C. T. Studd, “Only One Life”

image 9 - C T Studd.jpgIn my message this past weekend at Eastbrook, “The Hunger to Leave a Legacy,” I reflected on the life of C. T. Studd, a famous 19th century Cambridge cricket player turned missionary. After becoming a follower of Jesus, Studd left England to serve as a missionary in China, under the oversight of Hudson Taylor. After a decade in China, Studd went on to serve in India for seven years and 20 years in sub-Saharan Africa, beginning in the Belgian Congo.

When asked about his passion for mission, Studd offered a memorable response, which has inspired many missionaries since his time:

Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.

A poem he wrote, entitled “Only One Life,” holds two lines which summarize Studd’s legacy and are a good model for us as believers today:

Only one life, ‘twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last

I’ve included the entire poem below.

Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, “twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say,”Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last. ”

Prayer of Dedication: Nehemiah

I continued our series on prayer this past weekend at Eastbrook Church, “Great Prayers of the Bible“, by looking at the prayers of Nehemiah that spur his role in the rebuilding of Jerusalem after exile. Turning to Nehemiah 1:1-11 and 2:1-8, we see a man troubled by the situation of God’s people and also stewing his way into a life dedicated to seeing something change. With Nehemiah, what might we learn about praying our challenges to God with openness to how we might become the answers to the very prayers that we offer?

This was also our first of two weekends outdoors for our worship services at Eastbrook. You can view the message video and the sermon outline below. You can follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

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Great Prayers of the Bible

This coming weekend at Eastbrook Church we begin a teaching series entitled “Great Prayers of the Bible.” This series accompanies our Summer of Prayer at Eastbrook by examining great prayers from both the Old and New Testament so that we might grow in our life of prayer, individually and corporately.

Our life with God is shaped by the way we pray. Prayer is the basic communication with God in speaking and listening that is as essential as air, food and water to our biological life. Prayer is simple in the sense that every human being feels the pull to communicate with the divine, often whispering or shouting prayers unbidden. At the same time, prayer is complicated because we often don’t know how to approach God or what is okay to do.

In this series, we will spend the summer learning to pray through the examples of great prayers found throughout the Bible.

June 2/3 – “Prayer that Pleads for the Lost: Abraham” (Genesis 18:16-33)

June 9/10 – “Prayer that Intercedes for God’s People: Moses” (Numbers 14:1-23)

June 16/17 – “Prayer for Our Desires: Hannah (1 Samuel 1:10-20; 2:1-10)

June 23/24 – “Prayer of Repentance: David (2 Samuel 12:15-23; Psalm 51)

June 30/July 1 – “Prayer that Listens: Elijah” (1 Kings 19:1-18)

July 7/8 – “Prayer for Deliverance: Hezekiah” (2 Kings 19:14-20; 20:1-7)

July 14/15 – “Prayer of Dependence: Habakkuk” (Habakkuk 3:1-21)

July 21/22  – “Prayer of Renewal: Daniel” (Daniel 9:3-19)

July 29 – “Prayer of Dedication: Nehemiah” (Nehemiah 1:4-11)

August 5 – “Prayer of Surrender: Mary” (Luke 2:46-56)

August 11/12 – “Prayer in Weakness: a father of an afflicted boy” (Mark 9:22-25)

August 18/19 – “Prayer as Mission: The Early Church in Acts” (Acts 1:24-25; 4:23-31; 7:60; 13:1-3)

August 25/26 – “Prayer as Worship: Revelation” (Revelation 11:15-19; 15:1-4; 16:5-7)

