KR14: Salt of the Earth (part 2)

Kingdom-Disciples-IconYou are the salt of the earth….You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:13-14 NLT)

After His list of blessings upon Kingdom Disciples, Jesus gets to the point of the Beatitudes. There is a point to what Jesus said.

Kingdom Disciples are blessed so that we will spread Kingdom Flavor across the earth. Kingdom Disciples are blessed so that we will shine Kingdom Light throughout the world. God’s Spirit calls out everywhere, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”(Psalm 34:8) The earth needs our salt for taste. The world needs our light to see. The Lord is good and He wants us to make it known.

There is a point to our lives! We have been blessed with a purpose. God’s promise to His people: “I will bless you.” But He doesn’t stop there, His promise has purpose: “All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:2-3)

There is a point to God’s blessing. It’s a beautiful point.

As is my practice, I recently took a day to get away to be alone with Jesus. While walking and meditating upon the Beatitudes, a pleasant reminder came to my mind on the beauty of this point. Please click on this link for a one-minute video I made for you that day at Salt Point State Park on the coast of Northern California.

Kingdom ReflectionQuestion for reflection: We are to bless all the families of the earth. What would you put on the list of the Top 5 needs for the world’s families?

Kingdom prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that there is a point to why we were born. Help us each recognize our unique part in Your purpose and follow You to its fulfillment. Amen.

KR13: Salt of the Earth

Kingdom-Disciples-Icon“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” (Matthew 5:13 NLT)

Kingdom Disciples are the salt of the earth. Within our families, among our neighbors, throughout our society and across the earth, we are called to add flavor—Kingdom Flavor. Jesus, the Source of this Flavor used the Beatitudes to describe the Flavor in words.

Once in my prayer journal, I wrote out my personal words to Jesus, as a response to His words:

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for Him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”

Revelation that we are spiritually empty without You, Lord Jesus, is the doorway into Your Kingdom. As we acknowledge our need, repent and turn to You, You lead us in.

“God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.”

Another revelation occurs; we realize our world is so unlike Your Kingdom. Ours is a world of brokenness—broken relationship with You, with ourselves, with one another and with nature. We mourn. But there is hope in You and Your plan for wholeness. We find comfort that You have a plan and we’re invited to join You in it.

“God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.”

Revelation comes that we cannot change the world unless we “walk humbly with our God.” You are the One with The Plan. You’ll show us as we walk with You—You leading the Way.

“God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
    for they will be satisfied.”

So much of human suffering and environmental degradation is rooted in injustice. “There is abundant food in the fallow ground of the poor, but it is swept away by injustice.” Often it is the need for food and water that leads to revolt and killing.

Anger and violence is not Your way. You have a Plan and we shall be satisfied as we follow You and Your Kingdom Ways.

“God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.”

We are to respond to the needy with mercy. You will show us how to do this well—have mercy upon us and show us—because we will not do it properly (creating paternalism, dependency) without You. You have The Plan.

“God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.”

Looking at our surroundings—we are confronted with the demand for justice and the cries for mercy. A barrage upon heart and mind creates temptation to respond in a purely human fashion. We however are called to Your side, to confess our failings and sins, to receive forgiveness and cleansing. To see You. To hear You. To move in communion with You and our brothers and sisters to see Your Kingdom come.

“God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.”

I know from experience, though we as Your followers are called to peace, we encounter conflict—even sometimes creating conflict among ourselves. We’re blessed as we learn to restore peace through honesty, forgiving and being forgiven.

As we love one another, we prove to be Your children and we will reflect Your Kingdom values.

“God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”

Working with You and one another to change the world will result in backlash. Persecution will come. For many—in the neediest parts of our world—it has come, and with a vengeance.

“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.”

Yes we are happy! We are glad! Great reward is up ahead! You have blessed us with Your Kingdom. You have made Your Kingdom Disciples like salt. As we faithfully follow You, You will keep our Kingdom Flavor strong and we will salt and transform the whole earth.


