[Post Conference Devo] Psalm 150:6

Psalm 150:6

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

As we have mentioned, we have been seeking to focus on EVERYTHING through these daily devotionals. We talked about it in light of:

  • EVERYTHING we are…for His glory – our story, our vision/values, our distinctives, etc.
  • EVERYTHING we are doing…for His glory – on campus, individually, regionally, globally, etc.
  • EVERYTHING we have, surrendered to Him – this being our commitment

It has been exciting to reflect on these truths through these devotionals over the last 30+ days.

Why have we focused on EVERYTHING?  Why have we been challenged to live in light of and surrender EVERYTHING to Him?  Quite simply because He is worthy and that is why He has created us.  Psalm 150:6 says…

Let EVERYTHING that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

The Psalms end with the challenge that EVERYTHING is created to praise God.  The Gospels end with Jesus telling us that He has authority in EVERYTHING, and we are to be disciples (and make disciples) in EVERYTHING.  Revelation ends by saying that Jesus will rule over EVERYTHING.  We aren’t just living out some nice, Biblical truth.  We are living out the very purpose for which we were individually created and for which CO exists…to glorify Him and to do that specifically by building laborers on the campus for the lost world.

One of the early, early praise choruses of the praise movement 40 years ago was “In my life, be glorified”.  The subsequent verses inserted lots of different specific things in the place of “life” (in my home, in my heart, in my words, etc.).

Take a moment and think of 10 specific areas that you want to see God glorified in this week.  Ask Him to do this!  Take just an additional moment and ask God to be glorified in EVERYTHING that CO is and is doing (staff, students, ministries, evangelism, discipling, leader training, etc. etc.).

Father, thank You for EVERYTHING You have done over these last 45 days in the Conference and since the Conference to glorify Yourself in and through us.  We want every breath we breathe to be one that praises You and glorifies You.  We want our lives and this movement to bring praise to You!

-Kent Bailey (Global Servant Team)

 

Pray for CO Washington DC:

  • Getting ministry multiplying on all of our campuses

  • Mobilizing and hiring of our first class of graduates

  • God would provide the finances and housing needed to live in our expensive context/city

[Post Conference Devo] Luke 5:10-11

Luke 5:10-11

And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left EVERYTHING and followed Him.

“With all their imperfections, which were both numerous and great, these humble fishermen of Galilee had, at the very outset of their career, one grand distinguishing virtue: they were animated by a devotion to Jesus and to the divine kingdom which made them capable of any sacrifice…They were enthusiasts: their hearts were fired, and, as an unbelieving world might say, their heads were turned about by a dream about a divine kingdom…with Jesus of Nazareth for its king. That dream possessed them, and imperiously ruled over their minds and shaped their destinies, compelling them, like Abraham, to leave their kindred and their country, and to go forth on what might appear beforehand to be a fool’s errand. Well for the world that they were possessed by the idea of the kingdom! For it was no fool’s errand on which they went forth, leaving their nets behind.”

(A.B. Bruce, The Training of the Twelve)

The twelve were animated (filled with life and enthusiasm) by a devotion to Jesus. They didn’t begrudgingly leave everything, they enthusiastically left everything. No one forced their hand, they freely gave it up. Why? Because they knew that in leaving everything back home they found everything in Him!

What stands out most to you from the above quote and why?

What does Jesus promise in Luke 5:10-11 that assures you that you have not been sent out on a fool’s errand?

-Drew Epting (Director, CO Augusta)

 

Pray for CO St. Louis:

  • Staff to each have a handful of men and women to pour their lives into

  • See a 2nd generation of believers raised up as students begin to own the vision of evangelism and discipleship

  • Staff to deepen and mature theologically so that we can more holistically disciple our students

[Post Conference Devo] Psalm 96:12

Psalm 96:12

…let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy…

The whole of creation exists for the celebration of God’s glory, from the largest galaxy to the smallest molecule. God is a happy God. Delight was in Him as He created. (Prov 8:30-31). And His creation reflects that delight. Jesus said as He rode into Jerusalem that if the people didn’t praise Him, the ‘very stones would cry out’! (Luke 19:40) If this is the purpose even of the stones in the street and the trees of the forest, how much more true it is for us! Our lives are to be a celebration of our Creator. And we have more to celebrate than the trees. Of all things the Lord has created we’re not only made in His image but redeemed in Christ to truly know and love Him. As those in the work of spiritual leadership, we want to model in everything delight in our King. To sing and make music in our hearts to the Lord (Eph 5:19), to have the full measure of Jesus’ joy overflowing in our lives as a fruit of the Spirit. (John 17:13)  Not a happiness based on our circumstances, but in  the Lord always (Phil 4:4), a delight in our all-satisfying Creator and Redeemer who doesn’t change. Lord Jesus, may my life and ministry overflow with delight in You at all times, a song of joy to the One who made me and saved me.

-Rich Priebbenow (Director, CO Brisbane)

 

Pray for CO San Diego:

  • God to open up more doors to more students in more places – fraternities and sororities, athletic teams, etc.

[Post Conference Devo] Mark 10:28-30

Mark 10:28–30

Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.”

“What Jesus means here is that he himself makes up for every sacrifice.

If you give up a mother’s nearby affection and concern, you get back one hundred times the affection and concern from the ever-present Christ.

If you give up the warm comradeship of a brother, you get back one hundred times the warmth and comradeship of Christ.

If you give up the sense of at-homeness you had in your house, you get back one hundred times the comfort and security of knowing that your Lord owns every house.

To prospective missionaries, Jesus says, “I promise to work for and be for you so much that you will not be able to speak of having sacrificed anything.”

What was Jesus’ attitude to Peter’s “sacrificial” spirit? Peter said, “We have left everything and followed you.” Is this the spirit of “self-denial” commended by Jesus? No, it is rebuked.

Jesus said, “No one ever sacrifices anything for me that I do not pay back a hundredfold — yes, in one sense even in this life, not to mention eternal life in the age to come.” “

[John Piper]

Pray for CO Raleigh:

  • We would see a new group of lost men and women come to know Christ that would be raised up to be laborers and sent out into the harvest field

[Post Conference Devo] Mark 12:44

Mark 12:44

For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.

“A LOT or EVERYTHING?”

