Missions: the Hope of all Nations

posted by Daniel Cavanaugh in Be not Moved Away


The global plan of the gospel of Jesus Christ has always been at the forefront of God’s heart and mind. Yes, the Israelites where God’s chosen people, but it must be distinctly understood that it was through His chosen people that God planned to send His Son – the hope of Nations.


For centuries, there have been prejudices that have characterized man and, unfortunately, Christians have been the biggest perpetrators of such thinking. However, nothing could be more unbiblical or un-Christ-like than failing to realize God’s plan includes His chosen from all nations.


Furthermore, for those of us who are “American Christians”, our patriotism has created a pitfall. [Don’t misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with being a patriot.] However, we have generally created an atmosphere that somehow we have a corner on the market when it comes to God and missions – we act as though we have some special dispensation. This kind of thinking is faulty, and its fault lies in unbiblical thinking that has crept into our hearts and minds over the years.  This thinking – whether it is American, South American, European, etc. – is unbiblical because it fails to understand God’s plan of redemption for His chosen people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. It fails to see that God’s kingdom is made up of all nations.


1. The Foundation

To address these bold statements, we need to go to the foundation of the above concept, which is found the book of Genesis.  God gave Abraham a foundational promise that, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”[Genesis 22:18] This single promise alone is packed with meaning. Yes, we know from the narrative of Abraham that God promised to give his offspring great and vast amounts of land. The promise of physical blessing is very evident. But, the real significance of what God promised Abraham is found in the phrase “in thy seed”. Through the seed of Abraham, God sent His Son to die a sinner’s death on a cross so that all nations might be blessed [see Matthew 1].


2. The Focus

Though clearer through our current 20/20 hindsight as we look back and see all of God’s promises from the Old Testament fulfilled in the New Testament, we only need to read through the Old Testament with an observant eye to see God moving towards this plan. God made provision in the law for the stranger that dwelt among Israel [see Deut. 10:9; 23:7; 24:14, Lev. 23:22; 25:6]. Sure, God commanded the Israelites to destroy the nations of the land He had promised Abraham and his seed. Yet, don’t forget that He held Israel accountable for their wickedness and multiple times brought judgment upon them. In our previous post, we saw the Psalmist declare a blessing to Israel for the purpose of God’s ways being known on earth – His “saving power among all nations”. The Psalmist then declares: “Let the nations be glad and sing for joy [See Psalm 67].” God’s ultimate plan that runs through the whole of the Old Testament is that through His chosen people, He would bring the Hope of nations – the Messiah.  Israel, by their identity and blessing, was to declare to the nations God’s “saving power”.


3. The Follow Through

Then we come to the New Testament. Paul gives us clear thinking when it comes to what people groups Christ’s salvation included – all who come to Him in repentance. He give a broad statement that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus [Gal. 3].” Christ commanded His disciples to go unto all of the world and make disciples [Mt. 28]. So, let us do it. Don’t waste time. Give your life to spreading the gospel to the entire world in whatever you do. Make it your driving motivation. Reach your neighborhood. Reach your community. Reach you country. Reach your world. If you can’t go to another country be faithful in the one you are in. Give your resources for the furtherance of the gospel. Expend your energy. GO! Reach your world with the gospel! And you will hear in the end: “Well done thou good and faithful servant”.

Be not moved away,


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Missions: Why does missions exist?

posted by Daniel Cavanaugh in Be not Moved Away


Last fall I started an in depth look at the whole concept of missions. After a break during the holidays, I am ready to tackle this subject again – especially since our theme this year for P4C will be on missions. So, I invite you to join me in the study of what the Scriptures have to say. I can promise you this: I am going to try and make each post a little shorter. My desire and hope is to value your time and interest. So let us begin again…


Before the break, we considered what the motivating focus of missions was. Our conclusion was the gospel [see previous post]. But now we want to understand ‘why missions exist’. In reality, they both have the same answer.  In the ‘Motivating Focus of Missions’, we saw that we could not be moved away from the gospel. The gospel must be at the core of motivating missional work. It demands the center of everything we do.  But lets go deeper in the motivation of missions. Why does it exist? Why are we commanded to GO unto the entire world?


Simply and profoundly: missions exists to glorify our God by making much of his great and matchless name.  To understand this, we will take a look at Psalm 67:1-6 [ESV].


“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; Let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!”


