Saturday, November 7, 2009

Know, Grow, Give, GO!

The mission of Midway Church is to produce fully devoted followers of JESUS CHRIST. Midway's strategy is four-fold:

KNOW GOD and His salvation.

How can a "baby" CHRISTian go from infancy to maturity? By immersing him- or herself in the Word of GOD -- our Savior's life instruction manual and His personal "love letter" to each born again believer. By fully trusting that GOD's Word is alive, active, amazing and awesome Truth. By "feeding" on the Word -- the True Bread -- which nourishes the new spirit within and changes the soul from its carnal persuasion to a GODly disposition.

By actively listening and obeying His still, quiet Voice -- the Holy SPIRIT, Who indwells each redeemed sinner at the moment of salvation. By praying, as best as he or she knows talking to Him as one would talk to a friend. By asking GOD daily to be filled with His SPIRIT so that he is enabled by the almighty power and infinite wisdom of the indwelling SPIRIT -- to obey GOD, to be able to discern His voice, to live out the gift of new life, which is the abundant Life of JESUS.

GROW in CHRIST and in fellowship with believers.

How does the fruit of the SPIRIT in Galatians 5:22 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control) grow in the new CHRISTian? Through surrender. Obedience. Denying oneself. By following the example of JESUS. By doing the Word (i.e., Romans 12), not merely reading it as "head" knowledge. By fellowship with other believers through church attendance, Bible studies, involvement in ministries, or personal sharing in small groups. By learning to see GOD's hand in all things, even the hard trusting that He is indeed in control of all Creation, including all the details of our lives...and that He causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)

GIVE of time, talents and treasure.

How does a CHRISTian, new or mature, let go of his (or her) natural desire to keep these things for himself? Here's the "secret" -- the indwelling Holy SPIRIT teaches the believer right desires -- the kind aligned with GOD's will and righteous in His eyes. He changes his heart so that he may love as CHRIST loved us...He re-forms his mind so that he will no longer conform himself to this world. When a sinner says Yes! to JESUS as Lord and CHRIST of his life, he is baptized and sealed by His SPIRIT, so that each CHRISTian receives the heart and mind of CHRIST, through the indwelling Holy SPIRIT.

How does this partnership happen? The Holy SPIRIT does the work of sanctification -- the life-long process of conforming us to the likeness of CHRIST -- BUT we have to cooperate and surrender to His directives. GOD gives us His best allways through the orchestration of His SPIRIT, but in order to receive the best that GOD has designed for us -- we must reverence and love for CHRIST.

Obedience is the key which sustains unbroken communion with GOD.

GO in GOD's power to all nations.

How do we do the go of it? By making a commitment to stand firm in the CHRISTian faith. By joining other CHRISTians, past and present, in fulfilling JESUS' Great Commission -- whether within our family circle, our immediate neighborhood, or farther afield. Wherever we are, right now, is where GOD has chosen to place us -- for His witness to the Truth Who is alive, the Risen share the Good News Himself, JESUS CHRIST.

So to be a fully devoted follower of JESUS CHRIST, one must not only believe unto salvation -- that is but the first step -- one has to work out the salvation that GOD has worked in. Knowing GOD becomes mere "head" knowledge unless we allow GOD full control of our lives so that we may not be a hindrance to His loving will -- for it is His desire than none perish, but that all may be saved -- saved by the hearing of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST.

These were His instructions to them: "The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. Pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest, and ask Him to send out more workers for His fields." (Luke 10:2)

Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)

(The above doorway is located inside the youth tent at Midway Church, San Diego.)

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