Rabu, 26 Maret 2008


Chaff or Grain?

Reading: Mark 7:1-13
"Is not My word like fire, asks the Lord,
and like hammer that breaks the rocks in pieces?" ( Jer 23:29 )

New revelations, visions, dreams — these are the fad in Christendom today. Though superficially these appear good, these are nothing but "wood, hay and straw." These cannot stand the test of the fire of God's Word "The fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is" ( 1 Cor 3:12 , 13 ). People are excited when preachers talk about dreams and visions. Huge crowds rush to such meetings. But dreams and visions are simply "chaff" before the "wheat" of God's Word. Perhaps no other mortal man had had such an abundance of visions and revelations like Paul. He even had a trip to Paradise . But he did not go place to place talking about these experiences. Our preachers go crowing about even a visit to Paris !
Jesus was reasonably thorough with the Scriptures even from the age of twelve ( Lk 2:42 , 46 , 47 ). But He prepared Himself for another eighteen years before He preached His first sermon. Many enter the pulpit too soon quoting Paul that he started preaching "immediately" after his conversion. Little do they realise that he had had many years of rigorous learning of the Old Testament Scriptures under the exacting eye of Rabbi Gamaliel ( Acts 22:3 ). That's why Paul discouraged Timothy against installing a novice in the ministry ( 1 Tim 3:6 ).
Sometimes we are not able to embrace the truth of God's Word because of certain traditions. Traditions are not to be summarily rejected. But whichever contradicts the Scriptures must be abandoned however long it would have been cherished. When we worship traditions we make the Word of God ineffective ( Mk 7:6-13 ).
"The time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine... and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to tales" ( 2 Tim 4:3 , 4 ). The prosperity doctrine invented by materialistic countries is an example of myths. It is a plague that cannot be easily stopped. No other doctrine in Church history had been so popular. This has prevented most of our pulpits from sounding forth genuine messages from the Lord. "Smile! Jesus loves you!" — Such slogans are good for stickers but not good enough for sinners. It becomes a myth if the other side of the coin, namely "Repent! Jesus loves you!" is not presented ( Rev 3:19 ).
We must comfort the afflicted but afflict the comfortable.
Preaching should aim at pricking the heart, not stroking the skin!

Rabu, 19 Maret 2008


Old but not Cold!

Reading : Psalm 17
"Since my youth, O God, You have taught me;
I will declare Your marvellous deeds in all the days to come" (Psa 71:17)

Mr. Caleb at 85, referring to an incident that happened fortyfive years before, testified, "I am as strong this day as I was on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in" (Josh 14:11). This confession he made exactly on his 85th birthday (v10c). For his birthday he desired not a sponge cake but a steep mountain (v12)! All this was because he refused to join the pessimistic majority (Num 13:30-33). Overcautiousness is typical of old age whereas young people are known for venturing and taking risks. Risking is a companion of faith.
It is said, "We spend the first half of our lives trying to understand the older generation, and the second half trying to understand the younger generation!" In the early 1970s, during the formative years of the Blessing Youth Mission in India , we used to send teams of college students during Summer Vacation to hills and jungles to see pioneering missionary work firsthand. One such team visited Kolli Hills in Tamilnadu where Mother Brand (1879-1975), the godly mother of the famous leprologist Dr. Paul Brand (1914-2003), was labouring for the Gospel after the death of her husband. The time our youngsters spent with this dear lady, who was too old to even walk normally, revolutionized them thoroughly and some of them took up fulltime missionary career.
Years ago an old professor took me aside after I preached in an evening service and told me, " Stanley , I'm glad God has taken you in His hand. Let simple living and high thinking be your aim." Perhaps but for this timely counsel, I would have been siphoned into the materialminded ministerial stream that runs full these days. The conversation with George Verwer, the Founder of Operation Mobilisation, one evening gave me an unforgettable warning to discern between leadership that is self-assumed and God-appointed. The few hours I spent with the saintly prophet Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994) in his humble home intensified my burden for revival more than all his revival classics that I have read. I can go on listing the indelible impressions that God's seasoned men have left on my heart.
Sir, Madam, Uncle, Aunty,
salutes to you on behalf of youngsters!

