He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

Sunday, January 31, 2010 

A Minister for Christ's Sake?

"I see a man cannot be a faithful minister, until he preaches Christ for Christ's sake - until he gives up striving to attract people to himself, and seeks only to attract them to Christ."

- Robert M. M'Cheyne

Saturday, January 30, 2010 

Preaching: Love Amid the Thunder

"I remember on one occasion, when we met, he asked what my last Sabbath's subject had been. It had been, 'The wicked shall be turned into hell.' On hearing this awful text he asked, 'Were you able to preach it with tenderness?' Certain it is that the tone of reproach and upbraiding is widely different from the voice of solemn warning. It is not saying hard things that pierces the consciences of our people; it is the voice of Divine love heard amid the thunder."

- Andrew Bonar on R.M. M'Cheyne

Friday, January 29, 2010 

Ministers are Willing to be Missionaries

"The missionary feeling in his soul continued all his life. The Lord had really made him willing; and this preparedness to go anywhere completed his preparation for unselfish, self-denied work at home. Must there not be somewhat of this missionary tendency in all true ministers? Is any one truly the Lord's messenger who is not quite willing to go when and where the Lord calls? Is it justifiable in any to put aside a call from the north, on the ground that he wishes one from the south? We must be found in the position of Isaiah, if we are to be really sent of God."

- Andrew Bonar on R.M. M'Cheyne

Thursday, January 28, 2010 

Preaching & Interpretation

"Hence when one asked him if he was ever afraid of running short of sermons some day, he replied - 'No; I am just an interpreter of Scripture in my sermons; and when the Bible runs dry, then I shall.' And in the same spirit he carefully avoided the too common mode of accomodating texts - fastening a doctrine on the words, not drawing it from the obvious connection of the passage. He endeavoured at all times to preach the mind of the Spirit in the passage; for he feared that to do otherwise would be to grieve the Spirit who had written it. Interpretation was thus a solemn matter to him."

- Andrew Bonar on Robert M. M'Cheyne

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 

Dolla Dolla Bills Y'all

"He will make the money sufficient. He that paid his taxes from a fish's mouth, will supply all my need."

- R.M. M'Cheyne

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 

Second Harvest

Mention the word "poverty," and Japan is not a country that quickly comes to mind. But Japan was hit harder than any other major economy by the global economic crisis. Charles McJilton founded the organization Second Harvest nine years ago after he discovered many Japanese charities refuse to admit the country has a poverty problem or that people go hungry.

Supermarkets, restaurants, and other businesses donate food items that, for cosmetic reasons, are deemed unsaleable. Last year, Second Harvest delivered 850 tons of food to those in need. Jason Strother reports from Tokyo.

Play Second Harvest Story

Monday, January 25, 2010 

One Way to Not Waste Your Life

Sunday, January 24, 2010 

You Were Made For This

LOVED this except from John Piper on global missions. So blessed that the Lord has raised up an AMERICAN PASTOR with a GLOBAL VISION and HEART. That vision is NOT because he was a world traveler – but because of reading the WORD of GOD. Many can dismiss their lack of global vision to statements like, “Well, this is all I know.” They only know their city, their life. But what about their BIBLES?

Enough of that… here’s the quote from Piper -

“Everyone of you who confesses Jesus as Lord of the universe signs up for a significance beyond anything you ever dreamed….

I mean businessmen, homemakers, students. To belong to Jesus is to embrace nations with Him that He will one day rule entirely. Your heart was made for this. You heart was made to embrace the global dimension of missional living. If you don’t have a global heart if you’re not getting your arms around the nations, the unreached nations, people of the world. There will be a mild or serious sickness in your soul because your soul was made to do this.

Many people don’t know what’s wrong with their souls. And what’s wrong with their souls is that they have shrunk to the level of their concerns. And they’re not concerned about the nation.

When you pray hallowed by they name; thy kingdom come that’s meant to take your heart and make it as big as history and as large as the globe – and that’s a healthy heart.