Growing (discussion questions)

beginnings-series-gfx_app-squareHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Growing,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is the final part of our series, “Beginnings.” The text for this week is Luke 2:22-52.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Answer one of the following questions:
    • What is one of your favorite memories from growing up? Why?
    • When have you experienced the greatest growth in your life with God? What happened?
  2. This week we conclude our “Beginnings” series from the Gospel of Luke by looking at Luke 2:22-52. Luke moves from Jesus’ birth to his early life with one episode from his first months and one from his boyhood. Take a moment to pray that God would speak to you before reading the first episode from Luke 2:22-40.
  3. Joseph and Mary are fulfilling the requirements of the Jewish law for purification after birth (Leviticus 12:2-4) and dedication of firstborn children (Numbers 18:15-16) at the Temple in Jerusalem. What do you notice about Simeon, a man they encounter there (vss 25-26)?
  4. What is most striking to you about Simeon’s words of praise to God (vss 29-32) and his words to Joseph and Mary (vss 33-35)? What does this tell us about Jesus?
  5. What would you say Anna the prophetess confirms about Jesus’ identity in her response to Jesus’ visit (vss 36-38)?
  6. Now read Luke 2:41-52. Background: Joseph and Mary appear as very devout in their annual visit to Jerusalem for Passover. They likely travel the 80 miles from Nazareth to Jerusalem in a group with family and friends.
  7. When Joseph and Mary discover Jesus is not with their group, they rush back to Jerusalem to find Him in the Temple talking with teachers. His response in verse 49 is Jesus’ first words in the Gospel. What do we learn about Him from these words?
  8. Jesus’ growth physically is mirrored by His growth relationally and spiritually (see 2:40, 52). What might we learn about our own development as disciples from Jesus’ life here?
  9. What is one specific thing that God is speaking to you through this study? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray for one another. If you are studying on your own, write it down and share it with someone.

 

Daily Reading Plan

To encourage us together in our growth with God, we are arranging a weekday reading plan through this entire series with the Gospel of Luke. As you read each day, ask God to speak to you from His word.

Follow along with the reading plan below, through the Eastbrook app, or on social media.

  • Nov 21             Luke 2:22-40
  • Nov 22             Isaiah 42:1-7; Isaiah 49:5-6
  • Nov 23             Matthew 2:19-23
  • Nov 24             Luke 2:41-52
  • Nov 25             Luke 2:40; Luke 2:52

Growing

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We concluded our “Beginnings” series this weekend at Eastbrook Church with a message entitled “Growing” from Luke 2:22-52. Jesus sanctifies the entire human development continuum in His flesh and also reveals His mission for the first time. The light of salvation is growing, yet it is also surrounded by the growing clouds of division. Simeon and Anna affirm that Messianic expectations are fulfilled in Jesus, drawing attention to Mary’s future suffering and the suffering that corresponds to true discipleship.

You can follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

Also, join in with the weekday reading plan for this series here.

“But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.’” (Luke 1:13)

 

Jesus Growing (Luke 2:16, 40, 43, 52)

 

 

Growing Light (Luke 2:25-32, 36-40)

 

 

Growing Clouds (Luke 2:33-35)

 

 

Growing Revelation (Luke 2:41-49)

 

 

Growing Confusion (Luke 2:33, 50)

 

Saturday Prayer 41

Lord,
here at the beginning of the day,
I give myself to You again.
All my goals for the day to come,
I give to You.
All the things I will enjoy in this day,
I give to You.
All the challenges I will face and situations unresolved,
I give to You.
I pray Your mercy over my family and friends…
I pray Your mercy over the people in my neighborhood and city…
I pray for salvation life for those who are far from You…
I pray for strength for those who are serving You…
I give myself to You.
You are my  God.

[This is part of a series of prayer posts in 2012 that began here.]

Saturday Prayer 40

Surely, Lord, You bless the righteous; You surround them with Your favor as with a shield. (Psalm 5:12)

Father,
I stand upon Jesus Christ who is my righteousness.
There is no one who is perfectly righteous
but through the obedience of Jesus
many have been made righteous.
So, standing upon this righteousness
given through Christ,
I ask, Lord, that You would surround me
with Your favor like a shield.
Bring Your favor into my relationships.
Bring Your favor around my activities.
Bring Your favor around my personal life.
I depend upon You and trust You.
Guard me with favor throughout this day.

[This is part of a series of prayer posts in 2012 that began here.]