Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Missions when Dying is Gain

January 31

Let’s agree that I wont complain about the heat and blowing dust if you don’t complain about your beautiful snow. :) Everyone here has headaches from all the dust, wind, and heat. I found great relief in my bad attitude when I learned to make chai and coffee frappes today!

God has been speaking to me. I am still processing what He is teaching me. Sunday Lydia was sick so I stayed home from church with her and listened to a John Pyper sermon. He started out by saying this was going to be a turning point in life for some people – I think he was speaking to me. I should have known by the title, “Doing missions when dying is gain.” Here is the shortened version:

Matt. 24:14 preach to the world as a witness to the nations then Christ will come.
1) The promise is sure:
-Jesus never lies, His Word never fails, it will happen, so get on board!
-The ransom is already paid. Rom. 15:8-9
-The glory of God is at stake. Rev. 5:9
-God is sovereign. Heb. 6:3
2) The price of suffering:
-There are no closed countries, it isn’t Biblical, so there will be martyrs.
-Whoever said you and your children will be safe? That is an American priority over God’s calling.
-Whoever follows Jesus will die (take up his cross) but Christian have taken the consumer mind of comfort, ease, safety in all areas of our lives and churches.
*Suffering is not only the price but the means.
-Col. 1:24 Paul says he rejoices in his sufferings and he does his share to take what is “lacking” in the affliction of Christ.
-Phil. 2:30 says to complete what is “lacking” in your service to me.
=What is lacking in Christ’s love and suffering is His presence now to the people He died for. The love offering in person.
-The great commission is to be Christ love and suffering to the nations. We will suffer out of love for the people like Christ, to show Christ.
3) How do we do it?
-Only by BELIEVING the promises of God. Only in knowing God is true, loving, always with us, our protector…and glory is before us we can and will be able endure suffering to bring Jesus to others. Our faith is in future glory. Our better possession is in Heaven.

I know you wont be able to grasp this just reading it but I was weeping. Pyper gave many example of martyrs and when he talked about being killed when your husband is on one side and your child on the other I was on my knees praying to God.

You see I love the Lord more than anything and that is why I am here sharing Him with others. But the reality is I love my comforts, my safety, my family, my home, my food, clothes, health…more than I love sharing Jesus love. It is all fine when sharing means I can still be comfortable, it is on my time, and the way I want. But when I think about what God may be calling us to – a place where I may have to give up my things, my comforts, my safety, not to mention my kids – I am so scared. I honestly was down on my knee confessing and surrendering. I have to let it go if I truly love my Savior enough to complete His suffering and love so others may know Him. I also openly spoke to God about my fear. Pyper is right, we can’t do it without believing in God’s promises. If I truly believe God will never leave me, I will go. If I truly believe He is my protector, I will not fear. If I know He holds my future, I will not worry. If Heaven is my prize and goal, I will see death as a victory.

This is huge! This is counter cultural. I want to be this person! Radically believing in Him. Going where He leading, doing what He says, loving and suffering with joy knowing glory awaits me. Some of you may think I already live this and do this on the mission field in Africa. In some ways yes. And often I sing my sob story about how hard it is here. But really, I am a selfish, comfortable Christian. No more. I have surrendered to God. I don’t know what this means. I don’t know if He will call us to more, harder, elsewhere – or – if He was just seeing if I would. I believe God has something for us this year, something is going to happen. But I will not fear but trust in the one who is my first Love. Please join me in living this way, pray for me, and keep me accountable to living for Jesus.