Tuesday, March 20, 2007
In Other Words
"It is insufficient to proclaim that the Church of God has a mission in the world. Rather, the God of mission has a Church." Tim Dearborn.
Our very down-to-earth, practical Pastor is fond of saying, “If Jesus didn’t want you to share the gospel with others, He would have taken you to heaven the minute you were saved.” The truth of that pierces my heart. So often life with its daily responsibilities, its joys and sorrows, so consumes my thoughts and my energies, I give little thought to spreading the gospel. It is enough just to get through the day. I am so centered on self and the people God has placed in my life I scarcely remember to pray for those who have never heard the sweet story of redeeming love. I believe that my mission field is truly right here in my own home and neighborhood, however there are so many others who ought to have a place in my heart.
Years ago, when our boys were in their teens, they went on a mission trip with my husband into Mexico. The group from our church was going to build a little home for a family there. When they arrived at the little village, they were stunned to find the family was living in a cardboard shanty. It was a young couple with an infant. While the men and boys got to work on the building, the girls rounded up the children in the neighborhood and sang and told Bible stories and handed out candy. In two days’ time there was a little two room house in the place where the shanty had been. It was painted, there were curtains at the window, and my husband (the electrician) had even wired the little home. They all gathered around the gleaming, new little home, joined hands and sang and prayed. Even the biggest, strongest men had tears running down their cheeks. It was an experience none of them will ever forget.
It is a miraculous thing – this giving of one’s self. It always comes back with a greater measure of blessing than we can possibly imagine. We aren’t able to go on mission trips because of my husband’s medical condition, but we can still participate in missions. My husband’s heart is so big. He gives sacrificially month after month. We sponsor a little boy through World Vision and are able to help his family in a very real and tangible way. And we pray. I began a short time ago, to pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering for the cause of the gospel. Claiming the name of Christ in some places comes with a high price. I want them to know I love them and am praying for them. Those who go to minister and to bring the precious word need my prayers as well.
I believe it is true that "...the God of missions has a Church." Without missions there would not even be a church. Jesus commissioned us all to go – and we are His church. It doesn’t matter what name we put in front of it – we, believers, are the church. We are to go, whether we never leave our own town or travel thousands of miles from home, and bring the good news.
Laurel is hosting In Other Words today. Go there to read more.