Category Archives: Mission

The Ascension: A Post-Resurrection Disappearance

Reading time: 4-5 minutes. (This Wide Angle look comes from Acts 1. Verses not otherwise identified by book and chapter are taken from there.) When Jesus was crucified, and his followers had despaired.  When he was raised, they were astounded.  … Continue reading

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A Virtual Fingerprint for Identifying Christians

(Reading time: 3-4 minutes.) I worked for the Ford Motor Company during my college years. One afternoon, I climbed the steps to the paint department, walked through the door into the smoldering heat, and was almost immediately met by another … Continue reading

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The Submission Is for the Mission (1 Peter 3:1-7)

Christian marriage as part of God’s Big Plan. A few years ago, a cartoon was published that showed a pastor behind a pulpit that had been armored so that it was like a fortress. There was something like a gun … Continue reading

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1 Peter 2:9-25: Your Mission If You Decide to Accept It (or not)

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Mission Trips? Go For Those Who Stay

I am just back from the Baja Peninsula. Not Cabo, or Mazatlán, or Acapulco, but Tijuana. We did not go to soak up the sun on a stretch of white sand beach or to get in a few rounds of … Continue reading

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The Kingdom Commission

Earth is in a civil war – a spiritual war, really, though we must understand that spiritual means more than religious, or mystical or emotional. Spirit is un-bodied personal power, and earth is caught in a cosmic struggle between opposing … Continue reading

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I Want to Be Like Bob

I met Bob and his wife about thirty years ago. He was just back in the states after a span of years in an east African country. Bob performed surgeries in a hospital there for people who otherwise would not … Continue reading

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Stumbling Block or Steppingstone?

Follow my example, he says. Live the way I do. Be ready to make personal sacrifices in order to help people come over to Jesus’s side. Everything you do, religious or otherwise, must make God look good – that is, “do it all for the glory of God.”

This involves both a negative (what we should not do) and a positive (what we should do). We do certain things and do not do others based on the impact our actions will have on people who have not yet come over to Jesus’s side.

Paul states what we should not do first (verse 32): “Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks, or the church of God.” Stumbling here and throughout the New Testament, is not just about falling down but about falling away—from God. Our attitudes, actions, and words can make it harder for people to believe in God and confess Jesus Lord. We can cause them to stumble. Continue reading

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Getting Saved: An Old-fashioned Idea?

Isn’t that old fashioned? Nowadays, when someone starts talking about being saved, people cringe. Maybe it’s not racist or sexist but it sounds religionist—and that’s just as bad. Who are you to tell me I need to be saved? For that matter, who are you to tell me I’m not already saved? You are being discriminatory and narrow-minded.

Some people are offended by the idea – not to mention the assertion – that they need to be saved. And they’re offended even though they don’t know what it means to be “saved,” aren’t sure they want to be saved, and have no intention of finding out. They do have a vague idea that being saved is about getting into heaven and they have heard that not everyone is going to get in – and that offends them too. It is a cosmic violation of the Fair Housing Act!
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Telling the Good News: Answering Tough Questions

“Religious people think they are better than everyone else. They are so judgmental. I don’t even want to be around them.”

How do you answer? You go back to Jesus. “I don’t know if you know this, but Jesus felt that way too. The people he liked to hang out with most were the ones religious folks looked down on. When they put them down, Jesus stood up for them.”

Jesus had a lot to say about that too. Check out: Matthew 7:1-6; Mark 2:13-17; Luke 10:3-37 (the story of the Good Samaritan); all of Luke 15; Luke 18:9-14.

Some people say, “You know, I’m just not the religious type.” Whenever someone says that to me, I always respond, “I’m not either.” They can hardly believe it. But then you can go on and say: “And you know what? Jesus wasn’t either.” Then you can tell them about Mark 7:1-13, where Jesus distinguished between religion and knowing and loving God. Religion wasn’t his thing, but he was all about God. You might go on to say that the Bible hardly ever mentions religion – that’s not what it’s all about.

Then you can ask: “What? Did you think Jesus was really religious or something?” You will get their curiosity up. Who knows? That may open the door for further conversations – either with you or with some other person God will send along.
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