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Missions Message

Weekly Missions Message

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Missions Message

In our Worship Service last Sunday we were encouraged to become engaged in Christ’s great commission; to go, to support, and to pray for the nations to be evangelized.  There remain hundreds of unreached and unengaged people groups (nations) in the world.  We all can pray.

Please pray daily for unreached peoples.  You can find a list of the remaining unreached people groups online at: https://joshuaproject.net/unreached/1. To receive an email describing an unreached people group daily, such as the one partially copied below, please contact the Joshua Project at: https://joshuaproject.net/pray/unreachedoftheday

 

Weekly Missions Message

By | Missions Message

Missions Message

The first question of the Westminster Larger Catechism and its answer are, “What is the chief and highest end of man?  Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and to fully enjoy him forever.”

God chose his people for his glory: “he chose us before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.  In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace …” .  Ephesians 1:4-6.  God desires for his people to glorify him.

We glorify god by worshipping him and telling of his glorious grace, but there are the people of many nations that have not heard of God’s glorious grace that Jesus secured for those who respond to his gospel in faith.  To prepare for that “great multitude, that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9-10) the Church must pray for the nations and send workers to tell them the good news.

Jesus commanded his disciples, who were the Church, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).  That commission is not yet completed.  Pray for unreached nations and the workers who must go to them with the gospel.

May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!  (Psalm 67:1-3)

Weekly Mission Message

By | Missions Message

Perspectives on the World Christian Movement

When I first participated in the Perspectives Course, I was somewhat interested in missionary activities, but I was primarily seeking to find God’s purpose for my life.  I had been a Christian for several years but did not know what my role in the Church should be.

Because of my casual interest in missions, I enrolled in a Perspectives course hosted by our church in Evansville, Indiana.  As I studied the assignments and heard gifted speakers relate the history of God’s work among the nations. I came to a new understanding of Christ’s commission to the Church (Matthew 28:19-20) to make disciples of all nations, and his statement that the gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14).  That Perspectives Course changed my life and helped me to see what I believe are the good works that God prepared beforehand that I should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).

Since that enlightenment in the early 1990s, I have been involved in global outreach programs by serving on my church’s Missions Committee, the Kazakh Adoption Team, and the Central Asia Team.  I have participated in ten short-term mission trips to Kazakhstan, four to Turkey, and ten to Bolivia.  I currently serve on the Board of Directors of GATHER Network, a missions support organization based in Evansville, Indiana, and on the Blossoming Team (AKA the Missions Committee) of Covenant Presbyterian Church.  I participated in the Perspectives Course for the third time last year in Auburn.

I pray that you will decide to participate in the Perspectives course that begins next Sunday, January 13, at First Baptist Church in Opelika.  The first two sessions are free.  The course will meet each Sunday evening from 5:00-8:00 PM from Jan 13-Apr 28, (excluding Mar 10 and Apr 21.)  You will have the privilege of learning from 14 different speakers over 14 weeks who will challenge and inspire you with their wisdom and experience from all over the world, opening your eyes to a deeper vision of God’s mercy, greatness, and love. All of them are excellent and are passionate about this course.

Find out what your purpose is! It may be sending, welcoming, mobilizing, praying, and yes, even going!

-John Parr

Weekly Missions Message

By | Missions Message

Missions Message

This weeks’ message is extracted from David Platt’s book, A Radical Idea: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God.

How can we in the church best unleash the people of God in the Spirit of God with the Word of God for the glory of God in the world?

As leaders and members of churches, we are called to spur one another toward Christ and his agenda in the world. Throughout the history of humankind, God has chosen to call out not just individuals but a people for himself. He told the Israelites, “I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.” Through Christ, God brought Jews and Gentiles together as “one body” in which “each member belongs to all the others.” Peter told the church, “You are a chosen people, … a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

Indeed, God’s intention is that “through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.” If you and I want our lives to count for God’s purpose in the world, we need to begin with a commitment to God’s people in the church. God has called us to lock arms with one another in single-minded, death-defying obedience to one objective: the declaration of his gospel for the demonstration of his glory to all nations.

