Tuesday, April 19, 2016
I met Pastor John Tino on-line several years ago through another ministry – that one in the Philippines. This week, Pastor Tino arrived in Dallas for a four-month ministry. I never expected to be in the same country as John, and never gave thought that we’d be less than two hours away, even by plane. Yet – he is now in nearby Dallas.
This blog isn’t about Pastor Tino, though, it’s about missions.
I believe that evangelicals think of Paul as being the first missionary and we teach children – and adults – of his missionary journeys as told in the New Testament. We tend to forget that our true first missionary example is Jesus, Christ.
Jesus left His home – heaven – to come to save the lost. He said so:
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10 KJV)
His mission was to all mankind. Angels said so:
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11 KJV)
He went about preaching and teaching and calling others to follow Him. That’s what Paul did. That’s what missionaries through the years have done. That’s what we are all supposed to be doing, isn’t?
Yes, we all have differing ministries – different gifts for serving God:
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. (Romans 12:6-9 KJV)
It’s a blessing for me to learn from people who are using their gifts to serve God’s and share His love with others. Through the internet I’ve met people I most likely would never have met without it. I see God’s love in action and I’m given the opportunity to pray for His work half way around the world.
Most importantly, I see the same messages that Jesus gave in His ministry being given both in words and in examples. The one that touches my heart today is:
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19:14 KJV)
But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. (Mark 10:14 KJV)
But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. (Luke 18:16 KJV)
Pray for the children. Today I saw missions for children discussed in several places – in Kenya/Tanzania, Philippines, Myanmar and the United States. There are more, many more places where the name of Jesus is spoken with love and His work shown to children.
The best thing we can offer those who serve our Lord is prayer. That’s also the most difficult, because we can’t know their immediate needs. Fortunately, we’ve been given help:
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27 KJV)
Take a moment and pray for missionaries – especially ones in His service with children.