christ’s sacrifice for me.

Great Christian Worship Songs

   Listening to worship songs throughout the week has been a great encouragement to me.  Whether I am tired or discouraged, these songs point me to Christ and keep me focused on Him. There are a lot of great worship songs to choose from.  Here are ten of my favorite ones listed in alphabetical order.

(I have made it so that when you click on the name of the song it will go to the YouTube video for it.)

For All You Are – Casting Crowns
 
Have You Heard – Mandy Confer
 
Hosanna – Christy Nockles
 
Master Artist – Eric Anderson 
 
My Savior My God – Aaron Shust (This exact song is not sung by him.)
 
Never Once – Matt Redman
 
Psalm 100 – Chris Tomlin
 
Revelation Song – Keri Jobe
 
Scandal of Grace – Hillsong UNITED
 
Your Great Name – Natalie Grant

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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