Senin, 17 Maret 2008


Eyeball on your Call!

Reading : 1 Corinthians 12:4-18
"Brothers and sisters, let each one remain in that calling
in which he was called" (1 Cor 7:24)

The Christian life is comparable to running a race. There are rules and regulations to it (1 Cor 9:24). It is God who sets the track for each to run within. Although called to work in the same Vineyard, the area of responsibility may vary for each. Some are called to be "eyes" of the Body the Church, as prophets; some as "hands" in the ministry of helping; and still others as "legs" to do pioneering outreach work. Each ought to stay true to his calling (1 Cor 7:20,24). Remember Shiny Wilson who lost the Olympic medal for not keeping to the track.
Let's not be attracted to lucrative ministries. "Suppose the whole body were an eye—then how would you hear? Or if your whole body were just one big ear, how could you smell anything?" (1 Cor 12:17). Let us run the race "set for us" (Heb 12:1)—with patience, firmness, fortitude and courage. Though initially some blessings might accrue to doing what the Lord has not specified for us, we would soon lose out on God's best for us. Stray not from the unique plan the Lord has for you.
The heart-tugging style of Brother Dinakaran emphasising the compassions of the merciful God is unique to him. Another servant of God might hit hard on our numbskulls as his unique style of calling to repentance before God, the Judge of all. The Bible teacher may quietly but firmly underscore his message of drawing attention to "what is written." The pensive philosopher rationalist may pinpoint to the harmony between Science and Scriptures. No one needs "copy" anyone in raising the hands or thumping the pulpit. It was the quiet and calm disciple who helped to start the miracle by bringing the boy with fish and bread to the Lord Jesus who blessed it to feed the five thousand.
God loves variety. Look at the majesty of His creation. What a wide range of wonders! Each creature so different from the other! "Are all Apostles?... Prophets?... miracle workers?" (1 Cor 12:29). The simple and sweet answer is "No!" Just be your own self but always in the Lord. You are unique in the plan of God. Do not come down!
It's God's will I would subject to;
It is God's voice, I would listen to;
The Lord who called me, pre-elect, does guide—
So through His paths, all good, to reach His side.
(Translation of a song of Sister Sarah Navaroj)
Extract from the book "Better Everyday" by R. Stanley.

Sabtu, 15 Maret 2008


Dear friends and Partners in the Kingdom of God ,
Ezekiel was a man who chose to obey God. Although he was a priest, he served as a prophet [a street preacher] in Babylon for 22 years, telling everyone about God’s judgment and salvation, and calling them to repentance and obedience. And Ezekiel lived what he preached. During his ministry God told him to illustrate his messages with dramatic object lessons. Some of these acts included
1] Lying on his side for 390 days during which he could eat only one-eight ounce meal a day cooked over dung,
2] Shaving his head and beard, and
3] Showing no sorrow when his wife died.

Ezekiel did what God asked –He obeyed and faithfully proclaimed God’s word.

God may not ask you and me to do anything quite so dramatic or difficult; but if HE did, would we obey?

Obedience is better then sacrifices.



-by Jennifer LeClaire.

Could the apostolic be leading to a face off between holy and unholy
prophets? Which side would you be on?

Just like Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal, the time is coming
when God's New Testament mouthpieces will confront modern
day merchandisers. The true will defy the false. The holy will
challenge the unholy. Until that day, spirits of divination, with a
little help from the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the
pride of life, are working overtime to woo God's true prophets
to the side of error.

Some merchandising prophets, with their miracle water, prophetic
soap and prosperity oil, are catching naïve Christians hook, line
and sinker. Other Gospel gainsayers are profiting with urgent
announcements that God will heal the first five people who run up
to the altar with $100 bill in hand.

But perhaps the most dangerous merchandisers are those who
use their gift to tap into divination. These prophets announce what
the believer wants to hear in order to sow a false seed of faith in
his heart and reap an improper financial reward, inappropriately
earned position or wrongly received recognition. No matter the
merchandiser's brand of deceit, it is a practice that stinks in the
nostrils of God.

