WE MUST SHOW OUR CHRISTIAN COLOURS

Cooper Kupp’s team, the Los Angeles Rams, ended up winning the Super Bowl, and Kupp was named Most Valuable Player. But regardless of that, even if they’d lost and Kupp had not played well, he says it would have still been his best year in football ever. In fact, in the interview, Kupp says that because of his growth in his walk with Christ, even if his team hadn’t won a single game it still would have been his best year in football ever! (Here’s an article) about Cooper Kupp and his wife Anna Marie. She says, “We have prayed for a season to glorify our Savior Jesus Christ and you are doing just that my lovey.)

C. S. Lewis wrote, “We must show our Christian colours if we are to be true to Jesus Christ.

We cannot remain silent or concede everything away.” Even the Apostle Paul requested that the Ephesian believers “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” (Ephesians 6:19–20, NIV)

If Paul needed prayer for boldness, who doesn’t? When he was given the MVP award Kupp said, “I don’t feel deserving of this. God is just so good…”

In these last days may we be fearless in making the gospel of Christ known so that we may bring glory to God just as Cooper Kupp and his wife Anne Marie are doing.

MAKING AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST

Making disciples is the most important job of any church, and there’s no better tool available than the Bible. Also, the best church model for making disciples is the House or Home Church where one on one exploration of God’s Word is possible and accountability is maintained. The disciple’s job is to help their student:

  • Know Jesus Christ better
  • Connect with and grow in biblical community
  • Apply God’s Word in their daily lives

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.2 Corinthians 5:20

Having discovered from this one verse that we are ambassadors for Christ we then need to be held accountable for what we do with that truth this coming week. This is what discipleship is all about and can best be done in small groups.

Note what Paul says here about how we need to pray for the ambassadors for Christ.

To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.Ephesians 6:18-20

We are in the last days Jesus spoke about in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21) the tribulation that Christians experience during this time Jesus said will be like “birth pains”, the tribulation will increase in intensity to become great tribulation hence we need to pray for all the Saints and particularly ourselves that we will be courageous and stay the course continuing to proclaim the gospel as Paul did even though in chains.

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.” Matthew 24:21-22

HUNGARY DEFENDS BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES AND HELPS THE PERSECUTED

In Hungary preserving Christian values is a government priority, and helping persecuted Christians a moral obligation. “Hungary is a Christian nation,” Tristan Azbej told CBN News. He serves as State Secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians and to hear him talk about Hungary’s national dedication to Biblical principles, is a jaw-dropping experience. “We are trying to implement the social teachings of the Christian faith and the Bible in our policies and part of that is the protection of human dignity, human freedom, and the protection of the sanctity of family and marriage,” he said during an interview in Washington. “Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world,” Azbej explains. “There are 340 million people who are discriminated or threatened or suffering genocidal attacks because of their faith in Christ,” he continues.

Azbej Tristan államtitkár fotó.jpg
State Secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians and  the Hungary Helps Program, Prime Minister’s Office
Vice President of the KDNP – Christian Democratic People’s Party

In 4 years Hungary has supported a quarter-million persecuted Christians, helped reconstruct 67 churches in Lebanon, and completely rebuilt the Christian town of Telskuf in Iraq after it was decimated by ISIS. “900 buildings were damaged. The church was used for target practice by the jihadis,” he explains. Of the 1300 Christian families who fled, 1,000 have returned. Hungary’s approach is simple. Azbej and his team travel to where Christians are hurting and ask to help. Their reception is universal. “They are truly shocked in the good sense that there is someone in the world who is actually caring about their faith.” In the last few months, he’s visited seven countries on four continents. “The fact that someone from the western world is actually asking this question, is important and empowering,” he says.

