Friday, April 12, 2013

The Purpose Driven Life - Day 38

Day 38 - Becoming a World-Class Christian

Pastor Rick teaches that we first must make the choice if we are going to be a Worldly Christian or a World-Class Christian.  

Worldly Christians are those who essentially live and pray for themselves. They are restricted by the thoughts of their own little world. They are only concerned with their own financial well being, their own health, their own family and friends. And they are not as concerned with the rest of the world. Really, just using God for their own self-centered purposes. Not looking beyond the scope of their own backyard.

World-Class Christians are deeply concerned with every person on the planet. They understand that as God loves every human being, so must they. "God so loved the world ....."  World-Class Christians understand that they were saved to serve. They were not saved to puff up their chests and go about their lives, with a ticket to Heaven safely tucked in their back pocket like a pending cruise. There is work to be done. 

The first step is to make the shift from 'self-centered' thinking, to 'other-centered' thinking, by realizing that there is a big world out there - beyond your own personal neighborhood. And every member of the world is loved by God. And God wants all of His children to be saved. God wants all of His children to know Christ and to come home. If there are unbelievers - or people who just don't know - just have not heard the Good News .. God wants you to reach out to them. To share the Good News.  One way to begin 'other-centered' thinking is with breath prayers, which we looked at in earlier chapters. When you are watching the news, or reading the paper, or hear of people in crisis in another part of the world, begin by praying for them. Pray for their safety. Pray that they may know the love of the Lord. Pray that they may be saved. Pray for those who are suffering. Pray for those who hunger. Pray for those who are oppressed.  The idea is opening up your mind to a broader scope of realization that as God's messenger, you are expected to have love in your heart for everyone. Whether you know them or not.

This is also the beginning of Global Thinking. By making a point of watching global access news such as CNN, take the time to see what is happening on the other side of this planet you so enjoy. Take the time to pray for those who are living in third world countries. Those who are suffering war or natural disasters, poverty and disease. 

The Bible says: "From one person God made all nations who live on earth, and He decided when and where every nation would be. God has done all this, so that we will look for Him and reach out and find Him."   Pastor Rick urges that if you are able, you should sign up for short-term mission trips. For being hands on is the only way you can truly understand the need, and in being there you will also see the progress and results of those who have begun to hear the Good News.  Jesus said: "You will tell everyone about Me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, and in Samaria, and everywhere in the world."  Meaning that you are to reach out to your community (Jerusalem), to your country (Judea), to other cultures (Samaria), and to other nations (everywhere in the world). Pastor Rick points out that this commission is simultaneous and not sequential.  

Of course, not everyone is able to jump on a plane and fly off to the other side of the planet. There are many ways in which you can be a part of a mission trip without physically going yourself. Just like in any production, no matter how good the actors on stage are - they are nothing without the behind the scenes crew.  You can donate funds to help pay for missionaries to go abroad. You can help with funding for supplies. You can help by volunteering to organize the mission. To pack supplies. Be an administrator of the logistics. Help by serving the families of members who are on the mission. Prayer for the missionaries. Prayer for a successful mission. Additionally, you can take advantage of the times we now live in, and realize that no longer do we need to jump on a plane in order to reach others across the planet. We now have the Internet. You can write. You can join small groups and share the Word of God with unbelievers. Reach out to organizations across the planet. All you have to do is start thinking of ways to make a difference. The e-vangelistic possibilities are endless.

Ask God to use you for His purposes. Think of it as writing a blank check. Sign off on it and ask God to fill in the details. He will use you for His purposes. And you will be inspired to think of and serve all of His people. 

"Send us around the world with the news of your saving power and your eternal plan for all mankind." - Psalm 67:2 (LB)