Be Killing Pride or Pride Will Be Killing Missions!  Reflecting on Conrad Mbewe

What is keeping you and I from being more engaged with the mission to reach peoples who have no access to the Gospel?  Why so little involvement in prayer, in giving, and in going?  Conrad takes us to Philippians 2 and shows us it is prideful self-centeredness which places us at the center of the universe.  This pride is killing missions in us, our families, and our churches.

This is why the foundation for missions is for us to be killing our own pride and selfishness.  We must cease to see ourselves at the center of the universe and, instead, embrace the mind of Christ.  Though Christ really is the center of the universe, He emptied Himself of His rights and came to lay down His life for us.  There is no greater descent than what the eternal Son of God experienced for us.

Let the Gospel poison your pride and slaughter your selfishness.  Choices concerning time, money, and career plans are sure to come which will be between our comfort and carrying the Gospel to unreached peoples.  When these choices are laid before you remember the only One who deserves to be at the center of the universe laid those rights down to redeem not only you, but also those peoples you are tempted to pass by.

This kind of Gospel massacre on our self-centeredness leaves in its wake a surprisingly peaceful and joyful ambition to participate in the work of getting the Gospel to the nations.  However, if we let self-centeredness live, it will begin to not only choke out our efforts in missions but will choke out our joy as well.  Jesus said in Matthew 6 that anxiety is the result of seeking our needs rather than the kingdom of God.  So, let’s leave arrogant anxiety and join Jesus both in His humility and His joy.  Be killing pride or pride will be killing missions (and you).

What thoughts did this talk stir up in you?  What ways do you put missions-killing pride to death?

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Philippians 2:3-11

Sing a New Song So the Nations Can Sing Too! Reflecting on Richard Chin’s CROSS Talk

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Richard Chin walks us through Psalm 98 to show us that the Lord is worthy for songs of praise  to erupt from our souls because of His redemption of His people and His coming judgement!  We should, therefore, go into all the world with the Gospel and invite the nations to experience this salvation and sing of the Lord’s salvation!

So, do you feel like singing today?  Do you have a case of the “Mondays”?  Or, maybe it’s much bigger than that.  Has a big dark cloud rolled over your view and you can’t imagine lifting your voice in praise to God?

Let me encourage you to remember God’s marvelous work of redemption for His people.  Meditate on it.  Listen to songs of praise (like this one by Shane and Shane based on Psalm 98).  Then join in the song and… join in the effort to carry that song to the unreached nations.  That everyone may hear the summons, “Make a joyful noise, all the earth, break forth into joyous song and sing praises!”

What thoughts did Richard Chin’s CROSS talk stir up in you?  View it here!

Desperate for God’s Spirit, Reflecting on John Piper’s CROSS talk

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Why are you a Christian right now?  The answer to that question is also the answer for how anyone will ever turn to Jesus.  John Piper shows us from 1 Corinthians 12:3 (and many other places in the Bible) “no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ [from the heart] except in the Holy Spirit.”  So it is the work of the Holy Spirit when anyone turns to Jesus… that includes you, the person you are witnessing to, and the unreached peoples God is sending us to.

This truth does two things: it humbles us and it emboldens us.  We are humbled as we see our desperation for God’s Spirit in our own treasuring of Christ as the Lord of our lives.  We also cannot expect anyone to turn to Christ apart from the Spirit of God at work in that person’s life opening her eyes to the beauty of Jesus.

This truth that exposes our need also floods our soul with confidence because it shows us that it is ultimately not up to our ability to convince someone of their need for Jesus.  Rather, we present Christ with urgency, joy, and love and the Holy Spirit works in the heart!  So, we can go to the hardest people on the planet with the confidence that God will win in the hearts of those He is calling!

What thoughts did this talk stir up for you?  How does seeing this aspect of the Holy Spirit’s work in our salvation encourage you?

Lordship NOW- reflecting on Mack Stiles CROSS talk


Is there anything special about a plane trip that puts sanctification in overdrive so that you land on the mission field living your life surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus?  Mack closed his talk by saying, “No.”  

We must hate, confess, and turn from sin NOW. We must love, treasure, and obey Jesus NOW.  Or we won’t do it then. 

So don’t wait!  Behold the glory of God in His word.  See your sin and Jesus’ beauty in this light.  Pursue Him as your greatest treasure right now!

What are some ways you can practically cultivate your walk with Jesus now?  What sin have you made friends with here that you need to put to death, before it kills you?

What thoughts did this talk stir up in you?

