Thursday, September 27, 2007

25th Wedding Anniversary Break

I am taking a 3 week break from this blog to visit CFIC church in the Bay Area (California) and from there turn around and head for home to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary.

In the meantime here are a few links that will hopefully continue to inspire and motivate you to go and make disciples and pray:

This first post is an audio link from our EN chuch in London. The message is all about discipleship. It was a bit of unique situation as I was asked to preach inside an authentic English Pub. Had to stumble through the idea of people sitting around holding glasses and smoke coming up from the lower floor, not mention jet lag, but in time I got my bearings. Talk about a church that inisists on being culturally relevant: Discipleship Demystified.

If you want some inspiration on prayer click on this message I preached at the Every Nation Church in Singapore: Enjoying Fasting

And if you just want to read about the latest things going on with my life including some of Marie's posts about our 25 years together click here: One Last Trip And Then Its Our 25th Anniversary

He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD. Proverbs 18:22

I will be back in 3 weeks. All the best to you all!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Discipleship and Wolves

(5th Post on Zoo Thread)

Part of our task in making disciples is outlined in the following verses in Acts, it warns us of the presence of wolves and how we must keep watch:

Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Acts 20:28-29

We are being admonished to “shepherd” Gods people, His Church. And what does it mean to shepherd God’s people? One of the ways we shepherd God's people is by guarding and protecting them from savage wolves. The scriptures are clear that they will come even from among us.

Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. Acts 20:30

How can you tell if someone is a wolf? Wolves distort the truth and secondly they draw people away from the flock and want them isolated to themselves.

One of our roles as disciple makers is to connect people to other disciples in meaningful relationships. It is always healthier to have multiple anchors and relationships than to remain isolated and alone. This we can do when we ourselves have meaningful relationships with proven Christians.

In Matthew 7:15, Jesus himself warns us that one of the ways these wolves will come is in the form of false prophets. People who can deliver good words, messages and even enthrall with their gifts.

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Regardless of how gifted one might be, the question remains is he or she distorting the truth and drawing the people away from their God given relationships.

In the meantime don’t let the presence of wolves detract and distract you from your mission of making disciples. Keep your eyes focused on the harvest despite the presence and reality of wolves in the field.

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Luke 10:2-3

How does one protect himself and the flock from wolves? By trusting the Holy Spirit. He will reveal who the wolves are. In the mean time be innocent as doves but shrewd as snakes while keping watch for wolves dressed in sheep's clothing.

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Matthew 10:16

See Also: Prayer and the Swiss Ball

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Discipleship and Foxes

(4th Post on Zoo Thread)

One of the books that I enjoyed as a child was Aesop’s Fables. I am sure you have heard of the “Tortoise and the Hare” and “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, these are but two among the many popular Aesop’s Fables.

Another favorite story was the “Fox and the Grapes”. It was a story about a fox that was trying to reach for some grapes hanging high above on a vine. Unable to reach it he declared: “the grapes are sour anyway.”

It is from this story that the proverbial term “sour grapes” comes from. In essence the lesson behind the story is it is easy to despise what you cannot get. A more Biblical term for these emotions is bitterness and resentment.

There are several “discipleship is relationship” lessons we can glean from this story:

1. Don’t be bitter when people don’t get the Gospel right away, when they do not agree with you or when they persecute you.

2. Some people get bitter and resentful when things don’t happen their way. They may get bitter with God and even with you. Do not allow their bitterness and resentment to defile you. Try your best to keep the relationship, in time by the conviction of the Holy Spirit people can still change.

3. Bitterness and resentment can easily destroy relationships and cast doubts about others. Avoid listening to negative words people say about others, it clouds your view of the other person and defiles you.

See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:15

See also: Prayer and Swimming