"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes." ~ Romans 1:16

Friday, December 11, 2015

Crash course on Muslim worldview and theology

You can view four lectures by Adam Francisco (who has a Ph.D. in Islamic-Christian relations from Oxford University) he gave at Faith Lutheran Church in Capistrano Beach, California, on:
  1. The Muslim Worldview
  2. Islamic Theology: Part 1
  3. Islamic Theology: Part 2
  4. Islam in America

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Perspective

I read an article about Hudson Taylor this week that has put life into perspective for me.  Hudson Taylor said, "On Sunday June 25th, 1865, unable to bear the sight of a congregation of a thousand or more Christian people rejoicing in their own security, while millions were perishing for lack of knowledge, I wandered out on the sands alone, in great spiritual agony; and there the Lord conquered my unbelief, and I surrendered myself to God for this service.  I told Him that all the responsibility as to issues and consequences must rest with Him; that as His servant, it was mine to obey and follow Him—His to direct, to care for and to guide me and those who might labor with me" (Perspectives Reader pg. 322).

Hudson Taylor, at a young age, placed himself, his whole self on the altar, for God to use him as He pleased.  After he prayed, Hudson felt his prayer was answered and said, "For what service I was accepted I knew not; but a deep consciousness that I was no longer my own took possession of me, which has never since been effaced" (Perspectives Reader pg. 319).  When God impressed upon Hudson that He wanted him to spend his life in missionary service in China, Hudson began to prepare for a hard life of ministry.   

I wonder how many of us would be willing to relinquish control of self to be used of God.  Reading the article on Hudson Taylor has exposed an underlying lie many in the church have come to believe, including myself. That it is all about me, my desires, my plans, my agenda.  This is the lie that causes me to be either easily offended or discouraged when things don't go the way I want them to or thought they should go. It seems all we care about is that we are as comfortable as possible whether it is at home or at church.  

The men and women who pioneered the mission’s movement put aside their plans, desires, and agendas and took up God's plans, desires and agenda.  They believed that without the Gospel, people perish and they answered the call, by doing what was hard, to bring the Gospel to those places that were difficult to reach.  Hudson Taylor said, "Perishing China so filled my heart and mind that there was no rest by day, and little sleep by night" (Perspectives Reader pg. 322).  


Am I this consumed for the lost, so that it is all I think about?  The sad thing is, that Sunday after Sunday, Christians fill churches and are only consumed by what they think the church should do for them.  So called strong, mature Christians are more concerned that things are done their way than they are that people are perishing without the gospel.  I am saddened by the state of our church today that is so self absorbed without shedding a tear for those who are perishing into an eternal hell.  May God have mercy on our souls if we do not repent of our gross sin.  God has a lot of work to do in my heart.