Tuesday, March 01, 2011

the call to missions

The first night Peter took us to 3 common passages that are used to encourage missions. In his words we often feel guilted or maybe shamed into missions. We see the negative a lot of times in these following passages. We see the pressure but lose sigh tof the relationship/the heart of it all.

Matthew 28:19,20 so here is one of the famous missions send out. so here yes Jesus is sending out the disciples but let's not forget that at this point they had all been together for 3 years. Jesus wasn't just saying hey you guys go and I'm leaving but rather go and share with others what we have experienced together in relationship over time and I will be with you until the end. The message of the gospel is so much more than truth announced it's about a relationship with Christ like the disciples experienced.

Psalm 67 sometimes this can be seen negatively... so there are lost people not adoring/glorifying God so we gotta go tell people about Jesus so they glorify him(imagine this said in a forceful way). It's true people aren't glorifying Him but in this psalm we see relationships at the beginning and the end. In the middle there is joy. The Lord is transforming and blessing people so that in turn they take Christ to the nations so that they may glorify him and know this experience with Him.

Genesis 12 sometimes we're taught that oh you've been blessed so you are required to be a blessing to others or you feel guilted because you've been blessed. Yes we are oh so rich in that we have first and foremost the Gospel message in our lives. But we also have a roof, a house, a shirt which compared to the rest of the world makes us technically rich. We should glorify the Lord that we have these blessing and in turn use this privilege we've been given to share Him with others, we should let the blessings flow out to the nations.

In all this where is God's heart, what is it for, what are his feelings/thoughts for the nations? His heart beats for the nations. Ask yourself how does God's heart beat for (insert the people of your city)?? So I ask myself today How does God's heart beat for Italy, for Florence? Then I ask him and long that as His heart beats for Italy and Florence mine would beat the same for this nation and this city. I wan't his heartbeat for Italy/Florence to be my heartbeat.

reflections from Nove37 Conference

Just home from the Nove37/OM young adults missions conference and I feel great...spiritually,etc. not so much physically. Trying to recover from a bad sinus infection, fever I picked up down in Pescara, Italy. Despite this the conference was really an amazing time and I can most definitely see the Lord's hand in the timing of it for me personally. I wish you could have all been there to here it first hand form Peter Mead but I 'll hit hte highlights here and share what moved me most. I find myself quite often these days losing sight of the vision, my calling, God's plan or rather the motivation of my heart to engage in missions in Italy...whatever you'd like to call it. I think this is normal over time as the reality of the hardness of the soil sets in, tough days culturally, and all sorts of things seem to assault you and I believe the enemy also uses these things to draw you away from the Lord and discourage you that you might eventually give up. But I find myself after 8 1/2 years off and on serving here in Italy still choosing to remain. This is mainly because deep down when I scrape away all the crap, yes I said crap, that I let distract me, fight against me, etc. and see once again the Lord's heart not just for the nations but specifically for Italy I am revived, moved with compassion and am once again solidified in my decision to serve in Italy.

The last few months or so I have been going back and forth on being certain of my calling to remain in Italy not so much because of lack of need here or love for the people but because it's honestly a hard place to be. I know a lot of people think living in Italy is a dream come true and it's glorious all the time but umm wake up call that's not so. Maybe for a few months or so but then reality will set in and the day to day struggles, hardships,etc will begin to take a toll and I know if we aren't certain of our calling and reflect often on God's heart for the Italian people and teh depths of all of this we will cave. So once again being in this hard place letting the junk take over I was in desperate need of seeing God's heart once again and also seeing my heart. It just so happens the nove37 conference was where the Lord allowed this to happen. So the next few posts will talk about just some moving things I heard while there and wanted to share not just for others but also for me to keep these words ever before me so that I don't lose sight of the mission..the passion of God.

So Dark is Europe

30 Days Of Prayer for the Muslim World