My Going Is Your Calling

BibleThis morning I shared some cool thoughts on Luke 10:1-3

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every town and place where He was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.”

Are you following me on Periscope? My username is @craigtowens. If you subscribe, you can see these types of broadcasts live. But, not to worry, I have uploaded it here as well…

Links & Quotes

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“God is not merely mending, not simply restoring a status quo. Redeemed humanity is to be something more glorious than unfallen humanity would have been, more glorious than any unfallen race now is (if at this moment the night sky conceals any such). The greater the sin, the greater the mercy: the deeper the death, the brighter the re-birth.” —C.S. Lewis

“Zeal for God feeds itself upon the thought of the eternal future. It looks with tearful eyes down to the flames of Hell and it cannot slumber: it looks up with anxious gaze to the glories of Heaven, and it cannot but bestir itself. Zeal for God thinks of death, and hears the hoofs of the white horse with the skeleton rider close behind. Zeal for God feels that all it can do is little compared with what is wanting, and that time is short compared with the work to be done, and therefore it devotes all that it has to the cause of its Lord.” —Charles Spurgeon

“For those who know the sound of a Goliath, David gives us this reminder: Focus on giants—you stumble. Focus on God—your giants tumble.” —Max Lucado

Frank Viola has some excellent thoughts for Christians to respond to the narrative of the culture.

Porn surveyFight The New Drug shares the results of a survey of pornography actresses, that shows their lifestyles are highly unhealthy compared to the general population. Read the full article here. Here is the important takeaway: If you are watching porn, you are keeping these young ladies in bondage to these destructive habits.

Jeffrey Kranz at the Overview Bible Project has a great infographic to help us all understand why publishers sometimes change an English translation of the Bible. (And while you’re there, check out all the other great resources on the Overview site.)

Oswald Chambers On Prayer

Oswald ChambersSome great quotes from Oswald Chambers on prayer…

“Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves; the Bible idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.” —Oswald Chambers

“It is impossible to conduct your life as a disciple without definite times of secret prayer.” —Oswald Chambers

“Prayer is not simply getting things from God, that is a most initial form of prayer; prayer is getting into perfect communion with God.” —Oswald Chambers

“The men with God’s ‘go’ in them have these three characteristics—a saving experience, the evidence of supernatural power at work, and the spiritual efficacy of success in prayer.” —Oswald Chambers

“God never hears prayer because a man is in earnest; He hears and answers prayer that is on the right platform—we have ‘boldness to enter into the holy place by the blood of Jesus,’ and by no other way. It is not our agony and our distress, but our childlike confidence in God.” —Oswald Chambers

Salty Disciples

The hope of gloryWho are Christ’s disciples? Is it only the people who walked Earth at the same time and place as Jesus? Was it an exclusive club of the 12 men Jesus selected as His apostles? Can anyone be a disciple of Jesus Christ?

Great questions!

First of all we must know that discipleship is not something we DO; it’s who we ARE. We have to start thinking of discipleship like a job search, where we need to have the right education and experiences that will build up our spiritual resume, and then Jesus will “hire” us to be one of His disciples.

We do the being, and Jesus does the preparingAnd Jesus said to them, Come after Me and BE My disciples, and I will MAKE you to become fishers of men (Mark 1:17, AMP). We are to just BE with Jesus, and being with Him will prepare us to be made into something else.

We don’t negotiate with Jesus on how much time we can give Him. We don’t say, “As soon as I get through this busy time in my life I’ll follow you” or “After the kids are grown, then I’ll have more time for you” or “As soon as I get my business situation taken care of.” Jesus wants us to come to Him just as we are right now—Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be My disciple. (Luke 14:33, MSG)

As a disciple of Jesus we don’t try to act a certain way, we simply AREYou ARE the salt of the earth… (Matthew 5:13). We can do this because of the Atonement (or as Oswald Chambers says, the “at-onement”). You are in Christ, and He is in you—when God sees you, He sees Jesus; when others see you, they see Jesus. 

Here’s the amazing thing: God wants to use you to show Jesus to others. God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ IN you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).

Make it your goal to simply be with Christ, and then be prepared for His God’s glory to be on display in you. You will then BE salt and light to a needy world!

Links & Quotes

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“We know that God’s being is perfect, His essence infinite, His dominion absolute, His power unlimited, and His glory transcendent.” —Charles Spurgeon

“A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished from its edges.” —Benjamin Franklin

“We will do most good for this world by keeping a steadfast freedom from its beguiling attractions. We will serve our city best by getting our values from the ‘city which is to come’ (Hebrews 13:14). We will do our city most good by calling as many of its citizens as we can to be citizens of the ‘Jerusalem above’ (Galatians 4:26). Let’s live so that the natives will want to meet our King.” —John Piper

Anyone who works with kids (parents, teachers, coaches) should check out Mark Merrill’s list of 9 things not to say to children.

Matt Chandler says, “sex can be about the Gospel, if we’re mindful enough to make it so.” Read more of his post The ‘Good News’ About Sex.

Eric Metaxas shares an alarming statistic: An astonishing 70,000 children are kidnapped by gangs every year in China! Check out the worldview that contributes to this.

Some amazing pro-life news: doctors have discovered how to counteract the effects of RU-486 (the abortion-inducing drug) and save the lives of unborn babies!

[VIDEO] John Piper’s Look At The Book series is a great in-depth Bible study. Here is part 1 in this series about anxiety—

Links & Quotes

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“To some Christians today, this world is not a sinking ship or a world reserved for fire. It is an international capitol building overrun with undesirables whom these believers plan to kick out. They will then take their place, renovating and governing it all themselves. Such thinking is symptomatic of a dying love for Jesus and a clinging to this world!” —David Wilkerson

“Some of my best men are women!” —William Booth

Did you know: Babies in the womb have beating hearts at only 21 days gestation, detectable brain waves at roughly 42 days, and can suck their thumbs and yawn?

Frank Turek is exactly right: Sex Is The New Religion.

“For decades social science has found that there is an optimal family structure for a child’s intellectual, emotional and physical flourishing:  being raised in a home by her biological, married parents. All other arrangements—cohabiting biological parents, marriage with one step-parent, two adoptive parents or single parents—do not generally provide the same level of benefit.” Read more in this post about children raised by same-sex parents.

ImpressionHopefully none of my pastor friends ever do this!

Good reminder from John Maxwell: How Do You Become A Successful Failure?

Important health news: What stress does to your body.

Links & Quotes

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“The Lord has many lovers of His crown but few lovers of His Cross.” —Thomas á Kempis

Charles Spurgeon on the power of unity: No Bigotry In Unity.

David Witt asks: Is It Time To Rethink Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs?

“The degree of blessing enjoyed by any man will correspond exactly with the completeness of God’s victory over him.” —A.W. Tozer

Dr. Benjamin Mast has a lot of initials after his name (which means he’s really smart!). Check out this interview with him: Alzheimer’s, The Brain and The Soul.

Here is an amazing admission from scientists regarding stem cell formation: “No one, not even the dozen or so groups of scientists who intensively study reprogramming, knows how it happens. They understand that differentiated cells go in, and pluripotent cells come out the other end, but what happens in between is one of biology’s impenetrable black boxes.” Read more in this article about stem cells, but I am glad I can trust the Creator to reveal to us what may be in “the black box”!

I love ReverendFun cartoons! Here is one of my favorites—

Eternal Life

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