Christian commitment: "My colors"

"Once a person is redeemed, if scripture and prayer don't light their fire, their wood is wet."
   — Cora B., Nazarene Bible College student

Do you know what it means to sacrifice?

Read this statement by an African pastor.

This moving testimony of a martyr was found among his papers in Zimbabwe after he was killed for his Christian faith.

I'm a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His, and I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I'm done and finished with low-living, sight-walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, or rewarded. I live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by the Holy Spirit's power.

My face is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heaven. My road may be narrow, my way rough, and my companions few, but my guide is reliable, and my mission is clear.

I will not be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed.

I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice or hesitate in the presence of the adversary. I will not negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ.

I am a disciple of Jesus. I must give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He does come for His own, He'll have no problems recognizing me. My colors will be clear!

This vibrant declaration of Christian commitment comes from Dr. Nina Gunter. She got it from veteran missionary Louise Robinson Chapman (Africa: 1920-1940).

"To read the stories about the Church being alive and growing where governments have tried to snuff it out (or when there was no expectation of growth) is exhilarating." -- Esther S., Nazarene Bible College student

Bill Drake led worship for large group gatherings at a university in California. One day, Operation Mobilization leader George Verwer came to campus to speak. Here's, from the Operation Mobilization website, is Drake's account of what happened:

"I thought I might impress him by playing some of Keith Green's music. As I left the piano, Verwer caught me in front of 3000 people by saying, "Young man, you probably ought not to be singing songs like that unless you're prepared to back it up with your lifestyle."

To say the least, I was embarrassed and humbled. I liked singing about obedience and holiness, but until then, it hadn't crossed my mind that there is no true worship without obedience -- which for a disciple of Jesus means being involved in His kingdom."

Let's make a covenant together

pointing arrow A large group of believers meeting in Orlando, FL, was challenged to affirm a covenant. [ read the covenant ]

A mini-essay from Engage magazine

"The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." -- Luke 19:10

5. Lost people matter to God

"Lost people matter to God, and so they must matter to us." -- Keith Wright, Nazarene pastor and district superintendent

When was the last time you heard impassioned intercessory prayer for lost people? Probably far too long ago. That lost people matter to God is clear from the pages of the Bible. For instance, the story of Jonah is about how a foreign city of lost people mattered to God and about how much God wanted those lost Ninevites to matter to Jonah as well.

Jesus used the occasion of a journey through foreign territory (Samaria) to say to His disciples, "Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest" (John 4:35). Clearly, reaching lost people is not a multiple choice thing where we can say, "I choose Option A. I'll care about these lost people in my neighborhood. Let someone else choose Option B and care about the lost people elsewhere in the world who have no access to the gospel."

Missionary strategists tell us there are huge groups of unreached people in cities and countries around the world. Shouldn't our hearts be burdened for them? Those people matter to God. They should matter to us.

The "lost people matter to God" phrase appears in the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination's statement of core values.

Do our hearts yearn for people everywhere to hear the Gospel? Do our prayers reflect that yearning? Does our giving reflect that yearning? Do the actions we urge fellow believers to take reflect that yearning?

"I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak." -- Ezekiel 34:16

Discussion questions

  1. Why do you think it's important for Christians to care about spiritually lost people?
  2. In what practical ways can Christians show that lost people matter to them?
  3. How can Christians balance caring for lost people in their local communities with caring for lost people around the world?
  4. How do you think Christians can effectively communicate the Gospel's message to spiritually lost people?
  5. In what ways do you think churches can better prioritize reaching lost people, both locally and globally?

    -- Howard Culbertson,

More mini-essays in the "Slogans that awakened the Church" series

The problem in world evangelism? A serious lack of passion

"Let us be satisfied with nothing else than leaving the deepest mark on our generation." -- John R. Mott

"Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you." -- 2 Timothy 1:6

Is there enough passion?

"The question before us is this:
Is there enough passion in the soul of the church to carry this holiness message to the peoples of this world?
When it is all said and done: If we lose our passion, we lose our movement."

    -- Jim Diehl, former Nazarene general superintendent

More for you on reaching the lost

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"The hatred directed towards missionaries, once so loudly sustained by anthropologists and various skeptical' literary types has mostly abated, and there has been growing awareness of all the secular' good that missions do and have done. The remaining anti-mission sentiments are mainly within the liberal denominations which no longer could send out any missionaries even if they wanted to, being unable to motivate sacrifice with their tepid faith." -- Rodney Stark, sociologist, in an interview published in Missiology

Internet missions resources