A quick look at this passage may cause some to say, “but what about the blessings that are spoken of in this passage?” This is true – blessings are spoken of. But, let us conclude that the blessings are only a byproduct. What is this passage really saying? Why are we being blessed?


The answer lies in the following portion of text: “that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.” This is speaking of the gospel being made known – proclaimed. To what end? That “the nations be glad and sing for joy…” God’s blessings exist so His people will glorify His great name. God blesses to the end that His “saving power” is proclaimed among all nations and in so doing He is glorified. The ultimate end is that God is glorified in the hearts and minds of His people from every tribe, tongue, and nations. And, we can further say that true joy is discovered in the glory of God.


So missions exist, not to rid the world of social injustice – though that is a worthy endeavor – or to just bless people, but it exist to let God’s people of every nation “be glad.”  And what is it we are glad in? Our great God. So, when you engage the world with the gospel, whether in another country or your own backyard, GO make disciples with the gospel as the core motivation. Let the end be that God is glorified in the gladness of those who know Him from every nation. May our prayer of blessing and praise be: “Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!” Amen.

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A Believer’s Resolve – New Year’s Resolutions

posted by Daniel Cavanaugh in Be not Moved Away


New Year’s resolutions are being made. After all, its New Years and that is what we do.  We are committed and determined to accomplish them with every ounce of human ability that is within us. We write them down. We set achievable goals to step us toward success.  We begin the process to achieve success – to become that better person that everyone expects us to be. For the first 2-3 months, we often find success. We are accomplishing what we set out to do with much fervor. Then, before you know it, it’s the holidays again, and we find ourselves looking back wondering what happened to the resolutions. Where did we sidestep? When did we take that first bite of junk food? When did we start hitting the snooze button multiple times only to find no time left to hit the gym? When did bible reading and memorization weasel its way out of our busy schedules? What happened to all those great things we were going to do to better ourselves so that God would be pleased?


I don’t know about you, but I have found myself in this spot more times than I really wish to admit. We try and try only to discover failure over and over again. But herein lies the problem: we strive in our own strength for our own glory – painful to think about, but true all the same. However, are resolutions bad? No. I am not saying that at all. But often at the root of these resolutions is our pride – the promotion of self. Sure, we cloak it in “God terms” but in the end, it only produces, at best [even when achieved], promotion of self. For the believer, this is not what he or she strives for. We live for something bigger and far more magnificent. We make resolutions, but we make them from a different perspective – from a different motivation.


As I think on the idea of New Year’s resolutions, there are some basic and profound things from God’s word that I think we should remember when making “New Year’s Resolutions”.  We find such convicting yet reassuring truth in Philippians 2 so let’s take a look.


First and foremost, as a believer, you can do nothing apart from the grace of God. We have been saved by grace and so we are sanctified by grace. Scripture tells us: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” [James 4:6 ESV] Yes, we are to “work out our own salvation” but don’t forget that it is “God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” [Phil. 2:12&13 ESV] Remember this: you can do NOTHING apart from God’s grace.


Secondly, if we can do nothing apart from God’s grace then it must not be about us. It’s all about Christ. It is for His glory that we breathe and move. It is for His glory alone that we live. As its states in Philippians 2, it is for “His good pleasure”.  We were created for the pleasure and glory of God. We were redeemed and made new for the pleasure and glory of God.  Revelation 4:11 sums it up beautifully: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” [ESV]


So as you make your “New Year’s Resolutions” remember that they are a resolve to glorify our great God. I am not sure that we can say that Paul is speaking of “New Year’s Resolutions” in Philippians 2. But, he is telling us to “work out our own salvation”. We can’t just sit around. We are to be about our heavenly Father’s business. We are to be as Timothy and “fight the good fight of faith”.  But never forget that it is through His grace for His glory that we strive. This resolve is a lifelong pursuit.  Any striving not found through and in the person of Jesus Christ is at best striving that will amount to complete and utter failure.  It will find you looking back asking: “What went wrong?” But, a life lived for the glory of a sovereign, holy, yet loving God– now there is something worth a believer’s resolve.

