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Bold as Lions – Boldness to Speak

Boldness to Speak

Boldness precedes speaking, and speaking is the God-ordained means for the nations to obtain salvation.

Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God….this word is the good news that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:23–25)

I am an introvert; small talk (or big talk) have never been my comfort zone. The first time I had to give an off-the-cuff talk in my preaching class at Bible school, I completely froze. Before that, when I attended community college, I was like the flighty shadow of Peter Pan. I didn’t make friends and I didn’t share the gospel, at least not a lot. Up to today, I sometimes experience spells of dizziness and dry mouth. It’s as if someone put a spoonful of peanut butter in my mouth, threw my thoughts in a blender, and then said “go ahead, speak your mind”. I have developed ways of pressing through these experiences but they can be humiliating, debilitating, and frustrating for someone who does a lot of public speaking. I am in no way a person disconnected from fear and timidity. Ashamedly, I have wrestled with timidity more than most people know, and, like in college, it absolutely hindered the gospel working through me. Read more

Bold as Lions – Courage is a Command

Courage is a Command

Before moving to Kenya I went on an extended fast. I found myself praying constantly about protection for my family. The terrorist group Al-Shabaab was on my mind. Others had suggested we move to a different location in Kenya, away from where they were active. But we were certain of God’s direction to this particular location in spite of its reputation. Daily this was my concern until one afternoon I felt a particular sweetness from the presence of the Lord. I began to weep as the words of Jesus thundered in my spirit “of how much more value are you than the birds” (Lk. 12:24)! The Lord was not directing this at me per se, but was saying it about my wife and children. I could entrust them into his hands. He cared for them more than I did. The next morning my oldest daughter and I were reading our prescheduled devotions. Amazingly, it was from Luke 12.

I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:4-7)

Boldness is a gospel imperative. This is seen in Jesus’ words “do not fear” and “fear not”. The basis for this is that the only one who has final authority over your soul is God. And what happens to your mortal body in this world is not the end all. Read more

Bold As Lions – Introduction

Introduction

Fear is a great enemy of gospel advance. Boldness is the gift of God to overcome this enemy. Boldness is confidence in the gospel, a message that defies fear to the uttermost.

I am burdened, of late, to study and write on this topic because of the mounting threats i see the enemy posing toward Christians. Persecution is on the rise as Islamic fundamentalism continues to expand. The field with greatest missional need, the Islamic world, is also the most dangerous.

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The Advantages of 11th Hour Laborers

I want to look at a particular group of people found in the parable of the ‘Workers in the Field’ in Matthew and draw out some encouraging points pertaining to the hour of history that we live in today and the fulfillment of the Great Commission. The individuals I will focus on are commonly known as the 11th hour laborers.

In Matthew 20:1-16, Jesus tells the story of a landowner who goes out early in the morning and hires people to work in his field for a certain amount of compensation. He then goes out a few hours later and hires more laborers at the same price as those who started working earlier. He continues to go out every few hours and hire more workers, up until the last hour of the day. When the day ends, the laborers who worked only one hour in the cool of the day, were paid first and were also paid the same amount as those who agreed to work from the beginning of the day. The laborers who bore the largest part of the burden in the heat of the day, felt it was only fair to receive more. Yet the landowner said he desired to be gracious and generous to the last workers and pay them a full days wages first.
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Incarnation

This is a time of year when we set our minds on the mystery of the incarnation – God became a man.

“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

The incarnation is the wisest missions strategy of all time! Birthed in the deep counsel of the Trinity, God came up with a plan to reach the human race with the gospel. He knew that in order for humans to receive the heavenly truths about Him and His plans, He would have to “become flesh,” taking on the appearance, language, and culture of those He was to reach. Of the many reasons that the Son of God became a human being, one is so that He could communicate the truth to other human beings:

“For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’” (John 18:37b) Read more

A House of Prayer For All Nations- Isaiah 56:7 Part 2

Prayer and preaching the gospel to the unreached are the two tracks that guide Send56 in all we do. Our vision includes setting up night and day prayer centers in Africa. We believe the most crucial strategy for missions today is not new methodologies in evangelism, or breakthroughs in anthropology, but rather a return to the place of prayer. Prayer is not only the means of fulfilling the mission, but it is also the end of it. The goal of Isaiah 56:7 is the inclusion of all the peoples in the worship of the one God, the God of Israel, YHWH. The quality of this verse is what Jesus emphasized in his use of it when he confronted the people in the temple in Jerusalem. He declares what his house is meant to be: a house of prayer. Read more

A House of Prayer For All Nations- Isaiah 56:7 Part 1

The road to Moyale, a north Kenya town that boarders Ethiopia, is a sand and rock highway that stretches through the Chalbi Desert. Shepherds walk that highway with their rugged cattle and camels traveling to water sources that are scattered abroad. As we drove along, one of these shepherds hailed our van to stop, requesting that we give him water to drink. It was the dry season and months can go by without one drop of rain. We gave him some of our water and began to share the gospel,“the water that springs up into eternal life”. When our translator asked him if he knew about the gospel of Jesus Christ, he told us that he had no idea who Jesus was. After a brief time of sharing he willingly accepted to believe the gospel and we prayed with him through the van window to receive Jesus as savior. There are millions throughout Africa just like this man, comprising approximately 1,000 different unreached ethnic groups, who have never heard of Christ and they are desperate for living water. It is these tribes, and all others, that the Lord speaks of when he declares Isaiah 56:7.

And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. -Is. 56:6–7

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