by guest blogger, Joe Kormanik
I want to share with you about something that has been a tremendous blessing in our life, it is what the church calls "missions" or "missionary work." I’m honored to be a part of a church that puts a high priority in supporting and doing mission work. I am writing here ask you to think about "missions"personally, because we are all are called to the field.
MATTHEW 28:18- 20 Jesus said “ God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.
Three word stands out to me when reading the verses, they are Go, Train, and Practice.
Go: get moving action happens
Train: make sure people know the Lord
Practice: do what God has commanded
These points of course beg the question, are we actively going, training, and practicing in the field of missions.
When we reach out and help: someone who is struggling with sin, someone struggling with making life work, helping feed the hungry, provide shelter for someone who doesn’t have any, is this the mission work that God has commanded us to do? Yes, very much so!
As I study the Word of God I find many people who are called of God to the mission field. Know that the unreached in the world are everywhere. We have been very blessed to do work overseas in Nicaragua, India, and most importantly, the place where I make my home-Alta Vista. I want to encourage you to stop and look at the work you have done in your own mission field. I think of our wonderful ministry with the AWANA children of Alta Vista.
Do you think that will have any lasting effect on mission work for the future?
Think about Men’s and Woman’s Encounters and the effect this has on mission work for the future.
Think about helping someone with food, groceries, gas, or words of encouragement.
Think about the support that is given monthly and the work that is accomplished through your generosity.
Mission work is happening all around us. My question is, "WHAT IS YOUR CALL?" What does God continually ask you to do that we fight about with Him?
Do ever feel the need to reach out and help someone in need? Have you ever felt your heart ache when you see hungry children? How about reaching out to another congregation that is has a church building made out of pallets and cardboard? YES you are right, there are many needs, many avenues of service that you or I could be doing. I beg you to answer that call – to go, to train, and to practice what you know towards growing His kingdom.
Currently, I am reading the book, IN THE GAP, What Happens When God’s People Stand Strong, by Wilfredo De Jesus. Each person that was mentioned in the book answered the call from our Lord to take a stand and accomplish His will though they were ridiculed, persecuted. Many even took on physical threats against their own lives, and some ended up giving their life for others in order to obey what God had commanded them to do. I think about people like Esther; she started out as just a lowly foreign girl and became the queen that would save her people. What a missionary! Even though the name of “God” is not mentioned in this book, it was clearly His divine plan to save His chosen people through her. She answered yes, was Holy Spirit-led, and risked death on behalf of her people by coming before the king without being summoned by him. God used her because she was willing to sacrifice herself for the sake of so many others. You might think I’m really reaching...using Esther as a example of a missionary working for God—When she was young, she was raised by Mordecai-trained in a Jewish home to obey the Lord. When asked to “GO” she went, she used her training as she understood it, to take the risk to keep her people alive- AS I read the book I realized that she did go, train, and practice what she had learned and thus saved her people. She did mission work against all odds and God honored her work.
How about the little know disciple named Barnabas- who believed in a man named Saul who was know for killing Christians. He not only kept Saul from being killed but he did what God asked Him to do, believing what God had placed in his heart about Saul, Barnabas trusted with confidence that Saul’s conversion experience with God was genuine. Many people were scared of Saul—but Barnabas saw thru the fear and made the decision to stand up for Saul who we now know as the Apostle Paul, one of the greatest missionaries of His time. Together they were called to go and spread the Gospel, make disciples, and do missions work etc.-Barnabas didn’t stop there, he continued to train others like John Mark another great man used by God on the mission field.
Folks the list of people being used by our Lord further His kingdom in the area of missions is endless. Maybe you are saying, “I don’t think I can go over seas,” or “I don’t like the idea of being before Muslim extremist who could kill me for my Christian beliefs.” But that type of thinking is missing the point and will ultimately result in no going, training, or practicing. I’m saying to you, be involved in missions WHERE THE LORD IS LEADING YOU. ANSWER THE CALL HE HAS FOR YOU.
If you have been fighting Him and worrying about doing this thing He is asking you to do, I trust that the Lord really is asking you to do something or go somewhere. Please, don’t miss your chance to take the step and say yes to the Lord’s calling. He will accomplish His task through you, or someone else, but He will complete His will.
In my own life I never dreamed that I would have opportunities to build churches, teach believers in India on tithing, play apart in building a great pastor a house, or provide shoes for someone who didn’t have any. In the same breath God has delivered me from a life bent on destroying myself with stupid decisions I made. He set me on a path that He chose and is currently using me to make a difference in His Kingdom- I share these things so you’d who know me and understand that God uses sinners, misfits, old, young, rich, poor-anyone who will say yes to His call on their life. He is calling you today to say, “yes” to the mission assignment He has called you to.
Maybe He is asking you to pray, to witness to your neighbor, be that listening ear for that co-worker. Maybe He is asking you to share Christ, share His love with someone. I don’t know what all the Lord has in mind for that one that will say, “yes.” I do know that when you do say, “yes” and trust Him, the rest is exciting, rewarding, challenging, and heart changing to say the least. His plans are what matters, I don’t want to be some bully or brow beater saying get into mission work although some of us need that, I’M SAYING ANSWER THE CALL GOD IS PLACING ON YOUR LIFE, TO BE WORKING FOR HIS KINGDOM. The blessings are unnumbered. It’s a win-win for all. You want to be used by God?-say, “yes!” Not sure where, ask Him, He has been waiting on you to ask. I want to leave you with this two famous missionary quotes, Isaiah said, “ here I am Lord send me,” and Jesus said, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring. Say, “yes” to missions today.