Acts 13:1-5; Eph. 4:11-13
As you might've guessed, I’m very missions-minded. The Lord has laid it on my (and wife’s) heart to take part in fulfilling the Great Commission, which is made up of the last three verses of Matthew (which we read yesterday). Jesus commissioned us to go and make disciples of all nations, baptize them, and teach them to obey Jesus’ commands. All four of the Gospels, plus the first chapter of Acts, have some version of this final command, so apparently God considers it pretty important.
But is everybody called to missions? Well, yes and no. I firmly believe, based upon the above, that every Christian is called to be involved in missions. If nothing else, every follower of Christ is called to sacrifice some of his time, talents, and treasure towards accomplishing this.
But is everyone called to be a missionary? No, I don’t think so. Acts 13 is the first instance of the Holy Spirit specifically calling someone to leave behind their current life and lifestyle, and go to an unreached group of people and share the Good News of Christ with them.
The same goes for evangelism. Every Christian is called to be a witness for Christ, to be on the lookout for opportunities to share what Christ has done in their lives. But not everyone is given the spiritual gift of evangelism, as we note in the Eph. 4 reading above.
But before you think that this lets you off the hook, you might want to ask yourself some tough questions. Even if you aren’t called to be an evangelist per se, are you looking (and praying) for ways and opportunities to talk with people about your Savior? Could you explain how someone can be reconciled to God and have their sins forgiven? If not, why not? If you got informed that you just inherited a billion dollars from some rich uncle you never knew, would you share that news with your friends? If a friend was dying of a disease, and you happened to know what the cure was, would you withhold this information? If not, then why do you treat the best news that anyone's ever heard like it’s some terrible scandal? If you'd like to see one way to share the Good News with someone, here's a way.
And while we’re on the subject of missions, how’s your giving to this enterprise? We can always see what our priorities by looking at someone’s bank account records. What would yours reveal?
I certainly don’t claim that I’m entirely innocent on this either. But I think it would be a great start for all of us to invite the Lord to examine our hearts and listen carefully to what he tells us.
Lord Jesus, please forgive my apathy. People are lost, entire groups of people are heading into an eternity without you, and sometimes my actions show how little I care about that. Set off a flame in my heart, and let it burn. May what breaks your heart, break mine.