Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

Posted: December 1, 2015 in Blog, Pastor's Corner
Tags: , ,

Continuing to ask the questions of what & how regarding; missions, our mission, and the work to which God has called his church.

If the first step is to pray and be active, then the next step is to start small. Seems small minded, which doesn’t fit our Cosco, Sam’s Club, bigger is better mentality. Yet if we are faithful with a little bit, then we will be entrusted with even more. This axiom rings true from the time we are children throughout the entirety of our lives. In human relationships it is clear, if we can be entrusted with small things, inevitably we will be entrusted with more.

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Think of it this way, when your boss gives you a job to do, he or she will provide a measure of oversight. If you are able to complete the job in a timely, proficient, and excellent manner; the oversight decreases, and your responsibility increases, as a good boss will entrust you with even more. Consider Joseph in Genesis 39-41. Employees will often raise to managerial position through faithful service, even so, one doesn’t simply become a manager over night.

Again, think in terms of your pastor. Would you want him to be someone who just started coming to church? Someone who intermittently reads his bible? One who needs to learn how to pray faithfully? Or even one who has no desire for the souls of men, but simply thinks being in the ministry is good? If you answered yes… Well… I don’t know what to say. But your answer should be no, seeing the necessity of faithful for a pastor with the little, before he could ever move on to bigger things.

Starting small is as simple as being here with the church. Yes, attend and engage is an initial step toward being found faithful in missions. However, this doesn’t mean that it is the last step; showing up and bolting won’t suffice. If one isn’t among the church, then how will they ever be able to find an avenue for missions work? It must be understood that the church is the chosen vehicle for God’s mission.

Please pray, show up, and start small. Maybe there isn’t a specific need being met in our church. Maybe that is because God calling you to start something, or maybe it is his call upon you to help strengthen something. You will never know unless you are in the church and in relationship with the church.  Realize that you cannot just drop in and start something over night. It takes time, dedication, and hours of relationship, and starting small before anything can get off the ground. Read Matthew 25:14-30 and consider what it means to start small.

Asking the questions, what do I do? and, how is it to be done? are the questions we must ask. I praise God, as I’ve been heard people asking these questions. This comes seemingly as the result of God’s Word preached, and the moving of the Spirit of God over the past month. My prayer is that God will strengthen this stirring desire at Risen Son.

So, how do we do missions? In what way do we begin to do this work? An impetus for missions has been provided, as the Word of God has been expounded. The need to be missional is obvious, and we mustn’t simply be hearers of the Word, but also doers of the Word.

Contrary to popular opinion, the first step isn’t missional action. Believe it or not, the first thing we need to engage ourselves in is prayer. Oddly enough we do not consider prayer to be an act, let alone the beginning point of missions. Prayer needs to be the decisive first step, slowing down, taking our time, and seeking God’s face is what must be done. Seek the will of the Father for our congregation in missions. Scripturally prayer is to be the action we engage in continuously, and we need to be praying in regard to missions.

However, let’s not sit down, pray and expect the work given by God to be done magically. Risen Son has many things to do. Currently there are numerous missional avenues in our church. Get involved in a ministry, be faithful, and make those ministries what they should be.

see-a-need-fill-a-need“See a need, fill a need.” I know I’m quoting a cartoon, but it has great proverbial value. This is highly important and practical. We often like to be armchair quarterbacks and criticize the work done by others, while doing no work our selves. Stop it. If there is an outreach that isn’t as outreachy as you might like, come alongside your brothers and sisters. Love them, serve with them, pray with them and for them, and seek to lead, be led, and love other to faithfulness in the missional commission we live under.

imagesIt is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

For some of us this might mean we need to commit to membership. For others it might mean that we need to evaluate what we are doing in light of the Scriptures. And yet for others this means that we need to ask, seek, and knock, praying that God will lead us in missional-covenant faithfulness.

Puritans are often thought of as, well, puritanical, in the most negative sense possible. However, when reading a collection of puritan prayers gathered together in a small volume titled The Valley of Vision, the hearts of these men of God are much greater than priggish-pietists, prudishly forcing others to think and feel the same. The heart of these prayers have aided my heart to transcend in prayer and thanksgiving, which is most appropriate as we celebrate Thanksgiving. My hope is that this prayer might be yours also, at least in part, as we praise God and offer up thanksgiving for the manifold gifts we have in Jesus Christ.

Praise & Thanksgivingimages

O My God, Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects, my heart admires, adores, loves thee,

 for my little vessel is as full as it can be, and I would pour out all that fullness before thee in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with thee ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up, 

ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed, 

ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart, crowding into every moment of happiness. 

I bless thee for the soul thou hast created, 

for adorning it, sanctifying it, though it is fixed in barren soil; 

for the body thous has given me, 

for preserving its strength and vigor,

for providing sense to enjoy delights, 

for the ease and freedom of my limbs,

for hands, eyes, ears, that do thy bidding,

for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,

for a full table and overflowing cup, 

for appetite, taste sweetness,

for social joys of relatives and friends,

for ability to serve others, 

for a heart that feels sorrow and necessities,

for a mind to care for my fellow-men,

for opportunities of spreading happiness around,

for loved ones in the joys of heaven,

for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language to express, for what thou art to thy creatures.

Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.”

Psalm 103:1–5 — “1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Happy Thanksgiving

Pastor Brian