Posted by: pastortomvabeach | September 29, 2014

Thought for the Week October 3, 2014

As we open our Missions Convention this week, let me share some thoughts that I received in a newsletter this week from Steve Christenson, the Senior Chaplain with the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry at the Virginia Beach City Jail.

Steve turned me on to the U.S. Census Bureau website (http://www.census.gov/popclock/?intemp=home_pop.  This website shows a U.S. and World population clock that ticks off the numbers of people here and on the planet.  The U.S. statistic is staggering. One birth every eight seconds and one death every thirteen seconds. That coupled with one foreign immigrant arriving every 38 seconds gives a net population gain of one person every twelve seconds. The clock just ticks them off. The world clock is much faster. By my rough count it looks like there are about 150 new people on the planet every minute!

What’s this have to do with missions? Everything! Every person added to the population of the world is another soul, another boy or girl who needs to have a personal encounter with the living God. And many, very likely most of those who die leave this life without that encounter to be forever separated from the Lord’s presence.

This is why we do missions. This is why we evangelize. This is why Jesus leaves us here after we trust in Him. Peter tells us that God doesn’t want anyone to perish but all to come to repentance (II Peter 3:9). He has given us the task of presenting the gospel to the ever growing population of the world. We are all responsible for that task within the context of our lives and acquaintances.

Some dedicate their lives to bringing the gospel into contexts that most of us will never get to serve, like the city jail, the streets of Japan, and the coffee shops of Istanbul. They give up much of the convenience that we get to enjoy for the sake of seeing men and women, boys and girls come to Jesus, no matter the cost to them. In most cases, they rely on the financial and prayer support of those of us who stay behind.

Every year we ask those in our church to make a Faith Promise with the Lord to give a certain amount (what God show them) to missions over the course of the coming year. This is so that we can confidently tell the missionaries with whom we stand that they will receive our support all of the next year. Knowing they have support enables them to concentrate on sharing the gospel wherever they may be.

I have been writing now for about 20 minutes. In that time the world population has gone up by around 3,000 souls. What are we doing to reach those people with the gospel? I trust that you are seeking opportunities to share Jesus with those you know and are willing to make a Faith Promise to help our missionaries reach those you don’t know. Please pray this week and ask the Lord how much He wants to give through you to missions. Just a thought.

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