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    Good News

    The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. —Mark 1:1

    The birthday of the Roman emperor Augustus Caesar was celebrated throughout the Empire as “good news” and, with much pomp and grandiosity, he was declared the “Son of God”. These two phrases were common knowledge among Roman subjects, and Mark begins his gospel by…

    Home

    Recently a friend who sold homes for a living died of cancer. As my wife and I reminisced about Patsy, Sue recalled that many years ago Patsy had led a man to faith in Jesus and he became a good friend of ours.

    How encouraging to recall that Patsy not only helped families find homes to live in here in our community, but she also helped others make sure they had an eternal home.

    As Jesus prepared to go to the cross for us, He showed a keen interest in our eternal accommodations. He told His disciples, “I go to prepare a…

    The Method of Missions

    Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations… —Matthew 28:19

    Jesus Christ did not say, “Go and save souls” (the salvation of souls is the supernatural work of God), but He said, “Go…make disciples of all the nations….” Yet you cannot make disciples unless you are a disciple yourself. When the disciples returned from their first mission, they were filled…

    What is a Missionary?

    Jesus said to them again, “…As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” —John 20:21

    A missionary is someone sent by Jesus Christ just as He was sent by God. The great controlling factor is not the needs of people, but the command of Jesus. The source of our inspiration in our service for God is behind us, not ahead of us. The tendency today…

    The Key to the Missionary’s Devotion

    …they went forth for His name’s sake… —3 John 7

    Our Lord told us how our love for Him is to exhibit itself when He asked, “Do you love Me?” (John 21:17). And then He said, “Feed My sheep.” In effect, He said, “Identify yourself with My interests in other people,” not, “Identify Me with your interests in other people.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 shows us the…

    The Key to the Missionary’s Message

    He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. —1 John 2:2

    The key to the missionary’s message is the propitiation of Christ Jesus— His sacrifice for us that completely satisfied the wrath of God. Look at any other aspect of Christ’s work, whether it is healing, saving, or sanctifying, and you will see that there is nothing limitless about those. But—…

    The Key to the Missionary’s Work

    Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” —Matthew 28:18-19

    The key to the missionary’s work is the authority of Jesus Christ, not the needs of the lost. We are inclined to look on our Lord as one who assists us in our endeavors for God. Yet our Lord places Himself as the absolute sovereign and supreme Lord over His…

    Twinkle

    “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” is an English lullaby. Its lyrics, originally a poem by Jane Taylor, capture the wonder of God’s universe where stars hang “up above the world so high.” In the rarely published later stanzas, the star acts as a guide: “As your bright and tiny spark lights the traveler in the dark.”  

    In Philippians, Paul challenges believers in Philippi to be blameless and pure as they “shine . . . like stars in the sky” while offering the good news of the gospel to all around them (2:15–16). We wonder how we can shine like stars. We often…

    God’s Brand

    Scooping up the smallest children, a frantic maid raced out of the flaming house. As she ran, she called loudly to five-year-old Jacky.

    But Jacky didn’t follow. Outside, a bystander reacted quickly, standing on the shoulders of a friend. Reaching into the upstairs window, he pulled Jacky to safety—just before the roof caved in. Little Jacky, said his mother Susanna, was “a brand plucked from the burning.” You might know that “brand” as the great traveling minister John Wesley (1703–1791).

    Susanna Wesley was quoting Zechariah, a prophet who provides valuable insight into God’s character. Relating a vision he had, the prophet takes…

    The Missionary’s Goal

    He…said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem…” —Luke 18:31

    In our natural life our ambitions change as we grow, but in the Christian life the goal is given at the very beginning, and the beginning and the end are exactly the same, namely, our Lord Himself. We start with Christ and we end with Him— “…till we all come…to…

    The Missionary’s Master and Teacher

    You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am ….I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master… —John 13:13, 16

    To have a master and teacher is not the same thing as being mastered and taught. Having a master and teacher means that there is someone who knows me better than I know myself, who is closer than a friend, and who understands the remotest depths of my heart and…

    The Missionary’s Predestined Purpose

    Now the Lord says, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant… —Isaiah 49:5

    The first thing that happens after we recognize our election by God in Christ Jesus is the destruction of our preconceived ideas, our narrow-minded thinking, and all of our other allegiances— we are turned solely into servants of God’s own purpose. The entire human race was created to glorify God…

    Legacies of Love

    I was paging through my great-grandmother’s Bible when a treasure fell into my lap. On a small scrap of paper, in a young child’s handwriting, were the words, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:3–4 kjv). Scribbled beside those verses in wobbly cursive was my mother’s signature.

    My great-grandmother had a habit of teaching her grandchildren to write Scripture verses so they would learn them and take them to heart. But the story behind this verse brought tears to my eyes. My grandfather…

    Missionary Weapons (2)

    Ministering in Everyday Opportunities. Ministering in everyday opportunities that surround us does not mean that we select our own surroundings— it means being God’s very special choice to be available for use in any of the seemingly random surroundings which He has engineered for us. The very character we exhibit in our present surroundings is an indication of what we will be like in other surroundings.

    Missionary Weapons (1)

    Worshiping in Everyday Occasions. We presume that we would be ready for battle if confronted with a great crisis, but it is not the crisis that builds something within us— it simply reveals what we are made of already. Do you find yourself saying, “If God calls me to battle, of course I will rise to the occasion”? Yet you won’t rise to the occasion unless you have done so on God’s training ground.

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