Saturday, April 23, 2011

A 15-day Prayer Challenge

“Then Jesus said, ‘What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it? It is like a tiny mustard seed that a man planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree, and the birds make nests in its branches.’

He also asked, ‘What else is the Kingdom of God like? It is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.’” (Luke 13:18-21 NLT)

What do mustard seeds and yeast have in common? They’re tiny but when placed in the right environment, they grow and yield tremendous results! As Matthew Henry wrote, yeast “works silently and insensibly, yet strongly and irresistibly.” God’s Word works that way in the hearts of those who receive it. Quickly yet gradually, the flavor of the gospel will infuse their entire being. “For the word of God is alive and powerful.” (Hebrews 4:12a NLT)

Unfortunately, not everyone receives the Word. Some deny its message, some don’t understand the message, and some have never heard the message. For those of us that speak the major languages of the world, we don’t have any excuse. God’s Word is in a language we can understand. But there are still 340 million people in this world that do not have the Bible in their own language.

We want to help change that.

Our vision and the vision of Wycliffe Bible Translators is to see the Bible accessible to all people in the language they understand best—giving that seed or yeast of the gospel a chance to work its mystery so that one day the Kingdom of God will be visible in all His creation.

The work of Bible translation work is advancing, but is often fraught with obstacles. Sometimes these obstacles look overwhelming. Right now we lack $861/month of our ministry budget for returning to the work in Papua New Guinea. From God’s point of view, however, this is nothing. The true challenge is remembering to look at this amount from God’s point of view. God seems to enjoy using what we might consider small, weak or insignificant to ultimately bring his will to pass.  He reminds us:

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.  “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.

For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,  so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth.  They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.

It is the same with my word.  I send it out, and it always produces fruit.  It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”  (Isaiah 55:8-11 NLT)

We’re issuing a challenge.

During each of the next 15 days we are going to share a story focused on how the Lord has used something small, weak or insignificant to accomplish His greater purpose. Out of a tiny mustard seed grows a tree! As you read these stories, we ask that you pray 3 things:

1) That through Bible translation, the Kingdom of God would continue to permeate the areas of the world without God’s Word.

2) That God would prepare hearts to receive the seed of his Word.

3) That God would meet our financial need to his glory and the strengthening of our faith.

Also, please consider how you have seen the Lord work in your own life. Do you have a mustard seed story of your own? If so, please share!


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