Sovereignty,Suffering and The Work of Missions by Steve Saint – son of missionary martyr Nate Saint who died in Ecuador with Jim Elliott (Desiring God)

Steve Saint, whose father Nate Saint was killed in 1956 in the jungles of Ecuador along with Jim Elliott, preaches about suffering at the 2006 Desiring God conference. The movie The End of the Spear depicts the ministry of his father.

Nathanael „Nate” Saint (August 30, 1923 – January 8, 1956) was an evangelicalChristian missionary pilot to Ecuador who, along with four others, was killed while attempting to evangelize the Waodani people through efforts known as Operation Auca.

In September 1955, Nate was joined by his teammates, Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Peter Fleming, and Roger Youderian. Saint finally found a Huaorani (also known as Aucas) settlement while searching by air. In order to reach the tribe, Saint and the team lowered gifts to the Huaorani in a bucket tied to the plane. The Huaorani were widely feared by other Ecuadoreans, because they combined a desire to be left alone with a willingness to use force. They attacked and killed any intruders without provocation. Nevertheless, the tribe was excited on receiving the gifts, gave some gifts back. Finally, the missionaries decided to attempt to meet the people on the ground, and on January 3, 1956, they set up camp four miles from the Auca settlement, using the beach as a landing strip. Their initial contact with the Huaorani started out encouraging; however, on Sunday, January 8, 1956 the entire team was killed on the beach (known as „Palm Beach”) when armed Huaorani met, and speared them.

After the death of Saint’s father, the family moved to Quito where Saint attended school. It was during this time that his aunt, Rachel Saint, and Elisabeth Elliotsuccessfully made peaceful contact with the Waodani and were living with them in the jungle. At 10 years of age, Saint first went to live with the Waodani, staying with them during the summers. He learned about living in the jungle, and also developed relationships with many members of the tribe. In June 1965, „Babae”, as he was called by the tribe, was baptized in the Curaray River by Kimo and Dyuwi, two of his father’s killers who had since converted to Christianity.

1964 video captures Intervarsity’s 7th christian foreign mission conference

Photo credit ivnorthflorida.org

Since 1946 InterVarsity has been providing a place for college students to see, hear, and respond to God’s global mission at Urbana conferences.  At Urbana students will learn about critical global issues from dynamic teachers, worship with thousands in one of the most diverse gatherings in North America, and be challenged by missional students and recent graduates who testify to God’s faithfulness to the ends of the earth.

This video below is a 16mm Ken Anderson film that captures the christian foreign missions mood of the churches in the tumultuous 60’s. At this convention, the students streamed in onto the campus of Illinois University from every state and province in the US and Canada, and 59 countries of the world (including 200 delegates from China). A harsh appraisal of the harsh realities confronting the church and the unfathomable resources of the power of God was the double barrel thrust that excited students as they weighed the totality of God’s demands on their lives and the harmony that exists between first century christianity and the  20th century world and their place in it.

At a time when protesting students are angrily staging free speech movements, dirty speech movements and free love movements, what is the magnet that draws 7,000 together to consider anything so devastatingly simple as the significance of foreign missions today. It is Intervarsity’s 7th Missionary Convention. The result was mental stimulation. It was positively exhilirating . At a time when our country was exclaiming over student irresponsibility, the atmosphere generated at this conference was one of seriousness and intense dedication, accompanied by wholesome humor and an absence of stuffiness. „Go ahead,” one father said, „but if you decide to become a missionary, don’t bother to come home.”

It was 1946 when Intervarsity launched its unique missionary endeavor. Once in every student generation- became the watchword. 600 attended that initial conclave. The number rose to 1400 at the second session. There were 1700 in 1951. Then with each 3 year span the total continued to rise. From the outset, the aims of the convention were clearly articulated.

Intervarsity Urbana 1964 Report

vimeo http://vimeo.com/73814327%5D

David Platt – How do we give them a glimpse of His glory?

David Platt itickets.comA word saturated ministry- How do we give them a glimpse of His glory. We give them a glimpse of His glory through His word. Not your jokes, not your counsel or advice, not even your stories. You give them a glimpse of the glory of God by giving them the word of God. This word reveals the glory of God. It opens our eyes to the glory of God. Psalm 119- we see His glory in His word, so give them heavy word from cover to cover, in this book (Bible). God is showing His passion for His glory in all nations , supremely manifested in Christ and the Gospel. So saturate people with this word. It’s the only thing that will drive them into mission. At least it will sustain them. Think about it. What is going to drive the people to lay down their lives amongst difficult peoples in the world,  who want to kill them? Because you said it would be a good idea?

The only thing that will drive them there is because God said: Go! I remember one particular time, sitting down with a wealthy doctor in our faith family, who sat down with me, and we walked through tough texts. And he sat down with me, and he said, „David, I just needed to set up an appointment with you to let you know that I think you are crazy, for some of the things that you are trying to lead us to do.” I was like, „Yes sir”. And he looks at me, and tears begin to flow down his face, and he says, „But, you’re only saying what God is saying….. so, I guess we need to do these things.” And he begins to talk how his whole lifestyle’s turning upside down, he’s selling possessions and considering going to unreached peoples, and he said, „Sometimes I think I’m crazy too. But, you’ve taught us to stand on the word, and I’m just gonna believe that His word is true.

Yes! It’s the only thing that will drive them and it’s the only thing that will sustain them. When I think about the brothers and sisters in our midst who sold their homes in suburbia and moved in the midst of  low income, very high crime rate in our city to spread the Gospel, whose kids are sleeping at night with gunshots outside their homes; they’re walking through really difficult times. What sustains them at that point is not some story or counsel advice. The only thing that will sustain them in that time is the Word of God. And these brothers and sisters who are going out into difficult places around the world, where they have hardly any believers around them, and they’re struggling and on the front lines of the battle, and the adversary’s coming at them from every side, the only thing that will sustain them is the sword of the Spirit. So, give them heavy word. True biblical theology drives urgent missiology.

If we believe God is great, if we believe man is lost, we believe Christ is necessary- put it together: we are urgently going.

Fotografii ale celor mai inedite puncte ale Terrei de la NASA

Agenţia spaţială americană NASA a publicat o carte de excepţie, cu fotografii ale celor mai inedite puncte ale Terrei, văzute din spaţiu, pe care o oferă gratuit, în format electronic.

Foto: NASA„Această carte celebrează frumuseţea Pământului, manifestată în tiparele, formele, culorile şi texturile pământului, ale oceanelor, gheţurilor şi atmosferei,” anunţă NASA în descrierea cărţii care cuprinde 75 de imagini uluitoare realizate cu ajutorul sateliţilor Terra, Landsat 5, Landsat 7, EO-1 şi Aqua.

