Eternal Father, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Almighty God. You are gracious and merciful to us. Merciful in taking all our iniquity on yourself. You, Jesus, being found in human form, you humbled yourself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross. And though that mercy you’ve shown is infinitely more than we deserve, you don’t stop at that mercy. But you bestow on us riches and gifts. Gifts given freely by you, not wages earned by us. And with those gifts, you give us the chance to use them for great and wonderful purposes. Most importantly, to glorify you and to see more of your wonder, which fills us with joy.
This prayer was how we started the sermon from our guest speaker (or GS for short) this past weekend. His real name is not used on our website, and only an audio recording is made available, to protect his identity.
His opening prayer set the tone for the message. He shared how he and his wife – both physicians – left the comforts of home and moved their family to Africa to use their gifts, for the sake of the gospel. It wasn’t leaving and giving up a dual-physician income or relationships, but it was and is an investment into the Kingdom – an investment that will be rewarded, for greater gain in this life and in eternity. As he shared his story, he made a point to call out that his story is just one way of executing missions, one particular strategy using the qualities and resources of one particular family to get access to one particular region and one particular unreached people group.
Missions is not necessarily about packing up and moving across the world, although sometimes that is required. In order for missionaries to go, they must be sent, which means there must be senders. We all get to – have the privilege to – be part of missions – either as “Goers” or as “Senders.”
If you missed this past Sunday’s message, go on and click this link and start listening. The highlights below don’t do it justice.
- Missions is not the ultimate goal of missions. The goal of missions is to bring about worshippers of the one true God where there are no worshippers, because they’ve never heard of the one true God.
- It is a gift, a blessing, an undeserved grace and mercy that we know God. We cannot take it for granted that we have freedom to worship and unlimited access to the Word, to praise music, to endless books and resources that lead us to knowing God.
- The Great Commission is to make disciples everywhere. Missions is a subset of that; it is the process of disciple-making among the specific nations who do not yet have a viable group of disciple-makers.
- Joyfully desiring God is a far more powerful motivating force than dutiful obedience.
- Once you realize that it is not about earning favor with God but that God’s favor is already on you, there is freedom from a works-based, performance-driven faith.
- Following the commands is the reward (Deuteronomy 6:20-24).
- The law was never a set of job tasks that needed to be done in order to gain God’s favor or to get paid by God. The actual law is for our good.
- The commands and the statutes and the rules were a set of instructions on how to use the gifts of God, including our own lives, for our good. How to maximize His gifts for our good, the greatest good of which is to be amazed by and experience the wonder of knowing God.
- GS shared a really great “learning how to ride a bike” analogy to explain how a father’s instructions (laws) are meant for our good (jump to the 11:10 mark in the recording).
- How can you maximize or best steward the gifts that God has given you to accomplish the task of missions?
- Strategically think about going as a missionary. Or strategically think about sending missionaries, aligning your resources to send and strategically assess who to send.
- This idea of gifts keeps coming back to me. Not only the material and financial blessings, but the skills, talents, ideas – these are all gifts from God.
- What gifts has God given you that were meant for His Kingdom, but are being used for only selfish gain/benefit?
- What gifts has God given you that are left wrapped and untouched?
- We are not all called to go out and be career missionaries. He assigns different tasks to different people based on the grace given us (according to Romans 12:6).
- But we all have the same mission: to delight in God, to be the light in the darkness, to offer hope, to make disciples, and to make Jesus’ name known.
- We all get to play a role. Will you be a “goer”? Will you be a “sender”?
[Watch the full message on our app or online: