Just last week at our church we had our yearly Missions Conference. What a tremendous time to have our hearts stirred for God's mission for reaching the world for Him! If you were unable to attend, I'd encourage you to check out the website (www.missionsconference.org) and watch the messages presented last week. If you were in attendance, I'd encourage you reflect on the things you heard, saw, and experienced this past week. This devotional has missions at its heart and it will prayerfully help you understand how each of us can get involved, regardless of God's "calling" on your life.
We often hear of three ways we can get involved in missions, in this order: PRAY. GIVE. GO. I'd like to turn those around today for our thinking: GO. GIVE. PRAY.
We all know the verse Matthew 28:19, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" This is often referred to as the "Great Commission." It is one of the verses used (if not the most used) for God's mission; along with Acts 1:8 which is used to show us where we should be going to teach all nations, both on foreign fields and in our own neighborhoods. I have had the privilege of being a part of some mission trips in my life. I have been on foreign soil for some (Zambia, Armenia, and Mexico) and some local (Indianapolis, Milford, and Loveland.) And you know what? God has the same burden for those on the opposite side of the world as He does in apartment complexes and neighborhoods just down the street. That ALL may know Him! So to GO may simply mean to present God where you are, but I pray that we all have a heart willing to GO no matter where God desires us to go.
1 John 3:17 says, "But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" We should be willing to help those in need spiritually by sacrificing of "this world's good." I feel that "this world's good" can be seen as financial, but also time. If we have the ability to help, we should strive to do so. By sacrifice of our time or finances, we can show the love of God to those in need so that He will be known by it.
Luke 10:2 says, "Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest." We should be praying for God to send labourers into His harvest. As we've already mentioned, this can be around the world or around our neighborhoods. Our prayers in this regard should include ourselves. We need to be willing vessels for God's mission to make Him known both abroad and near home.
We as Christians should:
- Strive to GO and increase our burden for those in need;
- GIVE sacrificially of our finances and time to show God's love;
- PRAY for those actively on the foreign fields, and for us to see our current location just as in need of God as those around the world.
No matter the direction you look at it, God's mission needs to be at the heart of our mission as a church and as an individual.
Written by Mike Carruthers