"Then the Lord said, 'These prophets are telling lies in my name. I
did not send them or tell them to speak. I did not give them any
messages. They prophesy of visions and revelations they have
never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own
lying hearts. Therefore, says the Lord, I will punish these lying
prophets, for they have spoken in my name even though I never
sent them. They say that no war or famine will come, but they
themselves will die by war and famine!'" ( Jeremiah 14:14-15 )

Of course, most false prophets don't start their ministries as false
prophets; rather they are tempted and enticed by the idolatry in
their hearts. Avoiding Satan's snare begins with the fear of the
Lord and the promised wisdom that follows. After all, the
merchandise of wisdom is better than the merchandise of silver,
and the gain thereof than fine gold. Wisdom is more precious than
rubies and all the things that you can desire are not to be
compared to her ( Proverbs 3:14-15 ).

The wisdom in God's Word plainly illustrates that with every
temptation there is also a way of escape. By comparing the
responses of Balaam with Daniel and of Jezebel's diviners with
Elijah, we get a clear view of the trap, the way of escape, and the
ultimate fate of merchandising prophets.

Balaam is best remembered for his talking donkey. He was a true
prophet of God who went the way of divination for the promise of
financial gain when King Balak offered him rewards to curse Israel .
But Balaam did not fall into sin upon the first temptation. In fact,
he refused the king's initial offer. His royal majesty then upped the
ante, promising the prophet promotion, honor and power if he
would curse the Israelites. Balaam once again refused, saying "If
Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go
beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more."
( Numbers 22:18 ).

Despite his bold confession to obey the Lord's will, Balaam
secretly desired to attain the rewards pledged by the king. And so
the testing begins. Balaam would follow his rebellious heart 320
miles on a donkey's back to curse Israel and claim his coveted
merchandise. But to his surprise, the Lord would not allow him to
pronounce the curse when he arrived in Moab . Disappointed and
still hoping to collect the king's bribe, Balaam shared a strategy to
trip up the Israelites through sexual sin that led to the downfall of
his brethren.

Balaam had a clear way of escape: Telling the king's messengers
upon their first visit that the Lord forbid him to curse Israel . That
would have closed the door to future offers and put an end to the
temptation that would lead to his destruction. The end of Balaam
came by the command of Moses at the sword of his own people
"the Israelites he tried to curse through divination."

Daniel, on the other hand, refused to give in to the temptation
presented in King Belshazzar's dilemma. Belshazzar and his
guests were drinking from gold and silver cups that his father had
stolen from God's temple and giving praises to idols when the
fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the palace wall.
Belshazzar was frightened and summoned enchanters, fortune
tellers and diviners to come, promising riches and power to
anyone who could interpret it. When none could, the king called
Daniel and made him the same offer ( Daniel 5 ).

Daniel was faced with at least three choices at this critical turning
point in his ministry. He could accept the king's offer to interpret
the message, thereby merchandising his gifting. He could exercise
the gift he had freely received from Jehovah to freely interpret the
message, all the while knowing that such a harsh word from the
Lord could land him in the lion's den. Or he could stand on his
credible reputation as God's prophet to falsely interpret the warning
message as a blessing message and in all likelihood collect the
loot anyway.

Unlike Balaam, Daniel unlocked the hard truth in the writing on the
wall. He told the king that his days were numbered and that his
kingdom would be divided up and handed over to the enemies.
Daniel refused to compromise, no matter the consequences, and
God used the king to promote him. As one of his last acts as king,
Belshazzar robed him in purple, draped a great gold chain around
his neck and positioned him as third-in-charge of the entire kingdom.

King Ahab and his wife Jezebel took the tradition of kings calling
on prophets to unlock the mysteries of God a step further, and a
few steps too far. Jezebel had false prophets on her payroll. The
wicked queen regularly fed 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets
of Asherah. Bible scholars estimate that feeding those false
prophets cost her about $12,750 a week or $663,000 a year.That's
a hefty price tag for a good prophetic word.

