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Green Pastures and Still Waters

I have a four-year-old grandson with some health problems.  Recently he was telling me about a blood test that he experienced.  I asked him if it hurt and he said, “Yes, but I got a cookie for being brave I did.”  It’s amazing what a kid will do for a cookie!  Palm Sunday is this weekend and while we think about crowds and palm branches and the singing of “Hosanna,” we should also be thinking about courage and bravery.  If we think that Jesus rode into town on a donkey with the idea that He would be crowned King, we have not been reading the Bible.  He knew what would happen when He came to Jerusalem.  He announced it to His disciples’ numerous times.  He was not a hapless victim.  He went to Jerusalem with a clear understanding of what would happen and why.  Such a commitment to the Father’s plan says something about Him that would be worth your meditation.  It also says something about you!  The reason Jesus courageously went to Jerusalem in spite of the reality of death was for you!  His strong love took Him there.  “But God commends His love toward us in this way, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Our Savior-King is worthy of worship, praise, honor, power and glory.  He went to the cross and laid down His life to save us.  The next time you think “brave,” think Jesus Christ!

When we talk about “missions” at Calvary, we are referring to the practice of participating in the on-going proclamation of the gospel beyond our own borders.  It is God’s desire that “all people be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.”  It is very easy to be preoccupied with our own zip code and forget that there are still people that need to know what we know.  We have been studying the letter to the Thessalonians.  Remember, their hearing of the gospel came on Paul’s second missionary journey.  The church in Antioch sent Paul and others with the express purpose of proclaiming and explaining the gospel message to those who had not heard.  The people in Thessalonica heard the gospel and believed!  However, it didn’t take long for confusion and trouble to set in.  Timothy reported the situation to Paul.  Paul, led by the Spirit, wrote two letters to clarify and help these new believers.  Missions includes both evangelism and discipleship/follow-up.  When Jesus commissioned us to make disciples, it included, “teaching them to obey everything He taught.”  This part is often missed.  That failure has sometimes been referred to as “The Great Omission.”  In other words, people are brought to conversion…or new birth, but then are left to wallow around in error and infancy because training and growth were omitted.  Our Missions Task Force endeavors to keep a balanced approach in our global commitment.  We want to support partners that are proclaimers, builders, trainers and equippers.  For this reason, we have three different categories within missions.  Missionaries, Missional Partnerships and National Missional Partnerships.  Missionaries are the “sent-ones.”  Missional Partnerships assist in the sending.  National Partnerships are with those who are already on the field.  We are currently praying and searching for more in that last category.  Would you join us in prayer?