We set up our time at the Global Staff Conference to help us reflect on EVERYTHING.  We talked about it in light of:

  • EVERYTHING we are…for His glory – our story, our vision/values, our distinctives, etc.
  • EVERYTHING we are doing…for His glory – on campus, individually, regionally, globally, etc.
  • EVERYTHING we have surrendered to Him – this being our commitment

It has been exciting to reflect on these truths through these devotionals over the last 30+ days.

As we head back to campus (and it has been exciting to see and hear what God is already doing), I’ve been asking myself “am I giving a LOT, or giving EVERYTHING?”  You probably are complimented a lot for how hard you work, how much you sacrifice, etc. and those words of encouragement are valid.  However, there is a subtle temptation to think “I’m giving a LOT but I don’t have to give EVERYTHING.”  In facing this temptation, I’m humbled by the testimony of the nameless women in Mark 12:44.  Jesus watches a number of people contributing in the temple but makes this special comment about her:

For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in EVERYTHING she had, all she had to live on.

What a challenging example this woman sets for us!  It is convicting to realize that Jesus knew both the quantity and the quality of the giving that was being done.

Take a moment to meditate on Mark 12:44 and reflect on these questions:

  • Are there areas of your life where you are tempted to give a LOT to Jesus but not EVERYTHING?
  • What are your faith challenges in surrendering EVERYTHING to Jesus?
  • What is one area, during this first month of ministry back on campus, in which you want to surrender EVERYTHING anew to Him?  Who is a friend who can pray with you and walk with you in this?

-Kent Bailey (Global Servant Team)

 

Pray for CO Orlando:

  • Capitalize on the city, state, and global impact of students on our campus (UCF)

  • God would create a pipeline of students here to take us to other campuses in our area

[Post Conference Devo] 1 Timothy 4:4-5

1 Timothy 4:4-5

“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.”

This summer I turned 50.  So…I’ve been having my quiet times in 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy and Titus to see what the Word has to say to me about the latter stages of my life.  It has been amazing to see again how clear, simple and profound God’s Word is…on every topic including this one.

In looking at 1 Timothy 4 recently, I was struck by Paul’s simple discipling philosophy.  He is warning Timothy about those who will make the discipling of others more difficult and even depart from the faith.  The challenges he lays out for that time we would characterize as legalism today.  Some were saying, “that thing causes you problems so avoid it / stop it”.  They were not getting down to the heart of the issue.  To respond by saying “you are saved, it doesn’t matter, do whatever you want” (licentiousness) is likewise not Paul’s approach.

In verses 4-5, Paul lays out a clear, simple and profound strategy:

“For EVERYTHING created by God is good…for it is made holy by the Word of God and prayer.”

How are things made holy?  They are made holy as I use them, experience them, etc. in alignment with God’s Word and do so with an attitude of prayer.  Am I constantly asking the question about EVERYTHING, “what does the Word have to say about this?”  Am I constantly surrendering myself and these created things to God in prayer (not my will but Your will)?  Paul is laying out a simple but very profound truth about what my day-to-day spiritual life should look like.

Take a moment to reflect and pray about the EVERYTHING that you want Him to make holy today through His Word and prayer – your time on campus, your preparation time, your marriage, your relationships, your family, your finances, your leisure, your computer, your leadership, your rest, your support-raising, your diet, your team, etc. etc.  How can you help those you are discipling grow in this simple and profound transformation this week?

-Kent Bailey (Global Servant Team)

 

Pray for CO Minneapolis:

  • God to raise up more staff in our region toward being in a position to expand internationally

[Post Conference Devo] Philippians 4:6

“…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
What multitudes of prayers we have put up from the first moment when we learned to pray. Our first prayer was a prayer for ourselves; we asked that God would have mercy upon us, and blot out our sin. He heard us. But when He had blotted out our sins like a cloud, then we had more prayers for ourselves.We have had to pray for sanctifying grace, for constraining and restraining grace; we have been led to crave for a fresh assurance of faith, for the comfortable application of the promise, for deliverance in the hour of temptation, for help in the time of duty, and for succour in the day of trial. We have been compelled to go to God for our souls, as constant beggars asking for everything.

Bear witness, children of God, you have never been able to get anything for your souls elsewhere. All the bread your soul has eaten has come down from heaven, and all the water of which it has drank has flowed from the living rock—Christ Jesus the Lord. Your soul has never grown rich in itself; it has always been a pensioner upon the daily bounty of God; and hence your prayers have ascended to heaven for a range of spiritual mercies all but infinite. Your wants were innumerable, and therefore the supplies have been infinitely great, and your prayers have been as varied as the mercies have been countless.

Then have you not cause to say, “I love the Lord, because He hath heard the voice of my supplication”? For as your prayers have been many, so also have been God’s answers to them. He has heard you in the day of trouble, has strengthened you, and helped you, even when you dishonoured Him by trembling and doubting at the mercy-seat. Remember this, and let it fill your heart with gratitude to God, who has thus graciously heard your poor weak prayers. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.”

[C.H. Spurgeon]

 

Pray for CO Memphis:

  • More students to come to Christ

  • See up to 20 graduates going overseas each year

  • Increased numbers of mobilization tracks for our graduates

[Post Conference Devo] Matthew 28:18-20

Matthew 28:18-20

“ALL authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all the 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.”

There is a marvelous Greek word – “pantes” – which is normally translated in your Bible by the word “all.” Yet, the word itself has two possible implications in terms of its ultimate meaning depending upon the context. In context the word “pantes” can mean “all” (kinds of) or “all” (every single thing). For instance, the Bible says in I Timothy 2:1 – “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for ALL people…” The word “pantes” means, in context, “all KINDS of people.” The next verse gives one such KIND when it calls us to pray for “kings and those in authority.” Likewise, in I Tim 2:3,4 the Scripture says, “…this is good and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior who desires ALL people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” There the word “pantes” again in context means “ALL KINDS OF.” Then turning to another familiar text, II Tim 3:16, 17, “ALL Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness that the man of God may be adequate and equipped for every good work.” Here in context “ALL” means EVERY SINGLE Scripture. Now why is this Bible translation insight important?

Take a moment and go back to the top and read the familiar Great Commission passage which is of vital importance to the CO ministry. Confident that all of you already know the imperative command to Christ’s Church in the text is to “make disciples” and the process to accomplish this mandate is given through the three modifying participles of “as you are going, baptizing and teaching them” and in light of our theme –EVERYTHING, I thought we might look at a sometimes overlooked dynamic in the Great Commission.