Datorită senzorilor cu care sunt dotaţi aceşti sateliţi, imaginile arată mai mult decât se poate vedea cu ochiul liber. Ele au fost realizate „mai degrabă pentru a satisface privirea observatorului decât pentru interpretarea lor ştiinţifică”, spun reprezentanţii NASA.

Cartea poate fi descărcată gratuit, în două variante: Earth As Art (format .pdf) şi Earth As Art (aplicaţie de iPad).

sursa http://www.semneletimpului.ro

Viata lui Sadhu Sundar Singh – Capitolul 8B – In Europa – Activitatea in Elvetia (Part 2)

Citeste

– continuare- traducere A.C.

Dintre toate tarile pe care le-a vizitat, Elvetia pare sa fi fost cea mai aproape de inima sa! Panorama muntilor cu zapezile lor eterne, ii amintea de Himalaya. El a petrecut o zi in Oberland-ul bernez. Zapada acoperea valea si un tren special a adus pe muntenii din tinutul Enhaut, care se regrupau gravi si reculesi in mica biserica din Gersenay. Acolo Sadhu se pare ca s-a simtit ca la el acasa, mai mult ca si oriunde.

„Iubesc pe elvetieni”- a spus el la reantoarcere. El prefera simplitatea satelor in locul marilor adunari din orase.

Pretutindeni prezenta lui atragea masele si auditorii erau castigati de la inceput. Bisericile erau neancapatoare. La Tavannes, in Jura, cu toate ca era numai 1 Martie, au trebuit sa se adune sub cerul liber. Au venit acolo sute de oameni; directorii fabricii de ceasuri au dat liber in ziua aceea lucratorilor. O raza de soare a stralucit pe intreaga durata a predicii, si indata ce multimea s-a risipit , a venit o fulguiala de nea care a inalbit intreg tinutul.

In orasul Morges localul de acolo a fost intesat de oamenii care veneau din toate imprejurimile.

La Lausanne din cauza multimii mari, a trebuit sa se paraseasca biserica Sfantul Francisc, si sa se faca o adunare in Piata Montbenon pentru cei peste 4 000 de oameni care au dorit ca sa fie prezenti. Marea sala de la Tivoli si-a inchis portile cu mult inainte de ora fixata. Oamenii se catarau pe ferestre si sute de altii ascultau de afara. Tacerea era impresionanta. Vocea lui Sadhu, si cea a traducatorului sau, Pastorul F. de Rougemont se auzea de orisiunde. „Vocea mea, spune Sadhu, nu va va fi de vreun mare folos, daca reantorsi la casele voastre, nu veti asculta vocea Mantuitorului.”

In Catedrala, una din cele mai vaste din Elvetia, pana si cele mai mici unghere erau ocupate si a fost impresionant sa auzi pe acest autentic hindus, in roba sa de „sadhu”, proclamand de la inaltimea amvonului mesajul mantuirii.

Ne este imposibil sa urmam pe tot parcursul. Dupa Lausanne a fost la Geneva, Neuchatel, Jura Bernois, La Chaux de Fonds, Le Locle, apoi Elvetia germana, Zurich, St. Gall, Aarau Schaffouse, Thoune, Berthornde, Berne, Bale, etc.

Sundar Singh a vorbit cu admiratie si cu multa afectiune de misionarii pentru care India are o mare datorie de recunostinta. „Acesti barbati si aceste femei sunt sarea pamantului si recunostinta mea pentru ei este profunda. Am vazut pe cativa veniti din Elvetia sa lucreze in India. Ei au facut acolo o frumoasa lucrare. Unii si-au dat viata ca sa aduca pe pagani la Christos; altii au dat pe fii sau fiicele lor. Nimenea in aceasta lume nu va putea sa le redea ceea ce au facut pentru noi, singur Dumnezeu poate sa-i rasplateasca”.

Exista poate printre voi egoisti care nu se gandesc decat la propria lor salvare si nu le pasa de mantuirea aproapelui lor. Adevarat este, nu puteti merge toti ca misionari, insa toti puteti sa va rugati pentru acestia si sa dati ceva din banii vostri. Lumea este o familie. Trebuie sa ne ajutam unii pe altii. Daca iubiti pe Isus, aveti datoria sa sustineti pe servii Lui in lucrarea lor. Numai cu aceasta conditie noi meritam sa fim numiti ucenici ai Aceluia care si-a dat viata, pentru mantuirea omenirii.

Impresia pe care Sadhu a lasat-o in Elvetia a fost foarte profunda si cei ce au avut fericirea sa-l auda nu vor uita nicidecum mesajul lui. Era un lucru unic sa asculti pe acest profet al tarii Vedelor, cum proclama cu putere pe Isus, care este calea, adevarul si viata; de a-l asculta recunoscand deschis, ca scrierile sfinte ale tarii sale nu pot sa dea pacea, ci numai Biblia care este Cuvantul lui Dumnezeu si ca prin rugaciune noi gasim drumul cerului. Nici o mirare deci ca a fost ascultat de atata multime atrasa din toate clasele societatii.

sursa pozei revivalgen.org

Un pastor a scris: „El mi-a facut o impresie profunda, adevarat zis , cea mai puternica impresie primita in viata mea”. Si multi inca pot spune acelasi lucru.

Teologii, anticipat retinuti de o anumita rezerva fata de el, au fost castigati de la prima intalnire. Oameni indiferenti sau ostili crestinismului, au devenit schimbati prin puterea personalitatii sale. In Anglia, un profesor agnostic i-a zis: „Ceea ce m-a convertit nu este predica ci insusi persoana dumneavoastra. Sunteti atata de asemanator lui Christos in atitudine si-n spirit, ca dumneavoastra un hindus, sunteti un martor viu al persoanei Mantuitorului”.

Mii si mii de inimi in Europa, erau atinse prin predica sa. Pretutindeni el lasa o impresie de nesters, un stimulent pentru o viatacrestina reinoita.

Din Elvetia Sadhu sa dus in Germania, , apoi a vizitat Suedia, unde a fost oaspetele episcopului Soederblom, Norvegia, Danemarca, Olanda, vorbind in toate marile orase. In cateva localitati, auditoriul imens ii aducea aminte de adunarile bisericesti siriene din India. Invitatiile staruitoare facute din Finlanda, Rusia, Grecia, Romania, Serbia, Italia, Portugalia, America, Noua Zeelanda, si din alte cateva tari le-a refuzat.

