Beginning the second full day of CPM training in Hamminkeln, Germany…
After a time of worship and prayer…
We begin by asking each other, “How has God fed you most recently?” And then, “How will you obey?” Germans, Americans, Kenyans, Scots asking each other the questions…
The disciples rejoined Jesus at the well and they asked “Have you eaten?” And Jesus replied, “I have food that you don’t know about.”
Genesis 11:31 - 12:3 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran. The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." (NIV)
Hebrews 11:8-10 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. (NIV)
Contrast between Terah – who set out for one place but stopped along the way – and Abram who became the Father of the Faithful. Often God tells us what we must leave behind before you can be effective. God spoke to Abram to leave behind:
- His country
- some missionaries leave, but never “leave,” instead they create a “little home-country” to remain comfortable… comfort is the enemy of change
- His people
- traditions and culture
- leave room for new deep intimate relationships… if you remain attached to everyone back home (hours on internet, SKYPE, FaceBook with home folks) leaves little emotional energy for NEW relationships
- developing new friendships is s Gospel thing
- His family
- in Abram’s time it was the family that cared for you, defended you and provided for you
- God was calling on Abram to shift his dependence to God from his family systems
God told Abram to follow Him and He would lead him to where God wants him to go. It’s a matter of trust in a moment by moment relationship. God promises blessings for those who bless Abram and curses for those who curse Abram.
We must always ask ourselves, are we still on track with God? Have we left those hindering things behind as we move forward with God in His plan for us.
Looking at Jesus’ commands for sending out others…
Matthew 10:1 He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. (NIV)
Matthew 10:5-10 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep. (NIV)
Luke 9:1-6 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: "Take nothing for the journey – no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them." So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere. (NIV)
Luke 10:1-12 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. "When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. "When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.' But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 'Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.' I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. (NIV)
From the instructions of Jesus…
- Pray for harvesters
- go 2x2
- when you enter the house bring peace to the house
- stay in the house that welcomes you
- go to every town
- heal the sick, cast out demons
- look for a son of peace
- eat what’s in front of you
- preach the Kingdom
- shake the dust from your feet
- don’t take purse, sandals
- don’t go from house to house
- don’t greet others
- warning and shake the dust
- go to Gentiles/Samaritans
- go needy and God will take care of you
Jesus gives very specific instructions to disciples (the 12, the 72) Pray that God will raise up harvesters from the field. Bring peace those who receive you – go prepared spiritually to call on God to demonstrate His power, love and compassion to solve whatever problem is found.
Jesus says to the disciples, when you don’t find the person of peace, move on. Often we spend too much time attempting to persuade those who are non-receptive to spend the time with those God has prepared.
When you find the Person of Peace, stop looking and moving around and stay with them. Start modeling, assisting, watching and preparing to leave.
Acts 10… longest story in the Book of Acts: the story of Cornelius. God prepares Cornelius and then prepares Peter. (Working with persons of peace mean that you do not evangelize only single people but their families.) When we go, God has already prepared people. Our job is not to persuade, but to find those God has already prepared.
Jesus is interested in entire households and family groups not just in individuals.
- Person of peace – placed by God – is a universal aspect of church-planting where the Gospel isn’t. God has prepared someone to receive the Gospel.
- Not everyone is called upon to be a church-planter. But everyone is called to make disciples.
- God intends that all people, all generations, all cultures to have a local expression of the Body of Christ.
- “Harvesters” bring to faith those who are in their spheres of influence.
It’s simple: the intention is to start a church and you search for the man of peace, and if you do not find him either stay there and become the man of peace or move on and find the man of peace elsewhere.