And a heart coming down that just terminates on your city is a heart getting sick. You were made for this.”

- Michael Oh, missionary in Japan

Saturday, January 23, 2010 

Did You Know?

That in Logan County, Nebraska, population 774, & in Arthur County, Nebraska, population 444, there is not a single Evangelical believer or a single Evangelical church?

If you live in America, remember, your mission for the Gospel ain't just chopped liver. This is the heartland we're talking about.

I'd encourage you to access Dr. Payne's eye-popping study on the US & Canada here.

Friday, January 22, 2010 

Prideful Missionaries

What's...a good place for a missiologist, missions partner, church planter or cross cultural disciple-maker to be? Humble, contrite and trembling before the Scriptures, gracefully engaging this God-centered calling. But how do I get there? Perhaps first by considering what pride might look like…

* Missiological pride is characterized by always wanting to teach, always being ready to instruct others.

* Missiological pride sometimes displays a kind of evolutionary optimism about the latest missiological trends.

* Pride is usually self-reliant-favoring pragmatic approaches.

* And, isn’t ethnocentrism a kind of pride, putting our clan or tribe or cultural group at the center instead of God who is Lord of ALL cultures and intends to bring every culture under His rule and reign?

For what missionary humility looks like & greater detail on missionary pride, read Ed Roberts full blog post here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010 

I Used to Hate Adoption

Adopting For Life Conference- Friday & Saturday, February 26-27th 2010 from Southern Seminary on Vimeo.

No, I never thought I hated adoption. As a matter of fact I always saw myself as enthusiastically pro-adoption. I was pro-life, after all. I believed that adoption was a better alternative to abortion. And I even talked about adopting children one day after my wife and I had had our “own kids.”

And then God, through infertility, miscarriage, and two little boys in a Russian orphanage, changed my understanding of the gospel, of mission, and of myself.

Here in Louisville we’re going to be hosting a conference on adoption entitled, “Adopting for Life,” to take place February 26-27, 2010. I hope you’ll be joining us.

You may be wondering whether this will be a conference about the doctrine of adoption or “real” adoption. Well, one of the things that we’ll be discussing is the fact that you can’t talk about the one without talking about the other. Also, it is not as though we master one aspect and then move to the other—from the vertical to the horizontal or the other way around. That’s not the picture God has embedded in his creation work.

The Bible tells us that human families are reflective of an eternal fatherhood (Eph. 3:14-15). We know, then, what human fatherhood ought to look like on the basis of how Father God behaves toward us. But the reverse is also true. We see something of the way our God is fatherly toward us through our relationships with our own human fathers. And so Jesus tells us that in our human father’s provision and discipline we get a glimpse of God’s active love for us (Matt. 7:9-11; cf. Heb. 12:5-7). The same is at work in adoption.

So we’ve invited a number of great speakers to “Adopting for Life” who will seek to equip us to create a culture of adoption in our families and churches. We’ll be answering questions such as, “What does adoption have to do with the Great Commission?”, “How can I pay for adoption?”, and “How can we start an adoption ministry in my church?”—along with so many others.

I would love to see you here in Louisville for the “Adopting for Life” conference, as we think together about how God might be leading us to be on mission with Christ for the sake of the orphans of the world.

For the Kingdom of Christ,

Russell D. Moore

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 

10 Prayers for the Sake of Orphans in 2010

Listed below is what I’m asking God to do in the church in 2010 for the sake of the orphan. Will you join me not only in praying but also in striving to be an answer to our own prayers? I am praying that:

1. 10 pastors in each state will preach a sermon for the first time that proclaims God’s heart for the orphan. Result: 500 churches begin thinking about how they can care for the orphan.

2. 10 pastors in each state will preach a sermon series that considers God’s work of adoption within the story of redemption and how it should inform our care for orphans. Result: 500 churches think about adoption and orphan care more deeply than they ever have before.

