Posts Tagged ‘The Great Commission’

“When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”  But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home.  Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed.  I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers.  I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come.  And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”  When Jesus heard this, he was amazed.  Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!  And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world-from east and west-and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. But many Israelites-those for whom the Kingdom was prepared-will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, ‘Go back home.  Because you believed, it has happened.”  And the young servant was healed that same hour.” (Matthew 8:5-13)

“Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom.  And he healed every kind of disease and illness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.  So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” (Matthew 9:35-38)

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.  Keep on seeking, and you will find.  Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Everyone who seeks, finds.  And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?  And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:12-14).

According to research done by The Joshua Project, there are over 6,550 people groups on earth who have not heard the Good News about eternal life through our Savior and Messiah Jesus Christ.  Want to know who they are and where they are?  Click here (But first count the cost of having access to this knowledge, as you will instantly realize your responsibility to intercede for these people through continuous prayer): http://public.imb.org/globalresearch/Pages/ResearchData.aspx

Let us pray to the Lord of the harvest to send workers to his fields to share the truth of eternal life through Jesus Christ to the remaining people who have never even heard of Him.  Like the Roman officer, let our faith put events into motion in the heavens.  When we pray for the Lord to send workers into these fields, we must understand the power behind our prayers.  We know the will of God on this issue (that ALL would hear), so we know our prayers match His will.  And we know that our prayers are the vehicles through which He accomplishes his purposes on earth.  We are called upon by the Most High God to use our voice on behalf of the lost, to lift them up in faith, that God would reveal himself to them so that they may be saved.

Scrolling through the list of the unreached, we see that many of these people groups have less than 100 people; they are completely remote and tribal.  They live on remote islands, at the top of unchartered mountains, in unexplored parts of jungles, and wild habitats.  God loves them all and wants them in His family.

These are our future brothers and sisters; our future family.  We cannot let them down by failing to pray for them while they are lost.  We see that hundreds of thousands of these people are lost because they are physically deaf and cannot hear the Word of God.  Most are also illiterate, so how can they be reached?  God will reach them through our prayers.  In response to our prayers, God will say ‘Go,’ and His workers will GO!  God will say ‘Do this,’ and his servants will do it.  The Roman officer in God’s Word understood very clearly how it works.  Do we?

Here is an example of how we can pray for them:

Dear Father in Heaven, thank you for the gift of life and for saving me and bringing me into your family through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.  Somehow you made sure that I heard about Christ and you prepared my heart to believe in Him.  Lord, I know that it is your will that all would hear of the free gift you offer through your royal Son Jesus Christ and that none would perish.  In response to your love and for saving me, I long for all to experience what I have with you.  Today I lift up these unreached people groups [HERE, SPECIFICALLY NAME PEOPLE GROUPS IN THE LIST], that you would send your workers into their fields to proclaim the Good News about the Kingdom and Jesus Christ to them.  I pray for their salvation, that they may live in the House of the Lord forever.  May they praise your Holy Name and bring your Name great honor and glory through their praise and by living holy lives in honor of Christ Jesus.  May they acknowledge their sins, confess them to you, repent of them wholeheartedly, and follow Christ Jesus’s example in every way.  May they fellowship with each other to grow in their faith, pray for each other, and may they have access to the Word of God.  Lord, I also ask for your protection over them as they grow with you, that the enemy cannot come to kill, steal, and destroy the relationship they have with you.  Give their hearts good soil which receives your Word and causes it to grow deep roots that can never be uprooted by any force contrary to your will.  May your Holy Spirit do His work in their lives wherever they are and may your Kingdom come!

