Thursday, July 17, 2008

40 Years Old and Still Laboring?
Today, both CCP groups (40 students and staff in all) got together with the Thailand staff (some Americans and some Thais) to have a day of vision building. Each region (Raleigh, Charleston, and Thailand) got to share about what God has been doing on each of their campuses, and then we had opportunities to labor for one another in prayer. It was a very encouraging and challenging time. One of the things that was very challenging for me was when one of the staff quoted the Regional Director from South Africa, saying that if we don't have 40 year olds from our ministry that are laboring beyond the campus then we have failed. Two thoughts crossed my mind when I heard this:

  1. I have a very small vision! I have somehow lost sight of "building laborers on the campus for the lost world". I have just been trying to build campus laborers. How in the world did I get here?!
  2. I want to make sure that I am laboring for the gospel at 40 years old, and just because I am in full-time ministry doesn't mean that I automatically will.
Then the same staff person said that he believed that there aren't many 40 year olds laboring for the gospel because ,yes, life is full of challenges and changes, but much more than our hearts are more full of ourselves than it is with people. WOW! I hope that just convicted you as much as it did me. Listen to what Jesus says in Matthew 9:

"When he (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

This passage says that Jesus saw people! That means He wasn't so consumed with His world, His success, His job, or managing His reputation that he couldn't see people. He noticed their physical, emotion, financial, and spiritual needs. And guess what?! He didn't get mad or judge them. He had compassion for them! And then he turned to His disciples and said pray for laborers. Be careful what you pray for though because guess what happens in Chapter 10? Jesus sends out the 12 to labor. He might answer that prayer in sending you! How is your perspective? Is it that you and I are saying, "I'll go if you want, but I am planning on staying" or "I am planning on going, but if you want me to stay I will." He wants us to "see" people and go, give, and pray for them. No multiple choice there, but rather a call for us to do all three. Let's ask God where we can go, how we can give until it hurts, and pray until we can't cry out any longer. The nations need the "entire" body going, giving, and praying. We have a decision to make don't you think?!

*To be 40 years old and laboring we MUST believe:
  1. God is in control- He has a plan and He is making it happen
  2. That God is a glorious reality and not just a concept
  3. It is God's work and our work (grace vs. work)- if you fall out on either extreme you will run out of gas
  4. Lastly, we must believe that God wants to redeem people's hearts- We should long for people to be doing well spiritually
*Thoughts from a COT staff person's talk during the Global Vision Day.

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