All For You

Sharing Our Faith

As a seminary student, I was required to take a class on personal evangelism (in simple terms, a class on how to share Jesus with others). Before the end of the semester, we were required to make a certain number of personal visits with people in the community.

Some people will say that a seminary student shouldn’t have to take a class to be taught how to share Jesus with others; it should come naturally for someone called to serve God.

But for busy students who are trying to complete their academic work, maintain a family life, and work full- or part-time in a secular or church position, it is often difficult to focus on personal evangelism. Yes, I know seminary students should be about “God’s work,” but it’s still difficult to find time to focus on sharing Jesus with others.

That last statement probably isn’t limited to busy seminary students. More than likely, most of us need a little push to reach outside our comfort zones, to share our faith with others, and to lead others to a personal relationship with Jesus.

ABCs of Salvation

Do we have good news for you!

God loves you and every person in the world. He loves us very much!

There’s also bad news. Each person has sinned. We have done things God does not like.

Here are three ways to turn the bad news into good news. We call these the ABCs of Salvation.

A-dmit that you are a sinner. Repent, turning away from your sin. (Read Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 John 1:9–10; Acts 3:19.)

This means that you understand you have broken God’s rules. You want to stop breaking His rules and only do things that honor Him.

B-elieve that Jesus is God’s Son and accept God’s gift of forgiveness from sin. (Read Acts 4:12; Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:8–9; and John 1:11–13; 3:16.)

This means you understand that Jesus took the punishment for our sins when He died on the cross. Then He rose from the dead. By believing this and accepting His gift, we can have forgiveness for our sins.

C-onfess your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. (Read Romans 10:9–10; 10:13.)

The Freedom of Surrender

I eagerly anticipated retirement’s slower days and freedom to travel. What I didn’t anticipate were the questions: Who am I now? How do I surrender my all in this season?            

God’s call to surrender, sacrifice, and serve with all that I am didn’t change because my life season changed; it became different.

Wherever He Leads I’ll Go

For many of us, the title of this blog brings to mind the title of one of the wonderful hymns of our faith. It is one of my favorites.

I must confess that as much as I love singing this beautiful hymn, I have to be very aware of the words—“Wherever He leads I’ll go.” You see, I’m a planner and an administrator. While these can be great traits, they can also be stumbling blocks. I have to ask, “Are these your plans, Lord, or mine?” Ouch!

As I reflect on the emphasis, All for You, I’m continually challenged to surrender, sacrifice, and serve:

• surrender completely by denying self;

• sacrifice willingly by taking up my cross;

• serve intentionally by following Christ into my community, state, and world.

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’” (Mark 8:34 NIV).

All for You—Surrender, Sacrifice, Serve How We Know What Love Is

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’” (Mark 8:34 NIV1).

Deny yourself. Those are strong words. Not at all what we want to hear. Not in our all-for-ourselves culture. When you hear these hard teachings, aren’t you thankful that Jesus never asked us to do anything that He was not willing to do Himself? Because of His willingness to deny Himself and lay down His life, we know what love, true love, looks like:

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and truth” (1 John 3:16).

Focus on WMU

All For You

Engage your church in missions discipleship by calling on them to Surrender, Sacrifice, and Serve!

Suggested Theme: All For You

Scripture Passage: Mark 8:31–38 (NIV)

Emphasis Watchword for 2015-2016: “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’ ” (Mark 8: 34 NIV).

Interpretation of the Theme:
What does it mean to be give ourselves fully to Christ?  In other words, how can we look at God and declare, "We desire to be All For You?"  During this next year, men, women, boys, and girls will learn three key aspects of discipleship:

  • surrender completely by denying self
  • sacrifice willingly by taking up their cross
  • serve intentionally by following Christ into their community, state, and world

As we are exploring these, age groups will be learn how others are living this out in missions and be guided to live these out through missions projects.

All for You Topics

All For You

All for You is the 2015–2016 theme for Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, and Children in Action.

*For Royal Ambassadors, click here to download a PDF file of the RA 2015–2016 Curriculum Plans. This list includes the Unit Scripture Verses, RA Virtues, and the Biblical focus for each month.

GA and Children in Action will learn about these topics each month. Check the current issue of GA LeaderGA WorldRA LeaderRA World, or Children in Action Leader for more information about each topic.

All for You—Surrender, Sacrifice, Serve Devotion

Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves” (Mark 8:34). What does it mean in the culture of today to deny ourselves? We live in a world that is all about me and what I can get. A look at commercials and ads shows us that in order to be somebody, we need to have the latest and greatest phone, car, tablet, or make-up. To deny ourselves seems counter to what we encounter in today’s world.

All for You Devotion

For having only three letters, all is such a big word. Jesus used the word all when he said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). Even though it is a small word, it means giving to God our everything. Not just parts or pieces of our lives, but our whole lives. As we begin the new WMU® emphasis of All for You, consider what it means to you to give your all for God. The emphasis title represents a prayer that we are speaking to God as if we are saying, “I give my all for you, Lord.”

In her book, Secrets to Surrender: Living Wholeheartedly, Debby Akerman explores what it means to live out our lives in an all-for-you way. She asks the question, “Do I follow Jesus wholeheartedly?” We are encouraged to ask this question of ourselves. As you ponder her question, also consider Jesus’ words about following Him: “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34).

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