The word “pantes” is found four times in Matt 28:18-20 and each time it has either a significant challenge or encouragement to those of us who greatly desire to be fully engaged in fulfilling the Great Commission. Let’s look at all four of them.

1. “ALL authority has been given to me…” the word “pantes” in context means EVERY SINGLE authority belongs to Christ, therefore, anyone in authority whether it is the state, the church or the family is only there by His appointment and permission and for His purposes. Perhaps even more importantly, your call to fulfill the Great Commission is a call to be, as the Apostle Paul so rightly describes, an “ambassador of Christ”. In light of His authority– Great Commission commissioners who are “making disciples”, do so in the full authority of Christ who has EVERY SINGLE authority under His sovereign control.

2. We are to “make disciples of ALL the nations.” Again in context pantes translated “all” means EVERY SINGLE nation. That is why CO seeks to send Gospel laborers to ALL the world of EVERY nation. Furthermore, Jesus has told us that the “end” will not come and He will not return until this Gospel has actually gone to EVERY SINGLE nation.

3.     As we “make disciples”, we are to “teach them ALL that He has commanded”. Knowing that some Scriptural doctrines are primary, some secondary and some tertiary which obviously affects how we teach but our objective in what we teach is EVERY SINGLE commandment given by the Lord in Scripture. This is why the Apostle Paul said, concerning his “disciple-making” ministry – “I am innocent of the blood of all men for I have declared to you the whole counsel of God.”

The first three ALL’s – “pantes” – EVERY SINGLE thing brings to us enormous challenges. How can we possibly, given our frailties, even with a multitude of Gospel laborers, fulfill such an all-encompassing Great Commission?  Well, praise the Lord there is one more ALL – “pantes” – in the Great Commission. It is found in the last verse…

4.     “I will be with you (literally) ALL the days until the end of the age.” In other words Jesus enthroned on high as the risen Redeemer with EVERY SINGLE authority, sending His people to EVERY SINGLE nation with the Gospel to make disciples by teaching them EVERY SINGLE thing He has commanded now promises by the Holy Spirit to be with us EVERY SINGLE day until the end which comes when the Great Commission has been fulfilled and all of His elect through the Gospel disciple-making ministry of His people empowered by the presence of the Holy Spirit brings the end of the age. There in Glory will be the redeemed, purchased at the Cross and brought by the Holy Spirit through His people from every tribe and nation who have brought the Gospel harvest from by ALL the authority of the Risen King, teaching the whole counsel of God by the EVERY SINGLE day presence of the Holy Spirit knowing He will “never leave us nor forsake us.”

Now, we are ready to go with EVERY authority, to EVERY nation, teaching EVERY commandment, knowing our Lord is with us EVERY day until the end which is really the beginning.

-Harry Reeder (Pastor, Briarwood Presbyterian Church)

 

Pray for CO Lynchburg:

  • Pioneering new ministry at Radford University this fall

  • Virginia Tech ministry/laborers to resource the new Radford ministry

  • The launching/pioneering of the Radford ministry would be a catalyst to stir pioneering/evangelistic vision and passion for our entire region

[Post Conference Devo] 2 Corinthians 6:10

2 Corinthians 6:10

…as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

Paul and his co-labourers were servants of God who suffered greatly (2 Cor 6:4-10).  They suffered what most of us have not suffered in the contexts in which we labour, although one day we could suffer these physical costs.  However, there is always suffering associated with following Christ, and sometimes this suffering is clearly seen.

This week our American intern’s sister got married. Megan missed the wedding because she was laboring in New Zealand in the final week of a CCP.  The cost she paid was high, and the tears she cried showed the pain she felt.  Yet, in this, she has experienced the faithfulness of God and has had cause to rejoice at the women whom God has placed in her life that are drawn to her and are seeking to know Christ.  Her sacrifice and tears are real; her joy is real too.  In Christ, she possesses everything that truly lasts and satisfies.  She is sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.  Her poverty is making many rich.

Her life has been a humbling and beautiful thing to behold as Jesus has worked in her and through her in this time of personal loss so that His Kingdom can come through her.  The sacrifice she has made imperfectly mirrors the sacrifice of our Saviour, and shows his worth and his greatness.  He is the treasure in the field (Matthew 13:44) and we lose nothing of true value when we lay down everything to get that treasure.

What are you holding onto today that God would have you lay aside to make others rich?  There may be sorrow associated with letting it go or saying yes to suffering and loss, but it also comes with great joy and possessing everything that is of true and lasting value.

-David Richards (Resource Director, CO Dunedin)

 

Pray for CO Lexington:

  • Sustained and deepened growth for our staff and leaders in the Gospel

  • 7 contingent staff to be fully activated by September

  • First steps toward expansion into Cincinnati, OH

  • Smooth and hassle free transitioning of our finances from Memphis to local church in Lexington

[Post Conference Devo] 1 Corinthians 10:33

1 Corinthians 10:33

…just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

To please everyone in everything I do is different from the normal perspective I have heard, and what I have used on many occasions in dealing with everyone, and that is: “you can’t please everyone.” It’s is my go-to phrase when I want the easy way out.

But I am challenged by Paul here who says that he tries to please everyone in everything he “DOES”. There is an action that comes when trying to please everyone in everything.

I am a harmonious person, and the Right Path Test affirms it, so it is easy for me to please everyone. But as I search my heart I am convinced that on many many occasions, I please everyone in everything I “DON’T” do instead of everything I “DO” do. It is easier for me to just be passive in pleasing others. This is easy harmony for me. In the end, it benefits and is advantageous for my own peace. This is not the peace that I want. The peace that I want, I already have in Jesus.

So I am motivated to be more mindful about trying to please everyone in everything I “DO”. The goal is not my personal harmony, but that many may be saved for the glory of God. So, there is action that needs to take place in pleasing everyone. It could be actively giving up a personal desire or a personal comfort that someone may be pleased and may lead to their salvation. It could be actively taking the time to engage someone in a conversation or serving a person in need that someone may be please and may lead to their salvation for the glory of God.

And Paul says he TRIES to please everyone. Although I may not be able to please everyone, the question is, am I TRYING to please everyone that many may be saved for the glory of God. And lastly it is not just some but everyone. No favoritism.

