Christ Lutheran Church Stover, MO
Christ Lutheran Church
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Loving GOD Through Worship and Service
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"This 'n That"

...some of what goes through my head during the week.
Quote: "Historic Christianity is not tried and found wanting.  It's difficult and left untried."  Unknown.

 
Fall/Winter 2013,14
 
Dusting off the Old Testament

Christians today are being caught off guard by statements in the Bible, and in particular, the Old Testament. One might ask why study the Old Testament historical books? Legitimate question. Isn't this just a bit of academic irrelevant history? It certainly could be. Here is the biggest reason for studying the Old Testament. It is being questioned and fought over, perhaps like never before. Atheists like Richard Dawkins are discounting it. Big name protestant denominations don't know what to do with it, and are unwittingly agreeing with the atheist crowd. What about Israel? Don't they have their own religion, and aren't we hijacking their scriptures? There are three reasons to be familiar with the Old Testament:

 
-Covenants
-Congregations 
-Kings, 
 
 
Covenants:

We didn't dig into this on Sundays but will in the future Lord willing. But it is important to know that God is the God of covenants. What does that mean? Of the five or so covenants in the Old testament that I can count on my fingers, all are initiated by God. They are contracts. We understand contracts. But here's the difference, with us contracts are initiated by the weaker party, i.e. the borrower, when we need money. And we pay the interest. With God, the contracts are initiated by Him. They are binding upon both parties, but in this case God pays the interest. He obligates Himself voluntarily. We are still under covenants today. Anybody know what they are?

 
Congregations:

The second thing we learn about Israel is they are a congregation. They are a group with an identity. They are the special called out people of God. They are far more than an ethnic, nationalistic group. Although they were a nation, they were a congregation. Then, as a congregation, to stay pure though surrounded by worldly neighbors. And lastly, Israel though never a superpower civilization, always dwelt in the shadows of the major civilizations of antiquity. (That is the truth today both with national Israel and the church.)

Israel, always has been, and will forever be, God's special people. The promise to Abraham, is still true. "Those who bless thee I will bless". Israel, (God's people) have always been disliked and persecuted.

Here is what we learn from the study of Israel.
 
Kings:

Israel is a covenant people. The most relevant for us because of recent teaching is the Davidic covenant (2 Sam. 7). Pertaining to the kingship of Israel initiated with David, and finally fulfilled in the Messiah Jeshua.

The line of David, is the line of kings representing godliness, (in spite of David's sinful scandals and honest, heartfelt repentance.) This line has no end, as the King of kings the resurrected, ascended and reigning Lord Jesus Christ ties it all together from eternity past, to and through time and eternity.

 
Conclusion:

God is the God of Redemption, covenants, and rule. He is also Sovereign, over all. That means all nations, of all times, of all places. All other gods are but mere idols. This is clear in its pages. Christians today are being caught off guard because of statements from the Old Testament (New T as well.) that they are not prepared for. As far as we Gentiles using the Jewish Scriptures, Paul tells us that regarding Israel, that the Gentile church (us) is "grafted" into the vine (Israel).  And that this is part of God's plan of fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant from Genesis.  Romans 10, 11. What we need in this world is to see a sovereign plan of the ages. A plan that ties everything together, into one meaningful whole. And inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Old Testament, as well as the New accomplish that. “For whatsoever was written aforetime was written for our learning, that we through the patience and the comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4

 

 

 
Summer/Fall '13
 
Here are the missions statistics I referenced in Sunday's Sermon:

(These are fairly recent, and accurate enough to give us a picture of what's going on.)

 
What is the 10/40 Window?

It is that geographical area on the globe that is between 10 and 40 degrees latitude in the northern hemisphere.

It is bordered east and west by N Africa, and China.
 
Why is it so important?

Over half of the world population live in this region, consisting of some 61 countries.

70% are under 35 years of age, and a life expectancy as low as 46.
They are 87% of the world's poor.
Is the headquarters of every major non-Christian religion

Child prostitution is rampant, malnutrition is on the increase and millions are without parental guidance.

95% are unevangelized.  They will live and die without ever hearing the Gospel even once.

 

According to Dr. Luis Bush PhD. Fuller, Intercultural Studies, who coined the phrase 10/40 Window, "...it is imperative that our evangelistic efforts be focused among the people who inhabit the 10/40 Window.  If we are serious in our commitment to provide a valid opportunity for every person to experience the truth and saving power of Jesus Christ,  we cannot ignore the compelling realities within this region..."

In addition to the above points, he continues with three additional points, "fifth, the unreached ethnolinguistic people groups; sixth, the least evangelized megacities; and, seventh, the strongholds of Satan"

 
Changing gears,  Other notes I have are:
Types of missions: 

They can be put in at least two categories: Church Based (AFLC World Missions Department) and Para-Church Based, e.g. Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship, Action International, Wycliffe Bible Translators, World Vision, etc.

In addition to church planting, there is Educational missions.  This is everything from formalized schools and institutions, all the way from primary education to seminaries, to primitive learning by memory work under the shade of a tree. 

There is humanitarian missions including highly trained medical providers, to food distribution. 

There is Bible Translation.  This is hard for some to believe but it is necessary because perhaps numbers as high as millions of people don't have a translation of the Bible in their own natural tongue.  (Many of these people don't even have any written books or literature of any kind in their own tongue--100% illiteracy.)

Another kind of missions are professional support.  Examples of this are airplane and helicopter pilots and mechanics who fly missionaries into the undeveloped regions of the world.  There are also computer technicians, video technicians, radio station operators etc. 

The AFLC has all of these different types represented in one way or the other.  We have Bible Translators "on loan" status with Lutheran Bible Translators and Wycliffe Bible Translators, such as the Kvale's who visited our church for our Mission Festival in 2012.  Members of the AFLC, have established a independent organization called MATA for training pilots, who serve in Alaska at our mission.  Also we have something called the AMBASSADOR Institute www.AmbassadorInstitute.org, a branch of the AFLC World Missions program.  Their website states:

Our mission is to come alongside church bodies who desire to study God's Word and assist them in developing solid, biblical, and theological curriculum to train their leaders/pastors. 

It does this, "by helping leaders give theological education to the church leaders in their own language from the very beginning.

Their first graduation of twenty students was in January of 2011 in the country of Uganda, and one year later in India.

Mission Status:

Full-time vocational missionary.  This calling requires vocational training, (or using previous vocational training).  This individual has received a spiritual inner "call" from the Holy Spirit which is recognized by their sending agency, usually a church body, which issues an external "call" to serve. Most of the time this individual, or family, raises their own support, and travels to share the calling, asking most importantly for prayer support as well as financial.  The advantages of this kind of missionary is accountability to the local church.  This requires a VISA to the country in which God has called them.

Short term missions:  This is a very flexible option for every Christian.  The duration varies from a few months to a year. This opens up the world of missions to almost everyone.  Qualifications for this type of service vary, and usually require good physical health.  This is handy for people of medical, and building professions, who can perform a needed service on the field.

 
Finally, another type of missionary:
E-1  A missionary to one's own culture.

E-2 A missionary called to a similar culture, but with slight changes, such as language, or traditions.

E-3 A missionary called to a completely different culture, economic, linguistic and economic field.

 What's your calling?  Are you a missionary?  Someone once said, that you are either a missionary or a mission field.

All cannot go, but all must participate in the Great Commission.  "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18,19