Make Disciples Of Your Own Nation

Make Disciples Of Your Own Nation

The problem with international missions trips.
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Something that is more and more common are global missions trips. Every one of us can probably name at least one person that we know who went on a missions trip out of the country. It is very common for Christians to go on these trips with their church and other believers to spread God and Christianity. If you're one of these people who went on a global missions trip, great! It takes a lot of courage to go somewhere unknown for an extended period of time and dedicate your time to God and people you don't even know. I for one, am not one of these people.

And yes, I am a Christian.

"Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and of the Holy Spirit"
- Matthew 28:19

Most Christians recognize this verse in the Bible. Many people get tattoos of it and take it quite literally, dedicating to their lives to global missions trips. In my opinion, churches and Christian groups focus too much on international counties and missions trips.

Before you freak out and think I'm heartless for thinking there's too much emphasis on global missions trips, hear me out.

People spend thousands of dollars to attend a missions trip across the country. Though it's important to spread God's word to other countries, why aren't we instead, spreading it in our own backyards first? Many towns and cities and your state do not know Jesus, so why not start with them? Why not do a missions trip there to intercity Chicago or Detroit? Or look for the non-believers in your own town, look to take care of your town's homeless, look to take care of the poor. Then, after you spread God's word to your own surrounding towns, you expand and go to the neighboring states and eventually, neighboring countries. There are so many communities in the U.S that need to hear God's word. It's great to go out of the country and spread the word there, but why go there if you can't even go to your own neighborhood first? If you are running in line to go on a global missions trip but not a local missions trip, are you going for the right reasons? Are you really trying to make a difference? Is your heart in the right place?

It is silly to think that the only way to spread God's word or to make a difference to by going out of the country. That's not true! You can make a difference within your own community and your own friends. There are homeless in your own cities, there are poor in your own towns, yet very few of us have ever donated or volunteered your time to your local food pantry or boys and girls club. If you've never even tried to make a difference for God in your everyday life, how can you make a difference across the country?

In addition to making a difference in our own communities, we also should be making a difference in our own lives. If you are not living a Christian lifestyle in your everyday life and spreading God's love regularly, how can you do it countries away?

In no way am I condemning the people who do choose to go out of the country on these trips, that's great! And it takes a lot of courage. If Jesus was calling me to take such a huge trip, I wouldn't hesitate to go!

However, there are other places and ways to spread ministry without going global. It is important that we continue to spread God's message to our local communities too, sometimes those are where it is needed most.

Cover Image Credit: Bullandbearmcgill.com

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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Young Adults, If You Do Not Pray Now Is The Time To Start

Prayer is not just for our grandparents.

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Every Sunday night my parents would drag me to the prayer service. There was no kids church, we all had to sit in a pew with my parents and listen. I remember counting tiles on the roof, reading hymnals, doing anything to distract myself, except pray.

I didn't understand it then. What was the point of talking to God if He knew what you were thinking and doing all the time? I didn't understand how important it was not just to let God watch you like an all-seeing eye from Heaven, but to talk and have a personal relationship with him.

We all talk about prayer, it's the Christian thing to do. We pray for our food before every meal. We tell a friend or co-worker we will pray for them. When a friend posts on Facebook or social media about something bad happening, the comment section reads "praying." It's the automated response that everyone gives. If we actually sat down and prayed, think of the good we could do. I am nowhere near perfect, but I know that I can pray.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16

When I feel like the world is crashing down around me, and there is nothing else I do, this verse is the one that helps me remember that my conversations with God can make a difference. We are called on to pray for everyone. We are called to pray for each other without dispute. No anger, no hatred, just sharing a moment of lifting hands in prayer.

I urge, then first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for all people. 1 Timothy 2:1
Therefore, I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. 1 Timothy 2:8

Prayer can bring people together. When I think back now to those Sunday nights I appreciate all the prayer that was offered up. I don't remember what they were for but weekly we would hear reports of what God had done through prayer. That is a powerful tool.

Prayer is not gender, race, age, or political party bias. It is not something that is out there for the world to see. It is a very personal choice, but it has the power to change the world. The loss of Reverend Billy Graham and so many others this past year brought me to a realization. Our generation needs to step up.

Young adults have the chance to make a huge difference. In an interview, Bishop Bill Hamon said that he believes young adults are going to be an army for God that is unstoppable and on fire. You can see it in all that we do. We are driven, we are not afraid, we are unstoppable. It is up to us to start making a difference in prayer.

Don't wait for the prayer warriors in your life to reach heaven before you start praying. The time is now because none of us are promised tomorrow.

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