About evanlaar1922

Have you ever noticed how many special ways God refers to us, His dear children? He calls us His beloved sons and daughters, the righteous, children of the kingdom, His anointed, royal priesthood, the faithful in Christ, His temple, His friends, and so many other loving names that speaks to who we are in Him. Also in many cases, the names we are given at birth have both biblical and heavenly identities tied into them. Our Heavenly Father who watches over us daily has created the ideal path for each of us to take to travel the journey of life, just as a father will make plans for his own child by putting things in place at a very early age for education, health, graduation, and marriage. God has predestined and equipped each of us to carry out a specific purpose that will create the design He desires to be in place for His kingdom to be effective in the earth.

Watch and be amazed

 Look and be amazed
at what’s happening
    among the nations!
Even if you were told,
you would never believe
    what’s taking place now. – Habakkuk 1:5

Habakkuk’s prayer that God should do something about Israel’s violence and injustice was answered. But not in the way he expected. The revelation that God was working out his purposes in history by rousing the Babylonians, brutal and ruthless conquerors, astonished and shocked him. As far as Habakkuk was concerned, God was not supposed to work with the unrighteous.

What? It’s going to get worse before it gets better?

The truth that God needed Habakkuk to understand was that in prosperity Israel missed what it was that they really needed – Him. And for us, until we embrace our own mortality – we forget that our real need is still Him. This life is short – but eternity is long.

God does not need our opinion on what He should do, nor does God work on
our schedule or plans. God is sovereign. God knows best. And I’ll take it a step
further, God timing is always perfect.

You really need to believe that God is going do to amazing things in your life. Unless you are truly ready to trust His process, you cannot really experience the unimaginable things that will happen to you.

watch and be amazed

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Church

The presence of Jesus among His people called out as a spiritual family to pursue His mission here on earth.

This kind of church Jesus mentions in two place and this one is my favourite —

Whenever two or three of you come together in my name,[a] I am there with you. – Matthew 18:20

To the Church that has lost their way, these are the words for them —

 Think about where you have fallen from, and then turn back and do as you did at first. If you don’t turn back, I will come and take away your lampstand. – Revelation 2:5

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Disciple

If we are sent to disciple every “nation” by training them to obey all His commands, then that would mean that we disciple a “nation” only when it is permeated by obedient disciples. Spontaneous reproduction of churches means the Holy Spirit moves a church to reproduce daughter churches on its own without outsiders pushing the process.

Theological speaking, the good soil needed for the gospel seed to take root and multiply is bad people, and lots of them.

We must focus on one people group, the one God has given us. He knew what kind of churches to plant and where.

The right steps will vary for each field but will always include teaching the converts first to obey Jesus’ basic commands.  Take the shortest route possible to start a real church – a group of believers in Christ dedicated to obeying His commands.

That’s the funny thing about God’s grace – He wants us to slop it over on the unworthy.

We must use the best people God gives us as the churches multiply, or the new disciples have no leadership at all.

To build up the Church as a living, reproducing body, the pastors and teachers are to train members of the church for the ministry, to edify the Body of Christ.

Timothy was instructed on how to work with newly planted churches and their elders.

 You have often heard me teach. Now I want you to tell these same things to followers who can be trusted to tell others. – 2 Timothy 2:2

We all want a good, strong ministry and when you know it is right for the local body to choose their own leaders, they will make mistakes and you will be disappointed.

We all have to learn to let the Holy Spirit integrate diverse ministries and gifts in the united body.

Education objectives will include educating the leader. Our education should seek only to edify the church in love.

Have you ever seen a mission pastors practicing herding rather than leading?  Where do you suppose pastors pick up the bad practice of herding others?

After affirming His deity and total authority on earth, Jesus commissioned His Church to make disciples who obey all His commands. His commands take priority over all other institutional rules.

Here are some simple basic commands given to us by Jesus that every new follower should memorize.

  • Repent and believe
  • Be baptized and continue in the new life it initiates
  • Love God and neighbour in a practical way
  • Celebrate the Lord’s supper
  • Pray
  • Give
  • Disciple others

Faith, repentance and immediate baptism of the entire family or group – no indication to make a decision – can be the norm. Repentance goes deeper than a decision – it is a permanent change brought about by God’s Spirit.

Healthy daughter churches need loving, edifying discipling relationships within themselves and with the mother church.

Each church should send workers to reproduce daughter churches. God promised to give apostles to every church.

The Holy Spirit flows readily through the bonds that exist between family members and close friends, so keeping new converts in a loving relationship with them is important.

Like a grain of wheat, each new church in a chain has the same potential to start the reproduction all over again. The growth of churches is compared to the growth and reproduction to that of plants. Like all other living creatures God has created, the Church has her own seed in herself to reproduce after her own kind.

Just as Paul plants, Apollos waters, and God gives the growth – we sow, water, weed, fertilize and fence the crop, but rely on the Church’s own God-given potential to reproduce.