So while Jezebel's prophets had full bellies in a time of famine, the
queen cut off the prophets of the Lord for fear of the truth ( 1 Kings
18:4 ). Obadiah, a type of religious spirit, hid 100 of God's prophets
in caves and fed them bread and water. While this may appear like
a good work on the surface, Obadiah was only facilitating
Jezebel's plan to cut off the uncompromising prophetic word.

While Jezebel's prophets looked well-fed and God's true prophets
looked like sheep being led to the slaughter, the story changes in
a hurry when Elijah confronts the 850 merchandisers at Mount
Carmel in what goes down in Biblical history as the ultimate
showdown between the true and the false. Elijah threw down the
prophetic gauntlet and challenged the false camp to bring fire
down from heaven by calling upon their God. The merchandising
diviners cried to Baal from dawn to dusk with no answer.

When the false camp had finally exhausted itself, Elijah built an
altar holding a sacrifice to Jehovah, drenched it with four barrels of
water, said a simple prayer, and watched as the fire of God fell
from heaven and consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones,
the dust and even the water in the trench. Then Elijah slew his
false counterparts one by one. So the ultimate fate of the false
prophets came at the hand of the true prophet, who was later
taken to heaven in a chariot of fire.

Like Old Testament prophets, modern day prophets are also being
tempted to merchandise the anointing for fame, fortune or friends
in high places....

Recall Simon the sorcerer, who was highly esteemed among the
Samaritans because he bewitched them. The apostles Peter and
John met up with Simon after praying for the baptism of the Holy
Ghost for the new believers there. When Simon saw that the
people were filled with the Spirit when the apostles laid their hands
on them, he offered them money. "Saying, Give me also this
power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy
Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee,
because thou hast thought the gift of God may be purchased with
money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart
is not right in the sight of God." ( Acts 8:19-21 ). Simon may have
repented and did ask the apostles to pray for him. Repentance is
the appropriate response for New Testament prophets who fall into
the trap of merchandising.

The decision to go the way of Baal and or to go the way of Elijah
lies in the prophet's heart. If pride, self-will, anger, or lust occupies
the place where obedience, love and truth should live, then the
merchandising prophet may succeed in reaping worldly rewards
for a season but the retirement fund built on ill-gotten gains leads
only to death ( Romans 6:23 ). While there is certainly abundant
grace for the true prophet who misses it, the Book of Revelation
makes it clear that the false prophets, those who purposely set
out to lie and deceive God's people, will be cast into the lake of
fire and brimstone and be tormented day and night forever and
ever ( Revelation 20:10 ).

Malaysian Church Break The Tabboo

By Ahmad Pathoni
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian churches have waded into the nation's charged politics, openly urging Christians to support candidates who back religious freedom in this weekend's election.
Race and religious tensions have mounted in the run-up to the March 8 vote with Buddhist, Christian and Hindu minorities complaining their rights are being trampled by the Muslim-dominated government.
The Christian Federation of Malaysia has joined the fray by telling Christians to vote for candidates whose political views and policies "reflect God's standard and Christian values."
"Pay attention to their past performance and for their stand on issues related to constitutional rights, civil liberties and the freedom of religion," the nation's biggest church group said in its election message.
In a rare move, the Catholic Church of Saint Francis Xavier near the capital Kuala Lumpur held a political debate last week, drawing some 300 people including opposition and government candidates.
"It's very difficult to practice our religion freely. The leaders in Malaysia , the way they interpret Islam is very scary," said Albert Tan, a Catholic.
"Racial integration is going from bad to worse," the 45-year-old property developer told Reuters after a church service, adding that he was likely to vote for the opposition.
Christians make up about 10 percent of Malaysia 's 26 million people. Muslim Malays form just over half while the remaining are either Hindus, Buddhists or Sikhs.
Christians say they are upset over a series of developments, the latest being a government ban on the use of the word "Allah" for God in Malay-language Christian literature.
The dispute came out in the open after the internal security ministry ruled the term Allah -- long used by Christians in Malaysia to refer to God -- could only be used by Muslims.
And last month, a church group told the government to stop harassing Christians after authorities seized Bibles from them.
Last May, the country's best-known Christian convert, Lina Joy, lost a battle in Malaysia 's highest court to have the word "Islam" removed from her identity card. In delivering judgment in that case, the chief judge said the issue of apostasy was related to Islamic law, and civil courts could not intervene.
In a country where race and religion are inextricably linked, rising religious tension also throws the spotlight on the privileges of the majority Malays, who are Muslims by definition.
Mosques are found in every nook and cranny in Malaysia but Hindus and Christians say it is difficult to obtain approval to build their own places of worship.
Non-Muslims have also complained, mainly in Internet chat rooms, about the state permitting building of huge mosques in areas with small Muslim populations. State television routinely airs Islamic shows but forbids other religions to be preached.
"I would say that the feel of subtle, backdoor Islamisation of the national life is a major concern," said Wong Kim Kong, Secretary-General of the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship Malaysia.
Although there is no official policy to discriminate against any religious minorities, the government has been unable or unwilling to deal with violations, he said.
Not all Christians are worried, though.
"They (the government) don't stop you from praying," said a 50-year-old churchgoer who gave her name as Lilian. "At the end of the day, the church is within yourself."

