I can’t say this passionately enough: every moment of every day for the rest of our lives (I’m speaking to Christians here) has but one purpose: to tell others the Good News of Christ! Every breath, every movement, every effort should be geared toward His last command. Our mission field is not in a far away place full of poor people. Poverty is not the problem! A poor man, starving on a street that has found Jesus is far richer than the richest American who has cast Jesus aside! Missions are great- but don’t be fooled about what our purpose is! Feeding the poor and clothing the poor- that is the assumption for a Christian! If you aren’t doing that, you are less than hopeless! Your mission field is the unsaved people that are all around you everyday. Near or far, doesn’t matter. Rich or poor, doesn’t matter.
In fact, the rich are far more wretched than the poor because they can’t even see their wretchedness! At least the poor man is half way to God because he knows he needs saving! We need to be careful that we don’t mistake Christ’s Great Commission as the need to ‘help the poor. ‘ If we think that way, we are missing the point. Helping the poor is simply a given for a Christian. But it is not the mission.
This life on earth is the teeniest of pinpoints on our timeline that stretches far past the horizon of human imagination- whether you live a few hours or whether you live to be over one hundred- it is but a blip. How can that compare in any way to trillions and trillions and trillions of years of life? If you are poor but know God, will you even remember your poverty after trillions of years of laughter, joy and fulfillment? I doubt it. Don’t feel sorry for the man in rags that knows Christ as his savior. Feel sorry for the rich man who thought all meaning could be found on this earth, but after he got all he could, his soul is even more dead than when he started! Feel sorry for him as he overdoses on drugs before he could get right with God!
I struggle sometimes when I hear of people who have gone on short term mission trips. Many times it seems as if their conclusion is that we must do more for the poor. Or even worse, that they believe they did something good for someone! And worst of all is if they feel a sense of self righteousness. Short term mission trips are for us, not those in need. They feed us. They teach us. Five days in a far away land can not help anyone. Not really. It really only helps you with your perspective on life. If you wish to be a real missionary, then sell your house and go to where people have never heard of Christ and dedicate your life to them. And if you can’t be the missionary, then obviously, you find missionaries who have gone and you devote a nice chunk of change to send faithfully to them. This is so that they can bring the kindness of Jesus’ hand to them in the form of food and shelter. Because without the very basics, how can they then have concern for their immortal souls? We try to help the missionaries with their daily living costs as well so that they can spend their entire time with this remote and unreached people. Otherwise, why did they go?
However, don’t believe for a minute that you are off the hook! After handing over real cash, dough, dollars to those missionaries to do their job, it is time to hitch up your pants and look around. The harvest is rich and full and waiting for eager hands to pick. The harvest is about to rot in the field for lack of workers! Our mission field is right here- all around us at work, on social media, at play and in our neighbor’s lives. They ‘cost’ almost nothing to help. Just your time, love, courage and spoken words from the Living Word. This is your mission field. And it is just as important as those we sent to the remote areas of the world!
A poor person who knows Christ is RICH. A rich man without Christ is the most wretched sight on earth. Make sure you keep in mind what your true mission is on earth- telling the good news. Wealth or lack thereof is irrelevant to the mission.
You all have FB. Talk about a mission field! The very minimum all of you can do as missionaries in your home turf is to regularly post either my church’s live Sunday service or another one you know.
Listen, once you have the right perspective (ie, your ONLY purpose, past finding your own salvation, is to tell the Good News to others), nothing else really matters. You don’t care if your job, spouse, children or entire life isn’t ‘fulfilling’ anymore. Know why? Because you finally get it that nothing, and I mean, nothing, can fulfill you but Christ! Because you were specifically designed and intended to help your fellow man find true LIFE through Christ, you are automatically fulfilled by doing this job! Ha! Who knew?
Ah. The irony of God. Wisdom begins the day a man recognizes his utter wretchedness. Then, he seeks help. Then, he finds Jesus. Then he obeys out of duty. The obedience leads to an abundance of the Holy Spirit and wisdom buds. Faithfulness and perseverance in this walk ultimately lead to complete joy and wisdom. To retain this earthly life is to lose it. To lose this earthly life for the sake of Christ is to gain LIFE. Oh, and purpose too. Just like Jesus told us so clearly. Too bad we are all so hard headed that we need to start with wretchedness. We could have just listened to Jesus and spared ourselves of all that! Ha! We need to tell this lesson to all who will listen. That, my friend, is what LIFE is all about.