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New Staff Member!

posted by Daniel Cavanaugh in Event Updates





Dear Friends,

We are so excited to announce our new staff member. Breanna Mendenhall is joining Vision4Living Ministries as a Administrative assistant. This is a huge answer to prayer as our admin duties have increased. This will free up more time for dad and myself to focus more on writing and development. Breanna is a very capable individual who will serve the ministry with a heart and passion for seeing the gospel continue from generation to generation. She has a clear vision for how her role will further kingdom work through V4L for the glory of God. Her years of experience will serve well as she joins the team. Welcome to the team Breanna! What a joy to have one who’s passion is Christ and life is the gospel.


For His Glory,


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P4C’11 MP3′s have Arrived!

posted by Daniel Cavanaugh in Podcasts



Dear friends,

The depth of teaching in God’s word and the depth of fellowship that was had at P4C’11 this year is hard to describe. The Lord blessed the faithful preaching of His word as it landed on the fertil soil of the attendees hearts. Many of you could not attended or did not fall into the category of this event. So, for those of you who could not be there, we have posted these audios for you to get a glimpse of what God did and glean from the depth of the preaching of God’s word. If you did attend, then they are here for you to continue the spark of growth that God began in your heart at P4C. Fill free to share these with others that would benefit from them. We do apologize in advance. Some of the audios have a few glitches on them, but they are audible. Hope you enjoy and as always we love hearing your feedback.


For His Glory,

Daniel Cavanaugh


Foundation – Charles Cavanaugh

God – Scott O’Neal

Knowing – Dewey Novotny

Christ – Daniel Cavanaugh

Trinity – Scott O’Neal

Worship – Dewey Novotny

Scripture – Scott O’Neal

Sanctification – Charles Cavanaugh


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Of All People Most Grateful…

posted by Daniel Cavanaugh in Be not Moved Away


On this Thanksgiving holiday, I have been reflecting on what families should be grateful for as they gather together to give thanks and reflect within themselves on the many blessings of God. It’s safe to say that we live in a society that, even in our “thankfulness”, lends itself to a self-focus. And further more, we very rarely give thanks to the Creator and Giver of all things. However, for those of us who are believers this should not be so. Everything in life is seen as a mercy gift from our gracious heavenly Father who loves us. The Psalmist gives us a command to give thanks: “Oh give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: because His mercy endures forever [Psalm 118].” In verse three of Psalm 118, the Psalmist tells the “house of Aaron” to give thanks. As a household, we should be giving thanks and not just on this holiday week but each and every day. I encourage you to read the rest of the chapter because I want to take a look at just a few of the many reasons this Psalm compels us to give thanks.


 1. He is Merciful   

The Psalmist repeats this phrase five times. It must be pretty important if it is given this much repetition. But why? Because he knows that without the mercy of the Lord, all of us, even the wicked, would not know the blessings we receive each day. It is only of the mercy of God that anyone in this world receives anything he or she has. Remember this as you drive your car. Remember this when you put on your clothes.  Remember this when you take a hot shower. Remember this as you feast on this Thanksgiving Day.


2. He Hears us

“I called upon the Lord in my distress: the Lord answered…v.5” Our God hears us. He is listening and answering. Live and pray as such. Pray often. Give thanks often. Ask often. Know He is and will answer. He will deliver you. He will be your strength. He will meet your needs. He desires to commune with you in prayer.


 3. He Fights for us

The Lord will and is fighting for you. He has helped and guided you.  He has been your strength. When you were surrounded by the enemy or compassed by much sorrow and fight, remember as the Psalmist says [v.10-12], “for in the name of the Lord I [destroyed] will destroy them…” Never give up, because the Lord has and will fight for you.


4. He is our salvation

Grace has been pored upon us in over abundance. Our God has lavished His grace upon us.  The Psalmist knows and proclaims it with confidence: “I will praise Thee: for Thou hast heard me and art become my salvation [v.21].” This, of all things, ought to make us most thankful: grace so rich and free. Give thanks for God’s grace. For by it you have been saved, and by it you now live.


From the Psalmist perspective, he tells a story of hardship.  He has been wearied and torn. The fight has been intense. Suffering and evil have compassed him on all sides. Yet, he knows he has been blessed even in the midst of it all, because his God has been at his side. So, maybe it’s been a hard year for you and your family. Maybe things have not gone as you thought or planned. But remember this: “His mercy endures forever”. This alone is reason enough to give thanks. At the end of the day, whether as a family or as an individual, we know that anything beyond God’s saving grace is more than we deserve. We, of all people, should be most grateful. What reasons have we to complain? Our souls are being saved; our lives are in the hand of a sovereign and loving master.  So, as you sit around the table with your family this Thanksgiving, remember that you of all people are most blessed and therefore have much to give thanks for.