Kamis, 13 Maret 2008


Dear friends and partners in the Kingdom of God ,
I want to take this time to introduce to you a friend whom we [Vijaya and I] have known for about 20 years. Douglas Montague [has 1 wife and 4 children] comes from USA and is with Omega World Missions. One thing I know for sure about this man is that this man loves God and His Word and he teaches the word of God without fear or favor. Through the grace of God the apostolic and teaching ministry flows out of him equipping and edifying the body of Christ. I will recommend this brother strongly for such a time as this to teach the truth in your churches and missions schools.
Brother Douglas can minister in English, Indonesian and Malay language.
Please write to Douglas Montague
19633 E. 38th Place S.
Broken Arrow, OK 74014


Asher Intrater is a highly respected voice in Israel and beyond. He is also personal friend of Pastor Frangipane. Asher is a Jewish believer in Jesus, the Messiah. Francis has asked us to pass on this urgent prayer request for Israel .

Urgent Prayer Request for Israel
Increased Military Action in Gaza
by Asher Intrater
(En Español)
Almost three years ago, Israel pulled out all of its citizens (9,000) who were living in homes in settlements in Gaza , as well as all of its military units. Shortly after that the Hamas movement took over the government of Gaza . Since that time, to the disappointment of Israel , the Hamas government has continued terrorist actions and Jihadist propaganda against Israel .
Last Wednesday, 27 of February, Hamas began increasing missile attacks on Israel . In the five days from Wednesday to Sunday, until the time of this writing, 183 missiles were shot from Gaza into Israel, including 20 Grad missiles, several of which even reached the city of Ashkelon (population: 120,000).
Israel was faced with a dilemma. We could not just let the attacks continue. No country in the world would allow another country to fire missiles into its population centers. Yet to reoccupy all of Gaza would lead to a much larger number of casualties and to a nearly impossible situation to control afterward. The government decided on a firm, but moderate operation into Gaza to deter the rocket attacks.
In the middle of the night between Friday and Saturday, the Givati division of the IDF entered Gaza , primarily to the area of Gibaleah, opposite the Israeli town of Sederot , which received most of the rocket attacks. The Israeli attacks were aimed at destroying the following targets: 1.) Hamas headquarters and leaders, 2.) weapons warehouses, 3.) missile firing sites, 4.) trucks carrying weapons, 5.) Hamas active military units.
One of the difficulties in the fighting is that Hamas purposefully fires its missiles toward Israeli population centers, and locates its own weapons units in the midst of their own Palestinian population. Hamas propaganda blames Israel for atrocities and at the same time, calls for its own civilians to assembly and stand in as "human shields" in areas that are likely to be military targets.
In one instance, Israel blew up a truck with 160 missiles in it, located in a populated neighborhood of Gibaleah. In the recent fighting, hundreds have been injured on both sides, thousands struck with "shock" from the bombings. Militarily, of course, the Palestinians have suffered much greater losses; 3 Israelis have been killed and approximately 100 Palestinians. Gazan civilian conditions are tragic.
Israel's military goals are to use force to stop the terror and the bombings, yet to do all that is reasonably possible not to injure innocent civilians.
In our congregation on Shabbat, we dedicated a good period of time to interceding for the situation. Prayers ranged from military victory for Israel to mercy for the Palestinians. Interestingly, some of the prayers offered for mercy for the Palestinians came from young Israelis with first hand battle experience; while some of the prayers for decisive Israeli victory over the terrorism came from Israelis with much experience in helping and supporting Palestinians.
The warfare here ranges from military issues to spiritual ones, and can be quite complicated. Here are a few discernments to help us sort out the issues:
