Thursday, October 28, 2010

More from Oswald

I am so thankful for Oswald Chambers.  Here are some thoughts from My Utmost For His Highest October 26th.
A missionary is one sent by Jesus Christ as He was sent by God. The great dominant note is not the needs of men, but the command of Jesus. The source of our inspiration in work for God is behind, not before. The tendency to-day is to put the inspiration ahead, to sweep everything in front of us and bring it all out to our conception of success. In the New Testament the inspiration is put behind us, the Lord Jesus. The ideal is to be true to Him, to carry out His enterprises.

Personal attachment to the Lord Jesus and His point of view is the one thing that must not be overlooked. In missionary enterprise the great danger is that God's call is effaced by the needs of the people until human sympathy absolutely overwhelms the meaning of being sent by Jesus. The needs are so enormous, the conditions so perplexing, that every power of mind falters and fails. We forget that the one great reason underneath all missionary enterprise is not first the elevation of the people, nor the education of the people, nor their needs; but first and foremost the command of Jesus Christ - "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations."
Two things I want to highlight from this selection.  The first one is that I think somehow we have a specific idea in our mind of what a "missionary" is.  I know from my days growing up in church that I had a preconceived idea of what a missionary looked like (plaid polyester pants, foreign looking button up shirt and a slide projector under one arm).  This can be our first thought of a missionary and yet God has called all of His followers to be missionaries.  The Great Commission in Matthew 28 says to go, baptize and teach.  That is for all followers.  We have all been called!

The second thing that jumped out at me was "In missionary enterprise the great danger is that God's call is effaced by the needs of the people."  According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary: efface - to eliminate or make indistinct by or as if by wearing away a surface.  As the foundation of 3:18 Ministries continues to be formed, we are striving to keep the Great Commission at the front of our focus.  We could be distracted by the enormous physical needs or the perplexing conditions.  We could get stuck on a perceived need and totally miss the real, spiritual need.  We must stay focused on those who are lost, dying and going to hell.  We must continue to be a voice crying in the wilderness.  We must go, baptize and teach.

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