Jesus has come and not only is he our example but he meets our needs so that we can be pleasing to others.

– Moe Montenegro (Resource Director, CO Khon Kaen

Pray for CO Khon Kaen:

  • “Re-Launch of CO KK” with indigenous staff and more student-led on campus

  • Trusting God for His Spirit to move significantly over this period and for us to double or triple in number of conversions annually

  • Financial support for our movement on all levels

[Post Conference Devo] Hebrews 13:20-21

Hebrews 13:20-21

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

The book of Hebrews has two major themes. One is this: Jesus is better than everything and sufficient for everything. The other theme is this: Followers of Jesus should live in confidence, being full of faith knowing that He is our Help and Hope for everything we need. Jesus has conquered all, promised all, and pledged Himself to give us all the Help and Hope we need. How do we live this way?  How do we experience this comprehensive provision in any and every circumstance? The writer concludes with insight: God equips us with everything good to do his will.

The word “equip” is a clue into “how” God transforms us into disciples who wait for his Help and live confidently in his Hope. Equip means teach. Equip means enable in order to experience. Hebrews 4:14-16 explains this equipping process this way:

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The equipping God outfits us with is a confidence that we have been saved by grace alone, we are being kept by grace alone, and in any and every situation we can have confidence that God will continue to deal with us by grace. This is the teaching of the book of Hebrews. This is the teaching of the New Testament. This is the teaching of the gospel.

Are you living today in the confidence that you have “everything you need to do His will” since you have been captured and are being kept by God’s grace?

Bono, of U2 fame, is one of my favorite musicians. But he is quite a theologian as well. This quote from him indicates that he has been “outfitted” with a confidence in God, knowing He was caught and is being kept by grace:

“You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “as you sow, so you will reap” stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff.” (Bono)

– Mike Hearon (Global Servant Team)

 

Pray for CO Johannesburg

  • Develop our staff for Kingdom leadership opportunities

  • Student leaders to multiply their lives on campus

  • More ministry support and critical event funding to come from South Africa

[Post Conference Devo] Hebrews 12:1-3

Hebrews 12:1-3

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

Coming off of the conference I sense a renewal of my focus. I have been encouraged to run with focus the race that is marked out for me. I have my Jesus, our vision and our values.

Now how do I run with perseverance in this race when there are so many hindrances and entanglements? God tells me to fix my eyes on Jesus and consider Him that I may not grow weary and lose heart.

No matter who we are. No matter our backgrounds, our race, our sex, our age, no matter our natural abilities and our learning, there are things that hinder us and temptations that easily entangle us and keep us from running the race well.

But to fix our eyes on Jesus and consider Him…

Fixing our eyes on Jesus – Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith. He has run the race completely and finished it. I must daily fix my eyes on him and trust in him. The thing that hinders me often is my unbelief, my lack of faith. But I just read a chapter about men and women who ran their race and accomplished great things through their faith in God. Oh Lord help me in my unbelief, that I may run the remainder of my race well.

Considering Him – I think some of the greatest dangers that ruin life are the daily temptations that come and hinder or potentially entangle a person. When the temptations come, this is our time of need as danger is coming. Jesus is our high priest, who faced every temptation and yet is without sin. Now in Him and through Him, we can approach the throne of grace where we can receive mercy and find grace in our time of need.

We fix our eyes on Jesus and consider him in our time alone with Him.

“Our biggest battle in life is our daily appointment with God; keep it or all other battles will get bigger.” (R. Zacharias) 

– Moe Montenegro (Resource Director, CO Khon Kaen)

Pray for CO Indianapolis:

  • New ministry at Indiana University – God to raise up a new generation of students there

  • 8 new staff coming on board to multiply their lives on the campuses

[Post Conference Devo] 2 Corinthians 6:10

2 Corinthians 6:10

…as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

Are you a “glass half-empty” person or a “glass half-full” person? Often people easily categorize others as optimists or pessimists. The optimists feel good about themselves because “who wants to point out the dark side of everything?” The pessimists usually like to claim that they are “realists” who refuse to look at life through “rose colored glasses”, but take on problems in order to make things better for others.

Certainly it is easy to categorize personalities as having a “default bent” in one direction or the other. The bigger question for a disciple of Christ is this: is it ok for us to set up this dichotomy? Paul is defending his gospel ministry by pointing out that he saw great victories of the Spirit and difficult set-backs. What distinguished his ministry as “God-centered” was not that everything went favorable or led to visible success and fruitfulness.

At times he was sorrowful and totally impoverished and even at times feeling as if he had nothing. This wasn’t “glass half-empty”; it was “glass totally empty” living.  At the same time he says that while he was experiencing sorrow, poverty, and nothingness he was also experiencing joy, richness, and everything. This wasn’t “glass half-full” living; this was “glass totally full” living.

Paul is pointing out that maturity in our relationship with God is measured by our perspective. If our perspective is God-centered, we will be able to identify the sin and failures and disappointments of ourself and others. We don’t have to cover them up or ignore the pain or act as if poverty or sorrow or nothingness does not exist. At the same time when we are God-centered we are not controlled by the bitter taste of coming to the end of ourselves or others. We can rejoice, live in rich confidence, and look for renewed hope and help in “everything”. This is because our perspective allows us to be more honest and hopeful than we could be on our own. We can be both disappointed and confident at the same time. But it takes “total emptiness” and “total filling”.

Emotions are actually great windows into our souls. When we are FEELING anything it is important to analyze what we are FILLING our hearts and minds with. We might be FEELING proud because something has gone our way and we have FILLED our heart with pride. A God-centered perspective empties our hearts of pride and we PRAISE God for the provision or protection we are FEELING. We might be FEELING fearful or anxious about our financial support (or lack of support) or our perceived lack of ministry fruitfulness. We might be FEELING this way because we are FILLING our hearts with an effort to hope in our own abilities or contacts, or persuasiveness. We know we are not “partially able” to produce true spiritual fruit. We are totally incapable of this. We must empty our hearts of self-absorbed feelings and FILL our minds and hearts with the Gospel (God’s great promises and His Powerful Character).

Martin Lloyd Jones once said “most of our problems in life are the result of us listening to ourselves rather than talking to ourselves.” The gospel demands that we talk to our hearts and that we always tilt toward hopefulness. “He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus”. God-centered perspective includes both the honest and hopeful messages we play in the videos of our minds.

