Have you heard of the “Four Fields” strategy, a practical approach to entering a community and establishing a cycle of gospel sowing and harvest? For a simple introduction, check out the video below by Chuck Wood. You can also click the following link for a more detailed PDF file.
I was recently reading a devotional by Os Hillman that talked about the relationship between obedience and motivation. The exercise of reflection was good for me, so I wanted to pass it along to you as well. Here’s what Os wrote:
“I have observed this process in the scriptures in working with people through years of ministry. I have noticed three distinct stages. First, we live based on convenience. Our obedience is largely based on circumstances in our lives. We choose to obey based on the circumstances.
The second stage is the crisis stage. God allows a crisis to come into our lives. We are motivated to obey God in order to get out of the pain of our situation. Many times God allows us to stay in this condition in order to demonstrate His love and faithfulness during our pain. Gradually, we discover something new about God and often have a personal encounter with Him that changes us. Our very nature is affected by this God-encounter.
This begins to move us into a third phase that is a relationship that is motivated now by love and devotion instead of pain. This is where God desires us to be. Another way of saying this is we are no longer seeking His hand. We are seeking Him. We want to know God personally.
Obedience will not last when the motivation is only the removal of our pain. Obedience only lasts when the motivation is loving devotion. Where are you in your obedience and what is the primary motivation? If it isn’t love, why not tell the Lord you love Him today and want to know Him for who He is and not for what He can do for you.”
Food for thought ……
Hardly a day seems to pass that we don’t see something in the news about immigration or large groups of people moving across political borders. Whether by people seeking asylum, pursuing economic opportunities, fleeing persecution, or forcibly displaced by war or famine, nearly every country in Europe and North America is affected by this in some way. Although the issues are complex and the solutions often seem distant, I wonder if we might view things differently if our perspective shifted a little. What if this were more about an opportunity for the Kingdom, rather than a threat? Check out the video below and maybe it will give you some food for thought.
I was recently reading a group chat between a bunch of marketplace folks in the Washington DC area who meet regularly to encourage each other in the faith as well as pray for their country’s leaders. The conversation was about flowers … dandelions to be more exact. They started to list out some attributes of dandelions and then see how many we as workplace Christians share in common.
The group noted, among other things, that dandelion is a French word meaning lion’s tooth. They remain in seed form, dormant, but suddenly appear everywhere when winter is past and springtime approaches (Song of Solomon 2:11-12).
As I reflected further, a few more features came to mind. Dandelions may be seen as weeds by those around them. They are designed to spread and take their seeds near and far. They are driven by the wind (2Peter 1:21). They are tenacious (or at least in my yard they are!). They are prolific.
As you reflect on the dandelion, make a list for yourself. How many of its attributes are true in your life? Is your life’s season more like winter or springtime? Specifically, how do the features you listed manifest themselves as you seek to advance God’s Kingdom through your work?