Wednesday, January 12, 2011

INTERCEDE: PART 2 of the 4 x 4 Challenge

What do you think when we read in the Gospel of John about “ABIDE“??

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.”  (John 15:4)

I would answer that a large part of ABIDE (a vital connection with the Lord Jesus) is Prayer…simple prayer.  Prayer is communicating with God.  It is our direct response to what understand and know about God, Jesus and Holy Spirit.  It is also communion with God…’s one of the ways we deepen our relationship with God.  Why?  We are expressing our love to God.

My son and daughters love to talk right after school.  They tell me about their day and the fun they had with friends and teachers learning and playing.  They can’t wait to get off the bus to tell me.  We have learned to take turns.  God offers believers His ears when we talk to Him and we should be eager to spend time with the Lord in prayer every day.

WHY?  1.  God desires that we pray.  Prayer offers the opportunity to glorify God, to magnify His attributes, and to thank Him for every provision of life (Model Prayer taught by Jesus in Luke 11)
2.  Second, we need prayer.  Our communion with God is both the reason for our being and the source of ministry.  Through prayer we ask God to act in our lives and intercede in the lives of others.  Prayer should change us!!
3.  The world needs prayer.  The Father has called us to minister to and on behalf of others.  We should be concerned with God’s kingdom in this world.

All ministry to the lost is motivated, empowered, and accomplished through prayer.  (come to think about it so is our ministry to God and to believers)  Pray for the 4 people you have on your list.  Remember the four people you have been thinking about this next week when you meet with the Lord in prayer daily.  Make it a great concern to INTERCEDE on their behalf to the Almighty Father.
See you Sunday….Brian
(parts of this article taken from “THE JOURNEY” discipleship course from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Spiritual Life of the Minister Course)

Monday, January 3, 2011

4 X 4 Challenge

This month, Telephone Baptist will start a four week emphasis on sharing the gospel with others.

The main point of doing this is to follow the Great Commission…Matthew 28:19-20.  “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

I was curious to look up the word “commission” in the dictionary: 
a formal written warrant granting the power to perform various acts or duties.  The believer has been given authority and power to complete this Great Commission and we have been commanded to “make disciples” at all costs.  Jesus has given the believer the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower us as His witnesses of who the Lord is and how He saves us through our own salvation.

Preacher Paul Washer asked in a sermon “What has the Great Commission cost you?”  If the believer in Jesus Christ has been fulfilling the Great Commission then it costs you for spreading the gospel message such as persecution and suffering.  You are working directly against the gates of hell and the author of confusion to increase the kingdom of heaven.  It will cost us but it is what the Messiah desires of His servants of the kingdom.

I want to encourage you to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leadership in your life to spread the gospel message.  Dig into the Scriptures to read about salvation and the book of Romans to understand the details of this great salvation and the work of the Holy Spirit.  Pray that your heart will be broken for those that are lost in your offices and neighborhoods.  People that you are around all the time that you already have a relationship with. 

We will continue this journey for the month of January and walk through this challenge together.  God Bless, Sleepy Disciple Smile