God's Marching Orders - "Plant Churches" - Wednesday, November 23rd

God's Marching Orders - "Plant Churches" - Wednesday, November 23rd

Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share. 1 Timothy 6:17-18 

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

We are talking about the necessity of God's mission for the world becoming our central purpose in life. Overcoming self-absorption and developing an outward orientation to the world around us and the people in it is the key to this coming about. However, there is a component of self-absorption that must be addressed if we are going to experience the kind of turn around we are talking about. The component of self-absorption we must deal with is our obsession with material wealth. What a great statement comes to us from the Apostle Paul in today's passage regarding material wealth.

The issue isn't "possession" of wealth, but rather "obsession" with wealth. The person who "fixes their hope on the uncertainty of riches" is obsessed with wealth. In contrast, we are to fix our hope on God, who "richly supplies us with all things to enjoy" and expects us "to be generous and ready to share." The "supply" of wealth that is in our possession is ours both to "enjoy" and "share." This passage gives such a balanced understanding about material wealth. Consider for a moment what it means to be one who fixes their hope on God?

The person who fixes their hope on God is one who trusts God fully and yields themselves to him for a life of doing good and being rich in good works. Making God's mission for the world our central mission gives us the context in which we seek to do good and to be rich in good works. Being generous and ready to share with others out of the supply of material wealth God entrusts to us is essential. Opportunities for being a source of financial blessing come to us by being aware of and sensitive to the needs of people we rub shoulders with on a daily basis, by being aware of and sensitive to the needs of our church, and by being aware of and sensitive to the needs of missionary efforts around the world and here at home.

At the beginning of the week we said we would conclude our Missions emphasis by focusing on the response we will make as followers of Jesus Christ to participate more fully and completely in the opportunities we have for partnering with others in God's mission of reaching the world. Partnering with others in Missions has much to do with our being a financial blessing and now is the time to go for it more than ever before. Sunday’s speaker, Brian Weed, missionary to Nicaragua, shared with us the marching orders Jesus Christ has given us. We saw that the first component of God’s marching orders is “reach the lost.” We saw that the second component of God’s marching orders is “disciple the saved.”

The third component of God’s marching orders is “plant churches.” It is not enough to just “reach” and “disciple.” Those who are reached and discipled must be mobilized to function as the body of Christ and truly become the “church.” The missionary movement in Nicaragua carries out God’s marching order to “plant churches.” When a group of believers truly becomes the church, they become a support center of “faith” for each other and a launching pad for touching their world as they in turn seek to carry out God’s marching orders. Planting churches that in turn plant churches is what Missions is all about.

Each and every one of us at Cape Cod Church has the opportunity to participate as partners with those in this missionary movement who “plant churches” and other similar missionary efforts around the world and here at home where God’s marching orders are taken seriously. What an exciting thing to be partners with those who truly “plant churches” by being a financial blessing like we have never been before. Brian gave us a glimpse of how this marching order is being addressed and fulfilled through the missionary movement in Nicaragua. We have two additional components of our marching orders to consider on Thursday and Friday. But for today, please use the component “plant churches” as a prayer request. After you have allowed today’s prayer response to help you make your own prayerful response to God, please pray, specifically and expectantly, that the work to “plant churches” in Nicaragua would flourish.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, I confess that I have struggled with trusting in material wealth. Deliver me from "obsession" and help me with the proper use of the material wealth that is in my "possession." Thank you for your faithful supply. I ask you to continue your work of making me into a person who participates fully and completely in your mission of compassion to the world. Amen!

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