Saturday, June 12, 2010

Searching For The Savior Saturday

For those of you who don’t know me, my husband and I have been appointed to serve as international missionaries in Spain. We have taken an exciting, yet challenging journey to get to this point and pray that in less than a year we will be there. Over the next couple of Saturdays I invite you to join me as I share some of the things I have learned in our journey to become international missionaries. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves, but more importantly, we’ve learned a lot about God and His plan. It has been a humbling journey and an exciting journey. So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the ride!Recently a missionary to Uruguay asked a group of children I was working with “what is the number one priority of a missionary.” What would be your answer? Their answers matched some of mine: build churches, tell people about Jesus, teach Bible studies, feed and clothe the poor… He told us that yes; those were all good things, but not the missionary’s number one priority – that is to have an intimate, personal relationship with God. Seems obvious, but does it? Missions do not exist so that people are fed or churches are built. “Missions exist because worship doesn’t.” (John Piper in Let the Nations Be Glad). The ultimate goal of the church is worship and because there are nations in our world who are filled with those who are not worshiping God, missions exist. If a missionary is not focusing on their own personal relationship with God there will be great difficulty in leading others to the ultimate purpose of the church. Again, Piper says “Where passion for God is weak, zeal for missions will be weak. Churches that are not centered on the exaltation of the majesty and beauty of God will scarcely kindle a fervent desire to ‘declare His Glory among the nations.’” Same thing goes for a missionary – where their own passion for God is weak, their zeal for those around them will be weak.After discussing this question the Uruguayan missionary asked “what is the number one job of a missionary.” Since all the answers they gave to the first question were wrong, they tried the whole list again. Guess what, they were once again wrong. According to him, the number one job of a missionary is to live an ordinary life that shows the power of an unordinary God. The job of the missionary is to go to the market, to make friends, participate in classes, ride the subway, go to sporting events, etc. and shine God through their life style, attitudes, countenance, peace, joy, caring, and more. What a relief that was to me as I try to figure out what my life will be like in Spain. My job is not to accomplish great things, but to instead live an ordinary life with ordinary people to allow an extraordinary God to shine through and then to be prepared to tell of this God. I can do that. What about you? Are you willing to be obedient in God’s call to missions? Nothing I have written so far about the call of a missionary has anything to do with selling all your belongings and moving to another country. It’s all about a lifestyle. Yes, God has given us a vision for international missions, but He gave all believers the same command “God ye into all the world.” If you are a believer in Jesus then you too are called to go – maybe it is next door, maybe it is across the world. Neither the priority nor job of a missionary requires a seminary degree or deep theological understanding. So, this week’s challenge is – what is keeping you from being a missionary?

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