And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all peoples will hear it, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)

And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)

“Jesus came and told his disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.  And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth.  They cause the grain to grow, producing see for the farmer and bread for the hungry.  It is the same with my word.  I send it out, and it always produces fruit.  It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)

From Voice of the Martyrs Ministry–“VOM workers distributed 2,000 Bibles in rural Nepal in August, through the support of Bibles Unbound sponsors.  A pastor who oversees 13 churches was so desperate for Bibles that he traveled to the Nepali capital of Kathmandu to get secondhand Bibles from several churches there.  Only 35 of the more than 600 believers in his churches owned Bibles.  While in Kathmandu, he learned of the VOM Bible program and submitted the names of 634 believers who needed Bibles.  He was amazed when he learned that he did not have to pay for the Bibles.  In Nepal, converts to Christianity from Hinduism or Buddhism become social outcasts, and some are even beaten.  Proselytism is not allowed, and those found guilty are subject to three years in prison.  Three months after the pastor requested the Bibles, a VOM team delivered them to his village.  ‘I still remember the day when I was searching for who could provide us used Bibles,’ the pastor wrote.  ‘But now we all have very new…Bibles.  This is not only a blessing; this is our God’s plan to have Bibles for us.’  The pastor old us his church reserves time each week to pray that the Bibles Unbound program will bless many other believers. (Voice of The Martyrs Newsletter, November 2012, ‘Bible Blessings In Nepal’)

While these Bibles were delivered in 2012, Bibles are actively being delivered all over the world, in the native languages of the people they are being produced for.  The Bibles Unbound program is a program that produces Bibles for people who have asked for them.

Projects are currently ongoing for Christians in Nigeria, China and India.  These people cannot afford their own Bible or cannot access one altogether, but they worship Jesus and desire to know Him more and more.  We have a unique opportunity to have a direct impact on their lives and an indirect impact on everyone they share the truth of Jesus Christ with.

These are NOT people who may or may not treat their Bible as some informative pamphlet, maybe reading it, maybe throwing it away.  These people want their own Bible and have asked for help to get one.

If this excites you, please visit http://www.biblesunbound.com/qry/mc_home.taf to sponsor ongoing Bibles to various projects.  

Or, you can make a One-Time contribution to get the Holy Bible to someone who desperately needs and wants one.  Just go here:  https://secure.persecution.com/p-418-bibles-to-captive-nations.aspx

“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.  For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.  As the Scriptures tell us, ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.’  Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect.  They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him.  For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’  But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him?  And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him?  And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?  And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?  That is why the Scriptures say, ‘How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!'” (Romans 10:9-15)

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

For the word of God is alive and powerful.  It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.  It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God.  Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.” (Hebrews 4:12-13)

The Voice of The Martyrs is a ministry dedicated to serving our persecuted Christian family throughout the world.  In all nations, the most common two requests VOM receives is “Please pray for us” and “Please send Bibles!” 

Voice of The Martyrs uses their resources to print Bibles in hostile and restricted nations where persecuted Christians desperately need God’s Living Word, both for the renewing of their own mind and so that they can share His word with others.

VOM offers two opportunities to be part of this work:

1) Bibles To Captive Nations — through this opportunity, you can be involved from time to time as a “One-Time” contributor and VOM will use your contribution to print Bibles and distribute them where they are most needed.   https://secure.persecution.com/p-418-bibles-to-captive-nations.aspx

2) Bibles Unbound — this opportunity is more detail oriented, as you set up your Bibles Unbound homepage, which begins as a blank world map.  You choose which country/operation you wish to contribute to and set up an Ongoing Contribution that VOM can rely upon as a recurring contribution to their Bible Distribution efforts.  Each restricted/hostile country you send Bibles to will be marked on your map.  You have control over which projects you’re funding.  Once you have your homepage set up, you also have the opportunity to make additional One-Time contributions as you want to.  http://www.biblesunbound.com/qry/mc_home.taf

We live in unprecedented times, with resources and opportunities no generation before us has had.  We have the power to literally reach the whole world with the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ.  There are many ways to use our life to fulfill the Great Commission our Lord has entrusted to us and the two opportunities VOM offers are an amazing way to be involved and fruitful in God’s Kingdom, if you have been looking for new ways to help.