Platt, David. A Radical Idea: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God. The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18

Missions Message

By | Missions Message

Missions Message

From the Perspectives Website:

God is passionately committed to the fame of His name to be worshipped among all peoples and He has a “world-sized” role for every Christian in His global purpose. Perspectives on the World Christian Movement will take you on a 15-week journey, looking in-depth at the biblical, historical, cultural and strategic aspects of God’s global plan to reconcile every nation, tribe, people, and tongue to Himself. This class will open your eyes to the heart and purpose of God and how you can take part in His work all over the world. 

You will have the privilege of learning from 14 different speakers over 14 weeks who will challenge and inspire you with their wisdom and experience from all over the world, opening your eyes to a deeper vision of God’s mercy, greatness, and love. All of them are excellent and are passionate about this course.

Find out what your purpose is! It may be sending, welcoming, mobilizing, praying, and yes, even going!

Where: First Baptist Church of Opelika

When: Sunday, 5:00-8:00pm beginning January 13 thru April 28 (excluding March 10 and April 21)

Cost: $260 which includes the Reader and Study Guide

Register by December 9, 2018 to get a $25 Early Bird Discount.

If one family member is already paying the full price, there is a family member discount of $25 for the second family member.

OUR FIRST 2 CLASSES ARE FREE, SO COME CHECK THEM OUT AND BRING A FRIEND! 

Check out this video for a better idea of what Perspectives is and how it impacts lives!

Weekly Missions Message

By | Missions Message

THE BIBLICAL BASIS FOR MISSIONS

The foundational conviction of our missions emphasis is, perhaps, an unexpected one. Certainly, our hope is that people would find salvation through the gospel, that needy people would be put into a right relationship with God for all eternity. But that is actually not our primary purpose. Instead, the ultimate purpose of our efforts is that by expanding His kingdom to the ends of the earth, Christ would be glorified. As one pastor put it:

 All of history is moving toward one great goal, the white-hot worship of God and his Son among all the peoples of the earth. Missions is not that goal. It is the means. And for that reason it is the second greatest human activity in the world.

One of the things God uses to make this truth take hold of a person and a church is the stunning realization that it is also true for God himself. Missions is not God’s ultimate goal, worship is. And when this sinks into a person’s heart everything changes. The world is often turned on its head. And everything looks different—including the missionary enterprise.

The ultimate foundation for our passion to see God glorified is his own passion to be glorified. God is central and supreme in his own affections. There are not rivals for the supremacy of God’s glory in his won heart. God is not an idolater. He does not disobey the first and great commandment. With all his heart and soul and strength and mind he delights in the glory of his manifold perfections. The most passionate heart for God in all the universe is God’s heart.

This truth, more than any other I know, seals the conviction that worship is the fuel and goal of missions. The deepest reason why our passion for God should fuel missions is that God’s passion for God fuels missions. Missions is the overflow of our delight in God because missions is the overflow of God’s delight in being God. And the deepest reason why worship is the goal in missions is that worship is God’s goal. We are confirmed in this goal by the Biblical record of God’s relentless pursuit of praise among the nations. “Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples!” (Psalm 117:1). If it is God’s goal it must be our goal.  (John Piper, Let The Nations Be Glad)

Because the goal of our missions’ effort is God’s glory, we must conclude that our ministry is not for our honor but for Christ’s. This may seem self-evident, but the subtle effects of the very sin conquered through missions can destroy our missions’ ministry. We must take care that we do nothing simply for the sake of our own reputation, or to expand the ministry solely to have a larger program. Everything we do must be motivated by a desire to bring glory to Christ.  (From the Mission to the World website)

 

Weekly Missions Message

By | Missions Message

Mission Message

Hurricane Michael Relief

In addition to our Lord’s commission to the Church (Matthew 24:14, 28:19; Mark 13:10; Luke 24:47) to go and make disciples of all nations, we are also instructed to be instruments of mercy and compassion.  God has commanded us to love our neighbor.  Therefore, we should respond with generosity to human need (Matthew 25:34-40).

