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Bless-ed! 52 Blessings You Have As a Believer! (Blessing #5)

Blessing #5: The Blessing of a Life-Long Mission

“This is the true joy of life: the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself to be a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” (George Bernard Shaw)

I’ve recently been challenged (by my time with my unsaved friend Mike) to think about what I have as a believer and what those who are lost don’t have. This may seem like a strange exercise, but it has a way of focusing my prayers and my priorities to genuinely care about my lost friends.

In sharing the biblical truth with Mike that he is “lost” and “unsaved” without Jesus, he responded with his conviction that he was just fine with God. But that’s not what God’s Word says. Another blessing that we who know Christ have and is this —

5. WE HAVE A LIFE-LONG, SATISFYING MISSION IN LIFE!
What is my friend Mike’s “mission” in life? I suppose — if I were to ask him — he would probably say, “I want to be a good person, help others, be kind and compassionate, and die with my family by my side.” Those are good values and ambitious goals — but that’s what life is about?

THE BLESSING: What about knowing the living God? What about helping to rescue people from God’s eternal wrath? What about sharing in any way possible the message of forgiveness and reconciliation that Jesus provides to those who believe? What about a life mission that will require all one’s energy and resources and priorities and insight and purpose? That’s what we believers have. And though at times it might seem like a burden, it is a blessing.

THE BIBLE Jesus prayed in John 17 for all who would follow Him. “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (v. 3). He commissioned His disciples in Matthew 28 with the words:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Life’s purpose is to know the Lord and life’s mission (for those who believe) is to disciplize (my word) people everywhere to follow Jesus. This is the believer’s life-long, satisfying mission. There is none greater than this.

ACTION STEPS Someone has said of the Christian, “You are either a missionary or a mission field.” Believer, are you fully engaged in this Christ-given mission to reach the world? Some action steps you can take:
1. Read through the book of Acts this week taking special note of the passion and commitment of the early Christians to fulfill the Great Commission the Lord gave to them. Take a few notes and perhaps share what you’ve learned with a friend.
2. Interview a real-life missionary (either active or retired) sometime this week. Ask them questions like, “If you had to live your life over again, what would you do differently?” “What lessons have you learned about your life-long mission that can help other believers?”
3. Read John Piper’s book Don’t Waste Your Life and discuss it with a friend. Are there any points in that book that you might disagree with? Check out desiringgod.org for Piper’s many resources.
PRAYER: 4. To be quite honest and blunt, in the words of Pastor John Piper, my friend Mike has wasted his life! But it’s not too late. And I pray he will come to Christ and use the remainder of his days to have a mission far greater than any one he has ever dreamed of.

Are you concerned that your friend does not have God’s eternal mission in life? Pray that the Holy Spirit will speak to his heart — and remind him that he only has one life. And it can count for God!

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2022 in blessings

 

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Bless-ed! 52 Blessings Your Lost Friend Doesn’t Have . . . And What You Can Do About It! (Part 3)

I’ve recently been challenged (by my time with my unsaved friend “Mike”) to think about what I have as a believer and what those who are lost don’t have. This may seem like a strange exercise, but it has a way of focusing my prayers and my priorities to genuinely care about my lost friends.

In sharing the biblical truth with Mike that he is “lost” and “unsaved” without Jesus, he responded with his conviction that he was just fine with God. But that’s not what God’s Word says. So my friend Mike (and my other unsaved friends) (1) don’t have an authoritative source for what they believe. We also noticed that our unsaved friends (2) don’t have the assurance that their sins are forgiven.

Let’s think about a third blessing that our unsaved friends don’t have and that is —

3. THEY DON’T HAVE A LIFE-LONG, SATISFYING MISSION IN LIFE!

What is my friend Mike’s “mission” in life? I suppose — if I were to ask him — he would probably say, “I want to be a good person, help others, be kind and compassionate, and die with my family by my side.” Those are good qualities and ambitious goals — but that’s what life is about?

What about knowing the living God? What about rescuing people from God’s eternal wrath? What about sharing in any way possible the message of forgiveness and reconciliation that Jesus provides to those who believe? What about a life mission that will require all one’s energy and resources and priorities and insight and purpose? And my friend Mike doesn’t have that.

To be quite honest and blunt, in the words of Pastor John Piper, my friend Mike has wasted his life! But it’s not too late. And I pray he will come to Christ and use the remainder of his days to have a mission far greater than any one he has ever dreamed of.

Are you concerned that your friend does not have God’s eternal mission in life? Pray that the Holy Spirit will speak to his heart — and remind him that he only has one life. And it can count for God! (to be continued)

 

 
 

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What Did Jesus Pray About? (Part 21)

We have been studying Jesus’ use of the word WORLD in His high priestly prayer in John 17. He uses that word seventeen times, a word which can refer to the PLANET, to the PEOPLE of the planet, or to the PAGAN SYSTEM opposing God and the things of God.

So, decisions need to be made each time that word WORLD appears. Let me give my translation of the verses in which that word is used and then draw several applications from our study.

“And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the planet began.” (v. 5). … I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the pagan system. (v. 6). … I pray for them, I am not praying for the people of the planet, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. (v. 9). … I will remain in the planet no longer, but they are still in the planet, and I am coming to you. (vv. 10-11). … I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the planet, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. (v. 13). … I have given them your word and the pagan system has hated them, for they are not of the pagan system any more than I am of the pagan system. (v. 14). … My prayer is not that you take them out of the planet but that you protect them from the evil one.” (v. 15). … They are not of the pagan system, even as I as not of it. (v. 16). … As you sent me into the people of the planet, I have sent them into the people of the planet. (v. 18). … My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the people of the planet may believe the you have sent me. (vv. 20-21). … I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the people of the planet will know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (v. 23). … Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the planet. (v. 24). … Righteous Father, though the people of the planet do not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.” (v. 25).

Ten Tentative Conclusions from Our Study:
1. The full deity of the Lord Jesus is foundational. He had the Father’s glory before creation (v. 5) and was loved by the Father before the creation came into existence (v. 24).
2. We all are in the pagan system opposing God until He saves us. No one is spiritually neutral. We are all enemies of God before conversion (v. 6).
3. Jesus personally prays for each of us (v. 9).
4. He is leaving the planet, but we are staying here (vv. 10-11).
5. He says these things while here on the planet so that we might have the full measure of His joy. Now. Here. (v. 13).
6. We should not be surprised that the pagan system hates us, for it hated Him! (v. 14).
7. Jesus prays for our protection not our escape from this planet (v. 15).
8. We have been sent/commissioned by the Lord Jesus to the people of this planet (v. 18).
9. The unity of Jesus-followers can lead the people of the planet to belief in Him (vv. 20-23).
10. The people of the planet do not know the Father, but Jesus does (v. 25).

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2017 in the world

 

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What Did Jesus Pray About? (Part 16)

Let’s continue listening in on Jesus’ prayer in John 17.  We’ve seen eleven uses of the word COSMOS by the Lord.  May I suggest you read over His prayer again — and then ask, “What does He mean by WORLD in verse 18?”

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before 1the world began.

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of 2the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for 3the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in 4the world no longer, but they are still in 5the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in 6the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and 7the world has hated them, for they are not of 8the world any more than I am of 9the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of 10the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of 11the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into 12the world, I have sent them into 13the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Jesus Prays for All Believers

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that 14the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then 15the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of 16the world.

25 “Righteous Father, though 17the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2017 in the world

 

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