What are you FEELING this morning? What are you FILLING your mind and heart with? Be a “GLASS TOTALLY EMPTY AND COMPLETELY FULL” TODAY! Take hold of the truth that in Christ you “possess everything”.

 -Mike Hearon (CO Global Servant Team)

 

Pray for CO Houston:

  • God to allow us to focus in on the opportunities He has given us and expand the Gospel in the areas He has placed us in

  • New staff to join us on our campuses

[Post Conference Devo] Colossians 1:18

And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
One of the things I love about Campus Outreach is that a local church started it. God’s central agency for accomplishing all He plans to do in the world is His church (Ephesians 1: 18-23). I also love that Campus Outreach sees that a part of discipleship is to teach people to serve Christ under the leadership of a local church.
A significant way we should be teaching those we disciple what it means to carry out their mission in the world through the church is by teaching them that every calling matters to God and has been designed to display His glory and greatness in the world. Reformed historians call this “the priesthood of every believer”.
Next to the recovery of justification by faith alone through grace alone, the Reformation’s emphasis on the priesthood of every believer was the most culturally transforming. The idea that there were not two classes of Christians (clergy and laymen) or two types of work (holy and secular), but rather one priesthood with one holy calling, unleashed Christians to be the Church in the world. The result was that the gospel spread like a flame not just geographically but demographically through every vocation.
Our discipleship of college students gives us a tremendous context for both teaching and helping young followers of Christ fulfill a kingdom-mission in the world.
Let me suggest 6 ways to disciple students with this perspective in mind:
  1. Do personal soul-work. We must first repent of any sacred-secular dichotomy that we may be holding on to.  If we still think that what is done inside the walls of the church is more spiritual and important than what believers do in their “secular” jobs, we will make numerous mistakes in leading them.
  2. Teach a biblical worldview of vocation. We should teach our disciples to have a comprehensive view of all of life. “This is my Father’s world.” We must view every sphere of life as an avenue and opportunity to display God’s redemptive purposes. This means we should be helping everyone see the kingdom vision for any and every vocation they pursue.
  3. Believe in the Holy Spirit. We must release people with the Holy Spirit to take the gospel to people and places that we could never reach or penetrate. Our role as disciples is to encourage faith, hope, and love and this requires dependence upon the Holy Spirit.
  4. Emphasize strengths rather than focus on weaknesses. Help people discover their gifts and encourage them to embrace the person God has made them to be rather than despising who they are. Often we often idolize someone else’s perceived strengths and despise or undervalue our own. Paul requires that we have “sober judgment” in relation to our own gifts. (Romans 12:3)
  5. Guide toward merciful applications of every calling.  While most who have revived a Reformed view of vocation develop very clearly what it means to “walk humbly with God,” few expressly address the rest of Micah’s exhortation to “do justly and to love mercy.” Every calling, even discipling college students, includes a call to justice and mercy. Encourage students to wrestle through ways they should be seeking justice and mercy while they are still on the campus in preparation of this beyond the campus.
  6. Teach them that the cultural mandate is not a substitute for the Great Commission or a holy life. Without a conscious focus on doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God as the means of restoring human beings made in the image of God to a relationship with the Father through personal commitment to Jesus Christ, this approach to vocation and calling will devolve into an excuse for indulgence and compromise (e.g. God delights in anything I do).
Kingdom discipleship in relation to calling requires that we steward our influence so that “in everything He might have the supremacy”. Join me in asking God to spread the gospel like a flame not just geographically but demographically through every vocation.
– Dr. George Robertson (Pastor First Presbyterian Church Augusta, GA)

Pray for CO Greenville:

  • Reach the next generation of students on all our campuses this year

  • Raise up African American ministry movements within our ministries

  • Launch graduates into clear mobilization tracks

[Post Conference Devo] Job 28:24

Job 28:24

For he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.

At first glance this verse brings to mind the pervasiveness of God. He looks to the end of the earth and sees everything. Not one thing in all creation can escape his gaze. After verse 24 Job goes on to tell how God gives the wind it’s weight, measures the waters, decrees the rain, makes a way for lightening and thunder, basically he sees everything and knows how it works because he made everything. In this particular chapter, Job is speaking and searching for wisdom. In verse 23 he says, “God understands the way to [wisdom], and he knows its place, FOR he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens”. Do you see the importance of the word “for” here? The reason that God knows where wisdom is located is because he knows where everything is; remember, he made it all.

So, where does this affect our lives? Where does this come to bear on us? Have you ever wanted wisdom in dealing with a situation on campus? Ever wanted peace from the trials that have taken place in your life? Ever want hope for your marriage and how you raise your children? Then look to God. He is the creator of these things, the maker of it all, the sustainer of every good thing. Whatever your need, whatever your circumstance, God can help.

Time to get to the heart of the matter. Do you know what else God sees? Know what else is encompassed by “everything under the heavens”? You. God sees you. God is with you. God formed you. God cares for you. And perhaps even more astounding that all these realities is that God sent his son to die for, yes, you. The pervasiveness of God becomes sweeter as you see the particular affection that He has set upon you. Everything becomes sweeter when you see that you are a unique piece of the all encompassing vision of God. He knows you, He knows what you need, and He knows that He is the answer.

-Paul Poteat (Director, CO Minneapolis)

 

Pray for CO Daytona Beach:

  • Growth, specifically through an opportunity to launch to a larger campus
  • More people coming to know Christ, more people sent out to make Christ known

[Post Conference Devo] Colossians 3:20

Colossians 3:20

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

As a parent, one of my greatest desires and delights is the obedience of my children. The obedience of my children is a desire because I want them to take my words seriously. It is a desire because I want them to respect my authority. It is a desire because it shows that they love me when they do what I ask them. It is a desire because I know that their obedience results in blessings and protection. Having my children obey me is also a delight. It is a delight because I love to see my children understand what I am asking them to do. It is a delight because my greatest hope is that my children thrive in life — obedience leads to this sort of thriving in life (Eph 6:1-4). It is a delight because their willful obedience is one of the most powerful indicators of the nature of our relationship. In the same way, God desires and delights in our obedience. We show our love for Him. He showers His blessings on us. We take His Word and authority seriously. He protects us from our enemies. Jesus said very clearly, “If you love me, you will obey me” (John 14:15-31). To be pleasing to the Lord is our highest aim. What pleases him is obedience in everything. My children are expected to obey because they are my children. Their obedience in no way affects their standing with me as their father. The same is true for our Heavenly Father. Our obedience does not determine our “sonship”. We are sons by the Spirit of adoption that He has given us. Our obedience is a reflection of the status that we have as His children. As the old hymn says, “Trust and Obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus.”

