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“Just” a Mom and The Great Commission

Ever feel like being “just” a mom and staying home caring for your family is less than the Lord has called you to?

Feel like unless you are serving overseas as a missionary you couldn’t possibly be fulfilling the Great Commission?

Feel pressured that laundry, cooking, cleaning and caring for children is less worthy than other things?

Being Christian wives and mothers is ‘Radical’ today.

This should be encouraging!

Ordinary Christians and a Great Commission by Tim Challies

For a long time now I’ve had a fascination with what we might refer to as ordinary Christianity, Christian living for the rest of us. This kind of a life stands in contrast to the demands of so many of today’s bestselling Christian books, books that tell us we ought to live extraordinary lives, crazy and above-and-beyond lives. Some of these authors tacitly (or even blatantly) suggest that ordinary must be synonymous with apathetic and that all these comparative and superlative terms–this-er, that-er–are synonymous with godly. But when I look to the Bible I just don’t see it.

The Bible gives us those well-known big-picture commands, the meta commands for the time between Christ’s resurrection and return. “Go and make disciples of all nations.” That Great Commission tells us the what but does not give us a lot of instruction on the how. How do we do that in our daily lives? How does this look in the home and in the office and in the church? Can normal people living normal lives do all of this?

Answers come all through the New Testament and I find it fascinating that concern of the biblical writers is how to be ordinary, how to be normal. In their minds being ordinary offers challenge enough and to be normal is to honor God. Ordinary Christians carry out a Great Commission in ordinary ways through their ordinary lives.

….   Be sure to read the rest

 


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What Are Your Thoughts About Leaving Sodom?

The posts on raising your children in Sodom and or Chorazin have caused some discussion about whether families should be getting out of Sodom.

Raising Your Family in Sodom – GTY

Sodom or Chorazin?

I know I typically never get a chance to read the comments left for another website’s post so often I do miss the best parts. So I’m encouraging you to read over the comments on Raising Your Family in Sodom.  It is a hard subject and there is no clear cut direction from Scripture such as once XYZ happens in a city we are to pack up and leave.

How do you determine whether or not to stay in a location?

What are the criteria?

I must add a disclaimer I’ve never really been to a big city.  Atlanta is the biggest city I’ve been in as an adult, I guess, and all the cities I’ve been in have been in the South which I’m sure is different from other big cities.  When I was 16, I traveled to London but that was a long time ago and the things I remember striking me there as bizarre; dyed hair, body piercing, tattoos, strange clothes and hair styles are pretty commonly seen today.

My best understanding that I arrived at is this:  (this is from a comment box yesterday)

Obviously homeschool is not a panacea for the evils of the world. There are many homeschooling families that I would not let my children spend much time with. However, homeschooling has the advantage of allowing parents to be with their children and know what is going on and being taught. That is one of the biggest advantages. There is a big difference in being in Sodom along with your children and sending your children out in Sodom alone.

Granted Lot was told to leave Sodom and we should all obey the Lord when and if He says leave. But while often the focus is on Lot and Sodom, we tend to forget that some of the biggest problems were when Lot withdrew to a cave with his daughters. He was out of Sodom and yet his “holing up” mentality is what led to his and his daughter’s sins. We are never as NT believers told to leave the world and “hole up” in a seemingly safe place; no place is safe without being in the Lord’s will.

We are told to not love the world:

1 John 2:15 (ESV) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Nor to be transformed to the world:

Romans 12:2 (ESV) Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

The problem is we do not distinguish between the world and brothers in Christ. When those who claim to be Christians are living like the world, we are to separate from them particularly, but not necessarily the unsaved world. Obviously there is a distinction to be made.

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 (ESV)
9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—
10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world
.
11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?
13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

America’s problem today is that there is no distinction between the world and the brothers in Christ. So maybe we should be running from the worldly churches. Yet not running from the unsaved world in the cities, but running toward them with the gospel.

So what do you think Scripture would have us do?



