This post is Part 1 in a five-part series titled:
Let’s begin with the Word.
In this passage, Jesus is talking to his disciples. Tomorrow, we’ll dig deep into what it means for us a believers to be disciples -- to be followers of Christ, as they were. As we are... Or, at least as we should be.
Jesus is talking to his disciples after He has been crucified and raised from death. They are asking God a question so many of us still ask Him today,
“What next, Lord? What does the time table look like?”
“The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
So often, we stress and worry about God’s will for our lives.
Or maybe we don’t. Maybe we’re comfortable where we are.
But when we look at the life Jesus lived alongside His disciples, we see that God's ultimate will for our lives isn't a job. Or a marriage. Or a beautiful house with a white picket fence. It’s not the American Dream. Based on examples throughout Scripture, I'd venture as far as to say it's quite the opposite.
God's plan is to know us and make Himself known.
He sends us the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). It “comes upon us.” This is such a powerful statement. To be come upon. Do you feel the weight of it? Like a heavy blanket. Both pressing and comforting, all at once.
But it doesn’t end there. This Holy Spirit presence has a purpose. It gives us power. Not power to further ourselves, but to further His Kingdom.
It's a focal-shift.
This power given us by His Holy Spirit empowers us for a great and often daunting task -- to be Christ’s witnesses, telling people about Him everywhere. In your family and circle of friends, in your community, in your country, and on the other side of this giant world.
This, my friends, is how I define a Missionary. There is an intentionality there -- a burden to tell the world.
In fact, there are many times I wonder why the term “Missionary” exists at all. If we all, as believers, realized this purpose for our lives, it would just be called “being a Christian.” Somehow it’s come to represent a person who travels (often to another country) for the sake of the gospel, when Acts 1:8 clearly tells us that God has called us to share the gospel here, there, everywhere. It’s a lifestyle we’re called to. A life that is lived for Him.
Missions is not a short term experience. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a short-term mission trip. Our lives should be the gospel; and sometimes, the location changes. This week I might be in my small Alabama neighborhood. Tomorrow, I may spend time at Target, Starbucks, and online. Next month, Mexico. Next year, India. Wherever I am, wherever God sends me, I want to live my life on a mission to share the love and truth of Jesus.
So, who is a missionary you ask? Well, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then I would say that you are!
Maybe one day the term will be lost forever because going and being and doing and sharing will be so much a part of the Christian walk that it will seem silly we ever had a separate term for it to begin with.
That’s my prayer, anyways.
Lord, I ask that you speak to us daily. That you convict us for the gospel’s sake. That you will open our eyes to the point of this thing called life and that you’ll help us to die to ourselves daily. That’s a really hard thing to do. And we could never accomplish it without you. When you tell us to go, I pray that we’ll go. When you tell us to stay, I pray that we’ll stay. But always, I pray that we do so as your witnesses, telling people about You everywhere. Because there is a really big world out there that needs You. I know, because I’m one of them. I know I’m going to mess up, and miss opportunities you give me time and time again. But Lord, please don’t stop giving them to me. Because I need to share the gospel. Not only so that others will hear it, but because I need to hear it. Again and again and again.
Join the discussion. Comment below. I’ll be responding to comments both via email (if applicable) and in the comment forum. What are your thoughts on the subject? I’d love to hear from you.