In Iulie a debarcat in Anglia, dar a refuzat sa vorbeasca afara numai la Keswick. El era peste masura de obosit de activitate neancetata si de felul de viata, atat de diferit fata de cel pe care il ducea in India. Avand o mare trebuinta de repaos si liniste, a ramas catva timp la niste amici in insula Wight. Acolo i-a fost posibil sa-si refaca puterile inainte de a se imbarca in August 1922, pentru reantoarcerea acasa si reluarea lucrarii sale in nordul Indiei.

Succesul extraordinar pe care Sadhu l-a obtinut in Europa, elogiile presei, adoratia multimilor care-l considera un sfant, ar fi putut trezi in el, oarecare satisfactie personala. Dar el domina peste aceasta tentatie, si profunda sa umilinta a ramas intacta.

-„Caci eu n-am venit sa predic in Europa, aveti destui predicatori, eu nu vreau sa fiu decat martor al puterii si al dragostei Mantuitorului”.

Un prieten l-a intrebat daca nu este mandru de a fi celebru si de a primi onoruri atat de mari. El ii raspunse prin imaginea urmatoare: – „Cand Isus a intrat in Ierusalim, poporul si-a intins vesmintele inaintea Lui  si cu ramuri de finici taiate i-au iesit inainte sa-L onoreze. Dar Isus mergea calare pe un asin si picioarele Sale nu atingeau drumul impodobit in onoarea Lui. Cine a mers pe vesminte si pe ramurile asternute a fost asinul, si ar fi fost foarte nesabuit sa se mandreasca pentru aceasta. Aceeasi nesabuire ar fi si pentru cei ce vestesc pe Christos oamenilor, caci ar retine pentru dansii onoarea ce nu se cuvine decat lui Dumnezeu”.

In Europa Sadhu n-a cautat sa placa auditorilor sai.

– „Cand ma gandesc la atatia crestini cu numele, ma intristez. Ei stiu foarte multe despre Isus Christos, dar nu-L cunosc pe El. Multi nu-L cunosc decat prin teologie sau din punct de vedere istoric, insa n-au deloc timp sa stea cu El”.

Sadhu n-a ezitat sa-si exprime dezamagirea cu privire la descrestinarea Europei si sa vorbeasca sever dupa goana dupa bani, cautarea placerilor, bunul trai, luxul, indiferenta religioasa a celor mai multi. In Elvetia latina a spus printre altele: – Ceea ce vreau sa va spun nu va va placea, insa trebuie sa ma supun cunostintei si sa va expun mesajul ce l-am primit. Vazand dragostea lui Dumnezeu in inima celor ce au adus Evanghelia, gandeam ca locuitorii pamanturilor voastre sunt toti oameni admirabili. Calatorind printre voi, am gasit lucrurile cu totul diferite. Este adevarat, am intalnit servi sinceri ai lui Christos. Cei mai nobili crestini se gasesc in Europa si in America ca si in India si eu doresc sa ma asez la picioarele lor. Un mare numar insa nu sunt crestini decat cu numele. Si stau sa compar locuitorii tarilor pagane cu cei ai tarilor zise crestine. Unii sunt pagani pentru ca adora idolii facuti din maini omenesti, ceilalti au idolatrie mult mai rea; ei se adora pe sine. M-am convins ca nici o parte din Europa nu poate cu adevarat sa fie numita crestina si ca nu exista decat crestini individuali.

– „In India mi se zicea adesea: dumneavoastra numiti tarile europene crestine? In acelasi timp Christos a zis: „Iubiti-va unii pe altii” si tocmai in aceste tari popoarele se razboiesc cumplit. Asadar crestinismul a dat faliment in Europa. Eu am raspuns: nu crestinismul este falimentar in Europa, ci cea mai mare parte dintre crestini, pentru ca ei nu au inteles crestinismul. Nu pe Christos sa-L dezaprobam ci pe aceia care numindu-se singuri ucenici ai Lui, nu vor sa-L urmeze ca Mantuitor”.

Arhiescopului din Upsala i-a spus: – „Oamenii numesc pagani pe aceia din India. Cum, mama mea a fost pagana? Daca ea mai traia ar fi fost cu siguranta o crestina. Si chiar cand a tinut de religia stramoseasca ea era atat de religioasa ca vorba de pagana ma face sa surad. Ea se ruga, servea si iubea pe Dumnezeu mult mai profund decat un mare numar de crestini. Atat cat mi-am putut da seama, in India exista mult mai multi oameni decat in Europa, care duc o viata religioasa, cu toate ca nu cunosc pe Isus Christos. Ei traiesc cu luminile pe care Dumnezeu le-a dat. Aici in Europa, dumneavoastra aveti pe Soarele justitiei, insa  unde sunt cei care se sinchisesc de El? Crestinii au primit un dar fara putinta de pretuire, Isus Christos. Si in acelasi timp multi dintre acestia nu vreau sa renunte la viata lor moderna, ca sa-L gaseasca. Inima si mainile lor sunt incarcate cu lucruri pamantesti”.

Va ganditi sa satisfaceti toate poftele inimii voastre. A-ti descoperit stiinta si filozofia. A-ti invatat sa va serviti de electricitate si sa zburati in aer. Ei bine, hindusii, care n-au primit comoara Evangheliei , cauta cu zbucium adevarul, adesea timp de ani intregi si cu pret de mari suferinte. Ei sunt gata sa paraseasca lumea si sa renunte la sine, numai sa primeasca pacea. Voi insa crestinii de aici, voi numai dupa zece minute de cautare a lui Dumnezeu, va simtiti obositi.

Amara deceptiune ce o simtea acest trimis al dragostei divine, a facut dintr-insul un profet al judecatilor lui Dumnezeu! – „Popoarele occidentale care au primit atatea binecuvantari de la crestinism le-au pierdut, pentru ca si-au pus increderea in lucrurile materiale si in tot ceea ce poate oferi lumea. Iata pentru ce in ziua judecatii, paganii, care n-au auzit vorbindu-se de Christos vor fi tratati mai putin aspru, decat locuitorii acestor tinuturi, care au auzit buna vestire si au aruncat-o. Timpul este aproape cand Christos va reveni si cand va spune: – „Pentru ca voi nu M-ati cunoscut, Eu nu va cunosc”.  Atunci cand i-L veti vedea in toata gloria Sa, va veti lamenta din pricina necredintei voastre in El si de a va fi lasat intorsi de la El, de cei necredinciosi. Atunci va fi prea tarziu sa va pocaiti. Acum este ocazia oferita voua. Si poate ca in acea zi, i-L  veti mai auzi zicandu-va: un om a venit la voi dintr-o tara pagana, el M-a marturisit facand experienta puterii Mele si cu toate acestea n-ati vrut sa veniti la Mine”.

