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Incense

“For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to my name…” Malachi 1:11

God makes it very clear that the fragrant burning of incense commanded in the tradition of the temple was designed to be a physical representation of the prayerful devotion of His people (Psalm 141:2; Rev 5:8, 8:3-5). One of the most deeply held convictions of ACTS Research is that this reality of incense is utterly essential in the missionary enterprise and central to God's plan for the nations. We are committed to expounding upon the necessity of worship and prayer at every stage of missions - in the sending, in the laboring, in conversion, and in the long journey of discipleship.  

 

Desiring and Beholding

October 29, 2015 By Daniel Lim in Communion with Jesus

At the culmination of Jesus’ high priestly prayer recorded in John 17, we hear Him expressing His deepest desire to His Father. Jesus’ prayer in this passage was unique because it expressed His knowledge about His pre-incarnate relationship and glory with His Father “before the world was.” This prayer also focused on the manifestation of the glory of the Father and the Son to the world, the glorification of those who were believers in Christ, and Jesus’ deep desire to dwell with His people forever.

Prayer is the Work

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. (James 5:16b-18 [NIV])

Only By Prayer

And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able”…And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” (Mark 9:17-18; 28-29 [ESV])

Praying Disciples

"And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." Acts 2:42 As we labor toward reaching the final unreached and unengaged people groups of the earth, we must consider how we will train and disciple those we reach. While heaven rejoices when one sinner repents (Luke 15:7), Jesus commanded us to not simply make converts, but to make disciples and to teach them all that Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:19-20).

A Singing Assembly

Twice in his letters to newly established congregations, the apostle Paul challenges his listeners to become singing communities. Apparently this was a very important feature in Paul’s discipleship method. He insisted that they sing the Scriptures to one another when they gathered (see Col 3:16; Eph 5:18-20).

Singing Kings

The Bible says that the aim of song is to "raise sounds of joy" (1 Chronicles 15:16).  It's easy for us to picture our church's choir or worship band singing on a Sunday morning.  But can you picture the earth's presidents, prime ministers, and kings singing for joy?  Well, they will.  The Psalms anticipate this and tell us why: “All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD, for they have heard the words of your mouth, and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD.” (Psalm 138:4-5)

Worship as the Goal of Missions

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. John 4:23 How incredible to think that the all-knowing, all-powerful Creator of the heavens and the earth would need to seek anything at all? Yet in John 4 Jesus reveals the heart of God by declaring that the Father is seeking worshipers who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.

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