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Moriel South Africa Mount of Olives Missions Report ecember 2015Written by
Moriel Missions SA
PO BOX 793 Swellendam 6740, Western Cape, South Africa
END OF YEAR NEWS 2015
Dear friends in the Lord
Greetings in the lovely name of our Lord Jesus to who we give all the praise and glory! Needless to say its been a busy and exciting year with the majority of work focusing on the development at the mission. As we complete almost 16 years of service to the Lord here in South Africa our work is entering its final stages. As you recall from our mission statement right at the beginning the work was to involve two major stages. First of all a place of safety and nurture for the youngest and most vulnerable of our children but after years of development and healing a place where they could contribute themselves to society. The mission is purely that, a place where the children can learn life skills and a place where the gospel is faithfully lived and propagated.
This year we have seen a influx of livestock that will enable the mission gto sustain the community. Not only that but our vision is to see surplus used in the sharing of the gospel. The country faces hard times ahead with a crippled economy and inept leadership. So does the body of Christ. Therefore this place must be seen almost as an Ark where people are loved, welcomed and nurtured. Through your help and giving we have been able this year to make huge steps towards this goal.
However we have had our challenges. With a world economy shrinking and the base of commited believers faithful to Gods word becoming a remnant we have had to pull our belts in to fit our circumstance. However God in His grace and mercy has met all our needs because He is faithful and as true as His word. I am so glad His faithfulness is not dependant on our faithfulness.
Recently we have also had a setback. After 3 years of nurturing Olive trees, Lucern trees and Cape Lilacs a devastating fire took almost half of our pasture and 80% of our trees. The good news is that no one was injured and the livestock seemed to instantly know to huddle together around the grey water pool while we dealt with the situation. This was a huge wake up call for us regarding fire safety and this year with your help and the Lords guidance we aim to do the following.
• Purchase a fire fighting trailer
• Install piping and a solar pump from the main Dam
• Install a 47,000L Dam at the highest point of the farm.
This will help us speed up our response time to any future fires. It will also help us with our irrigation and animal watering needs for the future too. It has been encouraging to see that already new green shoots of grass is appearing. New life springs form the desolation and this encourages us tremendously.
I would like to thank those who have prayed for us during this situation, those who have encouraged us and those who have practically given to help with the water and fire fighting project.
We have also been busy sharing the gospel. I have personally distributed well over 100 bibles and also tracts in the community. However we do need bibles in Shona, Afrikaans and Xhosa to reach a wider group.
The children continue to grow. This January we will have three aged 19 in fact Prudence will turn twenty in August. Our youngest is now 10 years old and so everyone is participating in every area of mission life. Health issues have been fairly stable for which we praise God. The ministrations of our excellent DR who is a believer himself have ensured the HIV has remained controlled. Lyn as ever soldiers on with seemingly nothing phasing her while my diabetes and neuropathy remain a concern. This has mean huge cutbacks in itinerant ministry plus I can only drive short didtances on a good day because I simply cannot feel the pedals on the car. Once again we thank your for your prayers and continued support. I hope to be in the JUK in March and Australia in June I pray that this coming year the Lord will continue to bless our friends and family.
Every blessing in Yeshua
• Praise God for helping us in every situation in 2015-12-22
• For the missions needs next year 2016. These include a Dam, solar pump, piping, fire trailer
• The health of the children that they continue to prosper in Christ.
• For the firm rooting of the seeds of the gospel
• For the health of Lyn and I as we enter another year of service
• We really need a Bakkie (pick up) going forward.
• More help on the mission especially establishing a church
• You can contact me directly or you may contact the following people.
Mission and evangelism
The ultimate goal of missions is to Glorify God. Read Isaiah 46:7
The immediate goal of missions is to fulfil Gods purpose of salvation by bringing people to God. Read 2 Cor 5:19 Our ultimate goal is thus to glorify God. This should be the motto of our lives. Our immediate goal is to be concerned with the redemption of people. It is the immediate goal that makes the ultimate goal possible. The purpose of missions can thus be defined as: “The reconciliation between man and God”. We see why Jesus came in the following verses
Read Matthew 18:11 & John 3:16,17 It was to seek and save the lost.
With this in mind, we would define the nature of Jesus' ministry as missionary in nature
Throughout Scripture, we see that the dealings of God concerning the salvation of mankind have been missionary by nature. God is the Great Missionary! Yet Jesus served in the capacity of each office of ministry. He acted as Apostle (Mt 16:18), Prophet (Deut 18:15), Evangelist ( Luke 13:3) Pastor (John 10:11) and Teacher ( Matt 23:8). But His ministry was always missionary by nature. So it should be in every ministry in the church. No matter the office, our task is missionary (read Matt 28:19,20).