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Jeff Noblit – The Glory of God in Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God

The tenth, and final, session of the True Church Conference 2010 was presented by Jeff Noblit during the regular Sunday morning service at Grace Life Church in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. His topic was The Glory of God in Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God.

1. The entire local church family is to be involved in missions.

a. World missions was born in the local church. It should rest in the local church, not in a board or agency (see Acts 13:1-3). Notice that God sent out missionaries from a church that still had multitudes of unbelievers surrounding them. Notice the double call. The Spirit called, and the local church called.

b. The first missionaries were accountable to the local church (see Acts 11). Peter had to provide an account to the church in Jerusalem of his mission activities. (also see Acts 14:24-28 and Acts 15:1-23)

c. The first missionaries task was to plant local churches (see Acts 14:23).

d. How important is missions to be? (see Psalm 96:3.) The command to “go into all the world” is given five times in the New Testament.

2. People are to be personally involved in local missions.

a. The local church is important, but it is also important for individuals to be personally involved in world missions.

b. We must personalize missions. We must get out of our comfort zone. We must have a heart for unreached people groups. We must be ready for God to call our own people. We must have regular reminders and emphasis.

c. Missions must be strategically planned. It must be Biblical. It must involve training people and training leaders. It must involve strengthening local churches (see Acts 15:41). We must look for open doors (1 Corinthians 6:9).

3. God must mobilize prayers, fasting, finances, laborers.

a. see Acts 8:4, Acts 5

4. The end is for the glorifying God among all peoples.

a. see Revelation 5:9-12


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For The Sake Of The Lord’s Name

Why share the gospel? For the sake of the unbelieving? Or For Christ’s Sake?

Philippians 2:8-11
8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
ESV

For Christ’s sake because unbelievers are profaning the Lord’s name.

Isaiah 48:11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another. ESV

Ezekiel 20:9 But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, … ESV

Ezekiel 20:14 But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations,… ESV

Ezekiel 20:22 But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, ESV

Ezekiel 36:22-23
22 … It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.
23 And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes
. ESV

Romans 1:5-6
5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,
6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
ESV

The NIV gives an easier understood reading of Romans 1:5.

Romans 1:5 Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. NIV

3 John 5-8
5 Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are,
6 who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God.
7 For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles.
8 Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.
ESV

If we are sharing the gospel just for the sake of the unbeliever then we run the risk of defaming and profaning the Lord’s name. We are doing the right thing with the wrong motive.

If we are witnessing and sharing the gospel to others for the sake of the Lord’s name then it behooves us to be sure to be witnessing in a manner that does not profane His name and that it is in obedience to the Lord.

Colossians 3:16-17
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him
. ESV


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Linda Lipscomb – Modern Day Missionary Story

Today my little daughter received a couple of gifts from a special missionary friend of hers. He had just arrived back in the US from being overseas visiting previous missionary posts. Several times he has said that he thinks my daughter will grow up to be a missionary. She is a redheaded fireball, who is stubborn and never meets a stranger, sounds like good qualifications for a missionary. Anyway, she was thrilled with her gifts from Asia and could hardly pay attention in church for admiring them and playing with them.

God works in mysterious ways. I was already working on a post about this missionary’s wife and it has been sitting open on my computer for days. I could never do justice to their story and I was concerned for security reasons. Nevertheless, God knew I needed a little push and he provided it.

Linda Lipscomb was home on furlough from the Philippines when I first met her several years ago. They lived in the local missionary house and attended our church while in the States for furlough. I think Linda had some blood pressure problems and some undiagnosed lung problems that they were trying to deal with before they returned to the mission field. Linda was always eager to share her experiences especially with the children. She would dress up and show off items brought from the mission field. All the children loved to hear her stories.

When Linda and her husband retired they did not just spend their time traveling in an RV or in Florida like many retirees, they went to the mission field. They sold everything and moved to the Philippines to share the gospel with others. They spent years there on the mission field starting churches, leading the lost to Christ and caring for the medical needs in that area. Linda was a retired nurse.

