November 9, 2009

Should everyone be involved in missions work?

Most Christians are familiar with the following verses:
18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

We all know it as The Great Commission. But have any of you felt that at some point this commission doesn't apply to you? Have you maintained the perspective that this was talking about missionary work only and foreign missions at that?! Or maybe you figured this was a directive to apostles only? Well let me pose The Great Commssion to you another way?

Matthew 28:18-20 (The Message)
Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: "God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age."

While Jesus was directly commanding the disciples (who would later be known as apostles for the churches they begin) to go, train, baptize, and support, we were given the mandates as well! Yes You! At that specific time, they needed to spread the gospel around where they lived, especially to the Jewish nation. It wouldn't be until some time later that the message of Christ would be spread beyond Jerusalem. Overall, the mission is still the same. We must be go-ers!

What does it mean to be a go-er exactly?
Jesus told the disciples that they were to share the Good News with others besides those they associated with daily. They needed to go beyond the same hangouts and the same crowds in their villages. Afterall, everyone knew them! When they began to branch out, they were commanded to prepare, direct the growth of, and instruct the people they encountered in the Christian way of life, a life submitted to God and striving for holiness as He is holy.

What is The Good News that we're supposed to be sharing and training people in?
The Good News is the mystery that is Christ! Jesus the Christ, Our Messiah, in the human form was God's spoken word expressed in flesh. Because of God's intense love for us, he sent His word into flesh in order that He could fulfill The Laws while creating a new one, a Law of the Spirit. Jesus' death on the cross (God's putting to death of an "old system") removed the divide between Jew and Gentile. This divide was not only a physical one that was upheld by the Jews but it was the perspective of God as well. With His "new" order of "seeing" things, Gentiles (Us!) are now included! Colossians 3:11 tells us that there are no more labels! We are all defined by Christ and in Christ. EVERYONE IS INCLUDED!!! Since we are included now, we are entitled to the same inheritances and promises as our brothers and sisters, the Jews! We are all heirs because of Christ! This is a mystery to those without faith and those who are against The Way. But it's up to us to keep spreading this word when led by the Spirit to do so in order that at the time purposed by God, someone may here and believe! It doesn't stop there! It says that we need to baptize them or encourage baptism!

What?! I'm supposed to baptize too?!
It's evident by Christ's time on earth that everything he said wasn't at all literal. We learn later on, thanks to our mentor Paul, that baptism is more than just getting wet by water! It's a representation of the commitment we've made ot follow after Chrsit and our desire to fellowhsip with Him in every aspect of his God-led life. We need to inform our new disciples that they need to "put to rest" their old nature and old passions (Col 3) and by the power of God they will want to be "raised" back up with a new life ahead of them, filled with God's Spirit and focused on operating with His love. There's been a huge debate over whether baptism is necessary to embark on the process of our being saved, but this isn't the blog for it! I am encouraged to say, however, that no amount of public displays will affect God's perception of us because His focus is on our hearts, our moral centers. Making the heart-change is the first step in making the life-change. Everything after the commitment to follow should be motivated by the   Holy Spirit and done out of faith and obedience. Without faith not only can't we please Our Father (Heb 11:6), but everything we do will be nothing but work! But because of our faith, we should want to work, displaying God's glory among unbelievers in the various ways His Spirit leads us!

So should everyone be involved in missions?
DEFINITELY! As ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20) for Christ, everywhere that we go and everyone that we encounter should know The Good News from us! They should be instructed in the way of life by our example and by our verbal instruction. We need to be spending time with the Lord as often as we can, looking in the mirror of His word, and allowing Him to give us new direction in order that we can be effective ambassadors for Him. It may be in the time that you're meditating on His word that He confirms in you that you need to take the message further -maybe out of the country! As go-ers, we can also be send-ers as well! God may have you ministering to your local community, but He's also giving you what you need to train someone else to go further than you can! We must be obedient to Him nevertheless!

Starting next Monday, November 16th One Message. One Faith. will be starting Monday Missions! Every Monday we will feature a Christian mission! YAY! MIssions of all kinds and everywhere! It's our hearts' desire to support our brothers and sisters all over the world as they are go-ing, creating go-ers, and asisting send-ers. Maybe one of you are encouraged to send or go based on our outreach in this way! We sure hope so! We'd also like for you to feel free to send us a missions project or a missionary family close to your heart that you'll want us to feature! We've got to get the word out!

How beautiful on the mountains
   are the feet of the messenger bringing good news,
Breaking the news that all's well,
   proclaiming good times, announcing salvation,
   telling Zion, "Your God reigns!"
Isaiah 52:7 (The Message)


I am blessed! said...

I look forward to following your Monday Missions!

Chantel said...

awesome! And you know what, this reminds that the same power of the holy ghost that was in the apostles to baptize is in us, who are spirit filled to do the same. I mean, when the ethiopian said tp Philip , "see, here is water, what, is going to stop me from being baptized?" this is a clue to me that, hey it doesn't have to be some special set apart body of water. Where Faith is, God is- Amen!