Kingdom ReflectionQuestion for reflection: Rebecca Pippert’s book title says it: Out of the Salt Shaker and into the World. How are you and your fellowship getting out spreading Kingdom Flavor?

Kingdom prayer: Lord, stir us to action. Help us take the Kingdom Flavor You’ve given us and generously season our world. Amen.




KR12: Facing Persecution? You’re Blessed

Kingdom-Disciples-Icon“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.” (Matthew 5:11-12 NLT)

Making disciples and spreading the blessings of God’s Kingdom where it’s needed most, is risky business! Yet it is the calling of all Kingdom Disciples.

A year ago, I frequently awakened in the middle of the night. Two of my coworkers had been arrest in a country famous for hostility toward the Gospel. Under such circumstances it was hard for me avoid anxiety. For these coworkers beatings and torture were probable.  Execution was possible. God’s blessing was a promise; Jesus declared it, but almost too hard to believe.

When the ordeal ended, I visited one of these friends. After listening to the story, I asked to have it written up and passed on for you:

“At the beginning of the 2013 I was detained for 2 months because of my desire to follow and obey Jesus in a certain country.  I had a lot of time to meditate on Jesus’ words: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely because of My name…”  It was very difficult for me not knowing what might happen; being cut off from the outside world; being anxious that I might dishonor Jesus’ name and my fellow workers during interrogation. 

At the same time I really felt blessed: the incredible privilege to share in the fellowship of His suffering (albeit a very little bit).  The Bible became more real to me than it had ever been.  It was my everyday manual on how to ‘behave’ (forgive, give, bless, answer respectfully).

Sometimes I sensed Jesus’ overwhelming presence and love for me and sometimes I didn’t feel anything, but I knew that He was there, watching over me. What I went through cannot compare with what He suffered on the cross and yet I felt His encouragement and smile.  Meditating on His suffering encouraged me greatly.  It became very precious to me and I got a deeper understanding what it cost Him.

I’ve never felt so extremely needy, weak and empty, but when I had nothing left and thought I was falling, tumbling down the crevice, I found that His hand was there to catch me.  Some days I had no praise or worship in my heart and just gave Him my emptiness, but every time Jesus met me and lifted my head. It’s something that I never want to forget.

After this experience I feel that I’m ‘limping’ (like Jacob).  I’m very much aware of my weakness and yet I’ve seen Jesus’ faithfulness and power.  It’s difficult to describe, but Job summarized it for me:  ‘My ear has heard of You but now my eyes have seen You.’ (Job 42:5).  I’m blessed indeed.”

Though the name cannot be given, due to security, on behalf of us all, let me give the author of this story our thanks. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of how Jesus kept His word and blessed you in the face of intense persecution. And so He promises to bless everyone who faces persecution for living as Kingdom Disciples.

Kingdom ReflectionQuestion for reflection: What aspects of today’s story might help you and your disciples willingly face persecution?

Kingdom prayer: Lord, You have called us to proclaim the Good News of Your Kingdom in word and deed. Please pour out Your grace upon us when we face mocking, lies, threats and harm so we may be faithful and fruitful. Amen.

KR11: Suffering Rejection? You’re Blessed

Kingdom-Disciples-Icon“God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” (Matthew 5:10 NLT)

Following Jesus makes our relationship with God right and makes our relationship with others right. As we trust and obey, He uses us to help make our world right. Yet to reach a world bent toward doing wrong, there is a price to pay. Persecution.

Today I received news from a friend. Several fellow disciples in Central Asia were told to deny their faith or be killed. They stood for Jesus, did what was right and died. It’s shocking and sad. In spite the terrible cost, somehow in faith we must trust Jesus who promised, “the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”

Recently another friend from a different part of Asia sent me a description of her own experiences with persecution. She confirms, yes, God blesses those who are persecuted. Her story:

It was hard for my family to accept my choice to follow Jesus. To them, Christianity was for the Westerners—we Asians should keep to our religion, traditions and family values.  Little did I know, becoming a Christian would mean I would have to stand up for my faith and for what I believe about Jesus. I went through six years of persecution from my family. 

