The Call of Missions

The Call of Missions
July 2017
Jeremiah Krieger
 
This July the missions committee is helping our church to focus on our missions. For the next few weeks, we have invited many of our missionaries to come in to share about their ministries. On July 2, I will be kicking off the month with a message on missions and then the next few weeks we will have our missionaries visit to share about their ministries and give a message of encouragement. This will be a great opportunity to both be a good host for our missionaries and to get to know them and reconnect with them as they share about the work God is accomplishing in their life.
 
When I was growing up, there was a time that I feared that God would call me to be a missionary. As a college student, I dedicated my life to the Lord and surrendered to his calling in my life. I became willing to go wherever and do whatever he wanted for my life. My life was at peace with whatever God would call me to do.
 
Now it is years later, and I have accepted my call to missions. But it is not a calling that I fully understood years earlier.
Mission is an important word in the life of the true Christian because it describes the personal work of his or her life. When we become a Christian, one of the fundamental transformations is that we adopt a new life mission (Eph. 2:1-10). In other words, we move from being inwardly focused, pursing the desires of our flesh, and we become externally focused, reaching out to those who do not yet know Christ. Missions is not necessarily about going across the world as it is about going across the room or across the yard to your neighbor. Being on mission is about engaging others with the hope of the Gospel wherever you are and no matter where God takes you.
Some of Jesus’ final words to his disciples before he ascended to heaven were, “19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). Jesus has called us to be on mission for him.

time that I feared that God would call me to be a missionary. As a college student, I dedicated my life to the Lord and surrendered to his calling in my life. I became willing to go wherever and do whatever he wanted for my life. My life was at peace with whatever God would call me to do.
Now it is years later, and I have accepted my call to missions. But it is not a calling that I fully understood years earlier.

Mission is an important word in the life of the true Christian because it describes the personal work of his or her life. When we become a Christian, one of the fundamental transformations is that we adopt a new life mission (Eph. 2:1-10). In other words, we move from being inwardly focused, pursing the desires of our flesh, and we become externally focused, reaching out to those who do not yet know Christ. Missions is not necessarily about going across the world as it is about going across the room or across the yard to your neighbor. Being on mission is about engaging others with the hope of the Gospel wherever you are and no matter where God takes you.
Some of Jesus’ final words to his disciples before he ascended to heaven were, “19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). Jesus has called us to be on mission for him.

The mission Christ gave was not new. God has always had a heart for the nations. 1 Chronicles 16:24 says, “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” Psalms 96:3 says, “Tell the nations about his splendor! Tell all the nations about his amazing deeds!” God has always had a love for the nations and he has always called his people to participate in the mission of declaring his glory and the good news of the Gospel.

 
2 Corinthians 5:20 reminds us of how we are involved in Christ’s mission: “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us…” What an exciting opportunity to be used by God to help be a vessel for the Gospel. Through sharing the Gospel we will invite transformation and freedom in the lives of others. However, if we don’t do our part, our culture will continue to suffer without knowing the hope that is available to them.
 
Think about that last argument you might have had with your spouse…or that time someone inconvenienced you at the grocery store or parking lot…or that person who sat in your chair at church! There is nothing wrong with stability and comfort. But when we are fighting for those freedoms, we must make sure we fight for the Gospel more than our freedoms. Galatians 5:13 says, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
What would it look like if we used our freedoms to fully pursue the mission that Christ has given to us? What would it look like if we abandoned our personal mission and fully pursued the Gospel together as individuals and as a church?

As our missionaries come to visit, be encouraged by the updates we receive and how the Gospel is at work in our world through our support. But also be inspired by the sacrifice of those who have devoted themselves to pursing global evangelization and consider the sacrifices they have made to do the Lord’s work. We might ask ourselves, “What am I willing to sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel? What is God calling you to do so that you might become more fully devoted to Him?”

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremiah