I’ve been trying to remember all the things I’ve learned at Mission Training School (aka MTS) this year. And I figured I’d write them down. So let’s see what we’ve got:
1. Top Line: God blesses man
Bottom Line: God tells man to bless others
– This is important because so often people look at the top line only. “Yay! God blesses me!” Um, ya. To bless others. Examples include Genesis 1:28 and Genesis 9:1. Also look at Psalm 46:10 and Psalm 60. Most Christians know the start of the passages, but don’t remember the reasons for the promises. Jeremiah 29:11 is another (read verses 12 and onward).
2. It’s not about you.
– Harsh, isn’t it? But it’s true. God is big. Very big. And holy. Very holy. And perfect. VERY perfect. What does He need us for? The answer is nothing. The reason He created us (and the entire universe we are in) was to glorify Himself. God is so “in” to Himself that He created an entire perfect universe with a creature in His own image just to glorify Himself. Does this sound arrogant or self-centred to you? That’s leads us to:
3. God is not human.
– So stop trying to assign human qualities to Him. He’s allowed to be self-centred. He’s God. There is nothing else in existence greater or more magnificent than Him. If there was something that God was enamored over that wasn’t God (including humans) then He wouldn’t be much of a God, right? So God is allowed to be jealous. He’s allowed to glorify Himself.
4. Don’t put God in a box.
– God is God. He can do what He wants, when He wants. He doesn’t bow to our wishes and commands. What do we know anyways? Do we have the entire universe and all time spread out before us? Nope. So I would trust that the One who does will do a good job of making decisions.
5. Live for eternity
– Why do so many people, Christ-follower or not, act as of there is nothing more important than what they do on Earth? They spend money, time and energy for the now. They seek comfort and pleasure and plan their life as if their death is the end. But yet we’re told in the Bible that our life here on earth is just the beginning of our eternal destiny. In reality (read Revelation), the life after this one is eternal. Eternal is a long time. So why do we store up treasures and seek pleasures in this minuscule part of our existence? When instead we could (should) be putting all of our efforts into storing up treasures for eternity. I’m not totally sure what eternity is like, but it’s gonna be a long time so I really want to work to make it better. Makes sense, right?
6. Prayer confuses me
– We are commanded to pray. We are told to pray the will of God and it will be answered. God is all-knowing. So for some reason, my all-knowing God (who already knows what I need) tells me what to pray for (His will) and then He will give it. Does that seem odd to you? It does to me; but it is truth. I don’t know why yet, but God requires me to ask Him to do what He already wants to do. It doesn’t make sense, to me. (See point #4: Don’t put God in a Box)
– Prayer is also the most powerful weapon for the Christian. I really should be praying 24/7. True prayers of repentance from believers in any town, city or country will cause God to move and heal their land, people and government. Prayer destroys the Devil. He cannot do anything but RUN AWAY when we pray. So why do we treat prayer like it is our time to bring a shopping list of requests to the VERY THRONE ROOM OF THE ETERNAL KING OF THE HEAVENS instead of a chance to fight a battle and push back the kingdom of darkness? Again, I need to pray more. We all do.
7. Some confusing statistics:
– There are about 4 billion people in the world who are not Christians (approx 33% of the world.)
– The 2 billion “Christians” are not necessarily true followers of Christ (followers in name only)
– Of the 4 billion, about half have heard the gospel but don’t believe it (approx 40% of the world)
– The last 1.7 billion people (27% of the world’s population) have NEVER heard the Gospel of Christ
– There are about 420 000 missionaries working with the 40% who have already heard the Gospel
– There are about 10 000 missionaries working with the 27% who have never heard the Gospel
– So only 1 out of 43 missionaries is working to preach the Gospel to someone who has never heard it
– Matt 24:14 – The Gospel will be preached to ALL nations and then the end will come
– Matt 28:19 – Go into ALL the world and preach the good news
– Jesus commanded us to go everywhere, why aren’t we?
I decided to make this a Part 1, because there is so much that I have learned and it’s time for bed. Hope this excited and challenged you. I don’t know when Part 2 will happen, but it will show up.