3. 10 pastoral staff teams in each state will prayerfully work through Russell Moore’s Adopted for Life to explore how they may equip and mobilize their people to care for orphans. Result: 500 pastoral staff teams uniquely positioned to mobilize and unleash their people for the sake of the orphan in unprecedented numbers.

4. 10 churches in each state will lead their church’s children through God’s Heart for the Orphan . . . and Me! Result: The next generation catches a vision for God-centered orphan care.

5. 10 small groups in each state will prayerfully work through Adopted for Life. Result: 500 small groups mobilized to care for orphans that have not yet been cared for.

6. 10 churches in each state will launch a vital orphan care ministry. Result: 500 churches caring for orphans in substantial ways for the good of thousands upon thousands of children.

7. 10 churches in each state will contact their local Department of Social Services to ask about how they might serve their state’s foster children. Result: 500 churches testifying to the glory of the gospel in both word and deed.

8. 10 colleges will have someone preach in chapel on gospel-centered orphan care. Result: Hundreds of college students commit to caring for the orphan through the local church.

9. 10 seminaries will have someone preach in chapel on gospel-centered orphan care. Result: Hundreds of future pastors and missionaries gripped by the importance of caring for the orphan by the power of the gospel.

10. 10 churches in each state will send a group of people to attend one of the following: Adopting for Life conference, Summit V, Tapestry (2010 conference TBA), or Together for Adoption Conference 2010. Result: 500 churches networking with other churches for the sake of orphans all over the world.

Imagine the results if God should so graciously choose to do far more abundantly than we ask or think . . .

- Together for Adoption

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 

A Baby to Remember

Monday, January 18, 2010 

National Poverty Line

Sunday, January 17, 2010 

Discipline of Giving

How can we escape the power of materialism? By giving from a heart overflowing with God’s grace, like the believers in Macedonia who “gave themselves first to the Lord” (2 Corinthians 8:5): this is where grace giving must begin.

Giving disarms the power of money. Though giving should be regular, it should also be spontaneous and responsive to needs. And it should be joyous—“God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). And Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

As we sweat out the disciplines of a godly man, remember, with Paul, what energizes us to live them out—“not I, but the grace of God that is with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10).

- R. Kent Hughes

Saturday, January 16, 2010 

Discipline of Church

You don’t have to go to church to be a Christian; you don’t have to go home to be married. But in both cases if you do not, you will have a very poor relationship!

You will never attain your full spiritual manhood, nor will your family reach its spiritual maturity without commitment to the church. Find a good church, join it, and commit yourself to it wholeheartedly. Your participation should include financial support, but it should also include giving your time, talents, expertise, and creativity to the glory of God.

- R. Kent Hughes

Friday, January 15, 2010 

Discipline of Perseverance

Hebrews 12:1-3 presents a picture of perseverance in four commands.

Divest! “Lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely” (v. 1a). That includes besetting sin, and anything else that hinders.

Run! “…with endurance the race that is set before us” (v. 1b). Each of us can finish our race (see also 2 Timothy 4:7).

Focus! “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith” (v. 2). There never was a millisecond that he did not trust the Father.

Consider! Our life is to be spent considering how Jesus lived (v. 3).

- R. Kent Hughes

Thursday, January 14, 2010 

Discipline of Work

We meet God, the Creator, as a worker in Genesis 1:1–2:2. Since “God created man in his own image” (1:27), the way we work will reveal how much we allow the image of God to develop in us.

There is no secular/sacred distinction; all honest work ought to be done to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). We must recover the biblical truth that our vocation is a divine calling and thus be liberated to do it for the glory of God.

- R. Kent Hughes

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 

Discipline of Tongue

“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless” (James 1:26). The true test of a man’s spirituality is not his ability to speak, but rather his ability to bridle his tongue!

Offered to God on the altar, the tongue has awesome power for good. There must be an ongoing prayerfulness and resolve to discipline ourselves: “Who keeps the tongue doth keep his soul.”