And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all people will hear it; and then the end will come.”  (Matthew 24:14)

“He said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few.  So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.‘” (Matthew 9:37-38)

Below is a list of some nations that are in desperate need of prayer.  Please consider praying for these nations and ask the Holy Spirit of God to guide you.  Without a doubt, if the workers of the fields are few, then those praying for the workers are even fewer.

If you decide to pray, please establish a length of time for yourself that is acceptable to you and commit to praying for these people (not the duration of the prayer itself, as the Lord taught us not to babble on); commit to a week or a month, etc of praying daily for these unreached people groups.

–Afghanistan, 71 unreached people groups

–Bhutan, 32 unreached people groups

–China, 465 unreached people groups

–India, 2,200 unreached people groups

–Iraq, 21 unreached people groups

–Libya, 140 unreached tribes and clans

–Oman, 25 unreached people groups

–Sudan, 137 unreached people groups

–Vietnam, 63 unreached people groups

Some things to pray for in Jesus’ Name:

–For God to send more workers into his fields, specifically into the fields of the countries listed above, and that God’s Word will reach those who seek Him.  Pray for God’s Kingdom to come soon.

–For God to destroy the works of Satan in the hearts and minds of the people and the land and that God would not let them yield to temptation, but deliver them from the evil one.

–For Judgment on Satan.  Ask God to curse Satan afresh as he did in the Garden of Eden, so that he cannot do as he pleases.  Ask God to place Satan again under the power of the cross so as to immobilize him.

–For God to break the evil spirits of false religions and idols in these lands (Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism are all hostile to the truth of Christ) and set up His Kingdom.

–For the precious blood of Jesus to answer whatever comes from Satan in these places.

–For the hearts and minds of the people to be prepared by the Holy Spirit and made able to receive and accept the truth of Christ.

–For God’s will to be done and that the truth of the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ brings light to the dark land.  Declare that Christ disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities and shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. (Colossians 2:13-15)

–For the protection of the workers the Lord sends and that they will boldly proclaim the truth of Christ and salvation

–For church planting and growth so that believers can fellowship with each other and pray together for their nation.  For a spirit of evangelism among the local Christian population so that they will desire to share their testimony with others

–For Bible distribution and Christian literature, and for trained pastors to shepherd and minister to the new believers.

–Pray also for the protection of yourself (health, mind, time, spiritual life), your loved ones and your household and anything else that God brings to your attention. Pray that God forbid Satan from harassing you in any way.  Pray Daily for this protection, as what you are doing for God’s Kingdom through your prayers directly destroys Satan’s kingdom and you will be targeted by the rulers and authorities of the spiritual realm in retaliation for your work. Be ready. Prayerfully seek God in this matter.

teachinghearts.org

 

 

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.  Keep on seeking, and you will find.  Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Everyone who seeks, finds.  And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7)

“I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”  (Matthew 18:18-19)

“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.  For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:19)

“You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it.  You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.  Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.  And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong–you want only what will give you pleasure.” (James 4:2)

“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear them from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

What if we discovered that God will not act independently to implement His will on Earth?  What if we found out that when God gave his children dominion over all the Earth, that truly included ALL things?  What if it was revealed to us that, although we cannot manipulate God to do anything against His will, we as his children, hold the keys to that which IS His will on Earth?  What would we do if we realized that NOT praying actually does hinder God’s work on Earth?

Would we see the power that has been entrusted to us?  Would we embrace the responsibility of being those who PRAY?

If we are in right standing with God, obedient to Him, living our lives with a clear conscience, then rest assured that when we pray we are heard and our prayers accomplish much.

As Watchman Nee writes in his book Let Us Pray, Chapter One ‘What is Prayer?’, “The foremost question to be asked is, Why pray? What is the use of praying? Is not God omniscient as well as omnipotent? Why must He wait till we pray before He commences to work?  Since He knows, why must we tell Him everything (Philippians 4.6)? Being almighty, why does God not work directly?  Why should He need our prayers?  Why is it that only those who ask are given, only those who seek find, and only those who knock enter in (Matthew 7.7)?  Why does God say: ‘Ye have not, because ye ask not’ (James 4.2)?

