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Friday: Further Thought – Sharing God’s Mission — 15 Comments

  1. Thank you everyone for all your prayers for my surgery. It was comforting to know that so many people were praying for me. I am back at home now and in recovery mode. I had a similar procedure yearly 30 years ago and was in hospital for two weeks and took three months on crutches before I could walk unaided. This time I had an overnight stay in the hospital and came home without crutches. I still have a bit of work to do to walk like I used to, but that is to be expected. Praise God for skilled surgeons and some really incredible surgical tools.

    Abraham was called to start a nation. He was rich and influential and had a small army at his disposal. Furthermore, he was written into the pages of history and his offspring still call him their father. (Interestingly, while in hospital, I reread much of a book that I have been studying for some time, "DNA. The Story of the Genetic Evolution" by James Watson. In the chapter on population genetics, Watson points out that the Ashkenazi Jews and the Palestinians have almost identical genetic markers signifying their common ancestry. An interesting comment in the current circumstances given that the book was written some time ago.)

    We on the other hand have a much smaller footprint than Abraham and we need to take that into consideration. We do not all get the same-sized mission. And that does not mean that our mission task is not important. During my recent surgery, I had about a dozen people involved in the process. There was the surgeon, the assistant surgeon, the anesthetist, the theatre staff, the nurse who put the catheter in my arm, the orderly who pushed me through the corridors, the technical people who kept the surgical machinery in working order and so on. Each person had a mission and it was that combination of missions that made the whole project work. None of those missions were unimportant.

    God's mission for me certainly won't be to start a great nation but he may ask me to be like salt - changing the flavour of the world around us. No mission is too small.

    • Praise God for your successful surgery, and for the lesson you brought us about all the people involved in the process.

      May God continue to bless you in your recovery.

      • I share the same sentiment . May God continue to bless you in your recovery to carry on his work in a magnificent way.

  2. 1. a) What other examples from Scripture show us an individual who fulfilled his call to mission?
    The forgiveness of God has always been available to us (King Jesus in Matthew 9:6 KJV), as Esau demonstrated in Genesis 33:4 KJV when he warmly forgave his sinful brother Jacob with a warm welcome back (Hebrew meaning of Jacob = deceiver/supplanter) after years of self-imposed exile.

    1. b) What about John the Baptist? Would you call him successful?
    No: "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.", King Jesus in Matthew 11:11 KJV.

    Although John the Baptist brought many people to repentance, he lost his place in the kingdom of heaven through doubt : "Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see.", King Jesus in Matthew 11:4 KJV. King Jesus warns us of this in Matthew 16:26 KJV.

    2. Read Genesis 19:30-36. What does this tell us about the character of some of those saved from Sodom?
    They are the children of the wicked one. "...the tares are the children of the wicked one. The enemy that sowed them is the devil.", King Jesus in Matthew 13:38 KJV & Matthew 13:39 KJV.

    3. What other lessons can we learn from the example of Abraham regarding mission and how it is done?
    Just trust and obey God.

    4. Think about this: Would you deem Abraham’s intercession for Sodom and Gomorrah successful or a failure?
    In the grand scheme of things, I see it as a failure. His faith in God could have rather been used on the "good seed".

    My take out is this: Don't waste your precious time & energy on the children of the devil, but rather use the gift of spiritual discernment through The Holy Spirit & rather focus on the children of the kingdom in your mission.

    • Just in relation to your concluding remarked Brendan. Peter wrote the following:

      The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:8 KJV

      Longsuffering towards others on matters of salvation is mentioned several times in the New Testament. If God is longsuffering towards us when we were sinners, how should we treat those around us,

      On a personal note, I have mentioned this one before: My little Grandmother quietly witnessed to my big burly Grandfather for more than 40 years before he became a Christian. She set me a good exammple.

      • Your Grandfsther is the "good seed". I give thanks to King Jesus for your Grandma for focusing her time & patience on your Grandfather 🙏

        If an enemy sows a lemon seed (King Jesus in Matthew 13:25 KJV), do not expect grapes. There are tares, and then there is wheat (King Jesus in Matthew 13:30 KJV). There are sheep and then there are goats (King Jesus in Matthew 25:33 KJV).

        Discernment through The Holy Spirit is necessary.

    • I see your question "Would you deem Abraham’s intercession for Sodom and Gomorrah successful or a failure?" from a different perspective.

      While the outcome for Sodom and Gomorrah had no change I still see the interaction between God and Abraham as a success.

      This is because it solidifies Abraham's faith in a God of Mercy and Justice. I don't see that the issue here was Sodom and Gomorrah but rather that Abraham would be able to understand he serves a merciful and just God in light of the fact that God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and leave his nephew (Lot) homeless.

      I would be inclined to say that it was a failure if I felt that the only purpose of this dialog was to save Sodom and Gomorrah but I think it was even more that God wanted Abraham to understand what He was doing so Abraham would not misunderstand God.

  3. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son that whosoever believes on Bim should not perish but have everlasting life.
    We are all born in sin, we are to thank the Lord that He did not give up on us.

  4. The word success is often referred to as financial accomplishments. But we have to remember that the best things in life are unpayable. So far, a family where Love is the main objective, happy and constructive relationships, reasonable physical, mental, and spiritual health, etc. Perhaps we will have difficulties measuring our mission's success, but the fruits of the Spirit have to be experienced, and if we are feeling this constant growth, it is probably because we must be on the right track.

  5. Paul has written that one planted a seed, another ’watered’ the seed and still another helped it to grow. We will not know until heaven what our witness has been. I pray my witness is always about Jesus.

  6. If ever there was a God worthy of mankind’s admiration and love, it would have to be our heavenly Father as explained and exemplified by His Son Jesus Christ. If ever there was an Authority to have rightful standing to claim the right of leadership in mankind’s life, it would have to be our Creator - our heavenly Father.

    All I perceive when I consider the God of my Faith is His love for me and that all who seek after righteousness will find Him. And not only those who actively seek Him, but the infallible, compassioned and longsuffering God will find those who did not know that they are seeking - they will be found by Him!

    Yes, I agree with Ellen White’s statement that “the spirit of Abraham was the spirit of Christ.’ As it was then so it is now. The same spirit will fill the faithful follower of God’s Word, and the Well of His righteousness within us – His Truth and Light - will overflow and nurture all the dedicated believer comes in contact with.

    It is not for our sake or the success of our church’s standing in the community that we have chosen the Walk of Faith. Through living the Word of God by faith we give evidence to the faithfulness of our God who called us into His heavenly family - to live in His Kingdom here on earth, to be His ambassadors and promoters of Christ His Son for the salvation of all mankind.

    All we are commissioned to do is to be a living example of that which governs heaven – loving God with all your heart and loving your fellow man. This is not only done through mission projects, it is done through our daily lives and so will introduce mankind to its Creator who works diligently to reclaim its human creation as His children.

    • Your comment:
      Yes, I agree with Ellen White’s statement that “the spirit of Abraham was the spirit of Christ.’ As it was then so it is now. The same spirit will fill the faithful follower of God’s Word, and the Well of His righteousness within us – His Truth and Light - will overflow and nurture all the dedicated believer comes in contact with.

      Excellent observation !
      That's the Spirit of prophesy !
      Revelation 19:
      10 At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the #Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.#

      The work of many characters in the old testament like Abraham, Moses, Joshua etc, are a witness to Christ Jesus and his work for us !
      Shalom 🙏


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