Tag Archives: missions

December 18: a model for missions

“As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world”. John 17:18

Christmas is a model for missions. Missions is a mirror of Christmas. As I, so you.

For example, danger. Christ came to his own and his own received him not. So you. They plotted against him. So you. He had no permanent home. So you. They trumped up false charges against him. So you. They whipped and mocked him. So you. He died after three years of ministry. So you.

But there is a worse danger than any of these which Jesus escaped. So you!

In the mid-16th century, Francis Xavier (1506-1552), a Catholic missionary, wrote to Father Perez of Malacca (today part of Indonesia) about the perils of his mission to China. He said:

The danger of all dangers would be to lose trust and confidence in the mercy of God…To distrust him would be a far more terrible thing than any physical evil which all the enemies of God put together could inflict on us, for without God’s permission neither the evils nor their human ministers could hinder us in the slightest degree.

The greatest a danger a missionary faces is to distrust the mercy of God. If that danger is avoided, then all other dangers lose their sting.

God makes ever dagger a scepter in our hand. As J.W. Alexander says, “Each instant of present labor is to be graciously repaid with a million ages of glory.”

Christ escaped the danger of distrust. Therefore God has highly exalted him!

Remember this Advent that Christmas is a model for missions. As I, so you. And that mission means danger. And that the greatest danger is distrusting God’s mercy. Succumb to this, and all is lost. Conquer here, and nothing can harm you for a million ages.

© Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Week 16: My Job: God’s Mission Field

In June of 2004, I was introduced to the idea of viewing any job I held my own personal mission field. It was summer break and I was in Wildwood, New Jersey, 1500 miles from home. I had given my summer to God, was currently on summer project (through Campus Crusade for Christ), and had just started my first day at Kmart – the first job I had ever had outside of working for my dad on the dairy farm.

During our brief meetings with our counselors back on “base,” we were told that when we landed our jobs, we would be building relationships with the people we work with and would be serving as lights in a dark work environment by being who God created us to be individually. I remember thinking to myself that this was much easier for me to handle personally than the sidewalk evangelism that we had been doing the month prior to getting jobs. Walking up to complete strangers and asking them questions about God scared the living daylights out me. I was terrified. Being relational came easy for me; feeling as if I was shoving my beliefs down someone else’s throat did not.

Now, don’t get me wrong. In the years since that summer, I’ve come to understand and know the purpose of street evangelism and that there is a time and a place for it. Relational evangelism is still easy for me. I’ve had co-workers ask why I live the way I do and the answers are there, every time, by the grace of God (and thanks to His Holy Spirit). After all, God calls us to be a light in the darkness.

I currently work in the human resources department for Wells Fargo, in a special division within that department called Employee Assistance Consulting. It’s a great benefit for a company to have something internal where their employees can go to talk about work and personal concerns if they need it. I remember wishing my last job had that benefit as there were a number of times I wish I had someone who got it that I could talk to. Venting to a friend or your mother just doesn’t have the same feel to it.

We handle quite that array of work and life stressors, from minor to extremes, and I’m talking dark, dark stuff. It’s humbling to know that God has chosen for this job in this particular time of my life to be a light in that darkness. To be compassionate in the midst of suffering. To offer that smile that will brighten a co-workers day.

In the days since my start at the location downtown, I’ve had quite a few interesting conversations and God has been a part of each of those.

Let me ask you. How do you see your job? Do you live to work or work to live? Do you revolve everything in your life around that job or does it revolve around God? Are you using that job to the greater good of His glory and not your own?