Students are confessing their sins on a number of campuses! So says Christianity Today (Dec 07). If this is widespread it is surely to the good. Have you in your lifetime been present in some sort of a public confession meeting?
The fact that thousands of Christian students would be seeking to live a holy life is something to be welcomed. But, important as this is, what if these highly emotional commitments do not last? Washing away the past is not the same as every day for the rest of our lives living our utmost for his highest.
That is the crucial question: Will those sacred moments last? What will enable them to last?
Durable Integrity Daily?
This issue of Mission Frontiers is dedicated to things that can help you as you build a truly Christian life.
Curiously, the most important key to the growth of God-consciousness—of integrity of heart—is what happens daily. “Nothing will ever dominate your life that does not occur daily!”
That is why the first thing to which we introduce you readers of this issue is a significant daily discipline: reading for a few moments in the Global Prayer Digest (see page 8).
For 25 years this little booklet has been DAILY arresting the attention of thousands of devout followers of Christ in various languages!
We talk a lot about people becoming “World Christians”—those who accept a range of personal responsibility that extends to the entire world.
But, do you know what? Realistically, I would not give you a dime for a World Christian who is not also a DAILY World Christian.
Unless personally you make sure something daily enters your consciousness, something vital and gripping about God’s great heart and His overall claim upon your life—unless that happens, your life will grow slowly or not at all.
God, for example, is concerned about those millions of fearful, stressed, suffering people in our world who struggle to survive. They have absolutely no security and at best only a fleeting awareness of their true, loving Father in heaven. He cares. Thus, the better we know Him the more we share His concerns! We don’t fully belong to Him if we do not also care, and CARE DAILY.
Yes, the Global Prayer Digest can help. Also of help is to be digging daily in the Bible for a personal “jolt.” To do that we need to begin by putting aside personal concerns and yielding to God’s will. (Personal concerns often intervene in the morning, clamoring for attention.) “Reading for a blessing” is exciting and can take place if we are on the lookout for a Command, a Warning, an Example, or a Truth, and if we make sure our “blessing” is Biblical, Personal, and Specific. We must recall that people who keep in touch with God DAILY are those on whom God can truly depend!
Plus, it is a good idea to jot down a sentence or two in a journal to reflect the inspiration you receive. Otherwise Satan will quickly erase it from your memory!
But a few minutes daily, while most important of all, is not enough. It should lead us deeper. In this issue of Mission Frontiers we speak next of a 15-week life-transforming study called Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. An extended period like that course can, in turn, heighten your daily walk with our global God.
Note: “Perspectives” was not created as a course for prospective missionaries (although good for that). Rather, it is designed for every serious believer, for precisely those who may never be missionaries or ministers.
It has been an amazing success. This course called “Perspectives” is taught yearly in hundreds of places and to thousands of people—in the USA and in other countries and other languages. You can see an up-to-date report on pages 12-15. Or, click on www.perspectives.org.
But, there is more.
Local congregations normally find it difficult to pay attention to what their college students are or are not learning. Yours will be excited to know that as a congregation you can now in most cases take charge of the first year of college yourselves, employing the superb Insight curriculum—designed precisely to be used in local churches and also to carry college credit. Parents are wildly happy about the results. The program essentially covers what colleges teach as “General Studies” in the entire first year of college, but with a decidedly Christian slant and emphasis. It makes things come alive. It answers the tough questions college students stumble into. It may save their faith. Take a good look at it, on pages 17-20.
Another three-unit course like Perspectives boils down an entire M.A. curriculum. It is called “Foundations.” It is a three-unit version of a 32 semester-unit M.A. degree program. It is a single individual study course that anyone can take wherever they live. On the other hand, the entire degree program, called “World Christian Foundations,” is ten times as extensive and essentially covers all the basics of seminary as well as the liberal arts curriculum looked at from a Christian point of view. Note that you can get this M.A. degree even if you lack all of college simply by being 31 or older!
The M. A. degree program gives a broad, solid Christian foundation for any serious believer. It is also the basis for the Ph.D. program of our related university, William Carey International University—a program that does not require coming to the United States. It is as tough as any other but it is more flexible by far and much less expensive. You can read about it on page 23. The Ph.D. degree is the only degree which allows you to mentor someone else up to your own level—it is a significant “discipleship” degree!
Our Utmost for His Highest
But, whether or not you need a Ph.D., to maximize your calling, other ingredients are important to a fully surrendered Christian life.
Once we can build on total confidence about “life after death,” we are enabled to concentrate our earthly days on “life before death.” But that in turn plunges us into a huge expansion of the usual personal purpose and vision.
So what would be decisively helpful in each of us doing our “Utmost for His Highest?”
Horizontal accountability. Not one in a hundred people can rise to their highest without the support, encouragement, and appreciation of other people. This is why God put us in families, small groups, and churches.
But, for many of us a more formal kind of accountability is important. So here’s news. Our organization (the Frontier Mission Fellowship/U. S. Center for World Mission) is exploring the possibility of including in our fellowship people who can’t work full time, but who would be willing to try a kind of “horizontal accountability” for a trial period of two months. It is the same kind of accountability daily, weekly, monthly that current full-time members enjoy.
We are eager to encourage those who want to be encouraged. This trial relationship will involve some of the things mentioned in this issue of Mission Frontiers. If you call 610-524-5506 or email [email protected] you can get the details.
The main thing here is to live a holy life, an effective life—“the unexamined life is not worth living!” All true believers in Jesus Christ—not just “missionaries”—are called to give their Utmost for His Highest. If linking with us will help we will be very happy.
30th Anniversary Year
Curiously it is only after 30 years that the FMF/USCWM is seeking seriously to extend its internal accountability to earnest believers wherever they live who may not be able to work with us full time.
That’s right, 2008 is our 30th year of publishing Mission Frontiers! In case you want to see our big beautiful $12 volume covering the first six years, connect with Betty at 626-296-7501 or [email protected]