– Va urma –

The Story of George Muller

via Istorieevanghelica.ro

200 years ago, street kids in England were treated like vermin. With no parents or relatives to look after them, orphans were forced to survive by begging or stealing. They had no one to look to, they lived and they died in the gutter. But help was on its way from someone the Bristol newspaper would later proclaim ‘had robbed the cruel streets of thousands of victims’. However, his start in life was not as the righteous young man his father intended him to be-

from Wikipedia:

George Müller (German – born as : Johann Georg Ferdinand Müller) (27 September 1805 – 10 March 1898), a Christian evangelist and Director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England, cared for 10,024 orphans in his life. He was well known for providing an education to the children under his care, to the point where he was accused of raising the poor above their natural station in life. He also established 117 schools which offered Christian education to over 120,000 children, many of them being orphans.

Müller was born in Kroppenstaedt (now Kroppenstedt), a village near Halberstadt in the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1810, the Müller family moved to nearby Heimersleben, where Müller’s father was appointed a collector of taxes. He had an older brother, Friedrich Johann Wilhelm (1803 – 7 Oct 1838) and, after his widowed father remarried, a half-brother, Franz (b 1822).

His early life was not marked by righteousness – on the contrary, he was a thief, a liar and a gambler. By the age of 10, Müller was stealing government money from his father. While his mother was dying, he, at 14 years of age, was playing cards with friends and drinking.

Müller’s father hoped to provide him with a religious education that would allow him to take a lucrative position as a clergyman in the state church. He studied divinity in the University of Halle, and there met a fellow student (Beta) who invited him to a Christian prayer meeting. There he was welcomed, and he began regularly reading the Bible and discussing Christianity with the others who attended the meetings. After seeing a man praying to God on his knees, he was convinced of his need for salvation. As soon as he got home he went to his bed where he knelt and prayed. He asked God to help him in his life and to bless him wherever he went and to forgive him of his sins. He immediately stopped drinking, stealing and lying, and began hoping to become a missionary. He began preaching regularly in nearby churches and continued meeting with the other churches.

Orphanages

English: Orphanages at Ashley Down.

The work of Müller and his wife with orphans began in 1836 with the preparation of their own home at 6 Wilson Street, Bristol for the accommodation of thirty girls. Soon after, three more houses in Wilson Street were furnished, growing the total of children cared for to 130. In 1845, as growth continued, Müller decided that a separate building designed to house 300 children was necessary, and in 1849, at Ashley Down, Bristol, that home opened. The architect commissioned to draw up the plans asked if he might do so gratuitously. By 26 May 1870, 1,722 children were being accommodated in five homes, although there was room for 2,050 (No 1 House – 300, No 2 House – 400, Nos 3, 4 and 5 – 450 each). By the following year, there were 280 orphans in No 1 House, 356 in No 2, 450 in Nos 3 and 4, and 309 in No 5 House.

Through all this, Müller never made requests for financial support, nor did he go into debt, even though the five homes cost over £100,000 to build. Many times, he received unsolicited food donations only hours before they were needed to feed the children, further strengthening his faith in God. For example, on one well-documented occasion, they gave thanks for breakfast when all the children were sitting at the table, even though there was nothing to eat in the house. As they finished praying, the baker knocked on the door with sufficient fresh bread to feed everyone, and the milkman gave them plenty of fresh milk because his cart broke down in front of the orphanage.

Every morning after breakfast there was a time of Bible reading and prayer, and every child was given a Bible upon leaving the orphanage, together with a tin trunk containing two changes of clothing. The children were dressed well and educated – Müller even employed a schools inspector to maintain high standards. In fact, many claimed that nearby factories and mines were unable to obtain enough workers because of his efforts in securing apprenticeships, professional training, and domestic service positions for the children old enough to leave the orphanage.

photo source and caption – http://www.about-bristol.co.uk

It is ironic that these massive buildings that dominate the ridge at Ashley Down were known for generations as the Muller Homes. Their founder, German immigrant George Muller, was insistent on the title ‘The New Orphan House’ as he did not want his name to be prominent, for he considered himself merely an instrument in the venture.

Evangelism

On 26 March 1875, at the age of 70 and after the death of his first wife in 1870 and his marriage to Susannah Grace Sanger in 1871, Müller and Susannah began a 17 year period of missionary travel. Müller always expected to pay for their fares and accommodation from the unsolicited gifts given for his own use. However, if someone offered to pay his hotel bill en-route, Müller recorded this amount in his accounts.

He travelled over 200,000 miles, an incredible achievement for pre-aviation times. His language abilities allowed him to preach in English, French, and German, and his sermons were translated into the host languages when he was unable to use English, French or German. In 1892, he returned to England, where he died on 10 March 1898 in New Orphan House No 3.

A life of prayer

Müller prayed about everything and expected each prayer to be answered. One example was when one of the orphan house’s boiler stopped working; Müller needed to have it fixed. Now this was a problem, because the boiler was bricked up and the weather was worsening with each day. So he prayed for two things; firstly that the workers he had hired would have a mind to work throughout the night, and secondly that the weather would let up. On the Tuesday before the work was due to commence, a bitter north wind still blew but in the morning, before the workmen arrived, a southerly wind began to blow and it was so mild that no fires were needed to heat the buildings. That evening, the foreman of the contracted company attended the site to see how he might speed things along, and instructed the men to report back first thing in the morning to make an early resumption of work. The team leader stated that they would prefer to work through the night. The job was done in 30 hours.

In 1862, it was discovered that one of the drains was blocked. Being some 11 feet underground, workmen were unable to find the blockage despite several attempts. Müller prayed about the situation and the workman at once found the site of the problem.

Strong gales in Bristol on Saturday 14 January 1865 caused considerable damage in the area and over twenty holes were opened in the roofs. Around 20 windows were also broken and two frames damaged by falling slates. The glazier and slater normally employed had already committed their staff to other work so nothing could be done until the Monday. Had the winds continued, with heavy rain, the damage to the orphanage would have been much greater. After much prayer, the wind stopped in the afternoon and no rain fell until Wednesday, by which time most of the damage had been repaired.

Once, whilst crossing the Atlantic on the SS Sardinian in August 1877, his ship ran into thick fog. He explained to the captain that he needed to be in Quebec by the following afternoon, but Captain Joseph E Dutton (later known as „Holy Joe”) said that he was slowing the ship down for safety and Müller’s appointment would have to be missed. Müller asked to use the chartroom to pray for the lifting of the fog. The captain followed him down, claiming it would be a waste of time. After Müller prayed, the captain started to pray, but Müller stopped him; partly because of the captain’s unbelief, but mainly because he believed the prayer had already been answered. When the two men went back to the bridge, they found the fog had lifted. The captain became a Christian shortly afterwards.