In obedience to my parents I did not go to church. God was faithful and proved Himself very real to me during those times. The years of persecution were actually good years where I learned so much more about God and His commitment towards those who love Him and want to do His will. I would say they were bitter and sweet years.  Bitter, because of all the persecution I received from my family. Sweet, because through these experiences I learned to totally depend on God.  I had no choice. The Lord proved Himself to be very real to me.

During difficult times in my early walk with God, He always faithfully gave me friends to stand with me.  Although I could not meet them in the church, I was able to see them secretly.  For six years my friends supplied books and teaching tapes from their church, enabling me to continue to build my faith and walk in God. I was never left out in my learning of God. I learned self-discipline. Books became my “teachers.”  

Three years into the persecution, I was ready to give up my faith.  I remember fasting and praying one day to seek the deliverance of God from the persecution of my family.  That particular day, I challenged the Lord to answer my prayer.  Instead of answering my prayer, He chose to speak to me and asked me if His grace wasn’t enough for me.  It was so real, I heard the Lord call my name. He spoke to me out of the verse, II Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” 

I broke down and cried before Him. Since then, there is no turning back. I know He is real and is able to carry me through any situation if I would allow Him to.  Truly His grace had been sufficient for me during such difficult years.  After the day when He spoke to me so clearly and personally, I still had to endure another three years of even worse persecution.  Yet just as He promised, His grace was indeed more than enough for me.

Looking back I would say these were my best years in my walk with God.  I learned so much about God and sharing with Him the joy of suffering for my faith in Jesus.  It made me strong in my commitment and my faith.

Walking in friendship with Jesus, filled with both the desire and ability to do what is right—no matter what. This is the Kingdom Life.


Kingdom ReflectionQuestion for reflection: How willing are you to do what is right even if you must suffer persecution?

Kingdom prayer: Lord Jesus, today many of Your people face severe persecution. We pray as the early church prayed, “And now Lord, look upon their threats and grant to Your servants to continue to speak Your Word with all boldness, while You stretch out Your hand to heal….” Amen.

KR10: Working for Peace? You’re Blessed

Kingdom-Disciples-Icon“God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9 NLT)

Last time we focused on this blessing: “the pure in heart will see God.” With pure hearts, we see God change our individual lives. We see God change the lives of fellow Kingdom Disciples. He invites us to “Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.” (II Timothy 2:22b)

In companionship with other Kingdom Disciples, we call on the Lord, getting to know His ways and His purposes. God gives us vision for transformed communities and societies. Jesus-Centered fellowships have incredible potential for spreading the blessings of God’s Kingdom. To the extent we obey Jesus and love one another we are an unstoppable force.

The march toward Kingdom Advance must be a peace march. Conflict will arise. Conflict between believers can be the most painful if left unresolved.  We must not allow conflict to divide and break our unity. “God blesses those who work for peace.”

Years ago I learned this lesson firsthand. I was a member of a ministry team focused upon helping poor communities where Jesus was not yet known. Weekly we met to evaluate our progress and make plans. I entered meetings with enthusiasm but left frustrated. Nearly every time, during our talks I found some little issue to disagree with and argue over. Not only would I get tense but so did all the others. Our leader found me and these constant conflicts difficult.

One day he came to my door and greeted me with his usual warm smile. As we sat, he told me of his concern: “Have you noticed how often you argue and become angry during our meetings? I am wondering what causes this.” Something about his tone communicated a genuine love for me. I found it easy to open up. I confessed my constant negative reactions were also frustrating me.

He asked if arguments and anger were common at home when I grew up. Memories flooded in. It was true of my immediate family and my extended family. “Would you like to pray? We can ask Jesus to free you.” Conflicts within me caused conflicts with others. I yearned for freedom. Quickly we both joined in prayer. I was set free! I made peace with myself and made peace with others. Our meetings improved and unity returned.