Upon asking the above questions we must then continue to inquire as follows:  Is prayer contrary to the will of God?  What is the relationship between prayer and righteousness?

We know God never does anything against His own will.  If opening doors is God’s will, why should He wait until we knock before He opens?  Why does He not simply open for us according to His own will without requiring us to knock?  Being omniscient, God knows we need to have doors opened; why, then, must He wait for our knocking before He opens?  If the door is to be opened and if opening doors is in accordance with God’s will, and if furthermore He also knows that we need it to be opened, why does He wait for us to knock?  Why does He not just open the door?  What advantage does our knocking give to God?

Yet we must further ask these questions:  Since God’s will is to open the door and since opening the door is in accord with righteousness, will God nevertheless open the door if we do not knock?  Or would He rather have His will and righteousness delayed without accomplishment in order to wait for our prayers?  Will He really allow His will of opening doors to be restrained by our not knocking?  If so, will not the will of God be limited by us?  Is God really almighty?  If He is almighty, why can He not open the door all by himself–why instead must He wait till we knock?  Is God really able to accomplish His own will? But if He truly is able, then why is His opening of doors (God’s will) governed by our knocking (man’s prayer)?

By asking all these questions we come to realize that prayer is a great mystery. For here we see a principle of God’s working, which is, that God’s people must pray before God himself will rise up and work: His will is only to be realized through the prayers of those who belong to Him: the prayers of the believers are to accomplish His will: God will not fulfill His will alone — He will perform only after His people show their sympathy in prayers.

Such being the case, it can therefore be said that prayer is none other than an act of the believer working together with God.  Prayer is the union of the believer’s thought with the will of God.  The prayer which a believer utters on earth is but the voicing of the Lord’s will in heaven.  Prayer is not the expressing of our wish for God to yield to our petition and fill up our selfish desire.  It is not a forcing of the Lord to change His will and perform what He is unwilling to do.  No, prayer is simply speaking out the will of God through the mouth of the believer.  Before God, the believer asks in prayer for the Lord’s will to be done.

Prayer does not alter that which God has determined.  It never changes anything; it merely achieves what He has already foreordained.  Prayerlessness, though, does effect a change, because God will let many of His resolutions go suspended due to the lack from His people of prayerful cooperation with Him.”

If only the children of God understood the stakes here.  Our enemy Satan does all he can to distract us and discourage us from prayer because it is by prayer that his worldly kingdom is rebuked and forced to submit to the cross of Jesus Christ every day.  If the children of God are silent, Satan’s works abound and he does as he pleases.  It’s just that simple.

Let us ask our Father in heaven for wisdom and discernment concerning prayer.  Let us ask Him every day for guidance from his Holy Spirit, that He will place upon our hearts a burden to pray and that he will make known to us His will so that we can pray for it to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

In light of the enormous responsibility we have been entrusted with by God our Father, let us be sensitive to ALL THINGS as Paul instructed the church in Philippians 4:6-7, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

We approach the throne of God with praise and thanksgiving for Who He is and all he has done and will do.  This proclamation announces to all the heavens that there is one God who is worthy of praise and worship. This act shows all the heavens the rightful place God holds, and it puts Satan in his rightful place as well. We confess our sins with a repentant heart and mind and ask for forgiveness, as this puts us in our rightful place before God as his children and it shames our accusing enemy Satan, who accuses us day and night before our Father in heaven.  The blood of Jesus covers us and answers our enemy Satan.  We announce that we are covered by the blood of our precious Lord and Savior Jesus.  We get to work, interceding for all children of God, and all people everywhere, all political authorities, those who labor in the Gospel, we ask for more laborers to be sent into the fields of the world, we pray for all who are in adversity, for believers who have fallen into sin and for one another. (Ephesians 6:18, 1 Timothy 2:1, Ephesians 6:19-20, Colossians 4:3, Matthew 9:38, Hebrews 13:3, Galatians 6:1, James 5:16).  Then we petition God for our own needs, whatever burdens our heart, as we know he cares deeply for us and delights in the details of our lives.  We ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit in all things.