- R. Kent Hughes

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 

Discipline of Integrity

We can hardly overstate the importance of integrity to a generation of believers so much like the world in ethical conduct. But integrity’s benefits—character, a clear conscience, deep intimacy with God—argue its importance.

We must let God’s Word draw our lines of conduct. Our speech and actions must be intentionally true (Proverbs 12:22; Ephesians 4:15), backed by the courage to keep our word and stand up for our convictions (Psalm 15:4). An old saying sums it up: “Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny.”

- R. Kent Hughes

Monday, January 11, 2010 

Discipline of Devotion

Reading God’s Word is essential, but meditation internalizes the Word and responds, “I desire to do your will, O my God” (Psalm 40:8). Beyond instructions like Ephesians 6:18-20, there are two great reasons to pray. The more we expose our lives to the white-hot sun of Christ’s righteous life, the more his image will be burned into our character. The second reason is that prayer bends our wills to God’s will.

Many men never have an effective devotional life because they never plan for it; they never expose their lives to his pure light.

- R. Kent Hughes

Sunday, January 10, 2010 

Discipline of Mind

The potential of possessing the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) introduces the scandal of today’s church—Christians who do not think Christianly, leaving our minds undisciplined. The Apostle Paul understood this well: “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8). Each ingredient is a matter of personal choice.

You can never have a Christian mind without reading the Scriptures regularly because you cannot be influenced by that which you do not know.

- R. Kent Hughes

Saturday, January 09, 2010 

Discipline of Relationships

To be all God wants you to be, put some holy sweat into your relationships! If you’re married, you need to live out Ephesians 5:25-31: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (v. 25). For those who are fathers, God provides a workout in one pungent sentence: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

Relationships are not optional (Hebrews 10:25); they enable us to develop into what God wants us to be and most effectively learn and live God’s truth.

- R. Kent Hughes

Friday, January 08, 2010 

Discipline of Purity

Sensuality is the biggest obstacle to godliness among Christian men. The fall of King David should not only instruct us but scare the sensuality right out of us! Fill yourself with God’s Word—memorize passages like 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, Job 31:1, Proverbs 6:27, Ephesians 5:3-7, and 2 Timothy 2:22. Find someone who will help you keep your soul faithful to God.

A pure mind is impossible if you mindlessly watch TV and movies or visit pornographic web sites (1 Thessalonians 4:3-7). Develop the divine awareness that sustained Joseph: “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9).

- R. Kent Hughes

Thursday, January 07, 2010 

10 Ways to Encourage Missionaries

This seems a little self-serving, but I encourage you to do this for all/any missionaries you know:

In an effort to learn how we can best encourage missionaries, I emailed some and asked how they would most like to be served and encouraged. This list is drawn from their responses, including many direct quotes. - The Gospel Coalition Blog

1. Pray for them and let them know that you are doing so frequently.

“One of the most encouraging/inspiring things we receive from people is a quick note via email to say that they are ‘thinking’ of us.”

2. Send “real mail.”

“Send a small care package. Some little fun food items that we can’t get where we serve is a good idea.”

“One idea is to send a special package before an American holiday (like Thanksgiving) filled with things that we can use to decorate for that holiday.”

“Send us a birthday card. This doesn’t have to be some long handwritten note, just a little card – maybe even printed at home.”

“Real mail is always special. Really, the thing with real mail is more than just getting some nice stuff from home (which is nice), but it seems a more tangible reminder that the people I love and miss love and miss me too and are thinking of me.”

3. Pray for the people the missionaries serve and not only for the missionaries and their families.

4. Recruit others to pray for the missionary’s area of service (city, people group, etc.) or for the missionaries themselves.

“This can be an amazing thing to have a person or group of people actively supporting the work that we are doing overseas – becoming an advocate for our city/work. It really encourages us to know that there are people going to bat for us and raising more prayer support for the work.”

“Become an arm of our work in the United States. Some ideas include handling our newsletter distribution, website hosting (i.e., hosting a virtual website for the city), logistical arrangements, or short term team orientation.”