It would thus be incorrect to think of missions as merely reaching unreached nations. This is undoubtedly a crucial aspect of Missions, but not the only aspect of missions. To fulfil any part of the Great Commission must therefore be defined as missions.
In this module, we will take a look both at our role in missions, and the role of the church in non-western countries and cross-cultural evangelism.
GOD'S METHOD OF MISSIONS
I. THE MISSION OF OUR SAVIOUR
Read Eph 1:3-14. You will notice the use of phrases such as "in Christ", "in Him", "through Christ" etc. Only through a personal relationship with Jesus do we receive any spiritual benefit from the Father. In fact, outside of Jesus, there is no way of fulfilling God's mission to save people. The only way to deal with sin is through the cross. If there were any other way possible, the death of Christ would have been in vein (Read Gal 2:21). In fact, the cross is the focal point of the history of mankind. This was His ultimate purpose (Read Mark 10:45).
Roger Nicole says the following about the death of Jesus on the cross:
" Where there is a burden to bear, God Himself bears it; where there is a price to pay, God Himself pays it, where there is an obligation to be met, God Himself provides satisfaction…The saving work of Jesus is emphatically the work of God which no one but God can perform”
Part of the work of missions therefore (and ultimately part of the call to every Christian), is the need to realize that we can save no one. All we can do is to bring people to God and allow His transforming work of grace to bring them out of darkness.
How wonderful that God lays on the hearts of His people to go out into the distant reaches of our world to share the Good News with all people. It is the heart of the missionary that should be found in the heart of every believer. We need to realise that while we may not be called to go to China with the Gospel or to some remote village on the other side of the world, we should always be busy with the mission of bringing glory to God in all that we do, and be involved in the process of reconciling those around us to God. By His grace, God sends men into the foreign parts of the field to reap His harvest to His glory.
But what about the people that do not get to hear the Gospel in their lifetime? Is it fair for God to send them to hell? We would be short-sighted to believe that some people do not die without hearing the Gospel message even once. Discus and read Romans 1:18-23
We need to realize one very important point. Read Eph 1:7;2:5,7. From this Scripture and from personal experience, it should be very clear that no man deserves God's grace! Salvation comes to us only by the grace of God. The fact that we have heard the Good News and accepted Jesus Christ is simply an act of God's grace.
What is grace? Terry Miethe describes it as:
“From the Greek ‘Charis’, graceful, agreeable. The gift od God, the unmerited favor of forgiveness or mercy given to sinners. An outpouring of Gods love and mercy.”
No human being deserves heaven. God would have been completely justified in sending everyone to hell.
Oswald J Smith, a man used mightily of God, said the following:
" When you read what the Bible says about man, the thing that amazes you is not that God would allow someone to go to hell, but that God would save anyone."
Read Romans 1:18-32 again.
Do we deserve God's grace? No. We should be grateful that God's grace has been extended to us in the measure that it has. We also need to realise that the Great Commission is a commission to US! That the church has not yet reached every country with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. After nearly 2000 years is no reflection on the lack of God's grace. If anything, it is an example of the lack of love and compassion experienced by His body! When we realise just how much the early church accomplished in such a short spate of time and with the limited resources that were at their disposal, we should be ashamed at how little we have done in the many years since then!
The mission of Christ, therefore, was to pay the price that we were unable to pay. The mission of the church is to share this incredible message of love and hope with others that their lives in turn will be touched by God and for God.
MAN AND SIN
Another point to note is that we are in fact unable to deal with sin on our own. Victory over sin is another direct expression of God's grace! Festo Kivengere says:
" Man, the upward-looking one, became a creature of dilemma when he lost his bearings. This tragic experience happened when the upward-looking one turned away from the direction of life and became the downward-looking one, or the' inward-looking one.' Away from the 'life-direction,' he turned to darkness No wonder the inspired record described man in this state as 'lost!'
What about true seekers of God who are involved in other religions? Will they be accepted by God if they have never heard of His grace through Jesus Christ? I believe that sincere, seeking people will find the truth (Deut 4:29)! There are countless stories of men who truly sought God only to have a special revelation of Jesus Christ. Perhaps an example that we can all identify with is that of a man by the name of Paul!
