Pray For Men Who Are Willing To Go

This is from a devotion from a weekly men’s group I do each Tuesday morning. For the past few weeks we have been praying for specific things in the church. 
5 Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live  among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar  with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips;  and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is [a] forgiven.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”  Isaiah 6:5-8

As a church and Disciples of Christ we have been given a command to go out and tell others about the saving grace of Christ. We are to take the gospel to all nations. We can only do this if  we have people who are willing to stand up and say “Here am I. Send Me.” This is what Isaiah  did. God called him and then qualified him for service and Isaiah stood up and said I will go for  you Lord.  

Isaiah starts out recording a vision that he had been given. This vision was intended to confirm his faith. God was about to give him a task to complete. It was not going to be an easy journey  and God wanted Isaiah to know that He was with Isaiah. When God calls us to do something He is with us. God will not leave us when we are doing His work. God created each of us for a  purpose. When God says go do it, are you going to say send me or do not send me? 

We see that Isaiah started with excuses why he could not go do what God was about to tell him to do. Isaiah said I am a man of unclean lips. We can look at this statement a few ways. Isaiah  might be saying he is sinful because he has not spoken against the sin that was taking place in  front of him. It might also be that Isaiah was saying that he was a sinner and not worthy of the  honor of doing God’s work.  

We see all throughout the bible where God took people that had shady pasts and then used them for His glory. One of Satan’s biggest lies is that we cannot be used for God because of our past. We allow Satan to remind us of our past and that takes our focus off of what God is trying to do in our lives currently. Then we are convinced that our lips are unworthy to take God’s holy name to other people.

Isaiah also says that he lives among people with unclean lips. We also live among people that have unclean lips. Many people confess to know Christ while many others do not believe in  Christ. These people that say God is not real have unclean lips and that should bring us to  sorrow. We should be concerned and heartbroken with this.  

God heard Isaiah’s concerns about being unclean but God had a greater plan for him. The seraphim flew down with a burning coal and touched the lips of Isaiah. The seraphim were  taking away the uncleanliness of Isaiah’s lips. God wanted Isaiah to handle a mission, Isaiah felt he was not qualified; God cleaned him so that he could handle the mission. Just like with us if  God calls us He will make a way for us to be able to handle it.  

Then Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord saying who shall I send and who will go. We might not here an audible voice like Isaiah heard but God still speaks to us in many ways. How can we  expect God to speak through us if we have never heard God speak to us? We need to be open to  what the Holy Spirit is doing and telling us. God might be nudging us to go do something and it up to us to do what God tells us to do. 

This was a very special and holy time between God and Isaiah. God is telling Isaiah I have a plan for you. There was a lot of spiritual deliberation going on between the two. We also should
spend a lot of time in prayer when God is sending us out. When we send out a minister or  missionary there should be a clear calling on that person’s life. Disciples should also pay  attention to God’s calling on their lives and make sure that they are doing what God has called  them to do.  

After God asks the two questions, Isaiah proudly proclaimed five words. He said ‘here I am, send me.” Isaiah made himself available. He told God I am willing to go. Isaiah knew he had a  clear calling on his life. Isaiah took it one step farther. He then tells God to send him. We need  more people in the church who are willing to stand up and say these five words: here I am send me.  

Take away:

1. When God has a plan for you, He will make a way.

2. We have to stop making excuses when God says do something.

3. We need to pray that we have people who are willing to stand up and say send me lord. 

The Apostles Commissioned

John 20:19

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

As Jesus was crucified the disciples became frightened. They did not know if they were going to be next. They feared that they could be crucified because they were associated with Christ. They were terrified of the Jewish religious leaders and did not know where to turn. They did the best thing that any group of Christians can do when they are frightened. They came together as a group. They came together to discuss what the next steps should be, but more importantly they came together to pray and seek guidance.

While they were gathered together in this secret meeting they kept the doors locked. They were terrified that the Jewish leaders would be coming for them so they made it impossible for man to get to them. What they did not expect happened next. Jesus appeared before them. Jesus had been resurrected earlier that day. He did not want them to just hear rumors about the resurrection. Jesus wanted His disciples to be first hand witnesses to His resurrection. He was about to give them a mission and He wanted them to have that firsthand knowledge.

With this appearance we see five things happen. The first thing we see is that Jesus tells His disciples “Peace be unto you.” Again these disciples were frightened because of what had taken place in the past few days. Also they must have been frightened when all of a sudden Jesus appears before them in this room that was closed off to prevent people from entering. Just as Jesus calmed the stormy waters He calmed their fears by bringing peace to a chaotic scene. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and can bring you peace no matter how big of a storm you face.

