Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Two readings

Yesterday I opened up Oswald Chambers to see if the day’s reading was anything useful. I had to laugh when I read the title.


The Key to the Missionary’s Work*

That sounds pretty good, right? I don’t have to look for answers any further. Here it comes…

"All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations." Matthew 28:18-20

The basis of missionary appeals is the authority of Jesus Christ, not the needs of the heathen. We are apt to look upon Our Lord as One Who assists us in our enterprises for God. Our Lord puts Himself as the absolute sovereign supreme Lord over His disciples. He does not say the heathen will be lost if we do not go; He simply says - "Go ye therefore and teach all nations..."

Hmmm. That all sounds very nice on paper, but what does it actually mean? Is it wrong if the first (or last) images that cross my mind are of people in need, and not of the cross? What if people don't seem interested in the Gospel? Should I ignore their needs and look for people who are more "receptive"?

I decided to give Chambers another try today.


The Key to the Missionary’s Message

The key to the missionary message is the propitiation of Christ Jesus. Take any phase of Christ's work - the healing phase, the saving and sanctifying phase; there is nothing limitless about those. "The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world! " - that is limitless. The missionary message is the limitless significance of Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins, and a missionary is one who is soaked in that revelation.

...It is easier to belong to a coterie which tells what Jesus Christ has done for me, easier to become a devotee to Divine healing, or to a special type of sanctification, or to the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Paul did not say - "Woe is unto me, if I do not preach what Christ has done for me," but - "Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel." This is the Gospel - "The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!"

This is a fairly provocative message, if I understand it correctly. Many times when limited in missionary activity we are encouraged to simply tell our personal stories of what Jesus has done. They can make a law against preaching, but they can’t make a law against telling about your own life.

But is it worth it to give your testimony without the full gospel? Is it worth it to tell about Jesus without saying, “He died for you too”?

*Note: although the titles are from an updated edition which I happened to be reading, the article excerpts themselves are from the original, with older English (it's the only version I could find on the Internet). Excerpts are from Oct.14 and 15 readings.

4 comments:

  1. С другой стороны, слово свидетельство подразумевает личную вовлеченность. Свидетельствовать можно только о пережитом.

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  2. It seems like one's testimony would (or should) always at least point to the Gospel. Hm. I can't be too argumentative there. Only, I suppose that some people, just due to their personalities, might be drawn into your personal story yet be "scared away" by too much "preaching", and might need the witness of your loving, joyful personality before they would be open to much more. But, the direction should always be there. The intent.

    Once or twice I've run across people whose testimony didn't point further toward the Good News. The "good news" was all about "me" (the speaker). That can be very distasteful....though I must say, when I've seen this it has always been pretty blatently obvious and coming from a crippled soul.

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  3. This is something very good to think on some more! I was just saying to someone last night that I could "share" the gospel by my life and friendship, without using words...but now, hmmm, I don't know if that would be the way God would want it. He wants us to be bold...even if it is "against" the "laws of the land"

    ...this is a struggle for us right now, b/c we are so very much having to deal with the laws of Russia. We have been not allowed back to one place as of Monday night b/c we are considered a sect compared to "Orthodox" religion. Very interesting to think of what we should do in light of the laws of the land and the laws of the Lord.

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  4. Ты прав, хотя имеется еще значение «подтверждение.» А американцы иногда употребляют слово «свидетельствовать» вместо «благовествовать.»

    Annie, I suppose the question is, what is the difference between “pointing to” the Gospel and “preaching”? And what is the difference in effectiveness?

    People don’t mind hearing about God and answered prayer, but when it comes to the blood of Christ…don’t go there.

    Karen, it can be difficult with orphanages and other institutions. You are being watched so closely that it’s not so hard for people to notice there is something different, yet one wrong move and you could be “asked not to return,” or worse. Can’t do Bible studies? Okay, we’ll just teach English. But is that enough? People are going to ask sooner or later why you’ve come. What do you say?

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