The Initiative of Missions
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. John 20:21
The tomb was empty. The disciples were hiding in the Upper Room. Jesus shows up. He appears in the middle of the room even with all the doors and windows of the Upper Room closed. The resurrected Savoir speaks about peace, the peace of God. Then He directs the attention of the mesmerized disciples to the thought that just as the Father sent Jesus on a mission of rescue, Jesus was now sending His disciples. He then enables them with the filling of the Holy Spirit. Later in Acts 1 they are empowered by His Spirit. Jesus initiates the call to participate in missions.
As disciples of Jesus, we are called with the same calling. We are to go into this world and preach the Gospel. While not everyone will be in ministry “vocationally” we are all in the ministry of giving out the Gospel. You can help your church witness by giving out Gospel tracts and inviting people to church. Concerning missions; Praying, giving and going are all important aspects. You may be involved in praying and giving which then provides for those who actually go into vocational missions. It could be that the Lord calls you to go into missions.
Three thoughts about missions:
Missions is Intentional. Churches are not planted on accident. When the disciples went about the world 2000 years ago, they preached, saw people saved, discipled, baptized and local churches formed. Church planting is the primary goal of missions. In order to start a church, evangelism and discipleship must take place. It is good to note that discipleship always starts with evangelism. It is impossible to truly have one without the other. We are to “make disciples.” This is very intentional when planting the seed of the Gospel and watering with the Word.
Missions is an Investment. Speaking of “grace giving” or “faith promise missions giving” Paul says in Philippians 4:17: “Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.” The believers in the church at Philippi were consistent in giving finances to Paul and his mission work. When a soul was saved, a convert discipled, and a church established, that was fruit added to the account of the believers. Their financial investment paid off in spiritual dividends.
Missions is Invitational. The invitation is open to “whosoever will.” Whether a young child, or a down and out adult, the invitation is still the same. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” And in 19:14: “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Whether it is here at home or on foreign soil: “Come to Jesus.” Rich, poor, famous or infamous, healthy or not healthy: “Come to Jesus.” The invitation is open for all.
It is the Lord who has initiated the call to you and I to be “sent” and to take His message to a needing world. Are you participating in the evangelism opportunities of your local church? Are you praying for and giving finances to missions? Are you willing to go if the Lord calls you to vocational missions?
Let the words of Jesus resonate in your mind: “Even so send I you…”