Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"With my God I can leap over a wall: a call to Missional Bravery"

The image of a wall in Scripture usually refers to the division between Jews and Gentiles. For instance, when Joseph found himself in Egypt administrating Pharaoh's dreams, his father said, "Joseph is a fruitful vine whose branches climbed over a wall." It was always God's plan for His gospel to leap over the wall of Jewish nationhood and bear fruit amongst the Gentiles. This verse in Psalm 18 reinforces the same theme with David's conclusion, "I will sing of your name among the Gentiles." (v. 49)  News of God's rescue of David would travel beyond Israel so that God would be worshipped by the Gentiles. Paul reaffirms this theme by quoting verse 49 in Romans 15, concluding, "That the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy." David is so grateful to God for rescuing him, that no obstacle will get in the way of him telling everyone.

What am I saying? I'm saying that this verse is not just about getting over personal obstacles that hinder our spiritual progress, although it may include  that. It's really about leaping over obstacles that get in the way of the advance of the gospel; obstacles like fear, pride, prejudice and comfort. This is a Psalm about missional bravery! And today we will focus our prayer on the advance of the gospel to nations and neighborhoods through bold, grateful, saved people like you and me!   

We should be comforted by Jesus' first disciples' fears and failure in mission. They remind us of us. But the challenge is how brave they became once they had been empowered by the Spirit at Pentecost. We have all received the same Great Commission and have access to the same Spirit of mission that they received.  

This will be our focus today as we pray; that the Spirit would make us brave missionaries in a world increasingly hostile to the gospel of Christ. We are praying for bravery in our own lives, to leap over our own walls of fear, pride, prejudice and comfort, so that the gospel would bear fruit in new territories and new hearts.  

Here are some practical ways to pray about missional bravery today. 

1. For specific people in your life who need Jesus. Opportunities to serve them, talk to them and pray for them. 
2. For our Alpha Course which starts in April, for boldness to invite seekers, and for many to meet Jesus.
3. For gospel fruit from our 'Love Brea,' 'Love Fullerton' 'Love Whittier' initiatives in April, as we serve our cities. 
4. For mercy and justice initiatives like Free OC, Orphan Care in Mexico, Prison Ministry, Villa Plumosa, and Solidarity. 
5. For Daniel and Marcia and the team going to plant a church in Chang Rai, Thailand  this year.
6. For PJ and Ashleigh Smyth, who lead Advance* as they apply for visas to move to Washington D.C, to lead Covenant Life Church. 
7. We are going to be praying for Barry Corey, the president of Biola University tonight. We are going to pray that God would strengthen him to lead Biola in faithfulness to the gospel, kindness towards its detractors, and courage in their stand for religious freedom. I would ask all Southlanders in the Biola fraternity to make  it a priority to be there tonight to pray for him.  

Lord make us brave! 

See you at 5pm for prophetic equipping with Layne Reading, and at 6:30 pm for worship and prayer.

*  Advance is a movement of churches planting churches, with whom we have a primary partnership.  

No comments:

Post a Comment