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Sunday: Mission to Regions Beyond — 5 Comments

  1. Implicit in the Gospel commission is the notion that we are to "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations". But, sometimes we are quite content to sit in our nice comfortable pews and enjoy listening to preaching, singing hymns to one another, and taking a nice nap after stuffing ourselves at a potluck. We even have church departments that look after protecting ourselves when our religious privileges/rights are threatened.

    The Gospel is more about spreading and sharing than protecting what we have. God left the "protected environment" of heaven to come into the foreign territory of sinful earth, "while we were yet sinners". That surely gives us a message about where our mission focus should be.

  2. Today’s lesson talks about the negative influences the neighboring peoples had upon the Israelites. Yes, we don’t want to be taken in by idolatry. However, I’m wondering if there are positive influences that even unbelievers can have upon us?

    What can we, the so-called “reached” people, learn from the “unreached” person here in Matthew 15:28? (I understand these terms, but it’s a little tricky because God is always reaching and touching everyone, except those who have forbidden Him.)

    This Canaanite woman was fighting for someone close whom she loved, taking on the burden of another as her own. She did something about her problem, took her pain to a place she thought she could gain relief and help. She advocated desperately for an unreached family member despite the apparent negative odds of success.

    Do I bring people to Christ with as much earnestness as this woman?

    A friend and I exercise together every morning. He had a very hard week last week and so it was hard for him to do his exercises. Actually, his heart is heavy and fearful for a family member in trouble whom we both love. He’s been fasting from all fast food and soda and trying to show more love to everyone around him. I’ve been encouraging him with short prayers and Bible promises. He asked me, “Can we pray together before we begin today? I want to make every exercise a little prayer and offering of ‘thank you’.”

    That touched me. He reminded me to keep my exercise as a devotional time, and not time to forget about everything to isolate out “me time”. This person‘s troubles mean everything to him. He, someone who knows very little about the Bible truths and who has not made an exclusive commitment to Jesus yet, is witnessing to me.

    Is there a non-Christian person in your life whose budding faith is a witness to you? I’m remembering that Jesus said he found the greatest faith outside of Israel. The lesson points out that Jesus helps us confront our biases and self-righteous bigotry.

  3. I think the author of the lesson points to a different perspective here. By what is shown in the Bible, the essential subject here on urbanism is the sexual involvement of believers and non-believers, which, in a sense, might be the reality of our city life nowadays. The misuse of sex, such a powerful gift given by God, can certainly lead people away from Him.

  4. The power of the Gospel message of peace among all men is unassailable. What is assailable, is our faith that this message will prevail in all circumstances. We have received and have accepted the Covenant of Faith. We do not need to fret when making affirmative ‘statements’ regarding our faith thinking we owe prove that the Gospel shares the Truth about God and man.

    The group our daughter works with and participants in other secular welfare organizations provide everything from food to housing plus everything else that one that is down and out needs to get back on their feet. The only thing they do not include in their services is spiritual guidance.

    Unless the services are rendered by anofficially recognized faith group –Salvation Army, Catholic Social Services, local churches, etc., secular providers are prevented from including religious guidance because they accept government grants and are compelled by the separation of church and state.

    Teaching life-skills/behavioral help modifications though bible study is where the churches could come together to complete the circle of support to the needy. Folks can be shown that there is more to a person than its body, so empowering the individual to step out by faith when accepting the greatest teacher and helper who ever lived among man – Jesus Christ.

    When expressing faith and Love as the two pillars which sustain us and our testimony about the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we employ their spiritual essence in practical ways. Though we can never take our eyes off the Truth that real conversion comes through the power of the Holy Spirit manifesting in/entering man's heart and mind.

    No matter how creative we are when laboring in the mission field, the recipient of our engagement actually receives God’s Love through us having chosen to believe that our faith and His Love will work wonders in the heart and mind of all who are touched by it. We understand that it is not us/our love we share, but that it is Jesus Christ within us and we in Him who share His love with them.

  5. Sometimes I get ashamed at the sight of other believers, who has no truth that we have, how zealous they are to their God. They are ever ready, ever courageous, ever present to share. This is why their number continues to add up. As we continue thinking of how to win them over to Christ, they are on the move, devising ways and taking action on how to win us over to their side.
    As I was reading Judges 3:1-6 given up there, verse 6 is very sad. It wasn't only about marriage, many are the factors that influenced the children of Israel to give God their backs.
    You who are in the urban ministry, I pray to you that may you not give up on God.


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