Thanking Him with you,

Daniel Cavanaugh





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‘In the Business of Life’

posted by Daniel Cavanaugh in Event Updates


This is a short post by our dear friend Brittany Crist [College Plus coach] who attend P4C’11. We thought you might like to hear from an attendee and how God spoke to her. Enjoy.


Daniel Cavanaugh



In the busyness of my life, rest seems elusive. Consumed by “doing”, I so often forget about the “being.” And yet our Lord tells me, “Be still, and know that I am God.”


Passion4Christ Summit 2011 was such a time for me to re-focus. A time to lay aside the busyness of life, and truly seek His face. A leading by the still waters, where He restores our souls. A time to come to the foot of the cross once more, looking only to Jesus. To be still. And know that He is God.

Highlights of the week for me definitely included the fabulous speakers, incredible times of worship through music, the Ponderosa theme dinner night, the zip line, stories by campfire, and the volleyball tournament! However, my favorite by far was time of mutual encouragement with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. For “those who tell of battles won, or those struggling in the fight.” To recall His faithfulness together. For He who called IS faithful


P4C is truly all about…Jesus. Setting our gaze on Him alone. For all of life. As Mr. Novotny put it, it is all about our “GREAT BIG GOD, and itty bitty every other thing.”


So. Mark your calendar for the Passion4Christ Summit 2012. October 24-28. Ohio. You will not want to possibly miss it. You will come away changed. For His Word does not return void.

Until then, by His grace, let’s continue to rest IN Him in the midst of the busyness. For our souls do find rest in Him alone. Keep looking to Jesus!


Brittany Crist – P4C’11 attendee


Photos courtesy of Leah Christine Imagery 

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P4C’11 Reg Deadline Extended!!!

posted by Daniel Cavanaugh in Event Updates


Hey Friends,

We still have some room left at the Passion4Christ Summit ’11, and we would like to fill those spaces with you. So with that said, we have extended the registration deadline till October 15 just for you. Or maybe, you know someone you could tell about this great opportunity to come hear God’s word preached and worship and seek the Lord with His people. Another week and half for P4C reg. Help us spread the word about this opportunity!


For His Renowned,


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Missions: Is the Gospel Enough?

posted by Daniel Cavanaugh in Be not Moved Away


In our last visit on the issue concerning missional focus, we jumped right into the methodology of missions. However, in starting with the methodology, we have begged another question that needs to be answer: what is the central motivating focus of missional work and why do missions exist? This blog will only afford us to answer the first part of that question in regards to the gospel. Although both questions are so very closely related that they cannot be separated, we will build the foundation so as to strengthen our answer to the second part of the question when we visit again.


Christ is Preeminent

Understanding the gospel is pivotal to understanding the implications it has on missional work. To assume that everyone understands the gospel is unwise at best because of how the gospel has been marred in modern evangelicalism.

Paul gives us the essence of the gospel in Colossians 1 in its simplest form: Christ is preeminent. If Christ is not preeminent in your life, preaching, or any aspect of you then it’s a sure bet that you may not have a biblical grasp on the gospel.

Christ has been and will always be the essence of all things.  Verse 17 tells us, “And He is before all things, and by him all things consist.” This is the basis for which Christ, the son of the living God, could come and pay the price of redemption for His people. “It pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell.” Looking to anything else as “good news” [i.e. gospel] is to mar and dismantle the very person of Christ. In Him all fullness dwells, and therefore as such, where else could the gospel come from? Christ is the essence of the gospel.  He is the consistency. The all.

Christ came to earth and died a brutal death on the cross to reconcile His people who “were sometime alienated and enemies in [their] mind by wicked works [v.21].” Through “the body of His flesh through death [v.22]”, He not only has saved the sinner who looks to him but is working out the implications in His life “to present [Him] holy and unblamable and unreprovable in His sight.”

My friends, this is what we had to look to in order to know and understand this grace in our lives, and it is what we continue to look to. It is what all of God’s people from every tribe, tongue, and nation must look to. This is what we must proclaim to every soul that our missional endeavors bring us in contact with. We must point them to Christ and none other. To quote a wonderful hymn, “In Christ Alone, my hope is found”.