Müller’s faith in God strengthened day by day and he spent hours in daily prayer and Bible reading. – indeed, it was his practice, in later years, to read through the entire Bible four times a year.

Theology

The theology that guided George Müller’s work is not widely known, but was shaped by an experience in his mid twenties when he „came to prize the Bible alone as [his] standard of judgement”.

He records in his Narratives that „That the word of God alone is our standard of judgment in spiritual things; that it can be explained only by the Holy Spirit; and that in our day, as well as in former times, he is the teacher of his people. The office of the Holy Spirit I had not experimentally understood before that time. Indeed, of the office of each of the blessed persons, in what is commonly called the Trinity, I had no experimental apprehension. I had not before seen from the Scriptures that the Father chose us before the foundation of the world; that in him that wonderful plan of our redemption originated, and that he also appointed all the means by which it was to be brought about. Further, that the Son, to save us, had fulfilled the law, to satisfy its demands, and with it also the holiness of God; that he had borne the punishment due to our sins, and had thus satisfied the justice of God. And, further, that the Holy Spirit alone can teach us about our state by nature, show us the need of a Saviour, enable us to believe in Christ, explain to us the Scriptures, help us in preaching, etc. It was my beginning to understand this latter point in particular which had a great effect on me; for the Lord enabled me to put it to the test of experience, by laying aside commentaries, and almost every other book, and simply reading the word of God and studying it. The result of this was, that the first evening that I shut myself into my room, to give myself to prayer and meditation over the Scriptures, I learned more in a few hours than I had done during a period of several months previously. But the particular difference was, that I received real strength for my soul in doing so. I now began to try by the test of the Scriptures the things which I had learned and seen, and found that only those principles which stood the test were really of value.

William Henry Harding said, ‘The world, dull of understanding, has even yet not really grasped the mighty principle upon which he [Müller] acted, but is inclined to think of him merely as a nice old gentleman who loved children, a sort of glorified guardian of the poor, who with the passing of the years may safely be spoken of, in the language of newspaper headlines, as a „prophet of philanthropy.” To describe him thus, however, is to degrade his memory, is to miss the high spiritual aim and the wonderful spiritual lesson of his life. It is because the carnal mind is incapable of apprehending spiritual truth that the world regards the orphan Houses only with the languid interest of mere humanitarianism, and remains oblivious of their extraordinary witness to the faithfulness of God.

David Platt at the Send North America Conference 2012 – 10 exhortations from the Church in Antioch

source http://www.namb.net/SNA_Conference_Audio-Video/

David Platt
In the closing message of the Send North America Conference, David Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, Ala., encourages pastors and church planters to focus on making disciples—using the book of Acts as a guide.

David Platt starts his message by recounting his meeting with some christians in Cuba last year and seeing how the churches there are growing exponentially, even with a communist ceiling over them. And even without buildings and big meeting places, Cubans are spreading the Gospel like wildfire. He tells the story of one pastor (who had planted 60 churches) who was summoned to a communist counsel for questioning and he shwoed up there with a huge rock. When they asked him what he brought the rock for, he answered, „I want you to know from the beginning that if you try to stop me from speaking about Christ, this rock is going to do it for me.” They thought he was crazy and they let him go.

I got my pen and paper and I asked him how did you plant 60 churches, and then those churches planted 25 churches and many more? He said, „Here’s how we do it. We make disciples”.

I came back thinking: We come up with all kinds of methods for multiplying the church in our culture. We give money, we start campuses, we use DVD’s to show pastors, satellites,- I am not saying, in any way, that any of that is wrong. But I can’t help but wonder: What if we didn’t have the capabilities to reproduce DVD’s or pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into multiple campuses? What if we didn’t have the technology that we do have and we should be wise to use (them)> But, if we didn’t have those things, what if we had what many of our brothers and sisters around the world have?

What if all we had was the Spirit of God and the Word of God and the people of God?

This would be sufficient, to see the Gospel spread like wildfire across North America.

Do we really believe that? Or have we become so dependent on our money, and our technology, and our creativity, and our ingenuity that we have missed the essence of how the church is multiplied, through the making of disciples?

People of God, Spirit of God, word of God making disciples of Jesus Christ. I would have conversations with those people in Cuba and they would say, „Obviously, you know a church is not healthy if it’s not reproducing”.

Ten exhortations from the Church in Antioch

Acts 11:19 The Church in Antioch and Acts 13

19 Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. 22 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. 25 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.27 Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). 29 So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. 30 And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

This church was the base of making disciples and multiplying churches all throughout the Roman world.

Exhortation #1 – Let’s raise up ordinary people in the church, who will do extraordinary things in the kingdom.

(In Acts 11)This was not Peter and John being sent to Antioch, these are unnamed men and women, unofficial leaders – no seminary training, no church planting experience, no convention behind them, no official direction before them… just some people. Acts 11:20 says… who would start some of the greatest churches, literally, in the history of Christianity. Ordinary disciples of Jesus making disciples, this is how the Gospel is spreading in the book of Acts, and if we are not careful, we are tempted to miss this in our day.

You want to grow a church today, you want to plant a church today? Get a very effective communicator, get particularly gifted musicians, get a good place to gather and organize programs for all of the ages and stages that are represented there and you are set. Yet, none of these things are mentioned in the start of the church at Antioch. Instead of professionals, places and programs, all you got is ‘some people’, who are preaching the Gospel. And this is how God intends for His Gospel to spread in our communities, throughout cities in North America. Not through constructing bigger buildings, not through creating cooler programs, not through putting up sharper presentations. But, through equipping ordinary people to make disciples, and do extraordinary things in the kingdom. Let’s learn from our brothers and sisters in the book of Acts.

Do we not want the type of church growth that does not point people to gifted communicators, or gifted this or that, but, church growth that points people to one place? The glory of our God! … through unnamed men and women.

Watchman Nee once said, „The church is suffering, not so much from the prominence of the 5 talent members, as of the holding back of the 1 talent members. The life of the whole body is hampered in poverty, by the burial of those single talents. (a reference to the parable of the talents).

We must be careful not to exalt unique giftings of particular leaders with particular talents, while we ignore the Holy Spirit gifting in every single person in the body of Christ.

Our evangelistic strategy is not built on bringing as many people as possible into a building for nice programs. Our evangelistic strategy must be built on sending out as many people as possible, to be God’s people, ordinary men and women making disciples, multiplying churches, doing extraordinary things in the kingdom.