We caught up with Azbej at the International Religious Freedom Summit held in Washington, where in the future, Azbej hopes more governments follow Hungary’s lead to help the persecuted. Increasingly Hungary faces scrutiny over its traditional values from the European Union and LGBT activists. Tensions flared this summer when Hungary’s parliament passed a law to protect children from exposure to inappropriate sexual, including homosexual content, and to preserve the rights of Hungarian parents to retain sole control over their children’s sexual education. The executive branch of the European Union launched legal action over the law, saying it discriminates against LGBT people. The European Union has given Hungary two months to respond.

“We are seeing a very strong lobby in the European Union to push gender ideology through the European Union directives and the legislation and that’s such a strong initiative that eventually it will be mandatory to be implemented in the member states of the European Union so we have made this measure to protect our whole legal system from that lobby that is completely, completely alien and foreign from the values of the Hungarian people,” Azbej says. His nation’s constitution, adopted in 2011, is consistent with Christian teachings. “We have confirmed in our constitution that the marriage is between one man and one woman, that life has to be protected from conception.” And recently Hungary amended it to confirm a mother is a woman and a father is a man. “This seems to be a strange thing that this is needed to be put in a constitution,” he says.

Beyond the politics, Azbej says through his job, he’s received so much more than he’s given. “I have been meeting with true heroes of the faith in the persecuted Christian communities and I have gained such a strength from their testimonies, even despite all the threats and humiliation they are facing” he says. “So maybe it’s not us western Christians supporting the persecuted brothers and sisters in the Middle East and Africa, they are supporting us. They have a message to keep our faith, to keep our identity in Christ,” he continues. It’s a message Hungary is taking to heart. As Azbej shows the love of Jesus to his nation’s Christian brothers and sisters suffering around the world. “In our department, we never had any motivational problems because all my colleagues are fully understanding the importance of this mission,” he says.

Source CBN

DISCIPLESHIP – AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST

Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again?” It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” Matthew 5:13

Disciples today would do well to remember that they run the risk of uselessness in the Lord’s mission if they relegate themselves to the shelf and not, in appropriate ways, apply themselves in the very contexts in need of their salty presence (that is, salty as defined here in Matthew’s gospel).

The disciple’s presence is required throughout the earth, especially in those areas running the risk of spoiling or in the bland corners in need of life-giving flavor. In fact, it is precisely in the unsavory and/or rotting contexts where salt is most necessary.

Following this salty comment, Jesus introduces another word picture:

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).

Notice that both here and in the instruction given about salt earlier that the entire world is in view. Jesus tells his disciples they are the “salt of the earth” and here he says that they “are the light of the world” With this big picture in mind Jesus continues by suggesting that the light given off by a city set on a hill is fairly conspicuous to the surrounding areas that are more in the dark. Light from such a city is an especially powerful presence amid darkness, providing illumination, perspective, and, perhaps, guidance to those in the darkness. Disciples have not been given the light of Christ (John 1:4; 8:12) to keep for themselves or to only turn on in the safety of their carefully insulated spheres of influence. Instead, Jesus demands:

Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Those who need to see this will not happen upon life and truth-giving light by accident. Light must shine where it can be seen (in the shadows) so that those in the dark might be directed to the Father in heaven and potentially bring him glory. Unfortunately, many are choosing to shine their light only in well-lit and more comfortable areas, neglecting, as Jesus encourages here, to shine what they have been given where it is most needed—in the darkness.

Peter provides a good summary for us: we are ambassadors that need to proclaim His excellencies, His Gospel. Our conduct must be above reproach and we do good deeds so that God is glorified.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light...
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
1 Peter 2:9-12

PRAYER, HOLY SPIRIT AND BOLDNESS

Another important message for the last days church from Francis Chan and David Platt.

Are we truly taking Jesus command to tell the good news to at least our circle of family and friends? We are all ambassadors of Christ, so need to be equipped to share our testimony and a simple presentation of the Gospel message.

Can I suggest one Gospel presentation that you can give on your mobile phone. It is called the Way of Life, go to http://www.thewayoflife.com.au to download it. This is just one of many that are available but I know this one has proved to be effective at least here in Australia.

Please let me know what you have found to be effective. Blessings, Ron