A Change in Focus

Posted November 3, 2009 by Bethany International in News

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There was a discussion in the BCOM staff meeting last week about Bethany’s founding coming out of a life transforming message-The Message of the Cross. Through the years we have described facets of it as sanctification, victorious Christian living, death to self, identification with Christ, alive to God, crucified with Christ, minding the things of the Spirit, the three aspects of the cross: Christ died once for us, and as us, and in us daily. All this was to fulfill God’s eternal purpose for man. About ten years ago a team of leaders and board members expressed the core of Bethany as a “message” that “led to our mission.” It wasn’t our task first, it was a message first. It was Jesus and His purpose…His cross…His victory first. Our ministry must flow out of His life.

We know this in our minds, but have we truly grasped and embraced it with our whole lives. Any message can become second nature and instinctive. It can cease to be life, but rather a theology or framework of thinking and acting. God has more for us than a “theology” of the cross. He desires that we know the reality of a life captivated by what He has done and that we know the daily passionate reality of it…that we know Him and the glory of who He is. Habakkuk 2:14 reads, “The knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.” God desires that we reflect His glory to the world. Our lives are to be living witnesses to the powerful redemptive work of the cross to transform fallen and broken people into sons and daughters of God, a kingdom of priests to our God, and children of light who bear witness to who Jesus is and that His kingdom will not fail. We become living witnesses to the power and majesty of God as weak, foolish, and insignificant people to give glory to Jesus-to be a people who “glory in the Lord” I Cor. 1:31.

It is so easy to focus on the stuff of life-the successes, the challenges, the goals, the tasks, and the daily demands. The old hymn states, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” The change in focus that puts all the potential distractions of life in their proper place and perspective is the focus on Jesus-His cross, His life, and His purpose. Living life “in Christ” with no other hope is the place of the greatest rest and the greatest wisdom. He has been made to us “wisdom from God.”

Let us allow God to restore in us, individually and corporately, a singleness of focus in the person of Christ and His work on the cross, and the full expression of His will for us and through us. Bethany’s DNA flows out of this message of the cross revealing “Christ crucified” as “the power of God and the wisdom of God.” Any other focus will build our kingdom, not His.

Living with eternity’s values in view is not just a slogan, it is a priority. Let us pursue God with all that we are and have; embrace His cross “let” this “mind of Christ” fill us, and empty ourselves of everything that would hinder or distract.

Ethne – Bogota, Colombia

Dan Brokke is in Bogota, Colombia to attend Ethne’s triennial conference (November 1-4). Representatives of mission networks around the world will gather to strategize on how to see unreached people groups evangelized and church planting movements begun.These mission leaders have dedicated themselves to do all they can in their lifetime to make Christ known.

A couple of weeks ago Timothy O. was on campus and spoke to students about the challenge and vision of the Nigerian church to take the gospel “back to Jerusalem” through the nations and people groups of North Africa. Timothy heads up the Mobilization committee and track for Ethne. He asked Dan Brokke to present a proposal for multiplying mission training in the Global South and East-this really is the vision of Go100. This is another great opportunity for Bethany to serve many others in what God is doing to take the gospel to those who have never heard.

Grayling T.

We recently welcomed Grayling as a new Bethany associate to minister in the area of missions mobilization. Grayling and his wife Sandra were workers with Bethany International Ministries for a number of years in France. Grayling is available to speak in churches, youth groups, alumni events and other gatherings to encourage people to walk victoriously in Christ and to challenge them with opportunities to engage the world as global Christians with a heart for missions. Sandra will work part time with Bethany beginning in December in a supporting role for the mobilization ministry.

Awareness Event

Bethany will host an Awareness Event at Bethany Press on Thursday, November 12. The purpose of the event is to inform people unfamiliar with Bethany about our mission.

Bethany Center for Global Studies

The next term in BCGS begins January 4th. If you would like to get a certificate in Cross-Cultural Studies or Masters in Intercultural Leadership, visit us online or call toll free at 877-829-2454.

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