Greetings on this Sabbath day of rest! We can rest today because “It is finished!” was the victory cry of Jesus Christ from the cross as He gave up His Spirit and breathed His last! (John 19:30) We can rest today because on the first day of the week, Jesus rose from the dead, as the first-fruit from death! (Mark 16:6) We can rest today because He is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us! (Romans 8:34) We can rest today, because we are seated with Him! (Ephesians 2:6) We can rest today because He promised to come back for His followers and take them to be with Him! (John 14:3)
Out of this place of rest, we are commanded to go and preach the Good News to all nations and make disciples of all peoples. Missionaries are those who are called and willingly go. Missionaries are some of my favorite people! They have caught the Spirit of Christ and have a passion that inspires. Reading about the early missionaries and their exciting adventures makes me want to experience that for myself. There are three observations about missionaries I want to share with you today.
“And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 13:52)
First, missionaries must have the power of the Holy Spirit! We see them preaching, praying for the sick and casting out demons. We observe them following the directions of the Holy Spirit about where to go and when. We see them knowing how to address different cultures and effectively reach souls. We have read about some who suffered persecution and beatings and others who gave their lives sharing the Gospel.
Second, there is no joy like being in the will of God. Missionaries find great joy in preaching the Gospel. Even when run out of town or beaten for preaching, they counted it a privilege to suffer for Christ! When souls were saved, great joy filled the people. Paul and Silas rejoiced to see the Philippian jailer and his whole household come to Christ and rejoice! (Acts 16:31-34)
The third observation: “This Gospel of the kingdom will be preached to the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) Missionaries are hastening the coming of Christ! Let’s either go ourselves or send them!
In His Love, Pastor John