Posted January 31, 2014 by tangiblethoughts
Categories: Uncategorized

Happy Chinese New Year – 2014. The Year of the Horse

chinese new year red

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Seven Basic Commands Of Jesus

Posted July 28, 2013 by tangiblethoughts
Categories: Uncategorized

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The Lord gave Moses and the Nation of Israel the Ten Commandments. The Commandments revealed the holiness of God and provided the people with guidelines for their relationships with Holy God and one another.

Jewish rabbis wrote 613 laws to help the people keep the Ten Commandments. These commandments, while intended for good, only enslaved the people to the Law and provided a basis for people to judge people.

The Bible tells us that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. During the course of His earthly ministry, Jesus gave more than 100 commands to His disciples.

George Patterson, veteran missionary and church planter coach, helps us understand the 100 commands of Christ by saying that seven summarize most of the others.

These seven are:

  1. Change your mind and believe in Me. (Mark 1:14,15; John 14:1-7)
  2. Baptize new believers. (Matthew 28:18-20)
  3. Love God, neighbor, one another, and your enemies. (Mark 12:30,31; John 15:9-14; Matthew 5:43-48)
  4. Pray to God using My name. (John14:10-14; 16:23,24)
  5. Celebrate My death. (Luke 22:17-20; I Corinthians 11:23-26)
  6. Give generously. (Matthew 5:38-42; Luke 6:37,38)
  7. Make others My disciples. (Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 24:36-47)

Listen to George Patterson discuss the Seven Basic Commands of Jesus in this video.

No Priorities

Posted April 17, 2013 by tangiblethoughts
Categories: Church Planting

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“We are doing missions as if there are no priorities.”

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(C. Davis, Perspectives Course speaker, Lesson 13 on Spontaneous Multiplication of Churches)

See my post on “The Great Imbalance”.

“The Great Imbalance”

Posted March 26, 2013 by tangiblethoughts
Categories: Bible, Uncategorized

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“Only 24,000 missionaries out of the Global Evangelical Missionary-force of 253,000 are working within the estimated  8,000 unreached groups. That means that 9 times as many foreign missionaries work within reached people groups than those doing the more difficult work of establishing breakthroughs within unreached peoples.”

Or, to put it another way, 90% of all evangelical missionaries in the world today work with the 11.9% of the world’s population that are professing Christians, the 20.5% of the world’s population who are nominal Christians, and the 27.3% of the world’s population that are non-Christians within reached groups. Only 10% of the world’s evangelical missionaries work among the 40.3% of the world’s population who are non-Christian within unreached people groups. (Perspectives, A Reader, p.543)

In Matthew 24:14, the Lord Jesus Christ said –

“And this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations (“people groups”) and then the end will come.”

If we say that we know Jesus as our Savior …

if we are serious about our faith in and commitment to Him as our Lord, and …

if we are going to be obedient to His will and command to carry the Gospel to all of the people groups of the world so that His Name might be known among them …

we must take a look at the numbers and percentages above, repent of our failure to obey Jesus’ command to disciple all nations (‘people groups”), deny ourselves, and commit ourselves afresh to His use for the fulfilling of the Great Commission, for His glory.

Then, and only then, will the end come.

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Note: I posted this article a couple of days ago, but because of some formatting errors, I have re-written, editted, and re-posted it.

“I’ve Never Gotten Over That”

Posted March 25, 2013 by tangiblethoughts
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I had a very interesting conversation with a 92-year old man the other day.

My son and I were sitting in a doctor’s waiting room when an elderly gentleman, Mr. J. Reed, came into the room. He was accompanied by a care-giver from the assisted living apartments where he lives. The two of them sat across from my son and me.

I could tell that Mr. Reed was watching me as I read and made notes in a book that I had brought to the office with me. When I looked up from my reading, Mr. Reed asked me what I was reading. I showed him the cover of the book and said, “Perspectives”.

“Perspectives on what?”

“Perspectives On The World Christian Movement.”

“That’s a good thing. I’m a Christian”, Mr. Reed said, “but I didn’t start living seriously for Christ until I was in my thirties.”

Mr. Reed then made an amazing statement .

“Jesus died on the Cross for the forgiveness of my sins and He didn’t have to. I’ve never gotten over that.”

“I’ve never gotten over that.”

That statement took a hold of my heart. His words were spoken with tenderness. The tone of his voice was reflective in nature, as if he had been on Calvary’s mount the day when Jesus was crucified. It was as if he was remembering all that the death of Christ meant for him personally through faith – the forgiveness of his sins, relationship with the Father, abundant living, and the hope of glory.

