Tuesday, May 13, 2008

a heart for the world

"The Lord's prayer" is a good prayer for us to be praying regularly or help us pray, as Jesus taught us. It is comprehensive for us as God's children, and it concerns the entire world.

When we look at the recent typhoon in Myanmar and earthquake in China, along with other tribulations this world encounters, we can't help but long for God in Jesus to finally come and make all things right and new. For Christians, this is our hope, fulfilled in the resurrection of all things in Jesus.

I have to admit that it's so easy for me to fail to see beyond my own struggles and problems, and the problems of those around me. It's hard to see beyond that, but we're to have a heart for everyone, yes everyone in this world, even for enemies. And we're to be in prayer and do what we can as we're led to do.

If our faith does not lead us to have a heart and longing for the redemption of this world, of the earth and all creation, then it is not the full-orbed Christian faith. And too often Christian faith has been little concerned over this, though rightfully believing that God in Jesus is Lord over all, and we can rest assured in that, even as we don't have all the answers. But that should lead us to a faith that acts, in listening, prayer and doing.

For me this means some disciplined listening both to NPR and the BBC. I want to understand what's going on in the world, in places on the news and out of the way places which tend to be neglected.

Also it is good to find organizations which are doing good around the world to help great needs in the name of Jesus such as World Vision and Compassion International. As well as to find what one's own denomination is doing.

In all of this we continue to pray for God's kingdom to come even into this present world and instead of lamenting over what we cannot do, we seek to do and give something towards the great need that is out there as it is on our heart to do so.

I know it is natural to just be overwhelmed by it all. But I believe this is one aspect of our calling in Jesus. That we are to have a heart for the world. For the gospel to go forth and for God's kingdom to come into the hard places in anticipation of the day when God makes all things right and new in Jesus, this work beginning even now in this world in Jesus.

What thought would you like to add to here that can help us? Or what do you think about this?

tomorrow: chapter 2, "Christmas Coal - shame" from L.L. Barkat's book, Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places.

9 comments:

NaNcY said...

it is interesting to me these days that because of news of myanmar being at the forefront right now it is hard not to be more aware of the need of people in places far from our home. the media of communication that we live with now makes brings the world into our world, our home and our mind and hearts. the news programs usually bring only the hard, sensational and tragic. this is good in the way of knowing where some people need help, but, it can be overwhelming and heart breaking. i can lead us to think that the problems of the world are so much and so big that we might want to hide. after all there are problems in our own life, family, neighborhood, town, state, country...etc. but, we can be open to the people near to us as well as the people across the world. the truth is that prayer is helpful to everyone. the truth is that just a little given by many people to a good organization like world vision is well used.
these are people that are already organized to be the hands of Jesus...and if we give a portion of the money that God has given to us then they can reach out and help. we can be the hands of Jesus were we live and then help them be His hands in other places around the world.

it really is overwhelming to think of the things that we might have to go through in the future. that these things that we hear of could be our life as well. or even that we are already having hard times and are on the edge of losing our belongings...but, that should not keep us from praying and giving what we can right now.

it is amazing how much we do not really need.

the times are not going to be easy.
but keep the faith.
do not give up your faith.
share it.


share.

NaNcY said...

since you are my daily read...just wanted to let you know, i will not be on-line for a few days, starting tomorrow.

God bless you, brother.

preacherman said...

Ted,
I pray for all the saints that are being perecuted. It amazes me the reports that we hear from China, and other hostle places. I believe something needs to be done about the Sudan where it is Christian Jenocied. Let us pray for those in the Sudan.
God bless you Ted and all you do brother.
Kinney Mabry

Rachel Mc said...

I agree with Nancy that the news is slanted negatively and really, what good can someone get out of news that is always so negative? I am very fortunate that my church is a big supporter of missions and I am actually the mission board treasurer. (We are meeting tonight!) Our yearly budget is $85,000 and it was a huge responsiblity to decide who we would support in 2008. We keep our support divided evenly between local, national, and international missions. I have learned a lot about the importance of giving; not just money but time, patience and awareness and love. It does seem that the more you give the more that does come back to you. (Not that that is a reason to give!) On another similar note, has anyone watched the Planet Earth
DVD's? That too helps us to remember that God gave the earth to us so we must take care of it.
Everyone on earth is so connected to each other.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
We'll miss your faithful, good blogging. Enjoy your time away!

I personally think NPR does a pretty good job, and I like the BBC for reporting on out of the way places like in Africa.

It's true that we can be overwhelmed with it all, but I think we should try to keep informed so we can pray. And give, as you said.

I have gone in and out on it all. And I know what we get won't be the totality of things, even with reference to the report given.

But where there is suffering we Christians should do what we can to help. Part of our calling in Jesus from Scripture, I believe. And I'm sure you agree wiht that.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks Kinney. Very true, and Voice of the Martyrs (see my side links) is a good organization to help keep us informed on that.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Good thoughts, Rachel. And great to hear of what your church is doing and the part you have in that! And the Planet Earth DVD's sound good. Yes, we need to be good stewards of all God has given us, and he has directly assigned us to be stewards of the earth (Genesis 1 and 2).

News is slanted, all news. I dislike talk radio, either "left" or "right" as people are regularly trashed on it and I have no time or patience for that.

For its faults, I still think NPR does a good job. If they slanted the news either way, in my mind, I'd write them off and no longer listen. Some of their programs apart from their regular news programs are slanted left. And sometimes you see a bent in their scientific reporting pro naturalistic evolution, though there are Christians who hold to Theistic Evolution, who confess belief in the Genesis account along with that.

I'm just saying we need to try to stay informed, and I'm not one to spend alot of time listening to that. (Or watching CNN or whatever if we had "cable").

Just my thoughts, but good to hear of the work of your church and your part in it.

L.L. Barkat said...

Ted... I'm going to D.C. this week, so I'll probably miss your post tomorrow. But I'll check on it when I return. I'm sure you'll have shared some story I won't want to miss! : )

Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L.,
Thanks for your faithful reminder about me sharing from my own life.

I struggled with this one, had to rewrite it as I'm trying to avoid simply summarizing the chapters in full. Hopefully I struck an okay balance.

People really need to read that chapter and the entire book for themselves as you have a way with words which is special.

Blessings on your time in D.C.