Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Out of Love (Part 1)

A few months back during my conversation with the Lord, He impressed on me this phrase: out of love.

We tend to throw around the word, "love" in the Christian circles that I have lost the sense of awe for what it really is. True love as defined and lived out by Jesus should define and shape us, our life, our walk with God.

Love is central. The Great Commandment is first and foremost to love God.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38)

But we can love God because He first loved us!

We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:9)

So, in our journey of true love, we begin with the truth that God loves us. His love for us was ultimately expressed and most magnificently displayed in Jesus - His incarnation, His cross, His resurrection and ascension.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

God through Jesus has given us eternal life. That means, He has made us a new creation, partakers of the divine nature with all things that pertain to life and godliness and every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. He also justified, sanctified, and glorified us in Christ and has caused us to be born again to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for us, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. (1 John 3:1)

Ultimately, we have become children of God, sons and daughters of the Father, the King.

Let's dwell afresh on the love God the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit has for us.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. (John 15:9)

Abide in His love. God's love for us is the proper starting point of our life in Christ.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Intercultural Missions

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

More than ever, we live in a flat, connected and globalized world.

I am sure you know individuals at work, at school, in your neighborhood, in your circle of friends, who come from different cultural backgrounds from yours. You also may have been to other countries on a vacation and/or regularly travel abroad for business.

My friend who was on the short-term mission trip to Ethiopia this summer regularly visits an Ethiopian service in Seattle.

Another good friend of mine is temporarily relocating to Bangalore, India for three months for business with his family.

A pastor-friend of mine was hosting a student from Estonia.

Adventure, our home church (300 in attendance) in a small town of Duvall, recently helped launch a church in the Philippines.

Our former neighbors were from the Great Britain and Germany. 

Even my mother has traveled to more than a dozen cities around the world!

You get the picture. 

Global missions is today not limited to reaching strangers in far-away lands. A mission-minded pastor whose church spends 30% of its budget on missions said that the new vision for the church's global missions is to see the diversity of cultures both near and far.

I agree.

Thus global missions in the 21st century is truly intercultural missions both local and global, including both our Samarias and ends of the earth.

"Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9-10)