In my last post, I described how Christians could respond to persecution. Those statements were by no means intended to cover everything that God says on the matter but I believe the call to “do good, make disciples and take heart” reflects what he desires from believers in our time.
In the years and months leading to this season, I had been growing more frustrated about life. Everything seemed to be going well on the outside yet inwardly I was desperate for an opportunity to make more of a difference around me. I wondered if God had saved me and filled me with his Holy Spirit so I could merely work a 9 to 5 job and be ‘Mr Nice Guy’ in my family and church. Don’t get me wrong. Loving my family, working to provide for them and serving my community are very good things but was there more to his plan I had missed?
I wondered if leaving my day job would give me the chance to finally start pursuing my dreams. I had read Robert Kiyosaki’s books like “Rich Dad Poor Dad” several times and initially believed that investing was my way out of the rut. I attended wealth creation seminars, read books, researched different strategies and even pursued a couple of them in an effort to make money so I could achieve financial freedom. Once financially free, I reasoned, I could then ‘do the work of the Lord’, whatever it was. Sounds good right?
Well early one June morning I woke up feeling quite anxious. For some reason I had this crazy idea to invest in gold. Yes, gold. So of course I fired up my laptop at 2 o’clock in the morning and started looking at gold prices. I then started thinking about where I would keep the gold, how I would protect it and so on. In that moment, I suddenly heard the words “Do not store up for yourself treasure on earth, but store up your treasure in heaven.” I tried to ignore that still small voice but the words kept resonating inside me.
So like every good Christian, I checked Google and YouTube to work out what ‘treasure in heaven’ meant. A quick search led me to this talk by the missionary, Otto Koning. Don’t let the grainy footage and 60 minute duration of the video put you off. His insight into the greatest cause in humanity challenged my thinking and inspired me.
His revelation along with the scenes I was now seeing in Middle East shook me into action. I know most of us dream about changing the world for good however I’m now convinced that the best way to make that difference is to know and share the good news of God’s Kingdom.
Not convinced? I don’t blame you. Our post-modern culture has conditioned us not to share our faith for fear of imposing our beliefs on others. But Christianity by definition is counter-cultural. Think about it.
When will we know we have completed the work of God?
You see, true followers of Jesus throw themselves into the most important collective endeavour there is. They have the amazing responsibility of revealing and expressing God’s love to everyone else. To quote C.S. Lewis, “The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.” The love of God, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, makes us right with him when we truly believe it and turn towards our Heavenly Father. That’s the good news, that’s the gospel.
The fact that not everyone knows or accepts this has eternal implications. That’s why a Christian’s faith must look upward to God as well as outward to those separated from God. Even in my spiritual journey I focussed on the former and downplayed the latter. That kind of attitude cannot continue if we’re to overcome the concerted, aggressive and even violent promotion of many unbiblical belief systems in our world.
So the question remains. How can we make our faith count for eternity?
Here are 3 ways:
– Praying for the nations to receive the Gospel.
– Partnering with missionaries who go out to preach the Gospel.
– Proclaiming the Gospel within our individual spheres of influence.
That night, as I sat at my computer, a burning desire took hold of me to rally Christians and churches around reclaiming the missions mandate. The workers are few but the fields are ready for harvest. The time to make our mark is now, starting right where we are.
That’s when Mission Gateway was born, but more on that next time.
What does “reclaiming the missions mandate” mean to you?
What stops you from sharing your faith boldly and effectively?
What would you give to see the Gospel reach “the ends of the earth” in our generation?
Share your comments below.