Exhortation #2 – Let’s embrace suffering

(15 min)Let’s embrace suffering as a God ordained means for the accomplishment of the great commission. The church at Antioch was started because of persecutionIf Stephen had not been stoned, killed, the Gospel for all we know, would still be stuck in Jerusalem at this point. So, martyrdom in the church led to multiplication of the church. And, that is a frightening thing for us to realize, especially when we realize that this was God’s design. God does not just allow suffering among His people, He ordains suffering among His people, for the accomplishment of His purpose. All throughout the New testament, we see the Gospel spreading, not in spite of suffering, but, precisely because of suffering in Christian’s lives.

And it makes sense. How are we saved from our sins? By a suffering Savior; Jesus died, was killed, was crucified. So then, ask the question: How then is this salvation going to spread? And the answer is: This news about a suffering Savior will spread through suffering servants.

Satan’s strategies to stop the church will ultimately serve to spread the church because our God is in control. I love what one prominent Romanian church pastor said: He was experiencing persecution, he had been arrested numerous times, beaten numerous times, threatened and he wrote about a time when he was under house arrest, being interrogated. He said, „Earlier, during the interrogation I had told an officer who had threatened to kill me. I said, ‘Sir, this is how I see it. Your supreme weapon is killing, my supreme weapon is dying. Here’s how it works. You know that my sermons on tape have spread all over the country. If you kill me, those sermons will be sprinkled with my blood, everyone will know I dies for my preaching and everyone who has my tape will pick it up again and say: I better listen again to what this man preached, because he really meant it.He sealed it with his life. So, sir, my sermons will speak 10 times louder than before. I will actually rejoice in this supreme victory, if you kill me. After I said this, the interrogator sent me home. Another officer who was interrogating a pastor friend of mine told him: We know that that other pastor would love to be a martyr, but we are not that foolish to fulfill his wish. He said: I stopped to consider the meaning of that statement. I remembered how for many years I had been afraid of dying. I kept a low profile because I wanted badly to live, i had wasted my life in inactivity. But, now that I had placed my life at the altar and I had decided that I was ready to die for the Gospel, they were telling me that they would not kill me. I could go wherever I wanted to go in the country and preach whatever I wanted, knowing I was safe and as long as I was trying to save my life, I was losing it. Now that I was willing to lose it, I found it „.

The travel areas of the Acts of the apostles via http://www.ccel.org/bible

Exhortation #3 – Let’s penetrate lostness..

Let’s penetrate lostness through externally focused, intentionally faithful proclamation of the Gospel. These unnamed believers were specifically targeting Greeks. They set their faces on the lost, to preach the Gospel to them. Now, that seems basic, but, it is in danger of being forgotten. We’ve all been humbled by the statistics of church growth due to the transfer of members from one congregation to another. So we are not penetrating lostness, we’re not pushing back the darkness.

So much evangelism today is built around ceasing safe environments for people to come to, in order to hear the Gospel. Evangelism in Antioch was totally different. Instead of building safe environments for people to come to, they were going into dangerous environments, places that no one else would go to.

Intentionally faithful: It says they were preaching the Lord Jesus, and v. 21 says the hand of the Lord was with them and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.

Exhortation #4 – Let’s not build our ministries on counting decisions

but on making disciples. (vv 22-26) Once men and women came to faith in Christ at Antioch, they grew in faith in Christ at Antioch. The goal was not to report numbers. The goal was to raise up disciples.

And we live in a day when it is so easy for people to give intellectual assent to Jesus and it is so easy for us to count people who give such intellectual assent, but we must call people to so much more. The disciples at Antioch were the first ones to be called Christians, the first ones to be identified with the person of Christ. They knew that Jesus was worthy of more than casual association  and church attendance. Jesus is worthy of complete abandonment. So, in our evangelism, in our efforts to proclaim this Gospel, may we never minimize the claims of this Gospel upon the lives of the men and women we preach it to. Let us be finished with nominal christianity that dishonors the name of our Christ. Let’s raise up passionate disciples who live and die for identification as christians.

Exhortation #5 -Let’s lead and plant churches

that not only go aggressively after spiritual needs, but also, give sacrificially towards physical needs. This highly evangelistic church was also a highly effective church, when it came to helping hurting brothers and sisters around the world. (vv 27-30) We need to ask: Are we verbally proclaiming the Gospel among the spiritually needy? But we also need to ask: Are we visibly living out the Gospel among the physically needy?

These next 4 come from Acts 13

Exhortation #6 – Let’s love the glory of God more than

we love our own lives. You see the church of Antioch at worship: They are literally blessing the Lord in worship. From this point on we are about to see the missionary expansion of the church to the ends of the earth. And it all starts in a scene of worship. People who love the glory of God will live to spread the Gospel of God. Worship drives the mission. Worship fuels the mission. Why do we go through North America spreading the Gospel and planting churches? Because our King is worthy!

Exhortation #7 – Let’s fast & pray in desperate dependence on the Holy Spirit

They lay their hands on them, and they were sent out by the Holy Spirit. Who are we kidding? Like, we in this room have the creativity, ingenuity, money, technology, gifting, to see North America transformed by the Gospel? Do you realize how ludicrous our message is? Go in the inner cities. Amidst liberal, cultural elite of this continent and tell people that they are wicked, at the core of who they are, condemned in their sin before God and destined in their eternity for hell. Then, if they’re still listening, tell them that 2,000 years ago, the son of a jewish carpenter  claimed to be the Son of God and He was nailed, naked to a wooden cross and their future is entirely dependent on denying themselves and declaring Him God, Savior and King. That is a tough sell, and especially in your and my mouth; with all our fears, all our quirks, all our different struggles. For us to call them to surrender their lives, and their money, and their plans, and their possessions, and their future, all they are, and all they have to Christ? Not a chance.

Brothers and sisters, we are desperately dependent on the Spirit of God, to do that which we cannot do on our own. Let us not fool ourselves, thinking that we can come up with a good enough strategy or plan to penetrate this continent with the Gospel. Let us not fool ourselves. Let us instead deny ourselves. Let us fall on our knees in prayer. Let us forsake food in fasting. Why? Because we need spiritual power more than we need physical provision. So, pastors and church planters, are you fasting? We need the church to fast, to pray. If God gave you today, everything you asked for, what would you have? Let’s remember the words of Samuel Chadwick: The devil fears nothing from prayer less work, prayer less studies and prayer less religion.  He laughs at our wisdom, he mocks at our toil, but he trembles when we pray. So let’s fast and pray in desperate dependance on the Holy Spirit of God, for Him to do things in, and through, and around, and among us that we could never do on our own. Let us throw aside our sinful self sufficiency. Let’s humble ourselves before God and pastors let’s devote ourselves to the ministry of the word and prayer, to the ministry of pleading before God day in and day out, hour after hour for His power and His presence, His leading and His guidance, and His grace, for His glory. As we do, God will raise up people, just like He’s doing in Acts 13.

