Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘missions’

10 Commandments for Christ’s Ambassadors

As Jesus sent out his disciples on their first mission trip—to preach, heal, and cast out demons—He gave them these instructions.  But they are also for us today who represent Him to the world.  (See Matthew 10)

1.  Give and serve freely. (v. 8)

2.  Trust God for your needs. (v. 9-10)

3.  Focus on those who will listen. (v. 11-14)

4.  Be prepared to suffer. (v. 16-28)

5.  Trust the Holy Spirit for what to say when put on the spot. (v. 19)

6.  Don’t give up!  Endure to the end! (v. 22)

7.  Don’t be afraid. (v. 26-31)

8.  Never deny the Lord.  (v. 32-33)

9.  Prioritize God over your own family and even your own life. (v. 34-39)

10. Humbly accept what people give you as a gift to God. (v. 40-42)

One of the Saints

In the country where I live, November 1 is a big day at the cemeteries.  People arrived all day with flowers, tables and chairs and food.  Some even stayed overnight next to the graves of their loved ones.  It’s All Saints’ Day, and the next day (so no one will be left out) is All Souls Day.

Ken Anderson & wife, Christian film maker

But to me, November 1 is the day for remembering one of those saints in particular:  my dad.  That is the day on which he entered his heavenly home thirteen years ago.  He was a saint, not because he was perfect, but because that’s what God calls those who become His children through by receiving the forgiveness and new life He offers through Jesus.  (See John 1:12; 1 Corinthians 1:2.)

I honor my dad for many things that he taught me, whether intentionally or just by example.  Here are some of them:

–To love his spouse and honor her.  (I never heard them argue but I often caught them smooching Red heart.)

–To love the Bible.  I would often find him reading it in the morning in his favorite chair.  And he knew how to simply share the message with others, both in church and around the supper table.

–To have fun and enjoy life Smile.  We went camping and enjoyed spontaneous picnics and drives in the country.  We had Family Nights with games, silliness, and snacks. I remember so well his contagious smile.  We even had our “secret” family recipe for candy that he would supervise on special occasions—Yum!

–To put God first in financial affairs. I remember the chart on which he kept track of the family’s giving to several missionaries and other ministries, even on a meager salary.  He and Mom taught me from an early age to give generously to the Lord and also to save for the future.

–To do what is right no matter what.  There were times when this was painful and unpopular, but he wouldn’t back down.  And he was respected for it.  By his example, I learned courage and sisu*.

–To love reading.  To always be truthful.  To honor family and friendships.

–To do one’s best. He made some beautiful things out of wood. He expressed confidence in me and pride in my efforts and accomplishments.  I especially appreciated his help with studying the night before a test. 

–To accept one’s limitations and make the most of them.  He joined in the joking about his lack of musical ability and his short stature.  But to me, he was a great man.  I look up to him and am pleased when someone remarks how like him I am.

 

* Sisu (pronounced – see’-soo) is a unique Finnish concept. It is a Finnish term that can be roughly translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity.  (finlandia.edu/sisu-our-finnish-identity.html)

My Service and Its Effects

In 2 Corinthians I found three acts of service that have explicit results listed which benefit both people and God:

1:11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.

Service:  Praying for those taking the gospel.

Result #1:  God answers those prayers.

Result #2:  God will be thanked, especially by those who prayed and those who receive the gospel.

4:13-15 But we continue to preach …And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.

Service:  Going to take God’s grace to people.

Result #1:  People will overflow with thanksgiving to God.

Result #2:  God will be greatly glorified.

9:11b-13 And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem* will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.

Service:  Giving to God’s people.

Result #1:  Their needs of our brothers & sisters will be met.

Result #2:  The recipients will thank and glorify God.

Result #3:  Our obedience to God will be evident.

After I did this study, I did a double take when I realized that the three acts of service happened to be the well-known “Pray, Give, Go” formula—only in a different order.  It’s kinda neat when things like this come out inductively rather than setting out first to “prove” something!

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