Archive for: August, 2014

Compassion Births Urgency

Aug 25 2014 Published by under Evangelism, Ministry, Missions

By Rev. Nick Alfaro

IMG_9038I recently spoke with a pastor from India who shared about the work of the Christian church in his country. I was very excited to hear the wonderful testimonies of how God was moving in a powerful way in India. This brought to mind a similar move of God in the church in Mexico while I was growing up. I longed in my spirit to have a move of God like that here at home.

I suddenly remembered the words “CRISTO VIENE” (translated “CHRIST IS COMING”) written in all caps, in red paint, displayed across the hood of my dad’s white van while I was growing up in Mexico. For some reason I shared this memory with the pastor from India. He then told me that he also has a similar message written on his church van in India. I believe this message speaks to the urgency that both my parents and this Indian pastor sensed in reaching the lost.

I believe that to effectively reach this world for Christ, we must have an urgency for the lost.

I believe that compassion for the lost births the urgency that compels us to pray, give, and go.

In 1947, a man named Robert Pierce, a Youth for Christ worker, departed for China to hold an evangelistic crusade in the country. On the trip, he met Tena Hoelkedoer, a teacher. She introduced him to a child named White Jade, who had been beaten and abandoned by her family upon her decision to follow Christ at his crusade. Unable to care for the child herself, she asked Pierce, “What are you going to do about her?” Pierce gave the woman his last five dollars and agreed to send the same amount each month to help the woman care for the child.

While in China, Pierce saw widespread hunger. He felt compassion for the people. Robert Pierce turned his personal crusade into the foundation of World Vision, now one of the largest Christian relief and development organizations in the world. He later wrote these words in the flyleaf of his Bible: “Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.”

  • Matthew 9:36 states that when Jesus “saw the crowds, he had compassion on them.”
  • Jeremiah 8:21 states “Since my people are crushed, I am crushed.”

Robert Pierce saw the widespread hunger in China. Jesus saw the crowds as sheep without a shepherd. Jeremiah saw the coming destruction of God’s people. All three were moved by intense compassion and were compelled by urgency to do something about it.

Compassion for people will birth in us an urgency to share Christ with the over 4 billion people on earth that have not yet had an adequate witness of Jesus Christ. Compassion for people will birth in us an urgency to reach some of the estimated 30 million people worldwide who will die without knowing Christ this year.

I challenge you to ask God to break your heart with the things that break His, to give you an urgency to reach the lost and to fill you and empower you with His Holy Spirit.

 

Rev. Nick Alfaro serves as the Director of Hispanic Ministries for Global University, and as the Hispanic Ministries Pastor at Nixa First Assembly of God, Nixa, MO. He can be reached at nalfaro@globaluniversity.edu.

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A Huge Difference

Aug 04 2014 Published by under Leadership, Life

By Rev. Doug Clay

DClayI have heard it said that the only disability in life is a bad attitude. Well, whether that is true or not, I believe you will agree with me that attitude makes a big difference.

The Bible says there is a connection between our attitudes and the rest of our lives.

Proverbs 23:7a

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.

I certainly don’t believe we just think into existence anything we want, but I do believe our thoughts can produce a good attitude and a good attitude can get you through even the worst of circumstances.

So, whether or not your “attitude determines your altitude” as some claim, I am convinced a good attitude can . . .

  1. Keep you positive when the environment around you is negative.

Psalm 37:5-7, The Message

Open up before God, keep nothing back; he’ll do whatever needs to be done: He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon. 7 Quiet down before God, be prayerful before him. Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder, who elbow their way to the top.

  1. Give you hope when you feel hopeless.

Romans 15:13, The Message

Oh! May the God of hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!

  1. Help you keep things in proper perspective.

Colossians 3:1-2, The Message

So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective!

Make a commitment today to have a good attitude. After all, a good attitude can help you make a great day!

 

Rev. Doug Clay serves as the General Treasurer of the Assemblies of God. He can be reached at dclay@ag.org.

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