-Will Witherington (Director, CO Lexington)
Pray for CO Dallas/Ft. Worth:

  • God to take our current 2 ministries and turn them into multiplying movements

[Post Conference Devo] 1 Peter 1:3-6

1 Peter 1:3-6

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in Every kind of trials.

Bring on Everything! I will not be overtaken

 Praise be to God that we can live in an amazing hope, we can pursue the kingdom with vigor, we can entrust him with everything and we can boldly say “Bring on everything!” Because:

1)   “In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope.” We can take on every kind of trial, because he has given us new birth into a living hope and he has secured it for us not based on our own merit but with “his great mercy.”

2)   We can take on every kind of trial boldly because we have an “inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” The inheritance that we are living for will never be destroyed, it will never wither like the flowers of the field, it will never spoil like the fruit of the vine, it will never fade like fleeting beauty.

3)   We can take on every kind of trial boldly because “ through faith [we] are shielded by God’s power until the coming of salvation.” We are shielded by God’s unfathomable, omnipotent power until he takes us into his unfading glory and that allows us like David to look at the Goliaths in our lives and say “Bring on everything.”

4)   We can take on every kind of trial boldly because, “Salvation is ready to be revealed in the last time.” We are not waiting on God to get his things in order to bring about salvation. Our eternal salvation is ready. It is sitting in the wings patiently awaiting its glorious entrance.

So we can greatly rejoice at everything (including trials) that comes our way because our great God who through his mercy has paid the price for our inheritance is shielding us and has our eternal salvation ready! Go forth Boldly!

-Luke Niday (Resource Director, CO Augusta)

 

Pray for CO Columbus:

  • Full launch on 2 campuses this fall

  • Reach the first generation of students on our 2 campuses

[Post Conference Devo] 1 Peter 4:11

1 Peter 4:11

…whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Using our gifts is synonymous with glorifying God. Often we associate “promoting ourselves” or “calling attention to ourselves” with using our gifts. We are not to have our reputation in mind when using our gifts, but our concern should be the glory of God. That is humbling. To fail to use our spiritual gifts is to “bury them” out of fear or self-absorption.

Have you identified your Spiritual gifts? Have you talked about your gifts with your team? What do those who know you well say about your spiritual gifts?

Are you thinking of stewardship when it comes to developing and deploying your gifts?

What are your biggest barriers for using your spiritual gifts for God’s glory?

Additionally Peter says it takes a cultivated spirituality to appropriate the Spirit’s power. This may be self-evident, but we cannot use our spiritual gifts without being “spiritual”. Cultivating your spirituality means tapping into the spiritual power that comes to us as those who belong to God.  You are spiritual by virtue of the fact that God has changed your life. Living “in your spirituality” is cultivating in experience what is true about you positionally in your relationship to God.

Each day you should get before the Lord in His word and in prayer to “cultivate your spirituality”. This will insure that you are leading out in the “strength God supplies” as you identify the places your need to trust Him, listen to Him, wait on Him, or obey Him. His love will always convict you when you are lacking love, and direct you to ways to show His love to others. Serving in “God’s strength” means we are not working FOR a position of acceptance before God. We are serving FROM a position of unconditional love and acceptance and this empowers us to love others with this type of supernatural strength.

 Are you surrendering your gifts and your responsibilities to the Lord each day and asking Him to empower you with supernatural love and strength?

 What would it mean for you to fulfill your responsibilities this week with “the strength He provides” rather than serving Him and others in your own strength?

Right now, where do you need to trust Him, listen to Him, wait on Him, or obey Him?

What other insights will help you to glorify God in “everything” you do?

 

-Mike Hearon (Global Servant Team)

 

Pray for CO Charlotte:

  • Continue to see our students partnering with church planters

  • Increasingly develop a mobilization track into China with ELIC

  • Prayerfully build a team of staff and graduates to launch to the Northeast

[Post Conference Devo] Matthew 28:18-20

Matthew 28:18-20

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[a] 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.

“Everything” is extreme.  It is like the words “All”, “Always” or “Never”.  

I often discourage people from speaking in extremes.  Extreme language is often a sign of immaturity. You will hear it in phrases like…

“This always happens to me…” or “I will never get to…” or “Everyone else gets to…”

We should be cautious when tempted to make extreme statements…unless we are quoting Jesus.  Jesus can…and does often make extreme statements.

In His extreme statements we should find rest and encouragement for our souls!

As an example, go back and read the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20.  

I like to summarize that passage with this phrase: “Not SOME…but ALL.”  

As you read that passage, meditate on the beauty of all authority…all nations…all commands…and always with you!

Let’s let Jesus do the extreme talking…and we can do the extreme trusting.

-Matt Bradner (Director, CO Lynchburg)

 

Pray for CO Charleston:

  • Our Staff get to a position of health and strength so they can minister out of overflow

  • Return to the basics of prayer, evangelism, Gospel community

[Post Conference Devo] 2 Timothy 2:10

2 Timothy 2:10

Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

 

I had just been told “no” in a support raising follow up call for what seemed like the hundredth time. I’m sure I really had been told “no” over a hundred times because I had been out of contacts for a long time and was just grabbing for straws. $2,200 a month seemed like a million a month back in 1989 when I started raising support to go to Thailand. And then I had my quiet time on this verse. I quickly wrote it on a 5X7 notebook card and knew it would be a life verse for me.

Paul is writing to Timothy and has just charged Timothy with the task of multiplication. He challenged Timothy on a napkin at Chick-fil-a “early” one morning during a O3 with the impact of multiplication and about giving his life away (via SKYPE of course, since Paul was in prison!). He showed him how soldiers, athletes and farmers complete their tasks successfully.  And then he instructs Timothy to continue in the Gospel of Jesus for which Paul is chained and how the Word of God isn’t bound like he is and because of this, he writes 2 Timothy 2:10. The contrast that is so clear here in this verse is the “Everything” Paul is enduring compared to the “Everything” those who are being saved are receiving. Paul sees no comparison at all between the two! The salvation the elect are receiving through the things Paul is enduring is far greater and awesome and is of no comparison.