Exhortation #8 – Let’s commission brothers & sisters

in the context of community. So, as God raises them up, let’s commission them. In the context of community, the local church is God’s chosen means for the training and sending of pastors, church planters and missionaries. So pastors, let’s call every member of our church to pray for the possibility of God, that He may be sending them out. Do we trust God? If we trust Him to save us, how can we not trust Him to lead us? He is good, He knows what is best for us. 

Exhortation #9 -Let’s trust that intentionally making disciples

inevitably leads to multiplying churches. See the simplicity of this (I’m not talking ease)- Paul and Barnabas went out and preached the Gospel. They led people to Christ, baptized them and they showed them how to follow Christ. They raised up leaders and they were gone. So many things that we associate with the church are nowhere to be found in the book of Acts. You have the people of God, the Spirit of God and the word of God. That’s it. And apparently that’s enough. The more we complicate disciple making the more we will stifle church planting.

Could it be that God wants to do the same thing from our churches? Preaching the Gospel, making disciples, that will inevitably lead to multiplying churches across North America? This plan (in Acts-God’s plan) is good, it works.

Exhortation #10 – Let’s leave a legacy of disciple makers 

churchplanters and pastors all across North America for the fame of God’s name. 

Related articles

David Platt update from India…Laborers are few

David Platt Sermons PAGE (Video)

David Platt tweets:

David Platt @plattdavid 08 Sep
Traveling across Bihar: 100 million people with 45,000 villages in a state the size of Tennessee. Pray for laborers.

With a few more snippets David Platt has posted we can get a picture of God’s movement in Bihar:

*Making disciples is the „central mission that Christ gave to his church before going to heaven.” David Platt via Multiply

*Landed in South Asia. 1,798 ppl groups, 941 of them unreached & unengaged. Pray for church strengthening & gospel advance. (September 5)

*Less than 0.1% Christian. That means every day approx 4,995 people in this area plunge into an eternal hell. #gospelurgency (Pastor David is referring to the area in East Asia where he is visiting this week.)

*In one of the most spiritually/physically impoverished places on earth. Death rate in this area is 5,000 people per day.(September 6)

*Glory to God! In 2009, 2 brothers here shared the gospel in 1 unreached village. 3 yrs later, 350 new churches have begun. September 7

*Pray now for open hearts. Gospel bring preached to a group of people in Bihar with Muslim call to prayer in the background.

*A brother in Bihar, India: „It was like hell in our village until we heard the gospel.”

*@plattdavid: „You don’t need to be a successful pastor or a charismatic leader to make disciples.” #Multiply2012

*Traveling across Bihar: 100 million people with 45,000 villages in a state the size of Tennessee. Pray for laborers.

Source: Official David Platt Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/plattdavid

Preach the gospel, die, and be forgotten…

Ed Stetzer Ed Stetzer  (from twitter)-

“Preach the gospel, die, and be forgotten” (Count Zinzendorf).

Who was Count Zinzendorf?

Nicolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf

Nicolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Who was Count Zinzerdorf? Here’s a bit of info from Wikipedia:

Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf und Pottendorf was the Imperial Count of Zinzendorf and Pottendorf (May 26, 1700 – May 9, 1760), German religious and social reformer and bishop of the Moravian Church, was born at Dresden.

Zinzendorf had a naturally alert and active mind, and an enthusiastic temperament that made his life one of ceaseless planning and executing. Like Martin Luther, he was often influenced by strong and vehement feelings, and he was easily moved both by sorrow and joy. He was an eager seeker after truth, and could not understand men who at all costs kept to the opinions they had once formed; yet he had an exceptional talent for talking on religious subjects even with those who differed from him. Few men have been more solicitous for the happiness and comfort of others, even in little things. His activity and varied gifts sometimes landed him in oddities and contradictions that not infrequently looked like equivocation and dissimulation, and the courtly training of his youth made him susceptible about his authority even when no one disputed it. He was a natural orator, and though his dress was simple his personal appearance gave an impression of distinction and force. His projects were often misunderstood, and in 1736 he was even banished from Saxony, but in 1749 the government rescinded its decree and begged him to establish within its jurisdiction more settlements like that at Herrnhut. He is commemorated as a hymnwriter and a renewer of the church by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

He did not mean to found a new church or religious organization distinct from the Lutheranism of the land, but to create a Christian association the members of which by preaching, by tract and book distribution and by practical benevolence might awaken the somewhat torpid religion of the Lutheran Church. The „band of four brothers” (Rothe, pastor at Berthelsdorf; Melchior Schäffer, pastor at Görlitz; Friedrich von Watteville, a friend from boyhood; and himself) set themselves by sermons, books, journeys and correspondence to create a revival of religion, and by frequent meetings for prayer to preserve in their own hearts the warmth of personal trust in Christ. From the printing-house at Ebersdorf, now in Thuringia, large quantities of books and tracts, catechisms, collections of hymns and cheap Bibles were issued; and a translation of Johann Arndt’s True Christianity was published for circulation in France.

He wrote a large number of hymns, of which the best-known are „Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness” and „Jesus, still lead on”. A selection of his Sermons was published by Gottfried Clemens in 10 vols., his Diary (1716–1719) by Gerhard Reichel and Josef Theodor Müller (Herrnhut, 1907), and his Hymns, etc., by H. Bauer and G. Burkhardt (Leipzig, 1900).

Here is a documentary on the life of Count Zinzendorf (see a movie based on Count Zinzendorf also at the bottom of this page)

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First fruits – Count Nikolaus von Zinzendorf

In 1732, two young Moravians left their comfortable community of Hernhut, Germany, convinced that they were called of God to bring the Gospel to the slaves in the West Indies. They went, willing to become slaves if necessary, to minister to these oppressed people. The Moravians pioneered a mission movement characterized by extraordinary commitment. Under the dynamic leadership of Count Nikolaus von Zinzendorf, the Moravians sent out more missionaries in 20 years than all the other Protestant groups had in 200 years. They were driven by two strong convictions: world evangelization is a prime obligation of the church, and every member of the Christian community has this responsibility. First Fruits unfolds the suffering which these young men endured for their missionary zeal and the agony of their community in deciding to send them forth at a time when missions to the heathen masses were unthinkable among Protestants. You will especially marvel over the “First Fruits” of their ministry and the impact of their vision on the course of Christian history.