Now Jesus provides proof that this is really Him and not someone else. Jesus showed His hands and side. He showed them the wounds that He had just suffered in order to save them and us even today. The wounds that Jesus presented to His disciples are the wounds that lead to the death that paid the price for our sins. Jesus knew that there was no better proof then His nail scared hands. He wanted His disciples to know without a doubt that He had risen because this is what the gospel message hinges on. They were convinced that it was the Lord and we too can be certain that our Lord rose from the grave.

Jesus then makes a statement to the disciples. He tells them “As my Father has sent Me, I also send you.” Jesus has already told them that He brings them peace and they should not fear and he has given them proof that he has overcome death. Now He tells them that they are to go out and plant the church. He has now appointed the disciples to continue His work on earth. This is still relevant to His disciples today. We as Disciples of Christ are still to continue the work Christ started over 2,000 years ago. The church must be about doing the work of Christ until He returns.

When Jesus gave the disciples their mission He did not stop there. Jesus qualified those that He called and sent on mission. He breathed on them and said “receive the Holy Spirit.” He gave them the ability to carry out the mission of expanding the church here on earth. When God gives His disciples a task He also gives us the ability to carry it out. We have been given the task of telling others about Jesus and His saving grace and we have been given a helper to accomplish this task.

We see that Jesus gives the disciples another task. He tells them that they are to forgive people’s sins. He tells them that if they forgive the sins of any they are forgiven. Again God equipped them to handle this situation. They would not be able to forgive sins if they did not have a discerning spirit. The Holy Spirit played a major role in this.

Take away:

  1. The resurrection of Jesus was documented by many eye witness accounts in order to prove the validity of His resurrection.
  2. The wounds that Jesus presented to His disciples are the wounds that lead to the death that paid the price for our sins.
  3. We are to continue the work that Christ started and we are able to accomplish this through the help of the Holy Spirit.

 

After School Satan

“It’s important that children be given an opportunity to realize that the evangelical materials now creeping into their schools are representative of but one religious opinion amongst many. While the Good News Clubs focus on indoctrination, instilling them with a fear of Hell and God’s wrath, After School Satan Clubs will focus on free inquiry and rationalism, the scientific basis for which we know what we know about the world around us. We prefer to give children an appreciation of the natural wonders surrounding them, not a fear of everlasting other-worldly horrors.”
I have seen articles in the past few days about this club. So I decided I would research what the club was about. This was the first thing on their page. I find many things wrong with this statement. Yes the evangelical materials they are referring to are from one of many religions; However, I believe that Christianity is the only true religion. No one enters into heaven except through Jesus Christ. 

The group is also upset about children learning about Hell and God’s wrath. The club is ran by the Satanic Temple. The group represents Satanists. These people will endure the wrath of God and experience Hell unless they repent and turn to God. I would rather fear Hell and God’s wrath while on earth than to endure it forever. 

As a Christian I do not condone these types of “religious” organizations. My children would never be allowed to participate in these types of clubs either. I do not want them in the schools but I do not know if they can be stopped. In a Supreme Court ruling in 2001 it was determined that a school district violated a religious group’s constitutional right. 

“When Milford denied the Good News Club access to the school’s limited public forum on the ground that the Club was religious in nature, it discriminated against the Club because of its religious viewpoint in violation of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. Because Milford has not raised a valid Establishment Clause claim, we do not address the question whether such a claim could ex- cuse Milford’s viewpoint discrimination.” 

We as Christians advocate for religious liberty. Christians are not the only group offered religious liberty. The right is given to all. If we take away religious liberty of one we are going to be in danger of losing our religious liberty. 

This is a religious battle. We as Christians must seek God in this matter.  God tells us that the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few. We as Christians have to take the Great Commandment seriously and make disciples of all nations. The church has to be intentional about spreading the gospel. We must pray for the lost. We must pray for revival. 

#prayfor

If you are on social media this hashtag is becoming something that we see all too often.  Today it is #prayforNice. Last week this time it was pray #prayforDallas. There have been so many that I have honestly forgotten most of them. 

As I was reading some tweets this morning I came across this: 

“#PrayForNice

Haunted by a picture of a little girl lying dead with her doll next to her. How can people be so evil?😔”

How is it that we forget the evil that exists in this world? Have we become so conditioned to seeing this that we think it is normal? 

I also saw a saying that “peace will win, fear will lose.” This is so true. We know that evil exists in the world. The reality is that evil will exist until Jesus comes back. 