1. Arabs (Palestinians) - are a people group that God loves like all people; and we love them as well. We pray for their salvation, support humanitarian and evangelistic efforts, and demonstrate reconciliation with Palestinian Christians.
2. Islam - is a religion based on the teaching of Muhammed and his followers. We believe that to be false teaching. Islam as a religion must be dealt with by correct biblical teaching and education.
3. Jihad - is an attitude within Islam that calls for destruction of western civilization and of Israel in order to achieve its goals of Islamic takeover. It comes from a demonic spirit, in my opinion, that is connected to what the book of Revelation refers to as the "beast".
4. Terror - is a method of killing innocent victims to create an atmosphere of fear in order to influence people toward political or religious goals. Terror was at first a kind of criminal activity, but has increased over the years to a full military offensive. Terrorism must be fought with strong and decisive police and military action.
5. Hamas - is an extremist Islamic organization, that has now become the head of the government of Gaza . Their election, putting them in the place of representing the people of Gaza , has made the situation more difficult. Since their coming into power, they have encouraged not only hatred to Israel but persecution of the small evangelical Christian community that was left in Gaza .
There are many Messianic Jews in the Israeli army, several from our congregation. We pray for their safety. Just this evening I received a report of a pastor's son who was shot in the calf, but the bullet went straight through without causing major damage.
How are we to pray?
- For the Israeli army to destroy terrorist infrastructure,
- For as few as possible Gazans to be hurt, and humanitarian aid   given to them
- For the gospel to go forth to the Arab people and rescue them from   the lies of Islam,
- For the demonic spirits behind the Jihad mentality to be bound and   divided,
- For the refuting of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda,
- For the Holy Spirit to guide the Messianic believers within the army,
- For the downfall of the Hamas and other organizations like them,
- For the gospel to go forth to the Jewish people,
- For the testimony of reconciliation between Israeli Messianics and   Palestinian Christians to increase
Note 1: Why and Why?
Since the Israeli pull out of Gaza , Hamas continues to incite terrorism. They say they are fighting the "occupation". How can they say that when Israel has removed all of its forces? - Because by "occupation", they mean the very existence of the state of Israel . They are fighting for the elimination of our people.
Since Israel has a stronger military force, why don't they just go in and wipe out the enemy forces in Gaza ? They could do this easily. The answer is that, despite international propaganda, the Israeli people and government do not want to see innocent people killed. They are holding back their power for humanitarian reasons.
Note 2: Military force and the Gospel
Many Christians are confused by the call of reconciliation in the gospels with the need to use military force at times. There is no contradiction. Police and military are ministers, just as pastors and evangelists ( Romans 13:4 ). We should never use force against anyone who rejects our message or our ministry. That is the wrong spirit of vengeance that Yeshua addressed in Samaria ( Luke 9:55 ). In fact, that is the problem with Jihad: they use violence to force people to accept their religious views.
When people reject us, we respond with love, blessing in return. We do not reject Arabs for being Arabs - God forbid, that would be racism. We do not use force on Muslims because they are Muslims. We use force on criminals, murderers, terrorists and tyrants - whatever their religious or ethnic background. We do not use force against people for spiritual goals; we use force when they break the law. In that respect we treat terrorists as we would any form of organized crime or despotism

Rabu, 05 Maret 2008


No Excuse, please!