Know the truth about life in Christ Jesus and be set free.  Are you troubled about the condition of your country, the world, your leaders, your peers and friends, your family?  Does it hurt your heart to watch or hear the news?  Does the wickedness in the world discourage you?  Do the conditions of your own life and world discourage you?  Have you looked on, wondering why God doesn’t rise up and squash evil and wickedness in the land?  Align your will with the will of God and pray. You have no greater responsibility than this.

Our silence enables Satan and his kingdom to thrive and expand.  If he could cut our tongues from our mouths to prevent our prayers, he would.  But it’s just as well if he can silence us through other means, such as distraction, shame, guilt, feelings of unworthiness, discouragement, pride, ignorance or the lie that God will do what He wants anyway, so we need not pray. 

As ambassadors of the Kingdom of God, we fail God miserably and shamefully when we are silent.  Let it not be so. Let us demonstrate our faith by praying.

“And the Lord saw it…and wondered that there was no intercessor…” (Isaiah 59:15,16)

“…Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you.” (1 Samuel 12:23)

The majority of the content of this post is from Watchman Nee’s “Let Us Pray” and from “The 2959 plan”.

“After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come.  Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you.  For you have given him authority over everyone.  He gives eternal life to each one you have given him.  And this is the way to have eternal life — to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.  I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.  Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.  I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world.  They were always yours.  You gave them to me, and they have kept your word.  Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the message you gave me.  They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me.  My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you.  All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory.  Now I am departing from the world, but I am coming to you.  Holy Father, you have given me your name, now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.  During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me  I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.  Now I am coming to you.  I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy.  I have given them your word.  And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.  I’m not asking you to take them out of the world , but to keep them safe from the evil one.  They do not belong to this world any more than I do.  Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.  Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.  And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.  I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.  I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one — as you are in me, Father, and I am in you.  And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.  I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.  I am in them and you are in me.  May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.  Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am.  Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me before the world began!  O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me.  I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so.  Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.'” (John 17)

The Living Word of God shares with us Jesus Christ’s last prayer before His crucifixion.  In it, we are allowed a glimpse into the mind, dreams and desires of God Almighty.

Why did Jesus do what He did?  Why did He do miracles? Why did he heal every sick person who crossed His path?  Why did He take the time to teach truth in the Temple every single day?  Why did he take the time to travel to those who didn’t go to the Temple, so that they too could hear the truth?  Why did He turn Himself over to suffer and die a terrible death when He’d committed no crime?

It all comes down to love.

Many of us have experienced the absolute bliss of loving someone and being loved by someone so deeply that we don’t want to be separated from each other even for a moment.  We want to always be in each other’s presence; we feel empty without the other.

Some of us have never experienced this, but long for it.

This ability and capacity for love is straight from the very heart of God.  This is His desire with us.  We see it clearly in Jesus’ prayer, “Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am.”  Christ was willing to do whatever it took to make sure we arrive home safely to be with him forever.  With his life, he fulfilled the requirements to make it so and he has entrusted us, whom he calls his friends, to follow in his footsteps and tell the world about him, so that they too may make it home to be with him.

The task is difficult, treacherous, full of suffering and persecution, but we are one with Christ and with each other.  And this is why Christians are also willing to pay whatever price is necessary for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even risking and giving their earthly lives, just as Christ did.

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)

More than 19 million people in North Korea are forced to worship the Kim Il Sung family, wear their image on their bodies and praise them as they would God.  This ideology or religion is called Juche.

This video documents the task and difficulties of spreading the Good News of Jesus to people who live in North Korea.