REVELATION OF GOD (Rom 1)
There are two types of revelation from God:
1. General Revelation
2. Special Revelation
Every man has a general revelation of God. We are born with a 'God-consciousness.' We know God exists through nature and through our conscience. This is what makes man different from animals. No animal has displayed the inward compulsion to worship a greater being. The fact that every society has prescribed rules and a conscious need for payment of wrongdoing is proof that God has placed within us the desire to find Him and to know Him. A dog, for example, has no conscience. The dog may learn to fear being caught for doing something wrong, but it will never feel guilty!
General revelation can be defined as, “Knowing Gods existence through nature and conscience.
Special revelation can therefore be defined as, ”The special act of God which makes His saving power and truth known.
People who live without Jesus live without hope and without God in the world. Read Eph 2:12. No matter who we are or where we come from, without a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, we live under the wrath of God. This knowledge should burden our hearts to reach out to those who do not know Jesus!
The mission of the salvation of mankind was thus initiated by God, made possible by God, cemented and sealed by God and commissioned by God. May the church bring glory to God by fulfilling the commission!
It is easy for us to understand why God the Father entrusted the mission of salvation to Jesus. What is more difficult to understand is why Jesus chose men; especially the twelve we read of in the Bible. These men were ordinary individuals. Some were fishermen; some were government workers. But Christ's mission was to become the mission of these men! God's method is a man! Our mission is firstly to learn to obey, and secondly, to learn to depend on God!
THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN MISSIONS
Read Acts 1:4-8. Reading this we have an idea as to ‘When’ should we witness for Jesus. It is when we have received Power from on High. God enables us by the power of His Holy Spirit to fulfill the call.
Read Matt 9:35-38. We can see that the plans of Jesus regarding the lost included more than just the twelve disciples, they included all who are disciples.
What then is our mission? Our mission is His mission Read John 17:18.
The disciples were sent into the world in the same way that Jesus was sent into the world. This is perhaps why Jesus has told us to be willing to take up our cross and to follow Him. We must be prepared to love others the way Jesus has loved us! It is in loving God's people that we give expression to our love for God! Do you love God's people as Christ loves you?
Read John 15:26. This also tells us that the work of the Holy Spirit is to testify about Jesus, therefore the Spirit is a missionary Spirit. The book of Acts records the first missionary thrust of the church. It tells of the lives of believers who were guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Jesus was real to these people! Is Jesus still real to the modern-day church? We all have a mission; it is the Great Commission! It is for all believers (Mt 28:19,20). But that does not necessarily mean that we all need to pack up our bags and tackle the jungles of Africa or the plains of Mongolia. We are called to fulfil our mission wherever God places us. When we are confident of God's leading and willing to obey at all costs, we will see the working of His Holy Spirit in and through our lives!
GOD STRATEGY FOR MISSIONS
We have seen in recent studies that the fall of mankind was accompanied by the promise of salvation. The first promise of redemption is found in Genesis 3:15. This verse is called the "proto-evangelium", which means: The first proclamation of the Gospel.
Mankind continued to degenerate after the Fall and it seems that idolatry was introduced in the period following the building of the Tower of Babel. Before this event idolatry is not mentioned in the Bible.
This began another stream of history called “Redemptive History”.
During this period in the history of mankind, God narrowed the focus of His Mission of salvation to one man, namely Abraham.
The call of Abraham marked the birth of a redemptive people of God. God promised Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation. As we have seen in the Old Testament Survey, this was in fact the nation of Israel. Abraham responded by faith, and this allowed God's Mission to go forward (Read Galatians 3:8). It is clear that Paul understood the call of Abraham to be a missionary call.
This was a cross-cultural call, even as we see so often in our day. Terah, Abraham's father was an idol worshipper (Josh 24:2). The missionary call today is similar to that of Abraham in that:
a) It is often cross-cultural
b) It often contains the element of the unknown
c) It is sustained by faith
THE BIRTH OF A REDEMPTIVE NATION
As we have seen in the Old Testament study, Israel grew into a mighty nation during the four hundred years spent in Egypt. We see here a sharpening of the missionary purpose given to Abraham in that they were no longer just the people of God but the nation of God.
It was important for God in His divine mission to separate His people as a nation.
