My heart's desire is to go on a Mission trip somewhere to spread God's love and the Gospel. I've always wanted to go to different places and evangelize for the glory of His name. But as I pondered on this thought and adamantly pestered my parents to send me somewhere, God raised some vital questions in my head and gave me the answers to help me realize an obvious fact!
Mission work? What is it?
The word 'Mission' can so often slip out our mouths without us never understanding the meaning of the term. As I tried to find the perfect definition, an extract from my Religious Studies book captured my attention:
'Mission is a word that means 'the act of sending', or, 'the duty on which a person is sent'. So in religion it refers to the act of going out to preach the faith to others - because the person or missionary was sent.'
Doesn't that summarize it all!
The above three letter question is already answered in the first sentence of this post.
Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.''
This is the 'Great Commission'. As followers of Christ, Christians, we are called by God to go to the world and give then the message of hope, love and security, that is found in Christ Jesus. Therefore, every Christian, you and me, are called to Mission. Let me re-phrase the extract from my book to reiterate this:
'Mission is a word that means 'the act of God sending us ', or, 'the duty on which we are sent by God'. So in Christianity it refers to the act of going out to preach the faith to others - because we as missionaries are sent by God.'
Where? What is 'our' Mission field?
My idea of a Mission field, for many years, has always been a far away, remote country. While that is certainly one part of the Mission field, it is not the whole.
Our Mission field is anywhere where there are those who do not know the Lord personally (i.e. those who aren't saved), this of course makes our Mission field 'everywhere' - from our own homes, neighborhoods, work places, schools and countries to the entire world, Mission fields are everywhere. What we hope to achieve across few continents, can be achieved at home!
Mark 5:18-20 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
We all have Mission fields, however, our Mission fields depend on God's plan for us! While there are those, like Peter and Paul, who would have to leave loved ones and go across nations to preach the Gospel, there are others, like this former demon-possessed man, who would have to serve the Lord where they live until He places them elsewhere. Both are vital, we need people to preach the Gospel not only in other countries but also at home!
How can I be a missionary? What do I need to do? What skills do I need to have? - Well, all of these are 'Frequently Asked Questions', but the answer is very simple.
- We ourselves should have accepted the Lord as our Savior and be saved, our lives must reflect Jesus.
- We have to LOVE the Lord with ALL our hearts, ALL our soul, ALL our strength and ALL our minds. (Luke 10:27)
- We have to LOVE our neighbor as ourselves; its obvious that if we do this, we will automatically want the best for those we love, we would want them to be saved from their sins and torment in hell.
- Similar to the above, we have to have a yearning to evangelize, a heart for the lost.
- We also need to be filled with His word through constant prayer and meditation.
- Finally, we need to trust God fully! God can transform our weaknesses into our strength for His glory and for Him to be able to use us - One of my favorite evangelists, Ray Comfort, said how much he dreaded speaking. To his surprise, when God saved him, the thirst for the lost was greater than his fear of speaking; God strengthened Him and now he has been doing various shows and open-air preaching for a number of years!
God has called us to be 'fishers of men', through the 'Great Commission'.
John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
The lost around us have no hope in life except through Jesus Christ, as the Bible says that 'all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.' When God has done this awesome work for us, for free, in our lives, we've got to tell EVERYONE! If you hear an amazing news, or something prodigious has just happened in your life, wouldn't you share it to the entire world? God's salvation is the most prodigious news ever, how much more vital is it to share that!
RIGHT NOW! We have to start our Mission from the time that we are saved, take all the great people in the Bible e.g Paul, they did exactly that!
It is just the fear of being rejected, it is the fear of not being 'cool' or not being liked by those around us.
But what does God say about this...
Matthew 10:22 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
God knows what we will go through, but He wants us to 'Trust and Obey' Him. This verse not only depicts this but also shows us that just being 'saved' and not acting on our salvation is useless, our salvation must be renewed everyday and we ought to use it as a driving-force to help us evangelize without fear or hesitation till the end, then we WILL be saved!
These thoughts really helped me understand that I ought to be standing for the Lord everyday, everywhere I am and that, that can make a difference! So, what are we waiting for, we are on a crucial Mission! Go!