The Word of God is powerful.
As a missionary who is in the process of trying to convince fellow followers of Jesus Christ that missions is important, there are times when it feels like I’m jumping up and down, waiving my arms around like a fool, and screaming at the top of my lungs, “Hey everyone, getting the gospel to the nations is a big deal!!!”
But my words feel so powerless. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of people listening. But I just cannot come up with the words to explain how earth-changing the task of missions really is.
So I’m going to let God do the speaking.
Let’s start with Genesis 12:1-3:
Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen 12:1-3 ESV)
Thousands of years after this promise was first given, we can see much of its fruit. God gave Abraham a son, Isaac. That son’s family eventually ended up in Egypt where they became slaves and were delivered by the hand of God. The world watched as God, in is loving power, guided His people through the desert and placed them in a land that was his gift to them. In that land the nation of Israel and the temple in Jerusalem became the center for the worship of the living God. If the world wanted to know who created them, who gave His rich blessings to those who followed him, and who would bring salvation, they looked to Israel to show them.
The world was blessed by Israel’s ministry.
But God wasn’t done. It was from within the people of Israel that God raised up a Savior, Jesus the Messiah. He lived, died, and rose again to bring salvation and blessing to all His people. And before He left this earth, He sent his disciples out, not just to the Jewish people, but to all the nations of the earth. Salvation was for everyone who would call on the name of the Lord.
Through Jesus Christ, the family of Abraham grows. It expands beyond national boundaries and ethnic lines. And as it expands, it brings the message of light and life wherever it finds darkness and death. Abraham and the faith he displayed continue to be a blessing to people throughout the globe today.
But what did this involve for Abraham? What did God call him to do? What was his job? Was it his responsibility to make sure he had a son? No. In fact, he tried having a son his own way and it lead to pain and suffering. Was it Abraham’s job to multiply his family and bring them back to the land God showed him? Nope.
Did Abraham orchestrate the events of history so that the Messiah would be born in Israel, deliver his people, and then give the news of this great gift to the world? Not a chance.
God called Abraham to do one thing:
He told him to leave his family and set out to a place God would show him. While this was no small thing for Abraham, it was all God wanted of him at the time.
But that one thing showed God and the world something far bigger. Abraham believed what God told him. He believed that God would give him a son, a nation, and a Savior. The day he told his household to pack up was the day he proved his faith by his action.
Those of us who follow Jesus today are in the same situation. God isn’t calling us to convert the entire world. But he does ask us to do something.
God has called the Johnson family to move to Thailand. How is he calling you to move? Where is he calling you to go? What is your piece of the missions puzzle? What task has our Lord given to you so that the world would know Jesus Christ and experience the same blessing as Abraham?
When you’ve taken that step in faith, stand back and watch God bless the world!
The Johnsons are itinerating to go to Thailand with MTW. You can follow them at www.johnsonfamilymission.com.