Am I Called to Go? Reflecting on the panel discussion at the CROSS Conference

“Am I called to go to an unreached people group?”  If you’re asking, take it serious because not everyone asks this question. Here are some things to do as you wrestle with this question…

  • Be in the word.  Hear God’s heart for His glory among the nations and get used to His voice so you can recognize Him when He directs you. 
  • Seek God in prayer. With humility, surrender, and desperation seek the Lord asking Him to lead you in His ways!  Be prepared for this to take a significant amount of time, the Lord wants you to know Him deeper through this journey. 
  • Learn more about the needs.  What people groups are still unreached?  Where are they? What can you find out about their culture and history?  See how the Lord directs you to respond to the need. 
  • Expose yourself to opportunities.  Can you begin building relationships with people from that region of the world right where you are?  Eat with them at their restaurants.  Pray for them using resources like JoshuaProject.net.  Is there a short term option to go and experience life there?
  • Ask others.  But be selective whom you listen to. Are the people telling you not to go people who have a heart gripped by a passion for the glory of Jesus all over the world?  If so, pay attention. If not, don’t be surprised. Does your local church support you in this direction?  Have your brothers and sisters in Christ confirmed gifts you have and encouraged you to pursue this?

As the panel discussion shows there isn’t a cookie cutter approach to identifying God’s call on a person’s life to go as a missionary to an unreached people group.  As you start down the path charted above if your desire to go continues to increase even as the sacrifice becomes more clear, you may find that what seemed like a random thought one day about going to an unreached people group was planted in your heart by the God who is sending you and will be with you every step down this hard and joyful path ahead. 

Our Authority to Make Disciples- Reflecting on Kevin DeYoung’s CROSS Talk

Where does our authority come from to “Go, make disciples of all nations”?

Kevin skyhows us that all throughout Matthew’s Gospel people are astonished that Jesus spoke with such “authority”.  He has authority because of who He is: the Eternal Son of God.  This theme of Jesus’ authority builds and builds until it reaches the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20.  And Jesus says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.”

Now, the One with all authority gives us a command: make disciples of all nations.  Implicit in his command, Jesus grants us a certain authority to do what He has commanded us to do.  We have a derived authority, because we are being sent by the One who has all authority.  Therefore, we can have confidence to go to our neighbors and confidence to go to any people group on the planet with the glorious news that “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name (than Jesus) under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

Even more, Jesus not only sends us but He concludes this command with a promise: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  What boldness does this command and promise combo instill in our hearts?  What fears and obstacles stand in your way to sharing Christ this week?  How are those fears and obstacles impacted by the knowledge that we have a derived authority to go and that we are going with the One who has all authority?  Let’s GO!

The Glory of Jesus as Fuel for Missions, Reflecting on Trip Lee’s talk at Cross Conference

What is going to send and keep a missionary in a hard and dangerous place? A big paycheck? Fame? No, it is the firm conviction that everything is about God. God is most important, not my health or happiness. When a person is consumed by the glory of God they see themselves, their difficulties, their gifts, and their calling as ultimately about showing how great and awesome Jesus is!  Are you consumed by yourself or the glory of God, today?

Trip says a helpful test is to recall what you have been daydreaming about. Are you daydreaming about a vacation, job, or relationship? Or, are you daydreaming about a neighbor coming to Christ, a church being planted among an unreached people group, or how family members may see God’s power on display in an area of your present weakness.

One step towards personally engaging an unreached people group with the Gospel could be for us to change what we daydream about. Maybe next time you catch yourself daydreaming about a big birthday cake milkshake, imagine sharing it and the Gospel with a Berber family in Morocco.

Check out Trip Lee’s talk here (it’s the first 27 minutes of the video). Comment below if you have additional thoughts and/or if you have ideas for how to shift our living off of our glory and onto Jesus’.

Missions Monday: Reflecting on the CROSS Conference in Small Bites

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CROSS is a conference that “aims to mobilize students for the most dangerous and loving cause in the universe: rescuing people from eternal suffering and bringing them into the everlasting joy of knowing and worshipping Jesus.”  Are you willing to stick your toe in these dangerous and loving waters with me?

Each Monday over the next several weeks I plan to watch a talk from the CROSS sessions that were recorded in December of 2016.   I’d like to post reflections on these in hopes of stirring conversations, desires, and dreams for the glory of Jesus among the 2.9 billion unreached people presently on the planet.

If you are interested in joining this journey with me, take a moment to check out the website and ask the Lord to soften your heart, send out laborers, save the lost, and glorify His great name in every people group created by and for Jesus!