Reading : Luke 14:18-20 ; Esther 4:7-16
"If you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise from another place" ( Es 4:14 )

The famous CMC Hospital in South India was founded by Missionary Dr. Ida Scudder (1870-1959). She was born this day. Because of her implicit obedience to God's call, without giving any excuse, India received this blessing. I had the privilege of serving in this Hospital in Vellore from 1971 to 1975.

We are good at giving excuses when there is a call from God. When Moses was called to go to Pharaoh to take His people out of Egypt , he said, "I am not eloquent" ( Ex 4:10 ). But God encouraged him saying, "Go; I will be with your mouth and teach you what to say" ( Ex 4:12 ). Some of the general excuses we give are—

"I have no experience or Bible training." Is this your hesitation? Don't worry. Most of the Missions have short-term training courses for cross-cultural evangelism or Bible translation.

"I have a good job. I will serve the Lord fulltime after my retirement!" After you retire you will need people to serve you!

"But there are so many who have not heard the Gospel in my own place." Don't worry. Not obeying the call, there will always be enough of people who stay back! Leave that job to them.

"How about the material needs of me and my family?" God who fed Elijah even in the worst famine is still alive!

"But how can I leave my people and my native place?" If the missionaries from the West had not left their countries and brought the Gospel to us, we would not have been led to the living God.

"How about my children's education?" If there is no good school where you go, you can always leave them in boarding schools specially meant for missionaries' children.

"Will I hold on to the end?" "The one who calls you is faithful" ( 1 Thess 5:24 ). He will preserve you till the end.

The call of God comes to us as a privilege. If we fail to respond to Him positively, He will bypass us. He knows how and by whom to get the job done. Only we will be the losers!
Follow! Follow! I would follow Jesus,
Anywhere, everywhere, I would follow on! (W.O. Cushing)

Selasa, 04 Maret 2008


Just like Us!

Reading: Acts 4:23-31
"Lord, enable Your servants to speak Your Word with great boldness" ( Acts 4:29 )

Missionaries are not angels or supermen. They are men and women just like us. The only difference is that they chose to go whereas we decided to stay. Even amidst all friends, fellowship and feeding we struggle with our problems. By and large the missionary is a lone man in the field. His spiritual problems are numerous. His coworker is but a fellow-struggler! How much they need our prayer! Let's watch and pray that they may not fall into temptation.
Pray for the missionaries' physical problems also. Health problems due to extreme climatic conditions, poor sanitation and water supply and inadequate medical facilities are all too common. Pray for the workers' safety in travel and protection from wild animals, poisonous insects and accidents.
Then there are psychological problems. Separation from children and kith and kin, hostility of the native people, misunderstanding among the coworkers, lack of fruit in the field and the like are the causes. Pray that God may grant a fresh and free spirit to the missionaries and fill them with His joy and peace unspeakable. Pray that the missionaries may not be alarmed by people like "Alexander the coppersmith" ( 2 Tim 4:14 ). Our prayers will keep them bold in all situations ( Acts 4:24-31 ).
Missionaries have adapted a simple lifestyle, yet they have financial problems. Making both ends meet with the allowances paid by the organisation is not always easy. There is no provision for several unforeseen expenses. Money is not everything but money matters! Not a few leave the ministry being unable to cope with the financial stress.
We must pray for the ministerial problems the missionary faces. They are simply too many. Suddenly a Demas leaves the team ( 2 Tim 4:10 ). And Barnabas separates because of a dispute over a simple matter ( Acts 15:36-40 ). Trophimus falls sick and so the team's strength decreases ( 2 Tim 4:20 ). Let's imagine such probable problems of the frontline workers while we pray.
Pray for a daily anointing on the missionary for power and purity. He must keep knowing God as he goes making Him known. Pray and protect the missionary from all discouragement, depressions and dullness. If the supplyliners are faithful, they will be rewarded just like the frontliners ( 1 Sam 30:24 ).