24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Never ceased to be amazed that our heavenly Father designs reward for those who seek Him and desire to be with Him.
Then He makes the way to accomplish this through Christ Jesus.
In a struggle to connect with God this morning, I needed a framework for prayer that would bring me through scripture.
Truth be told, there are a lot of distractions happening –
1) I’m in a great coffee shop.
2) I missed my best time to be with the Lord because I was in the YMCA in Lexington.
3) Puppies are in the coffee shop.
4) My meter is about to run out in 4 minutes. So this post / my time with God is being cut short.
As I said – I needed a framework to take me to the Lord. I wasn’t getting there with my scattered mind. Fortunately, I copied down a great framework from John Piper a few weeks ago. It’s called APTAT and has a subsection that I will include:
APTAT Prayer Framework
Admit without Christ you can do nothing. John 15:4 Pray for whatever you need. Matthew 7:7 Trust in a specific promise of God. Isaiah 41:10 Act. Philippians 2:12 Thank. Ephesians 5:20
IOUS (Under the P in APTAT)
Incline my heart. Psalm 119:36 (God take over my wants) Open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things from your law. Psalm 119:18 Unite me, unite my heart so that it will be satisfied and not distracted. Psalm 86:11 Satisfy me (my heart) in the morning with your steadfast love. Psalm 90
That’s what I have for you. One minute left on the meter & M. Ward song on the radio = majorly distracted, but so in awe of the Lord’s love! Jamming on everything.
“Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!“
So completing is the worship of the Lord, that we will be given a new wardrobe of splendor in the presence of His holiness. Not only will our clothes change in response to Him, but our hearts, our bodies, even the environment will adapt upwards to the perfection of who He is. All shall shake; everything will tremble and be moved before His glory. Not a thing will be able to remain still, and nothing will resist acknowledging His worthiness.
The Great Commission of Jesus Christ is the formative and prescriptive manner by which missions is to be carried out and the clear indicator missions is to be conducted in and through the authority and sending of the church. In this progression the Holy Spirit is central in forming the Church, the body of individual believers with the head as Christ. Under Christ’s headship the church is the governing authority in sending believers to conduct His mission.
World evangelism is the imperative of the New Testament. “The gospel must first be proclaimed [heralded] among all nations” (Mark 13:10). The Paraclete to accomplish this task in the Holy Spirit, while the divinely chosen agency for the proclamation is the church of Jesus Christ.
‘The Church and Missions,’ George W. Peters, p 199
As I wrestle with how the church is to carry out missions, and missions organizations to be formed under the authority of the church, I find these quotes stimulating, divisive to the paradigm I grew up in, and requiring careful contemplation before casting my vote. Although, I have read these before and am predisposition to the mindset that follows,
1. The work of Missions is to fulfill the Great Commission
2. The Local Church Prepares the Body for Missions
3. The Local Church is at the Center of and is the Authority Over Mission
it is with consideration to this second quote, that I must continue to steep myself in hopes of making an even cleared understanding of missions.
Since the Christian life is changed with supernatural ideals and demands, it can only be lived in absolute reliance on the Holy Spirit. Unless the lessons are learned early, the Christian life becomes beset with frustrations and numbness; apathy sets in, or people become conditioned to abnormal and subnormal Christian life.
‘The Church and Missions,’ George W. Peters, p 213
I wrestle with understanding and relying on the Spirit as I feel the tradition and culture I have found myself in for 27 years leaves me with little room for the Spirit and much for self reliance.
So here’s to understanding what part of the missions iceberg is under water.