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Posts Tagged ‘missionary’

I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. – Psalm 69:30

I can publish praise of God openly with my voice.  However, I begin to wonder about the effectiveness of that praise in light of good works that reflect in the shadow of His wondrous works.  My works, no matter how much good that they actually do for God or others, are totally eclipsed and overshadowed by His great works.

This Thanksgiving say a prayer for those who seek to do good works.  Many will feed the homeless.  Some will offer them clothing and shelter.  Others will open their homes to them.  Some will go and spend volunteer time with wounded veterans while others will read to children in the cancer unit of the local hospital or wash feet at the neighborhood hospice.

Offer a prayer for those who offer their service.  Join the ranks of men and women who make Christ come alive for some people who will never set foot in a church’s sanctuary or crack open a Bible to find an inspirational passage.

Thank God as you give the world a glimpse of Him in action.  Remember, He could choose anyone.

It did not have to be you.  The least becomes greatest and the last becomes first in God’s economy and on His balance sheet.  We should be thankful to have been chosen and in a position to give back.

 


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I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I  am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.- Romans 1:14-16

Paul spoke plainly.  The Book of Romans is one of those epistles where Paul lays the foundation for a firm faith in the everlasting covenant offered to the believer through Jesus the Christ.  He shared the immense and extensive benefits afforded to the believer in and follower of Christ.  But also includes the worker’s mission, ministry and message.

The worker has a mission.

As a messenger of Christ, Paul was certain and assured of his mission.  He was to share the message with the Jews first, then he carried it to the Gentiles. 

His mission affirmed that he had no reason to be ashamed of his calling and its work.

The worker had a ministry.

Paul’s ministry went beyond merely preaching.  In Antioch, he and Barnabas stayed on for an extended period of time and taught the people.  He wrote extensively to the believers abroad, encouraging and edifying them through his epistles.  He spread the Good News throughout Asia Minor, Greece and other regions on his missionary journeys.

He let his ministry keep him from working with any degree of shame.

The worker had a message.

We cannot deliver our message if we feel shame about it.  We must be convinced of its relevance and necessity in order to extend the reach of the Word into all if the earth.  No hidden doubts can remain covered when others listen to us and watch us.  Our doubts will emerge somehow and at some point. 

We should be able to say like Paul that we are “not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.”

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From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.- John 6:66 (NIV)

37Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.- Acts 15:37-38 (NIV)

 

The Gospel of John gives us a rare account of many of Jesus’ disciples parting ways with the Master.  Imagine that! Some people who had heard His message and had seen His miracles decided that enough was enough, and then walked with the Lord no longer.  Wow! Now consider this.  If people did that to the Lord, the Messiah, the Master, the Christ, what do you think they’ll do when you try to lead them further and farther?

It happens in ministry.  There are other biblical examples, too.  John Mark started out with Paul and Barnabas on their missionary journey as told in Acts 12:25, but he was also at the center of a disagreement between both missionaries in Acts 15:36-41 due to his premature departure on the previous journey.  It happens and we seem lost about what to do about it.  We tend to take it personal when someone walks out on us, but it’s not about us.

The message we are called to carry throughout the world isn’t about resistance or revolt.  The message that we are to carry forth is truly about redemption and restoration. John Mark, also called Mark, found forgiveness and favor as evidenced in the Word.  Yes, you have to read the whole story.  It resembles our rebellion and return to God as He offers us reconciliation, redemption and restoration.  Look what it says about Mark by both Paul and Peter:

  • Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. – 2 Timothy 4:11 (NIV)
  • She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark.- 1 Peter 5:13 (NIV)

When others walk out on you, get busy praying on your knees.  Pray that the Lord continues to supply and sustain you and your ministry in their absence.  Pray for God to reveal whether you need to replace the person or not.  Pray that God strengthens the one who walks away so that he or she may become more useful to God in the near future.  Pray that your heart remains open for reconciliation and restoration with that brother or sister.

14“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15“But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.– Matthew 6:14-15 (NASB)

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