SF Outreach ’10

Tamara (on R) witnessing at Civic Center

I’m thankful I could go out this year for the annual SOS outreach in SF and Berkeley, (July 16-24) to work with other believers, bringing the gospel to the lost sheep. I did not get many pictures of the people on our team this year though. I mostly took pictures of some of the people we shared the gospel with– they (the people) are all so beautiful and I wait with joyful anticipation to someday know what shall become of the seeds that were sown. Let me know if this link does not work; I’ll post more pics.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=257288&id=561034376&l=bccca166e4

Street church: After the Bibles were given out, the conversations ended and the gospel proclaiming was done, worship with song and music finished the outreach. These two were walking by, stopped, sat on their suitcases and joined with us. Praising the Lord with reverence and joy!

The Power of the Gospel

Daniel from Better Than Sacrifice brings us the follow up to his post, ‘The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Gospel’, in which he issues the clarion call to declare Christ crucified. In this time when many church systems, “Christian organizations” and parachurch ministries have as their decided rule and practice to NOT proclaim the actual gospel, this article serves up witnessing encouragement.

Here is a snip:

There’s nothing wrong with Christians showing love in such practical ways, of course. In fact, this is a good thing! But this is not the means that God uses to save people.

No, Paul tells us plainly: ‘it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe’.

And which message is it that saves? Which message is it that is a stumbling block and foolishness? Which message is it that is ‘Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God’ to those who are being called?

It is the message of ‘Christ crucified’.

‘Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God’ comes through the preaching of this message.

If you would love your neighbour, bring him ‘Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God’. Tell him of how, without Christ, he is under God’s wrath and will receive the eternal punishment that he has earned by his rebellion and sin. Tell him of the Christ crucified for sinners such as he. Tell him of the Christ who was buried, and who rose again on the third day. Call him to repentance. And give him the offer of forgiveness of sins in Christ to all those who put their trust in Him.

This is what it means to love your neighbour as yourself. This is what it means to proclaim repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Christ.

Read the article here: The Power of the Gospel by Daniel Neades

Gospel-less Haiti Relief

While looking for news about the Haiti relief effort a few weeks back, I ended up on the World Vision site where I saw a link to the book, The Hole in Our Gospel, by Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision. Looking for information about this book, I found two interviews with statements that are very important for us to understand at this time, so that we may continue to be found faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ.

In this Sojourners interview, Stearns discusses his philosophy of ministry and his position on the president’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Read the Sojo interview here at this link.

In this PBS interview, Stearns discusses World Vision’s policy on religion, evangelism and proselytization, as well as his position on Obama’s Faith Based Task Force.

Watch the PBS interview here at this link.

Please continue reading for a collection of quotes from these interviews, and my analysis and exhortation to all the saints.

Continue reading

The Least of These, Our Brothers

Matthew 25:31-40. Though the words of Jesus (of course) also refer to those who are already our brothers now, these prayers refer to those who, through our Gospel labor and witness, will become our brothers when they are transferred by God the Father into the Kingdom of His beloved Son.

For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat…
I love You Lord Jesus and I love Your little ones, my brothers. Let me feed them with the Bread of Your Life; Your Word.

I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink…
I love You Lord Jesus and I love Your little ones, my brothers. Let me give them a cup of the rivers of Your living water to drink; Your Spirit.

I was a stranger and you invited Me in…
I love You Lord Jesus and I love Your little ones, my brothers. Let me invite those who are yet estranged and far from you, in to Your Kingdom, that You may draw them near to You to become Your intimate friends.

naked and you clothed Me…
I love You Lord Jesus and I love Your little ones, my brothers. Let me bring (speak of) the clean robe of Your Righteousness that they may be covered by You, and ashamed no more.

I was sick and you visited Me…
I love You Lord Jesus and I love Your little ones, my brothers. Let me visit them and bring them the healing balm of your love, hope, mercy and grace.

I was in prison, and you came to Me.
I love You Lord Jesus and I love your little ones, my brothers. Let me go to your little ones who are in the bondage of sin, death, guilt, shame and condemnation and bring them the Gospel of forgiveness, deliverance, freedom and Life in You.

Lord Jesus we love You and all Your other little ones, “the least of these”; all our brothers and sisters. Help us love them and care for them because we love You. Let us love them and care for them because You love them, and they love You. Thank You, our Shepherd and King, for your faithfulness to bring all of Your little ones, the least of these brothers of Yours, into Your safe and loving sheep fold.

Who Are You Called to Reach?

Several years ago I sat at a coffee shop with a dear elder saint. He was back home helping raise the grandkids after spending most of his life as a foreign missionary. We were talking about “domestic missions and me”. He asked me who I was called to reach; at the time I had not seriously considered that. As a missionary, he suggested that it is wise and strategic to narrow it down and know who specifically you are seeking to reach.

Here in the Bay Area, the demographic is quite complex. We’re surrounded by Roman Catholics, soccer moms, teenagers, University professors, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, international immigrants, homeless people, lawyers, corporate CEOs and hardcore New Agers… and there’s hundreds more.

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Actually, I never was successful at narrowing it down to just one specific “people group”. As an indigenous missionary, I have seen the Lord provide opportunity to witness to many different kinds of people. I suppose one group of people that is on my heart often is the international community. It is an enormous thrill to consider that the world has come here that we may reach them with the Gospel. For me this is also an enormous challenge because of the language barrier. The Lord uses this issue (among other things) to remind me of my utter weakness and dependence on Him, for He has given me a desire to share the Gospel with people I can hardly communicate with. But this just makes life as an ambassador of Christ that much more exciting as He uses us weak and broken clay pots to carry His message of grace to the lost.

The Lord Jesus has sent us to reach the whole world. Like Paul, we seek to “be all things to all men” in our desire to reach all kinds of people. So who are you called to reach?

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” Matt.28:19