Thursday, 6 December 2018

Not of the world, though in the world


My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. -John 17:15-16

How are God’s people supposed to engage the broader culture around them? There is much confusion about the topic of cultural engagement. Whereas some Christians choose to ignore culture, others rail against it. And others are seduced by it.

The Bible calls us to engage the broader society while retaining a distinctive Christian identity and purpose. We need to think deeply and clearly about what it means to engage secular, pluralistic culture, especially in our work.

Many Christians are confused about how and to what extent they should engage the world. For this reason, discussing cultural engagement requires humility and submission to God. We need to realize that if we do not think carefully about how to engage the culture, we may succumb to the ways of the culture that are not pleasing to God when we decide to engage it. Pastor and theologian Tim Keller explain:

“The reality is that if the church does not think much about culture - about what parts are good, bad, or indifferent according to the Bible - its members will begin to uncritically imbibe the values of the culture. They will become assimilated to culture, despite intentions to the contrary. Culture is complex, subtle, and inescapable…. And if we are not deliberately thinking about our culture, we will simply be conformed to it without ever knowing it is happening.”

Keller then reviews four different models of cultural engagement:


-Being relevant to the culture to live winsomely (joyfully)
-Transforming culture into the decrees of Christ when possible
-Living counter-culturally to shine the light of Christ
-Recognizing that there are two kingdoms- the kingdom of the world and the kingdom of God

According to Keller, each of these four Christian approaches to cultural engagement can help us discern how to engage the world in a fruitful and faithful way. There is not one uniform approach that should dictate how a Christian engages the world. Rather, there is a need for significant spiritual discernment in the difficult balance of being in the world, but not of it.

Every day we are faced with decisions about how we should engage the world in our work. For example, many of us have to make decisions about which clients to take on, whose lead to follow and what causes to stand for. And our decision-making inevitably entails all sorts of trade-offs, compromises and ambiguity. We often find ourselves living and working in gray areas, questioning how intentional or effective we are with respect to engaging the world distinctly as Christian.

How do we know where we can and should be flexible for the sake of a greater good? How far is too far before we lose our distinctiveness as Christians? The answers to questions like these will need to be considered case by case, with the wisdom of Scripture and other Christians. But the four approaches provided by Keller above are a good starting point. We must realize, with humility, that different situations require different approaches. Nevertheless, as Christ’s disciples we are called to engage the world so that we might win some to Christ and see his kingdom advance on earth.

How can you engage culture distinctly as a Christian in your day-to-day life?




Cred: Bible Connection News

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Prayer Requests

Today's Prayer Requests


VERA BANKSTON-JONES | Father God, You saved me again, me seeing You got something for me to do! Keep me, Lord safe!.......SELAH

Margie Chance | please pray for my son Merle who is dying from cancer he has bone cancer and leukaemia and is in a lot of pain the blood they give him does not seem to be helping any more thank u

VJ | plz  pray for me a financial miracle in my life 

TINA | Please pray for understanding and wisdom, due to which there is a problem for me at the workplace. I face a lot of criticism due to my lack of understanding regarding work. Please need assistance with prayer very desperately, I don't know how long I can tolerate this

Danny | in need of prayer my life is haywire right now every time I get 2steps ahead I get pushed 3 steps backwards wife is better now her mom is in rehab for a crack in her back love them to death so pray for good health and wealth and good times

MB | May God help me find a job with a financial stability in Jesus name!!

John Prasad. | PRAISE THE LORD  I thank God for this wonderful opportunity to share my testimony. I greet you in the name of the lord and saviour Jesus Christ.  I am Pastor from India. My name G.John Prasad. My wife name Param Jyothi. I have Three Children, two sons and one daughter 1. Brenham Kumar 2.Enosh Kumar 3.Blessy Angel  My sons they are going to Study Bible College. My daughter is studying 8th Standard.  I am doing ministry in a good manner in India at Gorripudi Village. Full name of my Church, JESUS PRAYER TOWER CHURCH CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION.  Our family is in full-time ministry since 11 years. We are doing Church ministry,   Not only church ministry, but also We are doing Social activities. That means 1. Mainly...  By proclaiming the Word of God We are giving Salvation for those who are walking under the Darkness in this World. By listening that preachings and sermons, we got 290 souls at in this few years. 2. We are keeping eye camp twice in a year and providing treatments for old age people and eyes operations for many people. *As well as we are keeping medical camps once in a month. 3. And we are helping the poor and needy people. 4. We took care of the needs of orphans, Widows and handicaps. 5. At every Christmas vacations, we are inviting the leprosy people and handicap people. 

