GoWests!

GoWests.com – Offical site of the WestSide Story!

“So, you’re Jesus. Why did you come, again…?” December 20, 2010

Filed under: J's Journey — GoWests! @ 9:21 pm

“…it’s the the reason for the season!”

With the present over-the-top, beyond-reason (and our pocket-books) marketing of Christmas, is it any reason we need reminders like this? But, what does this mean anyway? Within the maze of religious humanism which we can so easily find ourselves in today, have we lost our perspective? “True north”, so to speak? Here’s another way to look at it; God meant for the shepherds to follow the angel’s instruction to the Christ; the star for the Magi; for Christ to walk obediently to the cross; and for us to follow him to the Father.

So, when we look at the star or the angel on top of the Christmas tree, what does it mean again? The arrival of Immanuel, of course. Baby Jesus. God in the flesh, as a man, on this earth, …the messiah. “True North” is more than baby Jesus; it’s a life that would lead to death on a cross, which would lead to life.  Follow these next thoughts with me…

In Paul’s letter to Titus he speaks of God’s infinite knowledge and intentions for mankind. Titus 1:2 says  “in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,”. Before time as we know it, before creation, God’s will was set: to send a savior. Remarkable. Even knowing that man would sin, God completed His beloved creation, committing to sacrifice His son in order to finish the task and ensure eternal relationship.

Luke 2:25-32. Here is Simeon, a faithful priest of God serving in the Temple, whom God promised would see the Messiah during his lifetime.  Simeon prophesies under the power of the Holy Spirit the destiny of this child:  “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

John 3:16-17. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

“So why did Jesus come, again?”

Luke 22:15. “And he said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.’ ” Everything Jesus had done in life had led him to this point. He knew exactly what this passover represented. He was to be Passover lamb this year, for all people in every nation, living in any time period. Eternal death would pass-over people’s sin, and they could enter into eternal life with God. But, to have Jesus say, I have “eagerly”, (that is with expectancy, and joy, and excitement!) been waiting for this time…? That is too incredible for me to fathom. Truly, his joy at the result of his obedience in death, was outweighing the coming torture.

Exodus 3:8. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey-” Moses encountering the burning bush wasn’t simply about Moses receiving his calling. That happened, that’s a fact. But why…? To fulfill God’s covenant with Abraham, create a nation, and through that covenant bring Jesus to save mankind, forever.

Among all of the other paradoxes in Christianity (lose your life in order to gain it, be last in order to be first, God is greatest in our weakness, death = life…) surely the fact that an innocent baby comes to live a perfect and pure life, and be sacrificed for others who don’t deserve it, tops them all. Couple that with the resurrection, and this is not just “good news” anymore, this is great news!

So, what’s the reason for the season? As my pastor said recently, “Something needs to change. We need to change our celebrating of the FACT that Jesus came, and instead celebrate WHY he came.” Not playing with semantics, but really, let’s ask ourselves; when was the last time we looked at the gifts under the tree, the wreaths on the doors, the extended shopping hours and so on, thinking the reason for the season is Jesus on the cross, bringing eternal life ?

Our response is not wrong in form: excitement, celebration, gratitude for gifts, the joy of giving to others, relationships, family, and more. But perhaps we are wrong at times in reason. Perhaps we are robbing ourselves of even more joy which comes through the realization of what it meant for Jesus to come as a baby, in order to die a man, for us.  A response of gratitude and worship is all we can give. Giving becomes more appropriate than receiving, and the way up is obviously seen as Jesus coming down to us, 2000+ years ago! The next time we greet someone with “merry Christmas”, be reminded to send out a quick prayer that they would also come to the realization of the real reason for the season; “Celebrate! God is here to save you!”

Please understand me, I love Christmas! I love the gatherings, family, the food (oh yeah, the foooood), the time-off from work, and all the rest of it! But, the enemy wants us to turn it into just another holiday; God always saw it as a marvelous outreach! That’s the reason for the season; Jesus. His life that pays for ours. His obedience, God’s grace, our gratitude. I can celebrate that. Can others?

Joy to the world! The Lord has come!

Merry Christmas! (not happy holidays 😉 )

JW


Advertisements
 

Unreached people groups shrinking! December 16, 2010

Filed under: J's Journey,Updates — GoWests! @ 3:38 pm

Good afternoon everyone (that is if you’re in my timezone when you read this!).

With all of the bad press about the moral state of society, issues within the church [globally], the rise of anti-Christian movements, on to “civilization as we know it”, I wanted to share some good news about the spread of Christianity.

Youth With A Mission’s Global Leadership Team (“GLT”, the international eldership body of YWAM) have recently concluded a week of prayer and strategy meetings. As an international missions organization we are fairly up to date on statistics and numbers regarding Christianity on the globe, especially within the developing world. While we don’t espouse to have all of the facts on this, the following statement from an individual within the GLT who works both within YWAM as well as with numerous other evangelical organizations, is encouraging.

“The GLT then heard a presentation about Call 2 All, a partnership between hundreds of organizations that is led by Mark Anderson of YWAM. He announced that in the last four years as these organizations have met together in different gatherings around the world, and as they have made commitments together, they have seen amazing progress. He said that four years ago, their research showed 639 people groups of over 100,000 people in size that had no known believers and nobody working among them. Now, as God has blessed the joint efforts of Call 2 All members, work has begun to reach 456 of these unreached groups, 2,500 new full-time workers have gone out, 17,700 churches have been started, and they have seen 329,000 people make decisions to accept Christ.”

Now, that’s good news.  One thing that really excites me in this announcement is the fact that it happened through the coordination and cooperation of many different mission organisations and churches. Yay! That’s a huge part of who we are as YWAM: interdenominational, and valuing the local representation of Christ (the church). It’s not about us, but about His Kingdom going to the people who perish without Him.

Thanks for your prayers and support; not just for us, but for each other! The mission field exists wherever your feet take you, at any minute.  Blessings,

JW

ps. For more info about the various elements of YWAM International, hit this: YWAM

Changes to YWAM's logo over 50 years

 

A Tax Break, Perhaps? December 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — GoWests! @ 2:19 pm

Just a quick word/reminder about tax deductions.

I know that some of you who follow us out there (who file taxes in the USA) prefer to donate to our work at the years end. If this is you, be sure to get your donation in before December 31. Youth With A Mission will send you your tax deductible receipts for 2010.

Thank you to those individuals, families, and churches out there who give to our work. Your support is returning a yield in multiple lives, ministries, and continents!

JW

 

Testimonies from the DTS December 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — GoWests! @ 9:15 pm

Hi all.

This Thursday last we commissioned our Fall Discipleship Training School.  They have been studying here since September, and now about to embark on their outreach phase. There are 4 teams heading to 4 different locations: Turkey, Thailand, Guatemala and Haiti.

It is a privilege for us us to work with this program, even though our involvement with this particular school was minimal due to our recent role in Asia. To be able to show you a little of the fruit that comes out of what we do (and in this case only half-way through the program) is a delight.  At our community service they did a little presentation for us.  Please take a look for yourself. Just click on the link below.  It is something called “cardboard testimonies”. …You can work out the rest.

For those of you who sponsor our work, this is just a part of the fruit we are working to produce together. Now, these transformed people are off to take the Great News to others!

God is good.

Enjoy, JW

Fall DTS Cardboard Testimonies

 

 
%d bloggers like this: