One burden that I have for CrossPoint this fall is for the Lord to use us to penetrate Baton Rouge with the Gospel. Obviously, this should be happening everyday as we are Christ's ambassadors (2 Cor. 5), but I'm not certain its happening. I'm also not certain that we are going out of our way for the sake of the Gospel to the "difficult" areas of Baton Rouge. I pray our usefulness for the Gospel is not accidental but intentional. I've been challenged personally by Paul's directive to Timothy to "preach the Word" but also to "do the work of an evangelist." I'm praying for God to use Tara and I in the lives of our neighbors, in the lives of the parents who attend our daughters' school, and in the lives of those that the Lord gives us daily divine appointments. It's possible for a pastor to spend all of his time with the sheep. It's also possible to have more sheep than one pastor can effectively shepherd. Praise the Lord for elders at CrossPoint and the shared responsibility of oversight. As these brothers aid in "caring for the flock," I'm praying God gives me more opportunities this fall in places where Jesus is not yet named in Baton Rouge. I also continue to pray that our greatest fear as a congregation will not be death or disease, but disobedience to Christ. I hope that you will join me in asking the Lord of the Harvest to send out workers in Baton Rouge.
One other note, this morning I read in a sub-headline that at least 701 people had been killed in recent floods that have swept parts of China. I found it interesting that it was a sub-headline and not even a headline on this particular news outlet. I wondered how many of us would read this caption and not be gripped at all. Not gripped by the reality that 701 souls have entered into eternity. Not gripped by the reality that some of those souls have perished forever. Not gripped that if those that are around us do not repent then they will perish too (Luke 13:1-5). I was moved to pray for God to use the floods in accordance with His global plans for His name and renown. I prayed for the workers. I prayed for the families left behind. I prayed also that I would not become so "used to stories such as these" from the 24 hour news networks that I became numb to my responsibility to intercede on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Christ and those who are yet to know Him. May we not waste today. May the Gospel advance in us and through us.