As Christians we are told to pray without ceasing. We should continue to pray for the victims of these horrible attacks. We should pray that God’s word will be proclaimed throughout the world. We need to pray that those under Satan’s control will break free from the bondage of evil. 

Last day of training 

This is the last day we have with the students. This has been a great group of pastors and other leaders. They are doing great with the Bible Training Center for Pastors material. They are so attentive. We also have two students that have been through this program that are going to continue teaching the material after we leave. They have done an outstanding job teaching along side of us. 

It is a bitter sweet moment but knowing the training is going to continue is a delight. I pray that the two instructors can take the students through the other nine courses. 

We have also been discussing how to get this training to others in the country. We would like to see this training expand and more leaders be able to teach. Multiplying leaders is the only way that many can become trained. This is not an easy course to teach. It takes a long time for each course and a lot of preparation on the teachers part. 

There are also special requirements to teach based on the BTCP guidelines. We need to find pastors who are qualified to teach the classes. This might mean Cambodian pastors. It might also mean pastors from back home coming to teach classes for a week. 

The reason this is so important is that there is not a great presence of the Christian church. According to the Joshua Project 30 people groups are still unreached. Only 3.2% of the people profess to be Christian with only 1.61% evangelical. Based on personal experience from what we have seen this might be on the high side. 

Please pray that barriers will be broken down and people will know Christ. Pray for revival. Pray for teachers and preachers that are spiritually called and qualified. 

“to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭26:18‬ ‭NASB‬‬

http://bible.com/100/act.26.18.nasb

Sunday Church

This morning we spent a few hours doing church. This is not church how most people in America would expect. There was no choir or worship leader. There was no instruments. There was no singing. Only ministering to people in small villages.

We had the pleasure of walking around and talking with families in some of the poorest comunities. We got to sit down face to face with them. We got to hear the struggles. Many were sick and could not work. We heard of a family where the dad was recovering from alcohol abuse. We got to talk to them about perseverance and hope. 

We met a lady who does not have a job to support her family. Her husband is farming in another country but not sending money back home. Then we met a family who was worried becuase they did not have enough money even to send their child to school. If this child drops out of school, there is a real possiblity she will get into sex salvery. We explained that God heals and provides. We read Matthew 6:25-36 and explained Jesus says not to worry about tomorrow. We were able to pray with this sweet family. 

At lunch we got to discuss the local church with the person who is with us. We found out that the local church does not have a pastor and many of these people do not attend church. He tries to minister to these families. We asked him about starting houses churches. We explained that he could start a network of house churches with someone different leading each one. He seemed very interested in that idea. This could be huge in a spiritually poor area. 

Not only is there a spiritual need but a physical need as well. Many of these families have no way to support their family with food and school.  

   

Traveling 

This week as I am traveling I have noticed something – the world is a beautiful place. As I was flying into Korea I was amazed at the beauty in the shore. Of course I say that every where I go. I would urge you to travel and experience God’s beauty. 

I am also thankful that God has given me the opportunity to travel the world. I am also thankful God is giving me the ability to travel and tell people about His glory, Grace, and salvation. 

“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.””

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭28:19-20‬ ‭NASB‬‬

http://bible.com/100/mat.28.19-20.nasb

Upcoming Mission Trip

Dear family and friends,

On May 6, 2016 I will be headed to Cambodia with another gentleman to do some pastoral teaching. In the Great Commission Jesus tells His disciples to go to all nations and make disciples, baptize them, and teach them all the things He has commanded. Our main goal with this trip is to equip two young pastors to teach the Bible Training Center for Pastors material. These two young men have already been through all ten courses. After a day and half of training these two men, all four of us will start teaching the first class in the series.

This will be an ongoing process. To complete this training requires 400 hours. These pastors really need this training as many of the pastors lack deep theological training. There is limited access to seminary, if any, for the pastors. This training helps deepen their knowledge so that they are better equipped to teach the people in their church.

There are two ways that you can support us in this mission:

  1. The most important way is through prayer. We need all the prayer that we can get. Pray for the right pastors to be at the training. Pray that we say the right words during the training. Pray for the pastors that receive the training. Pray for our travel.
  2. You can also support the mission financially. The trip is approximately $2,600. If you feel lead to make a donation you can do so through Mission Team, Inc. The website is www.missionteaminc.com. You can make a donation by clicking on the online donation button on the left side. When making the donation please indicate what it is for.

I pray that we are able to make a difference in the lives of these Cambodian pastors so that they can impact the lives of those that they are around each day.

Thank you,

 

Ken Brooks