After their most recent furlough, Linda was given the green light to go back to the mission field. This time they asked for somewhere no one else wanted to go. They were given a place in Asia as “Retired Traveling Americans”. A place where they would never have been allowed as missionaries. When asked why they were in that city they could honestly say they loved the people and the city. English teaching was an important part of their ministry. They used the Greatest Book, the Bible as the textbook. They did not speak the native language well, but her husband always said they “spoke the language of love”.

In January of 2008, Linda was riding the bus through the city. Upon getting off the bus, the bus driver started the bus forward before Linda had stepped off. She was thrown to the pavement and broke her wrist and her femur. Later that day the worried bus driver was brought by his supervisor to see Linda. The police were available to file charges. The supervisor was going to fire the bus driver and make him pay restitution. The Lipscombs forgave the bus driver and said, “We forgive you because God has forgiven us.” They then asked for him to be allowed to keep his job.

Linda was later air lifted to Bangkok, Thailand, for medical treatment. She spent about a month in the hospital with surgeries and medical complications. The prayers that were offered for her from several continents were continuous; we would receive several emails or text messages about her condition.  However, the Lord had decided that her work was finished here on earth. Her husband said she witnessed to the most people just by falling off the bus. On February 14, Valentine’s Day, she went home to Heaven.

At her very touching memorial service, the most appropriate song was sung. Linda was our church’s “Lottie Moon.” She was little, less than five feet tall and petite. Yet, she was broken on the mission field as she was telling others about her Savior, who was broken and spilled out for her.

Broken and Spilled Out

One day a plain village woman
Driven by love for her Lord
Recklessly poured out a valuable essence
Disregarding the scorn
And once it was broken and spilled out
A fragrance filled all the room
Like a prisoner released from his shackles
Like a spirit set free from the tomb

Broken and spilled out
Just for love of you, Jesus
My most precious treasure
Lavished on thee
Broken and spilled out
And poured at your feet
In sweet abandon
Let me be spilled out
And used up for Thee

Lord you were God’s precious treasure
His loved and his own perfect Son
Sent here to show me the love of the Father
Just for love it was done
And though you were perfect and holy
You gave up yourself willingly
You spared no expense for my pardon
You were used up and wasted for me

Broken and spilled out
Just for love of me Jesus
God’s most precious treasure
Lavished on me
Broken and spilled out
And poured at my feet
In sweet abandon
Lord you were spilled out
And used up for me

By Steve Green

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David and Svea Flood – Missionary Story

Back in 1921, a missionary couple named David and Svea Flood went with their 2 year old son from Sweden to the heart of Africa to what was then called the Belgian Congo. They met up with another young Scandinavian couple, the Ericksons, and the four of them sought God for direction.

In those days of much tenderness and devotion and sacrifice, they felt led of the Lord to set out from the main mission station and take the gospel to a remote area. This was a huge step of faith. At the village of N’dolera they were rebuffed by the chief, who would not let them enter his town for fear of alienating the local gods. The two couples opted to go half a mile up the slope and build their own mud huts’. They prayed for a spiritual breakthrough, but there was none. The only contact with the villagers was a young boy, who was allowed to sell them chickens and eggs twice a week.

Svea Flood, a tiny woman only four feet, eight inches tall, decided that if this was the only African she could talk to, she would try to lead the boy to Jesus. And in fact, she succeeded. But there were no other encouragements…”

 

The rest of the story is at The sphere of influence… from The Welcome Home Blog.

The full story can be found in “Aggie; A Girl Without a Country” (previously published under the title, “One Witness“), written by Aggie Hurst and published just after her death in 1981.



1 Voice Films is making a movie of Aggie Hurst’s life, called “Aggie“.

“From Africa to a South Dakota Indian Reservation, to Sweden, Aggie takes the audience on an adventure that they will never be able to forget. Aggie tells a story of God’s faithfulness to a small girl who questioned the meaning and worth of her life even throughout adulthood, until a providential turn of events brought her the answers to the questions she spent her life desperately asking. 1Voice Films is proud to produce the remarkable story of the little girl without a country who found answers to life’s most difficult questions.”


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