I was blessed by a peacemaker. Receiving peace enabled me to work for peace with others. God wants all of us to experience peace within ourselves and among ourselves. When this happens, Jesus’ prayer to the Father for us is being answered: “May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that You sent Me and that You love them as much as You love Me.” As peacemakers, even the world will recognize us as the children of God…and His Kingdom will appear to them as more inviting.


Kingdom ReflectionQuestion for reflection: Romans 12:18 says, Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.When faced with conflict, what steps do you take to work for peace?

Kingdom prayer: Lord Jesus, teach us how to live in love and peace. In agreement with Your prayer, we ask that we would experience such perfect unity that the world will know that the Father sent You and that He loves us as much as He loves You. Amen.

KR9: Willing to Change? You’re Blessed

Kingdom-Disciples-Icon“God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8 NLT)

It’s one blessing after another in the Beatitudes. Jesus lists what God does for Kingdom Disciples. The blessings come freely because God “rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)

With sins forgiven, hearts become pure. Whenever the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, we simply confess, repent, receive back a pure heart and move on in freedom! We turn from self-centered lives to Jesus-centered lives. Right relationship with God enables us to develop right relationships with parents, spouses, children, neighbors, coworkers and even our enemies.

When needs, troubles, injustices, conflicts arise, where do we turn? Romans 12:2 urges: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world.” There is a better way than what we see around us. Our cultures are interwoven with both good and bad. “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” These new people have Jesus-centered lives. He speaks to us through His Word and by His Spirit. We listen to Jesus and do what He says. In this way, Kingdom Disciples experience ongoing transformation—pure hearts and changed minds. “Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

God wants to speak to us to reveal His will. Depend upon hearing His voice in matters great and small. Stepping out in obedience to Him, we see God at work.  We see God change our lives personally. We see God change our families. In fellowship with other Kingdom Disciples, we can seek to learn His ways to bring about creative change in our communities and society.  Jesus-centered fellowships are moved to Kingdom-focused action.

Standing face to face with difficult challenges, where do we turn? The devil wants to push us his way. Our limited human thinking would lead another way.  Only the Kingdom Way “is good and pleasing and perfect.” Turning to Jesus, we ask Him to help us cleanse our hearts if we have sin and to change our minds if our thoughts are not in line with His. God now reveals His will. Now we will see God change our lives. Now we will see God lead us to change our world.


Kingdom ReflectionQuestion for reflection: What challenge are you, your family or your community facing? How will you discover what God wants you to do?

Kingdom prayer: “Create in me a clean heart, O God.  Renew a loyal spirit within me.”   Psalm 51:10


KR8: Loving Mercy? You’re Blessed

Kingdom-Disciples-Icon“God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”                 (Matthew 5:7 NLT)

The Prophet Micah places “do justly” as #1 on God’s list of what is good and what He requires of Kingdom Disciples. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice. However, they may find themselves face to face with the unjust, with the oppressors. What then?

The temptation is to give into anger, hatred, even violence. Don’t do it! “Love mercy” is #2 on the list. The Kingdom response is to show mercy. Perhaps the greatest act of mercy is to forgive.

My Zimbabwean coworker, Enock, told me a story about one of his heroes, Nelson Mandela.  Before becoming President of South Africa, Mandela spent 27 years in prison for his efforts against South Africa’s notorious racial injustice. Horrible atrocities were committed against his fellow non-white citizens. Rather than stewing in bitterness during his imprisonment, Mandela chose mercy and forgave the oppressors. He later said “Forgiveness liberates the soul.” It freed him to treat his enemies with further acts of mercy. He invited his white jailer to attend his presidential inauguration as an honored guest.

With a forgiving heart we can show mercy to others, no matter who they are or what they have done.

Earlier this year I was in a Muslim country visiting my friend John (not his real name). When John was a little boy, religious extremists murdered his father who was a follower of Jesus. They burned down his shop, leaving a widow with no way to support her orphaned children. As a young man, John overcame fear and bitterness, reaching a point of deeply forgiving those who persecuted his family. He found love and mercy growing in his heart toward Muslim people. He dedicated his life to spreading the blessings of the Kingdom of God within Muslim communities.