Alex | This is my prayer request, 1. Prayers for work, 2. Health,3.Financial and Protection for my families. Have a Blessed Weekend

Sandra Thompson. ||I have been blindsided by my husband of 25years.   He has announced he is having an affair and is no longer "in love " with me.  But he loves me.  I have followed him all through his military career but now he wants to throw me away like garbage. I  love him more today than I did 25yeays ago when we were married. I am asking for prayers that he will talk to me and give counselling a chance.  I am willing to do almost anything to work this out.  Thank you,



Saturday, 1 December 2018

Why Should I Go to Church?

Prayer Team

When you decide to follow Jesus, you are not following a religion, but beginning a personal relationship with God through Christ. However, your faith isn’t just a personal thing that has no implications for connection with other people.


Scripture gives six reasons why the Church—the worldwide body of Christians—is important in your faith journey.



1. Church Was God’s Idea


God wanted to have a people for himself: “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (Revelation 21:3). Jesus, too, spoke of the church. He made it clear that establishing the church was one of his primary missions and that, despite opposition, nothing would stop it: “….on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18).

2. You’re Already Part of Church


In God’s family, no one is an only child. You are part of a huge multinational, multicultural, multiethnic enterprise. The metaphor often used in Scripture is that of a body. This speaks of how utterly important each member is, including you. Each Christian needs the other parts of the body—those that are totally unlike each other—in order to see the full picture of who God is and to serve him effectively in this world. Check out I Corinthians 12 and Romans 12 for more.

3. You Have Spiritual Gifts to Offer


All believers are given spiritual gifts. These gifts are intended to be used to build other believers up. Again, Romans 12 and I Corinthians 12 have something to say about gifts, but also look at 1 Corinthians 14 and I Peter 4. The church should be a place to discover and develop your spiritual gifts. It can enable you to exercise your spiritual gifts through serving in different areas of mission and ministry in and through the church.

4. It Teaches You about Community


The Bible is filled with verses like “bear one another’s burdens” and “love one another” (read John 13:34, Romans 12:16, Galatians 5:13 and Colossians 3:13 for just a few). And the church is where you can learn to live out all these “one another” verses. You were never intended to do life alone, but rather in the company of brothers and sisters. Your transformation in Christ will start showing up in your relationships with others.

5. Church Gives You Role Models


As you interact with people across generational lines, you’ll learn what healthy, biblically-rooted relationships look like. You can find models of vitalized marriages. You can receive kindness from an older woman who fills the void your own mom was never able to fill. You can reprogram your concept of “father” (which is important for how to relate to God, your heavenly Father) when you have healthy relationships with men of integrity and purity.

6. Church is Ultimately about God


Last but not least, the primary reason the church gathers is to give God the praise he deserves. Unfortunately, that’s not always how it goes: In the same way people rate restaurants for service, presentation, and taste, they sometimes come to church with a “consumer mentality.” People wind up appraising the preacher or the band, either positively or negatively. Nonetheless, you and the rest of the church are called to “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness” (1 Chronicles 16:29).


What about you? If you’ve started going to church, have you seen any of these six reasons become a reality in your life yet?


by Mindy Meier

Original Source Link

Finnish Christian missionaries held in Malaysia return home

Christian Finns deported from Malaysia


COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Four Finnish tourists who were arrested in Malaysia last week for distributing Christian materials in public places on a resort island returned to Finland on Wednesday according to AP News

Timo Valtonen held up a pen — similar to ones inscribed with Bible verses that were seized in Malaysia — as he and three others were greeted by supporters at Helsinki’s Vanta airport.

They were detained last week in Langkawi and investigated for allegedly causing disharmony and violating their visa status. Police seized 47 pens and 336 notebooks containing Bible texts. They were deported Tuesday.

Proselytizing of Muslims by members of other religions is forbidden in Malaysia, although the reverse is allowed. Muslims, who comprise nearly two-thirds of Malaysia’s 31 million people, are also not legally permitted to change religion.

Spokesman and group leader Timo Valtonen, centre, holds up a pen as he makes a statement to the press upon his arrival, with three other Finns after being deported from Malaysia, at the airport in Vantaa, Finland, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018.

Four Finnish tourists who were arrested in Malaysia last week for distributing Christian materials in public places on a resort island have returned to Finland. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto/Lehtikuva via AP)


The four — two men and two women aged between 27 and 60 — were deported on Tuesday, 27 November, AP said.

District Police Chief Mohamad Iqbal Ibrahim told the media the arrests were made following complaints by the public. Since the arrival of the Finns on 18 November at least three reports regarding their activities had been filed, he said, according to Free Malaysia Today.



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