Sunday, November 03, 2013

Extreme Missions

How extreme is your commitment to the great commission? 

Acts 20:18-27  When they arrived he declared, "You know that from the day I set foot in the province of Asia until now  19  I have done the Lord's work humbly and with many tears. I have endured the trials that came to me from the plots of the Jews.  20  I never shrank back from telling you what you needed to hear, either publicly or in your homes.  21  I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike--the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus."

22  "And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don't know what awaits me,  23  except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead.  24  But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus--the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God."   

25  "And now I know that none of you to whom I have preached the Kingdom will ever see me again.  26  I declare today that I have been faithful. If anyone suffers eternal death, it's not my fault,  27  for I didn't shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know."

Many times I wonder about the life that we live and wonder if we are supposed to be doing so much more for God. I go to work, I casually mention the fact that I go to church, I go on about my day. This is so different from the extreme approach to missions that we see in the Bible and it is so different from the lifestyle of many missionaries around the world that are living out God's mission in extreme ways while most of us do so little.

One man whose obedience to mission work was extreme was Paul. In the book of Acts and in Paul's letters you see how dangerous his work was. Many times he was chased out of town or beat up. We can also see how very consuming Paul's mission work was as he spent almost all of his time and energy doing it.

Paul said that he did the Lord's work with humility, tears, perseverance and he never avoided saying what needed to be said even when it put him in danger. There are not many missionaries that can say that much less the average Christ follower. How many of us approach our missions work with such zeal?

I have to admit that I have never cried over the people that I was going out to work with on a mission trip. Most of the trips are only a week and don't take up much of my time and energy. I have never spoke up for Jesus in the face of danger, often times I don't speak up when the only reaction that I will probably get may be so very minor. I have to wonder how pleased God is with my weak effort.
Sound the warning!
Ezekiel 33:3-5  When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people.  Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die.  They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives.
My mission is similar to the job of the watchman up on the city wall back in ancient times, he was responsible for warning the people when danger was coming, this was a very important job that needed to be taken seriously. It is the job of every follower of Jesus!

The danger that is on the way should motivate us to tell everyone. I need to sound the warning. I need to make the message clear so that I will not be to blame if they ignore the warning.