Jesus, The First Missionary
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10
Have you ever heard anyone ever refer to Jesus as the first missionary? Think about this for a moment. In the above verses, we discover that God sent Jesus to this world on a mission of mercy. The love of God was manifested or demonstrated to mankind when He sent Jesus to this sinful world on our behalf. Jesus willingly left Heaven to come to this earth to seek and save us sinners. He came to rescue us from our sin! In many ways, this is the first mission trip.
While on this mission trip, Jesus identified with mankind when He took on flesh. With no sin, He took our sin and carried our guilt to the cross of Calvary. It was there that He paid the price for our sin, taking our death sentence upon Himself.
With Resurrection Sunday (Easter) coming, this is a good reminder for us. Thank Jesus for His salvation plan finished at the Cross. Three days after His death, Jesus rose from the dead, proving He is God and demonstrating His power over sin, death and Hell. Be thankful and stop a moment to praise the Lord for His amazing gift!
When missionaries take the Word of God to other regions and nations, they take the Good News, the Gospel. Since Jesus is the first missionary and His love for us is demonstrated by His coming to earth) and since the Bible teaches us about missions it is apparent and a good conclusion that the heartbeat of God is missions.
God sent His Son. He gave us His only begotten Son. Missions is giving. Missions is sacrificial. Missions is the pulse, heartbeat, and breath of God to us people on earth.
Since missions is so important to God, I would suggest that missions should be important to the Christian. Each church member and each disciple of Jesus, should feel the pulse of God’s heart concerning missions.
Something to consider for your life personally is “do I have the same heartbeat as God?”
Examine your own heart. Have you ever noticed this: Some Christians do not like to pray, so they do not come to prayer meeting? How about this: Some Christians do not come to missions conferences or attend when missionaries are visiting because they do not want to hear about missions or be challenged to give money to missionaries? I suppose it could be some other motivation to avoid – if they are actually avoiding on purpose. Sometimes people are truly “providentially prevented.”
Could an avoidance phenomenon simply be and indicator that “my heart is not yet in sync with the heart of God?” Sure it can be. Even if you do not like to pray in public, the Lord can develop your heart to begun to pray with no fear or shame.
Even if you have avoided missionaries in the past, the Lord could change your heart – if you let Him. Most avoidance issues are really a matter of trust. Do you trust God to hear and answer your prayers? Do you trust God with all your finances, not only your tithe? Do you trust God to give money to missions? God even gave a wonderful promise to all those who give to missionaries. He promised to supply each and every need a person will ever have…when they give to missions!
Answer this: Do I trust God with every aspect of my life? Is the Bible a perfect prescription for the problems of life? Can I rely on God’s will, revealed in His Word, to truly provide for every need? Have I trusted Jesus for salvation and been able to fully rest in His promise of salvation to all Who trust in Him? Do I trust Jesus each day?
The next time a missionary comes to church, get involved. Find ways to support your church missions program. Make a missions promise to God. Clear your schedule to provide a meal, housing, fellowship, or your attendance to encourage a missionary.
Recently, WBC experienced a tremendous Missions Conference. We were blessed to see 5 people respond to the call of “being willing” to be a missionary if God would call them to that. We saw the faith of the people in attendance at each service increase. I believe most people in our church were praying for the conference – and continue to pray for God to send laborers into the harvest. Some people were sick. Others had schedules that would not permit them to attend. A few were out of town. Many were battled by Satan to not attend. All who attended contended with work, school, household needs and more.
One girl, in an emergency room, through tears while being stitched up, expressed to the doctor that she was hoping to get home in time to attend the final night of the missions conference. She did not get home on time to make the start of that particular mission conference service, but she did get there in time to hear the preaching. I love that heart. I mean, I really love that heart.
This is an example of the heartbeat of God that we should have for missions. Yes, Jesus was the first missionary, and if as a Christian we had the same heartbeat, missions would be important to us as well.