These Are The Generations by Eric Foley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Simply amazing. The story is both warming and frightening, inspiring and challenging. To understand what the central characters are going through is impossible in the West unless one has traveled to countries that repress Christianity. I have and can vouch that stories like these are not uncommon. What is uncommon, is the magnitude of faith demonstrated. Pastor Foley is to be commended for relating this account as well as for his work on behalf of persecuted and forgotten Christians across the globe.
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Today’s Gospel: Authentic or Synthetic? by Walter J. Chantry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It was startling to think that this was first written in 1970. It is so relevant and fresh that it could have been penned today. Although written as a book, it could have very well been a series of sermons. It is one of the best expositions of Mark chapter 10 that I have read. If you like David Platt’s Radical, you might be surprised to read this book and see the same things being said thirty years earlier. I heartily recommend this as a good read
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During this season of celebration named Hanukkah, there are many lessons we can learn. The Festival of Lights, while a holiday pretty much exclusively celebrated by Jews, should be held in high esteem by Christians as well. (Also by Muslims if they were honest but that is a different thought for another time). The miracle of God extending the oil so that the menorah remained lit until more oil could be made ready for use, was a great miracle indeed. It showed that God was with His children and pleased with them and their zeal for His Holy Name. That was only one of the miracles God performed, though. The entire Maccabean rebellion should have been crushed by the overwhelming forces arrayed against them. God’s granting victory to them is reminiscent of the victories during the time of the Judges. Jesus observed the festival (John 10:22-23) as did His disciples. What could possibly be wrong with a festival honoring God’s provision and care?
We are reminded during this time that God cares for His people. He provides for His people. He protects His people. He remembers His people. He helps His people. It would be a good idea for everyone to read 1 and 2 Maccabees and learn of God’s care for His people during the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments.
It is also a good time to speak with our Jewish friends. To celebrate with them the miracles of God. To use this time as a bridge to communicating with them how Jesus is the Light of the World. That the God of Lights, who delights in giving His children good gifts, gave one in the form of His Son.
Wish them a Happy Hanukkah. Teach the meaning of the holiday to your children. Remind yourself that candles are not lit to shine in the home. They are meant to shine out, to tell others of the miracles of God. Let that be a lesson to take home – that the best way to honor God is to tell others about His greatness.
A prominent Christian author makes the statement, “Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” (Piper, 1993) Another Christian author rebuts with the assertation that, “Actually missions exists because true worship does.” (Blue, 2001) Both of these statements are true. The need for missions exists because there are people in the world who do not worship Jesus Christ as Lord and the response to reach these people with the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ comes from those who already worship Him.
As believers mature spiritually, the realization of Christ’s desire for all His children to be ambassadors for Him brings them into a crisis point. Will they remain inwardly focused on their growth as a follower of Jesus Christ or will they focus outward toward those who have yet to become children of God? The answer to this question has enormous consequences for both individual Christians and churches because churches, made up of individual Christians, reflect their constituents. Just as there is a level of spiritual maturity one cannot rise above until they have experienced leading a person to the saving grace of Jesus Christ, there is a level of spiritual growth in a church that will not be broached until the church is focused on reaching the world for their Master. A church made up of inward looking members will primarily exist for itself. A church made up of outwardly focused individuals will focus beyond their four walls.
Moving a church from being inwardly focused to being missions-minded and eventually missions-active should be the goal of her leaders. This book will explore how to move a church from being missions-minded (or missions-aware) to missions-active.
The Quest is available in print or Kindle from Amazon.com or http://www.discernmentministries.webs.com