Be not moved away

After clearly establishing that Christ is the essence of the gospel, Paul gives us a charge and a personal glimpse as to the implications this has made on his life. He charges the Colossian believers to “continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the gospel.”  And what is it that Paul is so emphatically saying that they must be grounded in and never move away from? The text is clear: the gospel; Jesus Christ and Him crucified; everything that Paul has just finished establishing is to be our bedrock. We are never to be moved away from this in anyway shape or form.  The implications are profoundly life changing for the believer because it is his life. Our faith was rooted at the beginning in the gospel and it continues to be rooted till Christ returns. Ephesians tells us, “as ye have therefore received Christ Jesus, so walk ye in Him.” We received the gospel by faith and we must continue in the gospel by faith.


Therefore you are a minister

The personal glimpse that Paul gives us at the end of this charge sheds incredible light on the implications that the gospel is motivating the believer’s missional work. After driving home the solidity that the gospel gives our lives, he builds on this by sharing with us that the gospel is the very thing that has made him a minister. Lets take a look at verse 23: “and be not moved away from the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” Paul has just stated with all clarity that it is the gospel that motivates him, that drives him, that gives him vision to be the minister that God has called him to be. For Paul, there is no greater reason.  Paul was missional because of the gospel and so should we.


Proclaiming the gospel and its implications

We have talked a lot about the gospel being our driving motivation as a person who does ministry, but you may be asking: So where in God’s Word do we find the implication of the gospel toward “missional work”? Or, where is the GO in the gospel?

Well, in case you have not seen it already, Matthew 28:16-20 is the most obvious but in many ways the most profound place to turn in answering this question. It is here that we are commanded to, “Go ye therefore, teach all nations.” But what is it that we are to teach? The answer is found in verse 20: “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” The reason this is so profound is because of the context in which it is being said. Realize that Christ has just died for the sins of His people. Remember that Christ has just spent three years teaching His disciples what the gospel is and all the implications it holds. Christ has just lived the gospel before them both in life and in death and now He is telling them to go and tell all nations the things you have heard, seen, and believed. He is telling them to move from where they now stand and go be missional. He is inspiring them with the pure and fresh unadulterated gospel they have just experienced. He is motivating them to go into all the world for the sake of the glorious gospel. And, the motivation is no less true for us: Let us be missional because of the gospel.

In all honesty, we have been building to one last question that I feel answers itself: is the gospel enough? Is the gospel the only thing that drives us to do missional work? Is it what makes us GO? My answer is simply, yes. And based upon God’s word, I will boldly say that any “missional work” that does not have the gospel as its core and sole motivation is not and will never be “missional work”. The gospel is our life. It is the essence of who we are as believers and should always have profound implications for what we do.  I leave you with this: eat, sleep, breath, and teach the gospel.


For His Renown,

Daniel Cavanaugh

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Missions & Methodology

posted by Daniel Cavanaugh in Be not Moved Away


When we talk about methodology for anything when it comes to evangelism, there is always the danger of looking to the methods verses the person of Christ we seek to proclaim. Furthermore, when it comes to missions, volumes have been written on methodology. It always seems there is a more affective way to do things. “Follow these steps and you will see success in your ministry.” However, as I write this article concerning missions and its methodology, I realize that I to am making a contribution to the numerous things written on this subject.  But I would like to ask a question that has been asked countless times: what is the biblical model for missions? Actually, let me rephrase this in a more personal way: Have we ever looked to the scriptures to understand what makes missions “affective”? How can true missions leave a lasting impact on generations to come?

There are many things that need to be addressed when asking the above questions, but for now I would like to focus on one aspect and Lord willing we will come back to the others.  Lets jump right into the method. Lets see what the doing actually involves. Lets take a look at the life of Paul – a man who reached continents for Christ even while he was in prison.  Lets dissect how Paul went into all nations with the gospel.  Lets see what he actually did when he went.

Over the last several centuries, the church has sent missionaries to other countries with the hope of spreading the gospel to the lost. After all, that is what we have been commanded to do: “Go ye unto all the world”. We have raised large amounts of money to support and send these missionaries. The Lord has blessed the work of our hands and His word has not returned void. Countless people have come to know Christ and many stories could be recounted to bring praise to the mighty work of our God through these efforts.  However, what happens when the missionaries “retire”? What happens when they leave the country they were serving? Does the work go on? Does it last? Many times it does and that is a testament to

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