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Crossing the Line

Psalm 96:1-13

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"Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. [2] Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. [3] Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. [4] For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. [5] For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. [6] Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary. [7] Ascribe to the Lord, O families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. [8] Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. [9] Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. [10] Say among the nations, 'The Lord reigns.' The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. [11] Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; [12] let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; [13] they will sing before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth." (NIV)

A few years ago our family rode the tram at Monarch, Colorado to stand on the Continental Divide. As the winds swirled around us, I put one leg on the Eastern slope and one leg on the Western slope of the great Rocky Mountains. It was by no means a life-changing experience; at the time, it was little more than a pleasant distraction from driving. But now as I reflect back on it, it underscores the importance of some of the lines we cross.

In May of 2000, Jenny Rogers crossed the line from loving missions to becoming a missionary. It is a significant line to cross. 

Loving missions isn't always easy. It requires time, prayers and sacrificial giving. It is more than most Christians do. Most Christians are content to live provincial lives that revolve around their own needs and those of their family. If they are cut from an exceptional cloth, they will learn to care deeply about the health of their church and the welfare of its people. Let's face it, most Christians are not "Great Commission Christians"-they aren't on mission to change the world. At best, their goal is to enrich their own life through what God can do for them.

But people who love missions go beyond tending to their own needs and supporting their church, they look beyond the horizon of their lives and see other needs. So at Christmas time, they include a gift to missions on their shopping list. They pray daily for those who have left their friends and families behind to enter into new cultures, learn new languages and live sacrificial lives in pursuit of their passion to spread the gospel.

Before I continue with Jenny's story, I want to pause to give each of us time to reflect on our personal commitment to the Lord. Picture a set of concentric circles with you in the middle. First, do you care about the condition of the person's soul in the middle of that circle? Are you taking care of yourself by practicing the disciplines of the Christian faith? Do you pray regularly? Do you worship with intensity? Do you read/study your Bible? In other words, are you practicing good spiritual hygiene?

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