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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Living as Missionaries

D. L. Moody: The Greatest Evangelist of the Nineteenth Century
"If we are all Christians, we shall all be missionaries."- D.L. Moody

Missionaries are on a mission.  They go out and about, spreading the gospel and good works.  Some teach English in foreign lands while teaching the Bible.  Others conduct special projects through urban ministry.  Missionaries do the will of God by doing the works that God called them to do among those who believe and others who are in unbelief.  They serve the Lord by serving people.

Share your spiritual gifts and spread the gospel.

International Bulletin of Missionary ResearchThe Missionary Movement in Christian History: Studies in the Transmission of FaithThe Autobiography of A MissionaryWorks of Love Are Works of Peace: Mother Teresa and the Missionaraies of CharityChristians and Missionaries in India: Cross-Cultural Communication Since 1500William Carey: Obliged to Go (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Belittled but Blessing

Fox's Book of MartyrsOr A History of the Lives, Sufferings, and TriumphantDeaths of the Primitive Protestant Martyrs
"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse." - Romans 12:14 (NKJV)

The words of Paul to the believers in Rome seem odd in retrospect.  Coming from a man who had once persecuted the early church, these words seem to carry a peculiar connotation.

"Bless those who persecute you. . ."

The Sermon on the Mount: The Key to Success in LifeIt rings with some familiarity.  It almost echoes the words of Jesus Christ when He said: "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. . ." He spoke of a new twist on an Old Testament way of thinking.  The words of Paul in Romans share striking similarities to those of Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount.

What the Holy Spirit Does in a Believer's Life (Christian Living/Classics) (Believer's Life Series)Beyond the natural inclination to strike back, the Christian is to be filled with the Holy SpiritThe spirit is to reign and rule in the life of the believer so much that the believer lives by the Spirit.  The believer is to submit to the Spirit working in his or her life.  By doing so, the believer submits to the will of God in his or her life.

Jesus Freaks: Martyrs: Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus: The Ultimate Jesus FreaksStrength to LoveOppressive forces keep many in poverty and under persecution. The contemporary Christian band dc Talk wrote Jesus Freaks that shared stories of Christian martyrs and political prisoners throughout the world over the years since the early church was established.  Amazingly, the common threads throughout these stories are the faith and ability of Christians to love their enemies while still living under persecution.

What should we learn to do as Christians? Turn the other cheek? Seek an eye for an eye? Bless others.  Bless them by our words.  Bless them by the way we conduct ourselves.  Seek to live at peace with all men. 

Conversion on the Road to Damascus Giclee Poster Print by Gustave DorĂ©, 30x40Bless them despite being belittled and bewildered.  Bless them and go beyond payback.  Bless them that they may come to know Christ.  After all, isn't that what happened with Paul? Isn't that why he, of all of the people one could imagine, could say such things after having zealously persecuted the church and being pursued by the Jewish rulers?

"Bless those who persecute you. . ."
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Amen Me!