Missions was clearly in God’s mind and heart before the beginning of time, and there are definite markers all through the Old Testament that this was God’s attitude toward mankind. One earliest and clearest statements from God on missions is what He said to Abraham. “And I will make of you a great nation…and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:2-3).
From a careful look at the word “families”, we learn that God was referring to “tribes, clans, and people who had a common affiliation”. As the Early Church grew, men like Peter, Stephen, and Paul kept pointing back to what God had promised to Abraham as the seed of what the Holy Spirit was doing right then. Have God’s plans changed? Has the missionary mind of God changed because the world has changed? NO! God is moving forward with His plan and purpose.
Should we then examine our own hearts and see if we have lost this vision that will ultimately bring God glory “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9)? Paul saw the need clearly in Romans 10:14-15; “How are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” It was the Antioch church that caught God’s missionary heart by the Spirit to work in them (Acts 13:1-3). It was not forced. IT WAS SPONTANEOUS!
The cry of my heart is that the Church today will realize how much this attitude of God has been forgotten. May He help us repent and seek again the original fire – GOD’S LOVE FOR PEOPLE!
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