Christian Missions

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Dealing with Despair

Posted by on 29 Apr 2011 | Tagged as: Christian Ministry, Christian Missions, Discouragement


Debilitating Discouragement

And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.

Gal. 6:9 NASB

Despair is an emotional state that convinces our hearts that our circumstances are bigger than God’s all-encompassing power. Despair is used by Satan to cause us to doubt God’s goodness, fear God’s sovereign plan, and reject God’s promises. Despair immobilizes our spirits making us feel drained over past events, pessimistic about future possibilities, and discouraged about our present conditions.

In the Old Testament, the prophet Elijah experienced a similar despondency (1 Kings 19). Elijah fled to Mt. Horeb in fear because of Queen Jezebel’s threats. He sinks into despair over Israel’s apostasy. Israel did not respond to Elijah’s call to revival. Elijah is distraught over their inaction and spiritual declension. Elijah is baffled by Israel’s lack of repentance after God mighty displays of power on Mt. Carmel.

Elijah’s depression is so great that God must speak to him in a “still small voice” in order to awaken his inner man. The Lord commands Elijah to get back to work and do the things that prophets do. The Lord wants him to snap out out of his discouraged funk. Therefore, Elijah begins the raising up and appointing process for new leaders. These leaders will govern over Israel’s spiritual, national, and international obligations.

Like Elijah, the Lord will call on us to step out and over our despair. The Lord’s commands carry within them the grace to obey. He will strengthen us to overcome whether we are “feeling it” or not. Therefore, despair is defeated by making deliberate choices to live the everyday Christian life: obey biblical truth, do God’s revealed will, and trust God’s covenant promises.

Sometimes I feel  . . . that my cross is heavy beyond endurance . . . my heart seems worn out and bruised beyond repair, and in my deep loneliness I often wish to be gone, but God knows best, and I want to do every ounce of work He wants me to do.

C. T. Studd cited in World Shapers: A Treasury of Great Quotes from Great Missionaries, ed., Vinita Hampton and Carol Plueddemann (Wheaton, IL: Harold Shaw, 1991), 41.

For a long time I felt much depressed after preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ to apparently insensible hearts; but now I like to dwell on the love of the great Mediator, for it always warms my own heart, and I know that the gospel is the power of God–the great means which He employs for the regeneration of our ruined world.

David Livingstone cited in World Shapers: A Treasury of Great Quotes from Great Missionaries, ed., Vinita Hampton and Carol Plueddemann (Wheaton, IL: Harold Shaw, 1991), 42.

“People Will Be Miserable”

Posted by on 14 Jan 2011 | Tagged as: Christian Missions, John Piper

Motive For Mission

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

1 Tim. 2:3-4 NKJV

Christian mission is the divine call to share the good news of Jesus Christ, the story of his life, miracles, death, and resurrection, to the world by establishing churches in different cultures, locations, and language groups. Missions should be a joy not a burden to the believer. Missions means lives knowing and experiencing the love, joy, and peace of Christ: they are no longer miserable. Missions means pleasing God’s heart by sharing the truth of his Son to those whose need is greater than they know.

Missions is calling the world to do what they were created to do, namely, to enjoy making much of God forever. If missions does not reach a people with the gospel of the glory of God in the face of Christ, God will be dishonored and the people will be miserable—forever. Therefore we are driven by two motives (which turn out to be one): the glory of God, and the good of man. They are one because praise to God is the consummation of pleasure in God.

John Piper, “Everlasting Truth for the Joy of All Peoples

All Three Persons Searching

Posted by on 01 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: A. W. Tozer, Christian Missions, Missions

The Searching Ministry of the Triune God

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

1 Tim. 2:3-4 (NKJV)

Jesus was trying to make plain the searching, seeking, loving ministries of the Trinity—the Godhead. That lost boy was the lost world. That lost sheep was the lost world. That lost piece of silver was the lost world (Luke 15).

The picture that we must see, then, is the Father looking for the lost son. It is also the Son, the good shepherd, looking for His lost sheep. And it is the Holy Spirit, depicted by the woman with the light, searching for the lost piece of silver. Add them up and you have Godís picture of the Godhead working to redeem the human race. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are always seeking the lost treasure.

“That is why I eat with sinners,” Jesus was saying. “I am the Son, the Shepherd, looking for my lost sheep. My Father is looking for His lost boy. The Holy Spirit is looking for His missing piece of silver.”

Father, Son and Holy Spirit are united in their search for the lost. That is our answer for the would-be critics. The Son of God gave the divine offering of Himself, the Holy Spirit conveyed it, and the heavenly Father received it! The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit—the divine Trinity—were jointly engaged in the great and eternal business of seeking and saving lost men and women.

A. W. Tozer, Jesus, Our Man in Glory (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1987), 114.