DSCF0153His warm smile and friendly manner helps people respond well to his stories about Isa al Masih (Jesus the Messiah). His acts of mercy, such as the water project in this photo, demonstrate the love of God in visible ways. Many are turning to Jesus and becoming Kingdom Disciples who will follow John’s example spreading the blessings of God’s Kingdom within their families and among their neighbors.



Kingdom ReflectionQuestion for reflection: Jesus said the merciful will be shown mercy. He put it another way, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15) What individual or group do you need to forgive?

Kingdom prayer: Lord Jesus, have mercy upon us. Give us hearts like Yours: forgiving, merciful and compassionate. Amen.


KR7: Doing Justice? You’re Blessed

Kingdom-Disciples-Icon“God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6 NLT)

Within the Church today is a growing hunger and thirst for justice. Rejoice, it’s one of the marks of Kingdom Disciples. Passion for justice is good! The Prophet Micah places it #1 on God’s list of what is good: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

Last time we focused on walk humbly, next time love mercy—today do justly. Kingdom Disciples make daily choices to be righteous, fair, impartial, honest and upright in all relationships within our families and in our communities. That is part of doing justly, but what do we do when we recognize injustice in society?

Many societies allow injustices such as:

  • Racism
  • Child abuse (in many forms)
  • Human trafficking
  • Oppression of women
  • Corruption

Injustice is often accepted as part of how the world works. People’s beliefs and ideas about the world first come through family and culture. Some are true and some are false. Either way, ideas have consequences and affect how the world is viewed. Kingdom Disciples look to God’s Word and Spirit to discern between what it true and false. Romans 12:2 urges, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

God transforms the way we think and what we do. As we seek to know His will in response to the evils of injustice, He shows us what is good.

My African friends, Method and Mary, lived in Kenya in 1994 when terrible fighting broke out in neighboring Rwanda. The Hutu tribe was brutally attacking the Tutsi tribe. Refugees flooded into Kenya. Here is how these Kingdom Disciples responded to the injustice of racism and genocide:

“Refugees came to seek help at our church, which included many Rwandans. We received them and welcomed them into our houses. They were in much pain, were traumatized, fearful, and confused. We received about fifteen to twenty refugees in our own house, both ethnic groups, the Hutus and Tutsis. As we heard their stories, prayed for them and shared the Word of God to comfort them, God started touching their lives. They were set free, forgave each other and reconciliation began between the Hutus and Tutsis living with us.”

Method, Mary and their church did not react to injustice by pointing the finger as judges. They identified and worked with the people toward justice and reconciliation. God responded and those who hungered and thirsted for justice were satisfied. Eventually God called Method and Mary to go live in Rwanda and continue this work.


Kingdom ReflectionQuestion for reflection: What injustices do see? What would Jesus have you and your fellowship or church do?

Kingdom prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the power of Your truth to transform individuals, families and nations. When we see injustice, show us Your will.


KR6: Humbly Obedient? You’re Blessed

Kingdom-Disciples-Icon“God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.” (Matthew 5:5 NLT)

Those who follow Jesus as King begin to receive the blessings of His Kingdom. We become Kingdom Disciples.

Self-centeredness gradually gives way to compassion. Kingdom Disciples develop a concern, even mourning, for the needy and lost outside the Kingdom. With new eyes we see that this world is not as God intended. Yet God comforts us with the confidence that He has the solution, He has the plan and invites us to be part of it. Yet we must be humble enough to do it His way.

As we saw in the story of the Mouk Tribe, Mark Zook’s pastor said, “The first thing I do is encourage new believers to share this Good News….” More than a pastor’s wise advice, this is a command of Jesus to His disciples, “go and make disciples.”  Jesus continues, “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.”