5. Go visit them with the purpose of serving and encouraging them in their work.

“Have a group of your people come to minister to us as we are seeking to pour out our lives to others. This could be hosting a small retreat in country for our team or something similar, or coming to prayer walk the city we live in.”

6. Send them updates and pictures of you and your family (by mail or email).

“It would especially be nice to receive end of the year updates or Christmas card pics. We want to stay connected to you! We love hearing from friends and family and enjoy keeping up to date on what’s happening in your life!”

“If you have a friend overseas, stay in touch with them. Don’t let cautions about being careful with spiritual language keep you from talking about the day to day “un-spiritual” things you would talk about if you met up for lunch one day. Sometimes the least spiritual emails are the most helpful, because somehow I feel less distant when friends talk to me like they always did before I left. Share updates on family, school, work, life, sports—whatever it is that you used to talk about with them.”

7. Ask questions about their work.

“Ask not only how we are doing, but ask about our work and try to learn all you can about the people or city where we are serving.”

“I know that this has been said, but truly CARING about the work is the best way to encourage us.”

8. Continue to be a Christian friend and continue to minister to them.

“Don’t stop being the church to us when we leave. Whenever security allows, spiritual conversations are good for our hearts. Missionaries struggle with the same sinful attitudes that plague Christians everywhere. Leaving home to live among unreached peoples, may be a step of faith in the process of sanctification, but it is not a step that roots out all sin. It is likely to lead to and expose all kinds of previously unnoticed and unexpected sin. Having friends that know me, are patient with me, and expect me to be the same struggling sinner I was when I left helps me stay humble when tempted toward arrogance, and hopeful when tempted toward despair.”

“Even for us with strong member care, it is helpful to receive pastoral care from the stateside church’s pastor who many times will know the missionary personally and have the history with them to be able to invest and mentor them and their family and marriage.”

“Ask us those hard questions. Do a little pastoral counseling with us.”

“Please don’t elevate us onto some false pedestal. We are normal people too who have been forgiven much and for some reason God called to live and minister overseas.”

9. Support them financially.

“Finding out if we have any specific needs and meeting those needs is great.”

10. Seek to encourage them when they are on stateside assignment.

“Let us talk to you and your congregations, and small groups. We want to share what God has been doing and would love the opportunity to talk about it, raise awareness and hopefully gain more prayer support.”

“Invite us out to lunch or dinner. Nothing fancy is needed. Remember we’ve just been in places where we may not have been able to even enjoy a little Mexican food.”

No missionary mentioned this to me in emails, but I know it is a blessing when someone shares their summer home or cabin for a missionary family to get away and relax for a few days.

“Let us know about any good books that are must reads. Tell us about any good resources that may benefit our personal growth or ministry work: things like conferences, training for ministry/leadership, and so forth.”

- Mark Rogers is a Ph.D. student in historical theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. -

Sunday, January 03, 2010 

The Need of the Hour

The need of the hour is Gospel proclamation in the power of the Holy Spirit. Not a message of “only believe” or “Jesus can improve your life” or “come to church” or “let’s work together and see how quickly we get the church planted so that we can leave”. But rather a call for sinners to repent and prayer that asks the Holy Spirit of God to open up hearts and eyes to His holy awesomeness and our absolute helplessness and hopelessness any other way. The dead comes to life and the blind are made to see. That’s the message of Christianity. Any other message is counterproductive and will hurt, not help the Kingdom.

- Bernie, Missionary in Mongolia

Saturday, January 02, 2010 

Faith of a Father, Hope for the Fatherless

Friday, January 01, 2010 

Some Motivation to Know Your Bible Better in 2010

Without a doubt, my favorite all-time TV drama is The West Wing. However, that doesn't mean I like the liberal platform the show works from many times.

Watch this clip & think if you understand the law, the Old Testament, hermeneutics, or the Bible well enough to refute the President's rant here. It may just be some good motivation to get digging deeper in the Word in 2010. How would you respond to this, Christian?

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