Movie courtesy of TBN http://www.itbn.org

Verge 2012 – Jeff Vanderstelt – Stop Trying To Be Jesus

Jeff Vanderstelt  from Verge Conference 2012- The biggest mistake I made when we started SOMA, I read John 21 „As the Father has sent me, so I send you”. And then I went to John chapter 1 and I read, „The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us”,  and now let’s figure out how to be like Jesus and be the incarnate word of God. So, you’re going like, „That’s no mistake”. „I stopped reading”.

Do you know what the rest of the text says? „As the Father has sent me, so I send you”. What does he do? He breathes on them  and says, „Receive the Holy Spirit”.  The biggest mistake I made is I told people to go be Jesus to people. None of you can be Jesus to people. Only Jesus can be Jesus to people. And the only way Jesus can be Jesus to people through you is by the power of His Holy Spirit. I am convinced more and more that we’re not experiencing the outpouring of the Spirit of God because we are lading people to do what they could do without Him. We’ve got to lead them to do what only Jesus could do and stop telling them that they are supposed to be Jesus. They’re not! There’s only one Jesus that I know of and He wants to live and dwell within you through the power of His Holy Spirit. So stop sending people on mission, send them with the Holy Spirit, with the power of God to do only what  God can do. I pray that we would do that.

Published on Apr 29, 2012 by  http://vergenetwork.org/

Jeff Vanderstelt – Rhythms:

Equipping Ordinary People for Everday Gospel Intentionality

When Paul says „speaking the thruth in love„, that’s Paul’s shorthand for speaking the Gospel. I’ve heard people say, „Brother I’m just speaking the truth in love to you”. And what they really mean is, „I’m saying a tough word to you”. But if the word isn’t the Gospel , then they won’t build me up into Christ. So, the truth in love must be the Gospel applied to a situation so that you will grow up into Christ in everything. So, if you don’t know how to speak the Gospel into everything in life, then you won’t know how to speak the truth in love which means you won’t have people growing up into maturity in Christ. So, what we have done at SOMA, I’m going to spend time talking and what we have done is made it our goal to make sure is everybody is Gospel fluent. Meaning, everybody knows how to speak the Gospel in any situation. To any situation. So if I’m going to confront someone in their sexual immorality, how do I preach the Gospel to sexual immorality, to a unique person, in a particular place?

Uploaded by  on Jun 28, 2011

Rhythms: Equipping Ordinary People for Everday Gospel Intentionality – In order to shape a Gospel Centered people we must equip people to live ordinary life with Gospel Intentionality. In this workshop we will identify the normal rhythms of life and work through how to equip normal people to live extraordinary lives on mission in these rhythms.

Together for the Gospel – David Platt – Divine Sovereignty: The Fuel of Death-Defying Missions

(60 minutes)

David Platt – Jesus is enough at Liberty University

There’s 6.8 billion people in the world. The most liberal estimate puts the world at about 1/3 christian, and that’s people in many contexts who claim christianity more as a social or political identification. But, even if we assumed that all of those people are actually followers of Christ that would still leave over 4 1/2 billion people who at this moment are without Christ and are on a road that leads to an eternal hell, everlasting suffering. That’s spiritual need; add on top of that physical need, the reality that today alone, while we enjoy all that we have here, today 26,000 children will die of either starvation or preventable disease. If this is true in the world around us, then we do not have time to play games with our lives and we do not have time to play games in the church. We have a master who demands radical sacrifice and a mission that warrants radical urgency and so in the next few minutes I want to call you based on the authority of God’s word. I want to call you to abandon your plans, your dreams, your ideas, your possessions, all of your hopes of living out a nice, comfortable, middle class American christianity. I want to call you to abandon it all to make the glory of Christ known to every nation in the world. I want to show you that there is no better way that you can spend your life than making His worth known among all peoples.

Luke 9:57  The Cost of Following Jesus

 57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

On February 18, 2011 at Convocation, North America’s largest weekly gathering of Christian students, bestselling author and pastor Dr. David Platt commissioned Liberty University students to present their lives as „blank checks” and to surrender their gifts and talents to be used in ways that will advance the kingdom of God. Platt is the pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., and author of the bestselling book „Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.”

Through the Gates of Splendor – 5 missionaries speared to death on January 8, 1956 on a beach in Ecuador (documentary)

A beautifully crafted documentary about five young missionaries who were martyred by a savage tribe of Indians in the mid 1950s and the heroic effort of reconciliation that has followed.

The killing of five missionaries in the Amazon jungle captured the attention of a nation and prompted one of the widows to write the best-selling Through Gates of Splendor. But what would remain untold for a half a century is the incredible response to these deaths. Beyond the Gates of Splendor, a stirring documentary by director Jim Hanon and producer Mart Green, brings this story to life. The film traces friendships forming on a Midwest college campus, young families venturing out to the South American mission field, and the heartbreak of a bloody beach in Ecuador. Five lives taken by the most violent tribe on earth. The tragedy compels several of the women to risk their lives, and those of their children, to live alongside their husbands’ killers. Through the example of these brave women, a brutal, warring culture is transformed, murderers become healers, and what was once known as the cradle of darkness becomes a community of light and hope.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Related articles

The State of Evangelicalism Report – What on Earth is Happening with the Kingdom? (JP Moreland)

Mark 16:17-18  (ESV)

17And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Some very encouraging statistics from Biola University Professor J.P.Moreland. He cites the growth of Christians in churches with evangelical missions has jumped from 71million in 1970 to 707 million in 2000 and 750 million in 2010. And whereas the ratio of practicing christians in the 1960’s was 2 caucasians for every 1 non caucasian, in 2010 the ratio  is 1 caucasian and 7 non caucasians.

Moreland believes this explosion in places such as Africa and China is based on3 things: 1) The sovereign move of God  2)The desperation of some of the world’s countries and 3)An outbreak of supernatural miracles (healings).
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–>The Cost of Following Jesus by David Platt, author of ‘Radical’

David Platt is Pastor of Brook Hills Church of Birmingham, Alabama.              Dr. David Platt, 32, is deeply devoted to Christ and His Word. David’s first love in ministry is disciple-making—the simple biblical model of teaching God’s Word, mentoring others and sharing faith. He has traveled extensively to teach the Bible and church leaders throughout the United States and around the world. Atlanta natives, he and his wife, Heather, made their home in New Orleans until they were displaced by flooding following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

David holds a deep and abiding passion for global disciple-making. „I believe that God has uniquely created every one of His people to impact the world. Some may count it as idealistic, but I believe it is thoroughly biblical, rooted in Psalm 67:1-2, yet covering Scripture from beginning to end. God is in the business of blessing His people so that His ways and His salvation might be made known among all people.”

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SBTS – Resources – The Cost of Following Jesus
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