Kingdom Disciples do things the King’s way. They obey Jesus’ basic commands:

  • Love God, Love Others
  • Repent, believe and receive the Holy Spirit
  • Be baptized
  • Pray and feed upon God’s Word
  • Break bread (have communion with other disciples)
  • Give generously
  • Make disciples

All Jesus’ commandments are summed up in “Love God, Love Others.” When I teach new believers, I draw a cross. At the top left of the cross I write “Love God” and below, on the lower left of the cross, I list three commands related to loving God (Repent, believe and receive the Holy Spirit; Be baptized; Pray and feed upon God’s Word). At the top right I write “Love Others” and below I list three commands related to loving others (Break bread; Give generously; Make disciples).

When we humble ourselves and obey, we follow the example of Jesus. “You should have the same attitude…He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5&8)

“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor.” He promises to bless the humble. As we encounter worries and cares (as all people do), we obey the Word of God, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” (I Peter 5:6-7) We look to Him for solutions, His plans. The Holy Spirit speaks and leads us to victory. Our testimony helps others see how God blesses us and our families as we do things His way.

Blessed are the humble and God is able to use them to spread the blessings of His Kingdom within their family, among their neighbors, throughout their society and beyond. In fact, they inherit the whole earth! 



Kingdom ReflectionQuestion for reflection: Micah 6:8 says,He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”  Personally, what helps you to walk humbly with your God? (In the next two Beatitudes, Jesus gets to the “do justly, love mercy” parts.)

Kingdom prayer: We want to do things Your way. Make us into disciples who through our obedience to You and humility toward others brightly reflect Your Kingdom.

KR5: Mourning a Broken World? You’re Blessed

Kingdom-Disciples-Icon“God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”  (Matthew 5:4 NLT)

Deep joy and fulfillment comes as we realize our spiritual poverty and need for God. We celebrate “for He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son….”

One such celebration took place in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. People of the Mouk Tribe had been taught God’s Story chronologically from Creation through Christ. Their teachers were fellow Mouk from another village. Truth began to sink into hearts and minds as they gathered. Suddenly villagers began speaking out, “Ee-taow!” meaning: “It’s true. It’s good. It’s very true!”

As many more began to receive Jesus, spontaneous rejoicing swept across the crowd. They danced and sang. Mark and Gloria Zook, missionaries who assisted in this outreach, recorded the amazing event on video. (Watch for yourselves Many scenes are permanently etched in my memory.

Mark describes one powerful moment when unexpectedly the celebration stopped: “It just seemed to hit them that all their family that had died in the past have gone into a Christ-less eternity. They started wailing. The grieving is really genuine.” The video shows them overcome with mourning—tears streaming down.

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn.” People of the Kingdom have hearts of compassion for those who are lost, outside the Kingdom. With new eyes they see that this world is not as God intended. Perhaps a bit of God’s own sadness touches our hearts.

Mark continues, “They cried for a while and then it gave way to singing and rejoicing again.” No the world is not as God intended. Yet God comforts us with the confidence that He has the solution, He has the plan. He invites us to be part of it.

The Mouk evangelists joined the celebration that day, remembering how celebration filled their village too, not long before.  It was Mark who taught God’s Story to them over a period of months. In the midst of that celebration, Mark remembered his pastor back home saying, “Mark, the first thing I do is encourage new believers to share this Good News of the Gospel with others.”

“So right in the middle of all this rejoicing,” says Mark, “I ask some of the guys, ‘When are you going to go and tell other villages about this Good News?’ Well, everything goes quiet. So I ask them again. This one guy, Mendo, speaks up and says, ‘We’ll go. But we don’t have a clue as to how to go about it.’ And everyone is saying, ‘Yeah. We’ll go!’ real enthused.”

“So I said, ‘That’s all I want to know. I’ll show you how.’” Immediately shouting and dancing resumed!

There is a time to mourn, a time to be comforted and a time to act.

Kingdom ReflectionQuestion for reflection: In what ways have you experienced mourning over broken people and broken communities?

Kingdom prayer: Lord Jesus, sometimes the problems we see among the unreached are crushing. Keep us from being overcome in our mourning, bless us with Your comfort and show us what You would have us do to extend Your Kingdom.