The Spirit used Mr. J Reed’s testimony to speak to my heart, to cause me to reflect on my relationship with God through faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am confident of my salvation through faith in Christ and His finished work on the Cross of Calvary. I have a personal relationship with God the Father, have been invited to join Him in His work on this earth, and know that I will live forever with Him in His glory.

But, the question is: Do I live in daily amazement and wonder of God’s love in Christ as it is demonstrated on the Cross. Can I say with Mr. Reed, “I have never gotten over that.”?

During this Easter season, let us ask the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts once again about what Christ’s death on the Cross means for and to us. Let us ask Him to stir within our hearts and lives a deeper love for Him and a deeper devotion and commitment to living lives of sacrifice and service for His glory.

Year of the Snake

Posted February 9, 2013 by tangiblethoughts
Categories: China

Tags: ,

Happy Chinese New Year – Year of the Snake

Chinese New Year 20135

I-5 Evangelism

Posted January 21, 2013 by tangiblethoughts
Categories: Bible, Books, Uncategorized

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In Any-3: Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime, Mike Shipman shares five insights into the character of Jesus’ evangelistic ministry. These insights, drawn from Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:7-38), will serve us well as we seek to obey the Great Commission to share the Gospel and make disciples of all the “nations”, beginning in our Jerusalems.

The first characteristic of Jesus’ evangelistic ministry that Shipman points out is intentionality. Jesus was Intentional about Woman at the Well 1886everything that He did during the course of His life and ministry, including His evangelism. Mike writes that …

“The witness who understands the gospel and is willing and prepared to share it will have opportunities to do so. God will connect such a witness with people who need to hear the gospel, many of whom He has already prepared to receive it.”

“Christians who plan to share the gospel do so much more often than those who passively ‘wait for the Spirit to lead them.'”

“Prepare to share the gospel. And then make a plan to spend time where lost people are with the intention of sharing the gospel with them.” 

 Jesus was very Informal when engaging people evangelistically.

“Most of Jesus’ witnessing experiences occurred in the course of everyday life. Rather than waiting for a formal religious setting, Jesus witnessed informally.”

“The best place to witness is wherever you meet people.”

” … if anyone, anywhere in the world invites you to sit down and talk, what they are usually saying is, ‘Share the gospel with me.'”

Mike writes that “Jesus never acted condescending or condemning” when ministering evangelistically. “Instead, he was Interactive and engaging.”

Discussing this third characteristic of Jesus’ evangelistic approach to ministry, Shipman notes that Jesus spoke seven times and the woman spoke six times during their conversation at the well. He did not dominate the conversation; His style was interactive. It is also noted that the early tone of Jesus was gentle and relaxed when He began His conversation with the woman, but the tone of the conversation did became tense when the woman came under conviction because of her sin. When tension does enter the evangelistic exchange,

“Let the Holy Spirit do the work of conviction, while the witness helps to guide the person to the truth.”

“People are rarely won to Christ through arguments no matter how persuasive they may be. Instead, focus of giving a simple, loving presentation of the gospel.”

 Initiative characterized Jesus’ approach to evangelism. Mike shows us that Jesus not only initiated the conversation with the Samaritan woman, He guided the conversation to its intended goal. That goal was her decision to receive Christ as her Savior and transformer of her life.

The fifth and final characteristic of Jesus’ evangelism method that Mike Shipman observes in Any-3 Jesus’ encounter with the Woman at the Well is that Jesus Introduces people to the Messiah.

“Sharing biblical truths is good, but if we fail to introduce the Messiah, we have missed the heart of the gospel.”

” … the gospel has the power to save. For this reason, the gospel should be the primary message the witness shares.”

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If the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ truly is good news, those of us who are believers in Him should be eager to share the message of God’s love and forgiveness in our Savior with those who need to know Him personally. While many studies, programs, and courses have been written and designed to train and equip us for evangelism, there is no better preparation and equipping for the work than to study and follow the life, example, and teaching of Jesus Christ.

He was Intentional about the sharing of the Gospel. He was Informal, or relational. He Interacted and had exchanges with people. He took the Initiative in connecting with people and sharing the Good  News. And, He Introduced people to the Messiah and called them to make a personal decision to accept His as their Savior.

May we live an evangelistic life-style and may it be characterized by the evangelistic traits of Jesus.

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The painting above: Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the Well by Henryk Sieiradzki, 1886.