So why don’t we take a minute and meditate on this great salvation and the One who has paid the price to make it happen for us. Then, list out everything you are enduring right now for the sake of the elect and tell God that these are nothing compared to the salvation you’ve received and that He is granting to His elect. The past twenty-three years of Glorifying God by Building Laborers on the Campus for the Lost World in Thailand have had many high points and low points. Losing supporters and key disciples. Staff members falling into sin and having to leave staff. Our own inability to conquer the stubborn sin in our own lives. Miscarriages, infertility, lack of fruit, lack of growth, grandparents and even parents passing away while we are half a world away. The list is endless. But the “everything” we’ve endured for the sake of the elect has been more than worth it. I’m sure that on that Day we will all testify the same when we meet Him face to face. Jesus is calling us to continue enduring everything until that Day. He and I are praying for you to this end.

-Brian Firpo (Director, CO Khon Kaen)

 

Pray for CO Chiang Mai

  • Landing – team members arriving between August and October.

  • Church – looking for some good churches to partner with.

  • Campus – diving into new relationships at Chiang Mai university.

  • Staff to have God’s energy for all the new things to be experienced!

[Post Conference Devo] 1 Corinthians 15:58

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

“All the faithful labor of God’s servants which time seems to bury in the dust of failure, will be raised up, will be found to be there, transfigured, in the new Kingdom. Every faithful act of service, every honest labor to make the world a better place, which seemed to have been forever lost and forgotten in the rubble of history, will be seen on that day to have contributed to the perfect fellowship of God’s Kingdom. As Christ, who committed Himself to God and was faithful even when all ended in utter failure and rejection, was by God raised up so that all that He had done was found to be not lost but alive and powerful, so all who have committed their work in faithfulness to God will be by Him raised up to share in the new age, and will find that their labor was not lost, but that it has found its place in the completed Kingdom.”

(from Signs Amid the Rubble, Lesslie Newbigin)

-Brett Barnes (Director, CO St. Louis)

 

Pray for CO Central Illinois:

  • Focus on solidifying the sophomores who came to Christ last year and build our young ministries on these new believers

  • 75 students on summer projects next year

  • Staff team would find strength and perseverance in God Himself as we have been pioneering over the past several years

[Post Conference Devo] Hebrews 11:13-16

Hebrews 11:13-16

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

 The Christian life is a life of faith – from beginning to end.  As those who have been born of God (John 1:12), redeemed by Christ (Gal 3:13) and called out as his people (1 Pet 2:9) – we are now pilgrims, aliens and strangers in this world as we journey through life to our heavenly home.  If we are to be happy, holy and fruitful in this life we must daily acknowledge this reality in everything we do.  We must not place our hope for joy and significance here, but must constantly cultivate a longing for a “better country” – setting our hearts on things above where Christ is seated, reigning at the right hand of God (Col 3:1-4).  We will not receive the fulfillment of the promises here – but by faith, we welcome them from a distance.  It is only as we view every decision through this lens that we will voluntarily embrace suffering to live for Christ and lay down our lives for others.  And when we see our Lord face to face – he will not be ashamed to be called our God, but will have a city prepared for us.   “Only one life ‘twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last” – CT Studd.

-Chris Drinkard (International Mobilization Coordinator, CO Global)

Pray for CO Brisbane

  • 20 conversions in the coming year of ministry – for bold, powerful evangelism and hearts opened to see the glory of Christ

  • 8 interns (4 American, 4 Australian) are preparing to join the team in the next 6 months.  Pray for wisdom in where to best place them and for a fruitful year of ministry

  • Clarity on our next expansion step in Australia. For opportunity to place staff in Sydney among Asian Aussies.

  • For the staff to be delighting in and reflecting the love and beauty of Jesus, much in prayer and the Word.

 

[Post Conference Devo] John 7:37-38

John 7:37-38

37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as[a] the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’

 ”Only one thing prevents Jesus filling our cups as He passes by, and this is sin in one of its thousand forms.  The Lord Jesus does not fill dirty cups.  Anything that springs from self, however small it may be, is sin.  Self-energy or self-complacency in service is sin.  Self-pity in trials or difficulties, self-seeking in business or Christian work, self-indulgence in one’s spare time, sensitiveness, touchiness, resentment and self-defense when we are hurt or injured by others, self-consciousness, reserve, worry, fear, all spring from self and are all sin and make our cups unclean.”  (Roy Hession—The Calvary Road, pp. 28-29)

 -Brian Lewis (Director, CO Global)

Pray for CO Birmingham:

  • Launching ministry at Auburn this fall

[Post Conference Devo] Matthew 4:1-11

Matthew 4:1-11

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’

and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”

11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

Jesus had just experienced one of, if not the greatest moments of his human life where He saw the manifest presence of god and heard God’s audible voice speaking love, pleasure and affirmation. For some of us the staff conference may have been a similar experience on a much smaller scale.

But as soon as Christ left the water he went to a very hard place and into very trying times. Many of us may have left the conference and moved into hard places and times.

There are many good principles and applications that can be gleaned from these verses on how we should fight sin and the lies of the devil. The devil desperately wanted to keep Jesus out of full time ministry and he also wants to use sin to keep you from being effective in ministry.

So please study these verses to learn how to and why to memorize verses that contain precious truths for your soul. Spend time thinking upon this passage to learn how preach truth to yourself and to the enemy when you are tired and hungry and alone.

But mainly let us study this passage to see the glory of Christ the second Adam defeating the enemy. You will fail in sin. You will struggle in ministry. Christ never failed, yet lived perfectly and ministered perfectly. He passed every test you and I and Adam have failed. He owns all the world. He has all the love and glory of god. And through the cross he gives it to us.

-Olan Stubbs (Director, CO Birmingham)

 

Pray for CO Belo Horizonte

  • A new generation of disciples on our campuses

  • Teams at full capacity and functioning healthily

  • Contextualized discipleship process from convert to multiplying disciple

  • Development of English school

 

[Post Conference Devo] 1 Peter 4:11

1 Peter 4:11

whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

 ‘Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord to Thee’. This song we like to sing does a great job of unpacking the verse for us. It’s helpful to think slowly over the words of the hymn and pray each line as a prayer. My moments and days, my words, the work of my hands, the pace and purpose of my feet, my silver and gold, my heart, my relationships, my whole life and everything in it belongs to Christ for the display of His glory and the extending of His eternal dominion. Father, take my whole life and consecrate it – set it apart in everything – as an instrument made holy, useful to You (2 Tim 2:21) in the work of exalting Your Son Jesus.

