Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 4, 2016
Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand. Romans 15:21
I remember as a child hearing of the great missionary efforts of many modern heroes of the faith. People like Hudson Taylor or Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, who, following in the footsteps of St. Paul, forsook comfort and security in order to share the love of Christ in places where his name had never been proclaimed. In light of these stories, I came to assume that Christian missions always began “here” and went “there.”
Similarly, I thought a missionary was the Christian equivalent of a Navy SEAL, a highly skilled and elite position to be taken up by a very select few. While we should never diminish or discourage the faithful obedience of foreign missionaries, we also must affirm another central truth of Christian mission: the work of Christian missions is the call of every single follower of Jesus Christ.
To be a missionary is literally to be one who is sent out on a mission. As followers of Christ, by virtue of our baptism into the life and death of Jesus, each of us has been sent out with an explicit mission. We are not only invited but are commissioned, without exception, to proclaim the love of God shown in Christ through our love of God and neighbor.
As we grow in faithfulness to Christ and his Kingdom, we must reclaim this central vision of the Christian life: to be a disciple is to be a missionary! Whether your mission field is Cambodia or Chicago, Argentina or Alabama, the call on each of our lives is the same. We must seek to live not simply for ourselves, but to live as bold, prophetic witnesses to the self-giving, self-sacrificing love of God. For the Christian, the call to missions is never a question of “if” but is simply a question of “where.”
In your life today, right here and right now, how can you join with St. Paul and share the love of Christ with those who have never been told of him? How can you join Hudson Taylor and Jim and Elisabeth Elliot in forsaking creature comforts so that the name of Christ might be lifted high in your life? These are the questions that each of us must ask ourselves, and I pray God gives us the courage to faithfully follow wherever he may lead!
PrayerFather, help us to faithfully follow you wherever you lead us, that the name of Christ may be lifted high in our lives and in the world.
ApplicationHow can you live as an intentional missionary for Christ from within your family, neighborhood, and community?
Related ReadingMark 16:15; Luke 9:60; Acts 28:30-31; 1 Corinthians 11:26
Post/Tweet todayFor the Christian, the call to missions is never a question of “if” but is simply a question of “where”. #WisdomHunters #calledtoMissions
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