1. To resist the corruption of sin and idolatry around them.
2. To develop their God consciousness and Moral consciousness.
3. To carry on the redemptive mission.
Israel had spent four hundred years under the influence of idolatry in Egypt. They had to be separated as a nation in order to be restored as a people! Israel, however would not remain faithful to God. We saw in the Old Testament Survey that the continual backslidings of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms posed problems to the mission strategy. Instead of being a nation through whom God could reach out to other nations as He sometimes did through people like Jonah, God had to send prophets to Israel who, in a sense, acted as missionaries to the chosen nation. We see in many instances the same pattern in the western world today. Countries that were used at the beginning of the era to evangelise the world are now having to open their doors to missionaries as they have come full circle. Even in our own country, it is no longer the Western Church evangelising the eastern world, but the Eastern Church often has to evangelise the western world!
Read Mark 11:12-14; 20-25; John 15:1-8 and Romans 11:16-24. Scriptures such as these highlight the fact that Israel failed to fulfil its mission and was therefore rejected as a redemptive nation. Israel is even pictured in the Old Testament as the fruitless vine. (Psalm 80:8-16; Is 5:1-7; Jer 2:21; Eze 15:1-8). Israel fail in their mission as a redemptive nation because of disobedience.
THE BIRTH OF A REDEMPTIVE COMMUNITY
The order of God's mission to mankind shifted from a redemptive nation to a redemptive remnant. It would be a handful of Jewish believers that would be used by God to evangelise the world and carry the ultimate message of God's mission to the rest of mankind. What God accomplished through these people is probably one of the greatest miracles ever recorded.
THE NEW TESTAMENT MISSION
Jesus Christ is the link between missions in the Old Testament and missions in the New Testament. Once again, as in the days of Abraham and Noah, God had narrowed His attention down to one Person, namely Jesus. It is clear from His ministry that a main theme in missionary ministry must be to train others to do the work of the ministry. When the church fails in this regard, it fails in its missionary purpose. I trust that through the MOTC, God will raise up people who will be called to works of service in whatever mission field the Lord has ordained. And I encourage you to view the course in this light!
IS THE CHURCH MISSIONARY BY HERITAGE?
When we consider the missionary purpose of Christ, we must remember that missions do not exist because of the church; the church exists because of missions! Read Matt 2:19-20 again. Is our central task missionary in focus? Yes!
Pentecost highlights this truth. Pentecost represent the following:
1. A time of fulfillment of Gods purpose to mission among the nations. 2. The new era of the outpouring of the Spirit on all people.
3. The birth of a witnessing community.
The Great Commission is binding upon every generation in the history of the church. This commission is our mission - the purpose for the existence of the church. The Holy Spirit is a witnessing Spirit (John 15:26). The church is therefore a missionary community by very nature. It is not surprising then that Timothy, a pastor, is told by Paul in 2 Ti 4:5 to do the work of an evangelist. No matter where we find ourselves and no matter what our calling, we are to witness the love of Jesus Christ. I hope you will realize through this study that you have a "mission" obligation!
Take a moment to define your "mission field" at present. Discuss
The Relationship of the Holy Spirit to the Old Testament Believer and the New Testament Believer.
Old Testament New Testament Limited to selected individuals Unlimited- includes all Gods people Occasional Abiding With Gods people In Gods people The Nations came into the presence of God Believers take Gods resence to the people
It is impossible to effectively minister without the help of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Any mission strategy that ignores the dynamic of the Holy Spirit is set on an impossible missionary task. The Holy Spirit as the Supreme Strategist not only brings the harvest to ripen, but also sends labourers into the harvest field and directs their actions accordingly. One sows, one waters, one reaps!
WHEN IS A "CALL FROM GOD" A CALL FROM GOD?
It is important at this point to emphasize the fact that we need to be fulfilling the part of the Great Commission that God has intended for us. As soldiers of Christ, we do not make plans; we receive orders! How do we know when we are acting by the leading of the Holy Spirit or acting on pure impulse?
This can be extremely confusing, especially to a person with zeal! I have learnt a simple truth that has been invaluable in knowing God's direction for my life. A true call from God is a sustained burden - it never goes away! It grows stronger and stronger. I think we are sometimes too hasty when trying to do what we feel God is saying.
If God has called me, I can be sure of a few things:
i) I am not going to have to kick down doors
ii) God will not forget to release me
iii) God produces character before He releases kings!
iv) God's release will be in recognition of a ministry, not in the initiation of it!
Remember: God is not impulsive! Far too often, Christians, in their zeal to serve God, get involved in ministries to which they have not been called. While God may be able to use them to a certain degree in these positions, it is not His will nor his plan for their lives. To be sure that we can enjoy the direction, provision and empowerment of the Holy Spirit in our service as Christians, we must be sure of our call (2 Pet 1:10). Spend time with the Commissioner. Wait for His orders!
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