Please pray for them, their efforts, their resolve, their protection and for the recipients of the Word of God, that His truth would take root in their hearts in such a way as to not be plucked from them when persecution comes.  Our Lord loves each of them and wants to be with them for all eternity.  Father, may Your Kingdom come!

 

“Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder.  Now others are building on it.  But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have — Jesus Christ.  Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials — gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw.  But on the judgment day, fire will reveal with kind of work each builder has done.  The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.  If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward.  But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss.  The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.”  (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)

Finding our purpose in life is a deep-rooted human quest; we want to know why we’re alive, what we were created for.   Some people are so obviously blessed with talent, passion and drive for specific purposes that the rest of us may wonder how we missed the boat when it sailed through, laden with spectacular abilities for the choosing.

At any age, in any walk of life, for many of us, days turn into months and years that just seem meaningless and mundane.  We look back on our lives and cannot find much of any significance, nor can we realistically envision a big break through of clarity; the coveted “Ah-Ha!” moment where we know why we’re here and what we are supposed to be doing.

Meanwhile, we are bombarded with reminders of others who are chasing their dreams, making life count.  They are excellent athletes, entertainers, artists, business people, motivators, soldiers, parents, visionaries, inventors, adventurers, writers, the list goes on and on.  They seem to have been created for exactly what they are doing.  Good for them. We can celebrate that.

But, for those of us who are not enjoying the fruits of being truly excellent at something, for those of us who have always been just average (even less than average) in our ambitions and abilities, who don’t have a clear vision, who don’t have a clear passion that we can live out on a grand scale, lack of clarity in our purpose for living is a heavy burden we carry.  In truth, this is the reality of life for MOST OF US, not some of us.

So, from an eternal perspective (the only perspective that matters), it is important to get clarity from the Scriptures.

If we feel like our work is meaningless because we aren’t on the fast track to or do not even want to achieve the ‘Big Title’, let us remember that, while some people in the Bible held high status in society, most did not.  Jesus was a carpenter, His disciples were fishermen, tradesmen, and a tax collector.  Rachel was a shepherdess.  Paul was a tent maker.  David was a shepherd and musician before God elevated him to another purpose as soldier and King.  Scripture places no importance at all on these people’s work titles, but does highlight that they were all hard workers, setting their hands to work daily to earn their living. 

Contrary to the popular belief that people’s work should be in line with their passion, it does not matter what our occupation is as long as we treat it as though we are working for the Lord Himself.  When we approach our work from this eternal perspective, when we are dependable to our employers and perform our tasks with integrity, we will always find happiness and satisfaction in our work.  We work for the Lord and we are where we are supposed to be. Our work becomes a testimony to our relationship with Christ and we bring His Name glory in this way without even speaking a word about our faith.

So I saw that there is nothing better for people than to be happy in their work.  That is why we are here!” (Ecclesiastes 3:22)

Again, “Everything has already been decided.  It was known long ago what each person would be.  So there’s no use in arguing with God about your destiny.  The more words you speak, the less they mean.  So what good are they?  In the few days of our meaningless lives, who knows how our days can best be spent?  Our lives are like a shadow.  Who can tell what will happen on this earth after we are gone?” (Ecclesiastes 6:10-12)

So we can break free from the burden of the lie that if our profession isn’t our passion, we are somehow on the wrong path.  We are right where we are supposed to be.  So if our work isn’t necessarily our purpose in life and we don’t necessarily have any clear direction on what our purpose is, what is the answer?

“Jesus came and told his disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.  And be sure of this:  I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:16-20)

Yes, it is that simple.  We have one purpose: to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole world. 

All else is vanity, entertainment, fleeting.  All else goes to the grave with us when we die.

Lest this revelation spark some drastic thought that we need to quit our job and leave our family and go be a missionary in some remote, dangerous part of the world, we are exactly where we are supposed to be.  Our very lives are a testimony to Christ Jesus if we are living in obedience to His commands.  Christ lives inside of us so wherever we are, anyone we engage with, the opportunity is always there to share the Gospel just by living our lives.