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Integrate our faith and work

Many of us are prone to over-work and anxiety and yet biblical principles would imply that we should not find our significance and identity in money or success. Others are prone to looking good to the boss at just the right time and other drudge their work.

Slaves, you must always obey your earthly masters. Try to please them at all times, and not just when you think they are watching. Honor the Lord and serve your masters with your whole heart.  Do your work willingly, as though you were serving the Lord himself, and not just your earthly master. – Colossians 3:22-23

integrate faith and work

 

Reconciliation

It is only when we are reconciled to God the Father that the “otherness” of another gender, race or culture becomes an attraction rather than a source of insecurity and division.

Jesus said that when this kind of unity occurred, the world would believe that Father sent Him. Ultimately, the world will “see” Jesus when a united Church carries the ministry of reconciliation beyond its own walls.

When we are redeemed, we become part of the transcendent bride of Christ in whom there is neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek.  The Bible teaches that we become even more responsible for dealing with the implications of our identity when new life is born in us.

If those who have wronged us ultimately asks God to forgive them and God does, is that alright with us? Each person contemplates this question, weighing their own testimony of cleansing against their grief, many finally concluding that if God forgave them, they must eventually forgive others.

The Spirit of the Lord God
    has taken control of me!
The Lord has chosen and sent me
to tell the oppressed
    the good news,
to heal the brokenhearted,
and to announce freedom
    for prisoners and captives.

This is the year
    when the Lord God
will show kindness to us
    and punish our enemies.

The Lord has sent me
to comfort those who mourn,
     especially in Jerusalem.
He sent me to give them flowers
    in place of their sorrow,
olive oil in place of tears,
and joyous praise
    in place of broken hearts.
They will be called
    “Trees of Justice,”
planted by the Lord
    to honor his name.
 Then they will rebuild cities
that have been in ruins
    for many generations. – Isaiah 61:1-4

Intercession is more than prayer, it is living out the mediating, reconciling life of Christ in a wounded, bitter world with no answers for the broken relationships that torment all cultures.

But they themselves will be
priests and servants
    of the Lord our God.
The treasures of the nations
will belong to them,
    and they will be famous. – Isaiah 61:6

reconciliaton

Community

You are like salt for everyone on earth. But if salt no longer tastes like salt, how can it make food salty? All it is good for is to be thrown out and walked on.

 You are like light for the whole world. A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden,  and no one would light a lamp and put it under a clay pot. A lamp is placed on a lamp stand, where it can give light to everyone in the house.  Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:13-16

You cannot be a city on your own.

I had you taken from Jerusalem to Babylonia. Now I tell you to settle there and build houses. Plant gardens and eat what you grow in them. Get married and have children, then help your sons find wives and help your daughters find husbands, so they can have children as well. I want your numbers to grow, not to get smaller.

Pray for peace in Babylonia and work hard to make it prosperous. The more successful that nation is, the better off you will be. – Jeremiah 29:4-7

To be a follower of Christ means to serve others regardless of their faith journey.

Light is a metaphor of promise – blind people come and see! The salt metaphor declares that following Jesus is important to keeping culture from degrading. We are to stand for truth and guard orthodox belief and practice which will lead to opposition.

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Evangelize

There is a very narrow view on what evangelism means and what it looks like in the Bible.  Take a look at these descriptions.

 The Lord’s followers who had been scattered went from place to place, telling the good news. – Acts 8:4

Then he sent them to tell about God’s kingdom and to heal the sick. – Luke 9:2

Soon after this, Jesus was going through towns and villages, telling the good news about God’s kingdom. His twelve apostles were with him – Luke 8:1

It is either telling the good news, or telling about God’s Kingdom or both. Even though we only see the announcement part in these verses we know that these lead to an invitation to enter that Kingdom by faith and repentance.

In fact, it is such a narrow view that it plays only a fraction in the life of the Church.  Paul in fact had to refuse certain roles just so He could focus on evangelism.

Christ did not send me to baptize. He sent me to tell the good news without using big words that would make the cross of Christ lose its power. – 1 Corinthians 1:17

It also indicates that apologetics did not play a big part in evangelism either even though Paul did try to encourage people to respond.

What happened to those wise people? What happened to those experts in the Scriptures? What happened to the ones who think they have all the answers? Didn’t God show that the wisdom of this world is foolish?  We know what it means to respect the Lord, and we encourage everyone to turn to him. God himself knows what we are like, and I hope you also know what kind of people we are. – 1 Corinthians 5:20; 2 Corinthians 5:11

Christian service or action or protests against injustices do not play a part in evangelism either.

 A lot of people were now becoming followers of the Lord. But some of the ones who spoke Greek started complaining about the ones who spoke Aramaic. They complained that the Greek-speaking widows were not given their share when the food supplies were handed out each day. The twelve apostles called the whole group of followers together and said, “We should not give up preaching God’s message in order to serve at tables. – Acts 6:1-2

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