We have our fingers on the pulse of modern missions. Mission work is changing rapidly as the world's cultures and global conditions are changing. Ease of travel and communication impact how the Gospel is spread. But at the heart of missions, there is the work of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the obedience of the Church to carry out Jesus' command to go into all the earth.
We want to present challenging biblical truths, insights into today's missions environment, and progress reports on reaching the entire world with the Gospel. Please keep checking our blog regularly for updates, stories and challenging thoughts from Scripture!
Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord's kindness. 1 Peter 2:2-3 (NLT)
None of us like to hear the cries of a hungry child, especially a newborn. We are so relieved when the cries turn into the gentle sounds of feeding. At first, their tiny stomach fills on just a few ounces, then it takes an entire bottle and eventually several bottles a day!
Peter reminds us that spiritual hunger is similar to that of a newborn's hunger for milk. I am not going to startle you with pictures of starving children with swollen bellies. I am simply going to share with you that there are approximately 5,000 new believers coming to Christ in Cambodia every month! These new believers are gathered in small group Bible studies learning to be nourished in their faith by the Word of God. Our ministry partners in Cambodia have requested 10,000 New Testaments as soon as possible.
By the grace of God, most of us enjoy a virtual "Bible buffet" everyday with multiple Bible versions sitting on our shelves and many more available on our smart phones. The newborn believers of Cambodia only ask for a single copy of their own. How can we sit by and listen to the cries of these new believers for God's Word and not be moved to action? Please help with this critical need.
By Bob Craft
Hebrews 12:2 (NIV) Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith...
Colossians 3:1-2 (NIV)
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Keeping your eyes on the road ahead is becoming harder and harder as new technologies allow instant communication and entertainment to appear in the palm of you hand, even while driving. The statistics reflect how dangerous these distraction have become. In some cases the distractions are fatal.*
As sad as this is for highway safety, I see a dangerous trend among Christians as it also becomes easier and easier to take our eyes off of Jesus and off of the mission He has given us.
I like Facebook and I enjoy my smartphone as much as anybody. But as one who travels a lot, I can tell you that many people in terminals and on planes are glued to their devices. There is less and less communication going on between people who are sitting next to each other. They are texting, watching videos, playing games and have very little eye contact or conversation with those around them.
It is far too easy to get distracted, taking our eyes off the path that God has called us to. These usually frivolous and meaningless distractions rob our time and our funds for what could have been better spent on God's kingdom and His will for our lives. These distractions can even become fatal to our walk with the Lord as we drift farther off the "road" into oncoming spiritual traffic that Satan sends our way.
As I travel I see an entire generation of young people, of all nationalities, becoming more and more distracted from spiritual things by gadgets and gimmicks. Let us all take stock of our stewardship of our time and attention and keep our eyes on Jesus and His plan for our lives and His love for the world.
By Bob Craft
*Texting While Driving Causes:
1. 1,600,000 accidents per year – National Safety Council
2. 330,000 injuries per year – Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study
3. 11 teen deaths EVERY DAY – Ins. Institute for Hwy Safety Fatality Facts
4. Nearly 25% of ALL car accidents
The Holy Spirit of Christmas
Our world continues to be filled with nations that need a Savior, families that need redemption and individuals that need forgiveness of sins. The coming of Jesus into the world had immediate impact on those who were waiting. It started with spiritual people, relatives of Mary and Joseph, Zechariah a priest in the temple and his wife Elizabeth. They were part of God's plan to prepare the way.
Luke 1:39-45 (NIV)
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"
I love rereading the Scripture passages each year concerning the birth of Christ. The Lord reveals new truth in the details of the story as He teaches us more about Himself and what He has called us to do. Working with front line pastors and church planters in physically harsh and politically oppressive environments around the world has given me opportunity to see conditions very much like existed at the time of the birth of Christ. Sadly, much of the world is still waiting to hear the good news of Christ's coming. More than 1,000,000 villages are still waiting.
But village by village people are hearing the good news of Christ for the first time. Our ministry partners reached over 1000 new villages last year with the good news. What happens when people first hear the living Word of God? The same things are happening which occurred when Christ came into the Judean village of Elizabeth and Zechariah. People are being filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit! God is calling new believers into ministry!
Please pray for the parts of the parts of the world that are still waiting to hear the Christmas story for the very first time.
I grabbed a cab at the airport in Thailand as I always do. After we chatted about the location to where I was headed, my eyes focused on items trapped between glaring sheets of plastic above me. As we rode along, I snapped this picture of the cab interior. It was one of the most elaborate collections that I had ever seen. The headliner was covered with currency from around the world, 9 metal Buddha images dangling from his mirror, multiple small "gods" glued above the driver's head, along with amulets and a poster of half clad night club women (hanging from his headrest facing the customers in the back seat).
He had been driving a cab in Bangkok for several years while having a wife and 3 children still living up country over 200 miles away. He was occasionally able to visit them. His story, as told on the headliner of his cab and in our brief conversation, contained all the reasons why I first chose to go to Thailand as a missionary in 1979. The hardship of life in the countryside, the fear of the "spirits" that have inhabited Thailand from the fall of man, the lifeless idols before which the people bow, the warm and friendly welcome given to strangers and visitors, these are all the things that have compelled me to seek to bring the Gospel to these dear people. There are 59,000 villages in Thailand without a Christian fellowship. They still do not even know that Jesus came and died for them. I shared with this driver that I worshiped the One Creator God who gives me protection and peace. I spoke a blessing in His Name as we parted. Pray for Thailand.
Matthew 24:6 (NLT)
"And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don't panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won't follow immediately."
I was in high school at the height of Vietnam War. I watched the news reports of massive bombings and airstrikes that left deep scars on the face of the earth in the countries of SE Asia. When I turned 18, I was required by law to register for the draft so my name could be placed with tens of thousands of others to face the possibility of being chosen to fight in Vietnam. It was my generation's war. I felt the responsibility to do something!
Almost exactly one year before my 18th birthday, my life was totally changed when I attended a youth revival near my home. I had been a carefree teenager involved with sports, cars and girls. Vietnam was a world away and was none of my immediate concern.