Measuring Results

My mom tells me that one of my grandfather’s favorite books was the biography of Adoniram Judson,  To the Golden Shore.  I have long known about Judson and have even had the privilege of visiting Burma and seeing first hand the impact that one man had on a nation.

I came across this excerpt recently and wanted to share it. I hope it will encourage you in your work or ministry.

The American missionary Adoniram Judson arrived in Burma, or Myanmar, in 1812, and died there thirty-eight years later in 1850. During that time, he suffered much for the cause of the gospel. He was imprisoned, tortured, and kept in shackles. After the death of his first wife, Ann, to whom he was devoted, for several months he was so depressed that he sat daily beside her tomb. Three years later, he wrote: God is to me the Great Unknown. I believe in him, but I cannot find him.

But Adoniram’s faith sustained him, and he threw himself into the tasks to which he believed God had called him. He worked feverishly on his translation of the Bible. The New Testament had now been printed, and he finished the Old Testament in early 1834.

Statistics are unclear, but there were only somewhere between twelve and twenty-five professing Christians in the country when he died, and there were not churches to speak of.

At the 150th anniversary of the translation of the Bible into the Burmese language, Paul Borthwick was addressing a group that was celebrating Judson’s work. Just before he got up to speak, he noticed in small print on the first page the words: “Translated by Rev. A. Judson.” So Borthwick turned to his interpreter, a Burmese man named Matthew Hia Win, and asked him, “Matthew, what do you know of this man?” Matthew began to weep as he said,

We know him—we know how he loved the Burmese people, how he suffered for the gospel because of us, out of love for us. He died a pauper, but left the Bible for us. When he died, there were few believers, but today there are over 600,000 of us, and every single one of us traces our spiritual heritage to one man: the Rev. Adoniram Judson.

But Adoniram Judson never saw it!

And that will be the case for some of us. We may be called to invest our lives in ministries for which we do not see much immediate fruit, trusting that the God of all grace who oversees our work will ensure that our labor is not in vain.

Adapted from Julia Cameron, editor, Christ Our Reconciler (InterVarsity Press, 2012), pp. 200-201

GROWING toward Maturity

GROWING toward Maturity

II Cor. 13:9 -11 (NLT)

 

Oswald Chambers said: “Spiritual Maturity is NOT reached by the passing of years but by obedience to the will of God.”

“If you stop and ask yourself why you are not so devoted as the (early) Christians, your own heart will tell you that it is neither through ignorance nor inability, but purely because you never thoroughly intended it.” William Law,

 

6 signs that you’re starting to mature:

(Scriptures NLT unless noted)

YOU’RE STARTING TO MATURE WHEN:

1. You’re putting away childish things  (I Cor. 13:11)

Eph. 4:14-16 (Phillips)

I Cor. 14:20 (NLT)

Luke 8:14 (NLT)

Rick warren said: The mature follower of Jesus stops asking, “Who’s going to meet my needs?” and starts asking, “Whose needs can I meet?” How often do you ask that question?

There is a canyon of difference between doing your best to glorify God and doing whatever it takes to glorify yourself. The quest for excellence is a mark of maturity. The quest for power is childish. -Max Lucado

 

2. You’re pressing on toward perfection. (Phil 3:12)

The word “Mature” literally means “Perfect”

1) a strengthening, perfecting of the soul

2) a training, disciplining, instructing

 

Matt. 5:48 (Amplified)

Matt.19:21 (Amplified)

Heb. 6:1 (NLT)

Heb. 12:2 (Amplified)

I John 4:12, 18 (Amplified)

 

3. You stop trusting human resources & start relying completely on God.  (I Cor. 2:4-7)

Col. 1:28 (Amplified)

 

Maturity is the stage where the whole life has been brought under the control of God.  (Oswald Chambers)

Chuck Swindoll said “one of the marks of spiritual maturity is the quiet confidence that God is in control…without the need to understand why he does what he does.”

I believe that spiritual maturity is not the ability to see the extraordinary, but the ability to see the ordinary through God’s eyes. Consequently, no matter how wonderful our experience or encounter is with God, the test of it’s worth is in the fruit it bears in our lives and the lives of others. —Frank Viola

 

4. You’re pursuing unity over personal gain.  (Eph. 4:13)

Phil 3:15

 

5. You’re enduring and GROWING through GREAT adversity.  (James 1:2-4 NIV)

Rom. 5:4 (Amplified)

 

Sufferings are to spiritual maturity as the chisel is to sculpture.  (unknown)

“We must get away from the idea that deliverance from trial is the highest form of spiritual blessing. . . . We learn more in a few days in the fiery furnace than we would learn in years out of it.” (J. Oswald Sanders. Spiritual Maturity.)

 

6. You’re determining the difference between right and wrong based on the Word of God.  (Heb. 5:14 NLT)

Psalm 1:2-3 (Amplified)

I John 2:5 (Amplified)

I John 2:13-14 (NLT)

 

CLOSING:  Luke 2:52 (God’s Word)  Jesus grew in wisdom and maturity. He gained favor from God and people.

Romans 12:1-2  (J.P. Phillips)   With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.

Epaphras Prayer: Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.

 

 

 

5 Good Reasons to “NEVER GIVE UP”

5 Good reasons to “NEVER GIVE UP”
II Cor. 4:1-18 (CEV)

OUTLINE: WE SHOULD NEVER GIVE UP:

1. Because persistence and prayer pays off.

Luke 18:1-8

COL. 4:2 (CEV)

EPH. 6:18 (GOOD NEWS)

Ephesians 1:15-19 J.B. Philips

 

2. Because God is counting on you to carry out His work to completion.

II Cor. 4:1 (CEV)

1 Timothy 1:12 [NKJV ]

Luke 12:48 (NIV)

1 Corinthians 4:1 [NIV]

1 Thessalonians 2:4 [NKJV]

 

3. Because God is still with us and promises to never leave us.

II COR. 4:8-9 (CEV)

 

4. Because put in perspective—these troubles are temporary.

II COR. 4:16-18 (CEV)

Galatians 2:5 (Holeman)

Romans 8:18 [NIV ]

 

5. Because it’s not until we finish the race that we reap the reward.

Galatians 6:9

2 Chronicles 15:7 (NIV)

II TIM. 4:6-8 (NKJV)

 

Heb. 12:1 (God’s Word) Since we are surrounded by so many examples of faith, we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially sin that distracts us. We must run the race that lies ahead of us and never give up.

 

Bert