Our neighbors in southwest Alabama and northwest Florida continue to suffer in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.  Covenant plans to provide some relief by building Sheds of Hope to deliver as directed by PCA churches in that area.  Your financial giving, above your tithe, can be used to purchase materials for additional Sheds of Hope and other items need to relieve those who have suffered great loss and now might be homeless because of the storm.

Please pray and consider giving to meet these needs.  To give, please make checks to Covenant Presbyterian Church, with “Missions Fund, Michael” on the “for” line.

Weekly Missions Message

By | Missions Message

Voice of the Martyrs

The message below is the introduction to the case of Pastor Andrew Brunson from the Voice of the Martyrs website: http://www.icommittopray.com/request/1605/andrew-brunson/

An American pastor who has been imprisoned for almost a year is now facing espionage charges. Andrew Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for 23 years, was arrested last October and accused of membership in an Islamic terrorist organization. According to World Watch Monitor, he told the court, “I would never support a Muslim movement. I started a church; I am a man of religion who did this with the state’s knowledge. My aim is to tell about Jesus Christ.” Pray for Pastor Brunson and his family. Pray for his release from prison and that his testimony will have a wide-ranging effect on Turkish citizens.

Please pray for Pastor Andrew Brunson and other Christians who are suffering persecution because of their faith.

Weekly Missions Message

By | Missions Message

The Bible as a Missions Story

 

The introduction: Genesis 1-11.

The plot: Genesis 12 through Jude.

The conclusion: John records a scene that has great meaning in light of God’s promise to Abraham, the theme of the Old and New Testaments, the Commandments of Jesus as well as the unfinished narrative of Acts saying,

“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb…” Revelation 7:9

 

It is important to connect what is happening in Revelation with what God started in Genesis 12 in the life of Abraham. God will do it. There will be a representative from every nation, tribe, people, and language bowing and worshipping at His feet. Heaven is multicultural.

God is a missionary God, and from cover to cover He is showing us His mission. This mission is the context of the story of the Bible and the overarching narrative that drives all that God does. Only when we know the context of His story can we understand our purpose in life. God wants to include you as He finishes the final chapters. God has one mission – all nations, and one method – all believers. Will you join Him in bringing a representative from every people group to His throne? It will happen, the only question is will you be a part?

(From The Traveling Team website, http://www.thetravelingteam.org/articles/the-bible-as-a-missions-story)

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14

 

Missions Message

By | Missions Message

Blossoming:  An Outreach Opportunity

 

Auburn Friends of Internationals (FOI) is a network of ordinary Americans who welcome and befriend international students visiting Auburn University to pursue their education.

The FOI Sponsor Program was founded to provide a caring “home away from home” experience for students from other countries who would like to build a friendship with a local family. American families befriend international students to learn from them and to help them as sojourners in our land (These students have their own housing and have passed an English proficiency exam).

Working with local organizations, such as Covenant, FOI recruits American host families and individuals who are interested in sharing life-on-life with an International student or scholar.  Auburn University’s “Auburn Family Friend Program” then signs up the interested International students and scholars and pairs them up with a FOI host family.

Auburn University is home to more than 1600 international students and the number is growing.  This is a special group of people, many of whom are destined to become tomorrow’s world leaders. It has been estimated that in the next 25 years, one-third to one-half of the world’s top leaders in government, business, education and military will be educated in the United States.

The goal of the Auburn FOI program is to reach out to these students and welcome them with kindness and friendship as they spend their time in Auburn.

Next Sunday, July 29, Laura Fuller of Friends of Internationals-Auburn will visit Covenant to encourage members of our congregation to participate in the FOI program by becoming hosts of  international students.

In addition to recruiting FOI hosts, FOI has a couple of practical needs they are hoping to meet in the form of Welcome Basket items for newly arriving international students. Their goal is 80 baskets and they have made a lot of progress toward that goal! Items they still need are lightweight blankets (20 total) and healthy snack items (any quantity). For the blankets, a throw blanket or twin-size blanket is what they have in mind. Something they could cover up with when they sleep or nap, but it doesn’t have to be designed to go on a bed.  Walmart.com has a few options, all under $10 price point.

If you would like to provide blankets or snack items, please contact John Parr, email: johnmparr@gmail.com or telephone: 334 750 0340.