-Rich Pribbenow (Director, CO Brisbane)

 

Pray for CO Augusta:

  • Rebuilding and strengthening of our current campus ministries
  • Launching of new campus ministries
  • Campus ministries would become multiplying movements

[Post Conference Devo] 1 Timothy 4:4,5

1 Timothy 4:4, 5

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

 The Lord who gives us everything we need for life and godliness also provides “everything for us to enjoy”(1 Tim 6:17). Our Lord is not a slave driver who exacts everything from his subjects and gives nothing in return. He is however an extravagant giver who inspires his people with unmatched kindness. Our Lord is not a Gnostic God who demands his followers reject the material world. On the contrary, our God is creator and our God is good, imparting an inherent good in all that he has made. Coupled with these, we have a loving Father who delights in giving good things to his children. In my brief experience as a father, I can attest to this reality. Few things bring greater joy to my heart than to watch my one year old son experience joy from what I give him. I can imagine it will be all the sweeter when he can actually express his gratitude verbally. I can also imagine the heartbreak I would feel if he became too fixated on the gift, making it a source of enslavement or cause to forget the giver. I would want my gifts to draw him near and inspire him to share his joy with others. May the God and Father of all riches inspire you to share everything through the glorious riches given to you in Christ.

-Jordan Holbrook, (Director, CO Orlando)

Pray for CO Atlanta:

  • Increase the “Ethnic IQ” of our staff team and students

  • Grow in our understanding of culture and diversity and what role that plays in God’s Kingdom

  • Multiply leaders and teams to new places in the near future

[Post Conference Devo] Philippians 3:8

Philippians 3:8

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ

 

English Pastor John Flavel wrote in 1671, ‘Let me tell you, the whole world is not a theatre large enough to show the glory of Christ upon, or unfold a half of the unsearchable riches that lie in him. What shall I say of Christ? His excelling glory dazzles all comprehension, swallows up all expression. When we have borrowed metaphors from every creature that has excellence or lovely property in it, till we have stripped the whole creation bare of all its ornaments, and clothed Christ with all that glory; when we have even worn out our tongues in ascribing praises to him, alas! We have done nothing, when all is done.’

The merchant in search of fine pearls sold everything he had (Matt 13:45-46). He didn’t do this because the things he owned suddenly became worthless in themselves. He did it because he saw them in comparison to the pearl of surpassing value. Paul saw Christ in this way. This mindset can be ours too – not by trying to see other things as worthless but by turning our attention to Christ. Our counting everything else as loss will come as a consequence of knowing Him, of beholding His glory and worth, of seeing Him as He is. Press on to gain Him!

 

-Rich Pribbenow (Director, CO Brisbane)

 

[Post Conference Devo] Acts 4:32

Acts 4:32

[ They Had Everything in Common ] Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.

 

At Pentecost Jesus came to live in His people by the Holy Spirit. Believers in Christ were born again, new creations in union with Jesus. Through our union with Christ, everything that belongs to Christ is now ours: His death, resurrection, victory over sin, beloved family status, inheritance, righteousness and more. This includes also His body, His church. We’re united in Christ’s body with all His people. Just as a vine shares everything with the branches; and just as the different parts of our body share everything in common with other parts – DNA, nutrients, blood supply and so on, so too in the body of Christ. To live out our union with Jesus in gospel community can only look one way: to share everything in common – not just our possessions, but also our joys, burdens, sorrows, unity of mind and purpose, our hearts and lives. Make this true of us, Lord Jesus!

-Rich Pribbenow (Director, CO Brisbane)

[Post Conference Devo] Luke 5:28

Luke 5:28

And leaving everything, he rose and followed him.

 

As I read this verse, I am reminded of the story of William Borden.  William Borden was the heir to the Borden family fortune in the early 1900’s.  During a trip around the world after his high school graduation, William felt God calling him as one friend put it, “to throw his life away as a missionary”.  Borden had a motto that he lived by: “say ‘no’ to self and ‘yes’ to Jesus every time.”  He lived this out during his years at Yale and even started a morning prayer group that had 1,000 out of 1,300 of Yale’s students attending by the time he graduated.  After graduation, he gave up the comfortable life and the wealth that was his as a part of his inheritance.  He instead traveled to Egypt to learn Arabic so that he could take the Gospel to Muslims.  While in Egypt, he contracted spinal meningitis and died at the age of 25.  His death made news across the US and many considered his life a waste.  In Borden’s bible, he had written 3 simple phrases: “No Reserves”, “No Retreats”, & “No Regrets”.  William Borden was a man who left everything to follow Christ.

-Chuck McElroy (Director, CO Memphis)

[Post Conference Devo] Numbers 29:40

Numbers 29:40

So Moses told the people of Israel everything just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

 

Moses told the people “everything.”  The Lord commanded Moses to speak and gave him specific things to speak to a specific people and Moses was careful to obey by telling them “everything.”  In ministry we have strategies, methods, tools, teams, and relationships but power comes through the Word of God.  One of the chief roles of any minister is to clearly tell the people everything the Lord has spoken.

 

We must be careful and not choose to only share SOME things the Lord commanded.  Our evangelism is limited if we intentionally avoid sharing portions of the Bible.

 

Our discipleship is limited if we intentionally avoid sharing portions of the Bible.

 

Our own relationship with God and maturity are limited if we intentionally avoid studying and internalizing portions of the Bible.

 

While we are discerning to share appropriate truths from scripture most profitable to an individual in a particular situation, we must never stop there.  We must aim to be able to say like Paul, “I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” Acts 20:27

 

God has spoken in His word and He continues to speak today through it as it is proclaimed by His people.  He has spoken through His Son and continues to do so today as His people proclaim Jesus Christ as presented in the Word.  In Luke 24:27,  Jesus “interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” and afterwards in verse 32 their “hearts burned within” as “he opened the Scriptures.”  As we tell people everything the Lord has spoken in His word he will continue to reveal his Son and change hearts.

 

-Patrick Lewis (Director, CO Columbus)