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Perspectives


Jesus, Mission, and Glory - The True Lord’s Prayer, John 17: Part 2


In the true Lord’s Prayer of John 17, the Lord begins by praying for Himself (John 17:1-5), but only in the sense of His now pending completion of His early mission and the commissioning of His disciples to carry on after His death. This mission involves, at its heart, the glory of God. The words “glory,” “glorified” and “glorify” appear 5 times in this prayer (twice in 17:1, once in 17:4, and twice in 17:5). This prayer, as mentioned, is mission-centered.

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The True Lord’s Prayer, John 17: Part 1


It’s not what you thought it was!
The true Lord’s Prayer is given in John 17. Most people commonly call the prayer in Matthew 6:7-14 “The Lord’s Prayer,” but that prayer is one our Lord could never pray for Himself. One of its petitions asks the Father to “...forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:11), or, as Luke’s version puts it, “...forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us” (Luke 11:4). Jesus could never pray this prayer because we know from Hebrews 4:15 that our Lord was without sin.

The prayer in Matthew is thus for us to pray, not for Him. Jesus gave us this prayer when one of the disciples asked Him to teach them (and us) how to pray (Luke 11:1).

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Christians Who Changed Their World: James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey


Wherever the Gospel goes, schools and hospitals follow. The reason is simple: far from being an other-worldly religion, Christianity has historically valued life in this world, and Christians have cared about our minds and bodies. In particular, many of the most important leaders in education in the developing world were Christians and became involved in education because of their Christian commitments. One example is James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey.

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Christians Who Changed Their World: Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje


Despite stereotypes to the contrary, Christians have long been at the forefront of the push for racial equality. This work comes from the Bible’s teaching that the image of God which we all share is the foundation for human dignity, and from the New Testament’s insistence on the spiritual and moral equality of all people.

In American history, we see the importance of Christianity in the Civil Rights movement in the work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and of organizations such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Less well known is the work of African Christians in promoting racial equality in the face of European colonization of Africa. One of these native Africans was Solomon Plaatje.

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Be Like Jesus (Part 2)


I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

Last week, we considered God’s plan for transforming Christians so that we conform to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). Using Romans 12:1-2 as our guide, we outlined steps one through three in a six-step process. This week, we will consider steps four through six.

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Christians Who Changed Their World: Abba Enbaqom


Ancient Christian communities in the Middle East today are under assault as never before by Islamic forces. At the same time, unprecedented numbers of Muslims are coming to faith in Jesus Christ as a result of dreams in which Issa (Jesus) appears to them. Although the pace at which these two trends are happening is accelerating, neither is a new phenomenon. Both are part of the life story of Abba Enbaqom, whose birth name was Abul-Fath.

Early years, conversion, and studies
Abul-Fath was born in Yemen to a Jewish mother and a noble father and was raised as a Muslim. Even as a young man he began to express doubts about his religion and began to investigate Islam and its literature. His doubts eventually alienated him from his parents. In 1489, he went to Ethiopia as a merchant, accompanying a freed Ethiopian captive. He stayed in northern Ethiopia for three years, and then moved south to the capital for two more years.

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