Divine Sovereignty: The Fuel of Death-Defying Missions

If I could preach one message to myself. This is one I would preach.

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sacrifice, balance beam, cross, and urgency

sacrifice

“Where are the young men and women of this generation who will hold their lives cheap and be faithful even unto death? Where are those who will lose their lives for Christ’s sake — flinging them away for love of him? Where are those who will live dangerously and be reckless in his service? Where are his lovers — those who love him and the souls of men more than their own reputations or comfort or very life?

Where are the men who say ‘no’ to self, who take up Christ’s cross to bear it after him, who are willing to be nailed to it in college or office, home or mission field, who are willing, if need be, to bleed, to suffer and to die on it?

Where are the adventurers, the explorers, the buccaneers for God, who count one human soul of far greater value than the rise or fall of an empire? Where are the men who are willing to pay the price of vision? Where are the men of prayer? Where are God’s men in this day of God’s power?” – Howard Guinness, Sacrifice [59-60]

the cross exposes

“The cross exposes the holy sovereign Lord whose authority we have defied and whose glory we have deflected to unworthy rivals was willing to endure judgment that his own impeccable justice pronounced upon us. The cross declares that we are loved with an intensity that defies our capacity to comprehend, not because we are intrinsically lovable but because God is intrinsically love.” Elyse Fitzpatrick, Counsel from the Cross [12]

Urgent Missiology

“Amid the many facets of the American dream that contradict the core of the gospel, one ideal Americans have embraced coincides subtly with the words of Christ. As James Adams was coining the phrase “American Dream,” Franklin Roosevelt was emphasizing how Americans will postpone immediate gradificatio and even endure hard sacrifices if they are convinced their future will be better than their past. Americans are willing to take great risks, he said, if they believe it will accomplish great reward.

In similar words Jesus said to His followers, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Jesus clearly acknowledged that following Him leads to a radical reward that this following Him involves risking the safety, security, and satisfaction we have found in this world. But in the end, Jesus said, following Him leads to a radical reward that this world can never offer. This begs a question from each of us: do we believe the reward found in Jesus is worth the risk of following Him?” – David Platt, Radical [161-162]

Are you needing a call to live radically for Christ? Check out An Unadjusted Gospel in an Unreached World: Connecting Gospel Theology with Urgent Missiology

balance beam

Francis Chan is one for stories and illustrations that pack a punch. I particularly appreciate this one passed along by a good friend, Sur John. Stop holding on and walk with Christ!

book review: radical

I have been reading the book Radical by David Platt it is an excellent book that answers the question, why following Christ means being so radical?

This is one book I wish I had written myself, but that you need to dig into yourself.

Followership is radical. We are not talking about Christian jihad or political-far-right, but being a follower in a passive and putrid American society is risky. Jesus calls us to a lifestyle that is active and living, and revolving around Himself. The cost of committing to Christ is radical and means I must abandon all my American dreams for him. Jesus asked me to leave behind security, money, a life of ease and even those that I love the most to be His follower. That sounds radical. That is exactly what this book is about.

Followership is more than believing in Jesus, it is also obeying Him. Jesus wants to change me and culture from the inside out, not from the outside in. I am ready to take The Radical Experiment. To find out more about this one-year journey to authentic followership you will have to just read the book.

“Are you willing to obey the orders of Christ? Are you willing to be like Him? Are you willing to risk your life to go to great need and to great danger–whether it’s in the inner cities around you, the difficult neighbor across the street, the disease-ridden communities in Africa, or the hostile regions in the Middle East? Are we willing to fundamentally alter our understanding of Christianity from a luxury-liner approach that seeks more comforts in the world to a troop-carrier approach that forsakes comforts in the world to accomplish an eternally significant task and achieve an eternally satisfying reward?” [p.171]

David Platt, Radical, Waterbrook Multnomah, Colorado Springs, CO. 2010.