Thursday, April 12, 2007

Living Sacrifices for Christ

I received a letter today from one of my mentors (Paul Becker) in the church planting vision that has dominated my life for the last 18 years. It contains the inspiring story of two godly couples in Russia planting churches for the glory of God and the joy of all people--living sacrifices for the casue of Christ. Read the letter and rejoice. Read the letter and cry out to God for more such men and women. Read the letter and ask God to raise up such men and women from within New Song Church----maybe you.

Last week, my wife, Cathy, and I were in Moscow, Russia. I met two incredible men who are examples of the words LIVING SACRIFICE.

Romans 12: 1-2. “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as LIVING SACRIFICES, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

The word ‘therefore’ in Romans 12:1 points us to the end of Romans 11 which lifts up the greatness of our God. Because of God’s greatness, glory, provision and wisdom, we are urged to offer ourselves as LIVING SACRIFICES to Him.

In 1990, Sergei Kubata was living comfortably in his native Ukraine, when God called him to go to cold, remote Siberia. In 1990 there were only 2 churches in Siberia which is 2200 miles north to south by 900 miles east to west. Sergei is an overseer of pastors and church planters. Today, there are 72 churches in the region. God has given favor to Sergei’s ministry. Sergei’s family has sacrificed as a result of living in Siberia. Both his wife and his son have contracted long term dangerous illnesses as a result of living in that frozen land. Still, Sergei believes that God wants him to stay and continue a church planting movement in Siberia. The population of Siberia is 4.5 million. There are a number of cities in their region with over 100,000 in population that still do not have any church. There was an intensity and passion in his eyes as he would sit with us and humbly plead for the training of his church planting leaders. DCPI is going to Siberia to train in November of 2007.

Our Master Trainer in Russia, Fiodor Baraniuk, said to us, “Do you see that man?...four of his children were killed in the Beslan school massacre that happened in southern Russia in 2004.” His name is Taymuzaz.
I can’t imagine the pain and grief that Taymuzaz and his wife experienced. One day their five children are safe. The next day, four of their children have been killed by terrorists. Only one child is left.

And yet, Taymuzaz, while grieving for his four children, had to minister to others who lost their children also. He and his wife are LIVING SACRIFICES. While we were having breakfast with Taymuzaz, with Fiodor translating, he received a call from his only remaining child, a daughter. What a blessing! Taymuzaz informally invited DCPI to come and train his church planters in North Ossetia, his home in the Caucasus mountains.

These Christian leaders and their wives are LIVING SACRIFICES for our God in this world. Are you a LIVING SACRIFICE for our God in this world? Are you being asked to make a sacrifice right now? Are you resisting the sacrifice? Are you thinking of leaving the ministry? Are you trying to avoid that big step of faith that God wants you to take because you don’t want to make the sacrifice?

Reflect on God…his glory, his provision, his wisdom, his love, his promises.

Remember LIVING SACRIFICES like Sergei and Taymuzaz and their wives.

Your spiritual act of worship is to be a LIVING SACRIFICE. Make that sacrifice! Stay in the ministry! Take that big step of faith! Experience the presence and provision of God!

Until the whole world knows Him!
Paul Becker President and Founder Dynamic Church Planting International


HALFMOM said...

THanks for posting this - doesn't it want to make you just pick up your "tent" stakes and go? It does me. Good friends of mine are missionaries in Mongolia and when I hear their stories, I want to go there too.

Anonymous said...

"Thank You, Lord, that You convicted me some time ago about this need for time to think, of the need for solitude and silence. Make this increasingly possible for me, but also for many of my brothers and sisters who have not discovered the value of this slowing down. Amen."