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.  You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.  Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.  Yes I am the vine; you are the branches.  Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.  For apart from me you can do nothing.  Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers.  Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.  But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!  When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples.  This brings great glory to my Father.  I have loved you even as my Father has loved me.  Remain in my love.  When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy.  Yes, your joy will overflow!  This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.  There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves.  Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.  You didn’t choose me.  I chose you.  I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.  This is my command: Love each other.”  (John 15:1-17)

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And having chosen them, he called them to come to him.  And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself.  And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.”  (Romans 8:28-30)

“God saved you by his grace when you believed.  And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)

‘Everything is meaningless,’ says the Teacher, ‘completely meaningless.’ Keep this in mind:  The Teacher was considered wise, and he taught the people everything he knew.  He listened carefully to many proverbs, studying and classifying them.  The Teacher sought to find just the right words to express truths clearly.  The words of the wise are like cattle prods — painful but helpful.  Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep.  But, my child, let me give you some further advice.  Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out. That’s the whole story.  Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.  God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing.” (Ecclesiastes 12:8-14)

So let us make our lives truly count.  Let us fulfill the purpose we were created for.  And along the way, let us enjoy the many passions, things, talents and entertaining moments that make life fun.  That is what they are there for.  Just don’t confuse the importance of the things in this life with the infinitely greater importance of the things of our eternal life.  When it comes to finding our purpose, our Purpose already found us and gave us our assignment. 

If we are called to pray, we must pray.  This is our purpose in life.   If we are called to give, we must give faithfully and according to our ability.  If we are called to care for others, to encourage others, to protect others, to be the best friend we can be, to be the best employee we can be, to be the best parent we can be, to be the best child we can be, whatever we are called to do, this is our purpose. Own it. Our example is Christ Jesus and we represent Him in this world.

Everyone’s life and deeds will be subjected to the refining fires of God on judgment day and we may be surprised to see what survives the fires and what does not.  May God’s Kingdom Come!

Prayer Needed For Nigeria and its President, Goodluck Jonathan.

From Voice of the Martyrs http://www.persecution.com:

“Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, is divided between a Christian culture in the south and a radical Islamic culture in the north that is characterized by massive riots, bombings and a plan to create an Islamic state.   Since 1999, when military rule ended and one-third of Nigeria’s states implemented Islamic law, sectarian violence has resulted in more than 14,000 deaths and hundreds of thousands of people displaced. Greed and corruption consume all levels of government in this oil-rich nation, which faces the growing challenge of division along religious and ethnic lines. Nigeria has been designated a Country of Particular Concern by the USCIRF since 2009.”

“In 2009 the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, an al-Qaida ally, vowed to rid the north of all non-Muslim influence, including Christians. Since then, more than 3,000 people have been killed.”

Category: Hostile Nation, Religion: Christian 51.3%, Muslim 45.1%, Ideology: Islam, Head of State: President Goodluck Jonathan

The World CIA  Fact Book lists Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan as Christian.  Though Christians currently outnumber Muslims in the nation, Boko Haram, an al-Quaida ally, are slaughtering Christians in northern Nigeria everywhere they can find them.  President Jonathan not only has to deal with greed and corruption at all levels of government, but also with the civil religious war of Muslims against Christians.  He needs our prayers.

Pray for:

President Goodluck Jonathan, for a sensitivity to the will of God and for conviction and wisdom in how he governs the country.

Christians in northern Nigeria, for their protection and a boldness to proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ to their persecutors.  

The Muslim persecutors, for conviction, eyes to see and hears to hear the Good News about Jesus Christ so they may be saved.

Voice of the Martyrs ministry, which actively provides tools for evangelism, medical care for riot victims and job training for widows and other affected Christians.

nigeria

Jesus told them, ‘Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many.  And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic.  Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately.  Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world.  But all of this is only the first of the birth pains, with more come.  Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed.  You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.  And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other.  And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.  Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.  But the one who endures to the end will be saved.  And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:4-14)

“The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about–the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place.” (Reader, pay attention!) Then those in Judea must flee to the hills.  A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack.  A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat.  How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days.  And pray that your flight will not be in the winter or on the Sabbath.  For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began.  And it will never be so great again.  In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive.  But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones.”  (Matthew 24:15-22)

“Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life.  Don’t let that day catch you unaware, like a trap.  For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth.  Keep alert at all times.  And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.”  (Luke 21:34-36)

“However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself.  Only the Father knows.  And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert!” (Mark 13:32-33)

“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires.  They will say, ‘What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.'” (2 Peter 3:3-4)

The subject of the “End Times” is so important in Scripture that it can be found in almost every book of the Bible.  So many books have been written about it that entire libraries can be dedicated to this subject alone.  All events taking place in the world are leading to this point of culmination, and no matter where we turn, what we see and hear are increasingly perilous and seemingly hopeless.

Spirits of fear, worry and hatred blanket the planet and everyone living on earth is affected by them as evidenced by wars, threats of wars, skyrocketing violence and apathy towards it, the moral corruption of the world’s leaders and the moral rot in our individual societies, record-breaking natural disasters, man-made disasters, devastating financial disasters and the effects of these events on the worldwide populace.  Because of technology, the world’s inhabitants quickly know what is happening anywhere on Earth, and more and more, what we hear about is turmoil.

As Christians, we know that life will get increasing harder for us on this planet.  We are not welcome here and the world is hostile toward us. Those who don’t enjoy the freedoms that the western world currently provides face death every single moment of their lives just because they love Jesus Christ.  Jesus specifically said not to panic.  He commanded us to “watch out!”, to “stay alert” and to “pray”.  We are to continue our work in spreading the Good News to all nations and people while there is still time to do so.  We’ve been told what the end looks like and we know that it will be worse than anything the world has ever known.  This is scary knowledge to have and it can be distracting and even paralyzing if not understood from the proper perspective; the perspective of a soldier.

Soldiers are fully aware that their training and purpose is for the battlefield, the place where their lives can end or where they can be victorious. They don’t know when the battle cry will sound and their number will be called.  They are expected to be ready at all times.  And so are we.

Things will get worse.  Persecution will get worse.  Christians will continue to disappear from cities across the world, just as recently happened in Mosul, Iraq, where no Christians are left.  The world will quake and groan more and more violently under the spirit of evil that has taken hold, just as the Scriptures say.  Everything is NOT the same as it ever was, though many scoff that it is.

Christians are to be prepared, watch, pray and diligently continue on with the Great Commission of Christ.  Worry, panic and fear are not part of our equation.  Worry, panic and fear are not from God.  Our hope is in Christ and He is all we need. Our brothers and sisters all over the world face the end of their lives every day and if we are called to suffer as well, so be it. We are commanded to be bold in Christ.

Whether the End of Times occurs in our lifetime or not, none of us know when we will die, only that it’s sure to happen.  Let us live as if each day truly is a gift from God and use our day to glorify His Great Name.

The people in this video are gathered in a room where suitcases full of Bibles have just arrived.  How remarkable, their excitement, vocal displays of joy, the way they step into their own little space in the room to have their moment holding the precious Living Word of God, how they press their faces to it trying to get as close as they can.  They’ve dreamed of this moment; the moment they receive their very own Bible.  The woman who speaks says, “This is what we needed the most. This is what we needed,” as her breath catches in her chest.  The video ends with reverent silence as everyone sits in awe.

The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul.  The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart.  The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living.  Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever.  The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair.  They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold.  They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb.  They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them.”  (Psalm 19:7-11)

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field.  In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.  Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls.  When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it.” (Matthew 13:44-46)

“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (Matthew 6:21)

If you would like to help get Bibles to people in persecuted countries, who have ACTUALLY ASKED FOR THEIR OWN BIBLE and are waiting expectantly for it, go here: www.biblesunbound.com.