Posted by: pastortomvabeach | October 16, 2018

Thought For The Week October 21, 2018

Let me begin with an apology. I completely forgot to write my thoughts last week. I could offer lots of excuses: we attended a minister’s retreat early in the week and my wife became ill so we had to leave early, then I had to work from home one day because she still wasn’t feeling well, which are all true, but I still could have and should have remembered to send out something. Please accept my apology.

This week, I want to remind everyone that we will have a very special speaker on Sunday. David Stewart, Sr., a life long missionary to India, will be with us for the final Sunday of our Missions Celebration. Rev. Stewart was instrumental in planting one of the largest churches in India and directly impacted hundreds, if not thousands, of people in India. We have a family in our church who were a direct result of his ministry.

Missions is so very important to the church today. Jesus gave us a command which was pretty plain, Go and make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:19). Now we understand that “go” means “as you are going”, so as we go through life we are told to make disciples of all the nations. It is not likely that we will hit all the nations if we limit ourselves to our own circles of influence. That is why God calls and we send missionaries to all the nations.

You and I, then, get to participate in carrying out this command by helping to send missionaries to distant nations where we are not able to or called to go. We do this by meeting and praying for them and we also do it by contributing to their financial support so that they can be free of worry while they are reaching and making disciples in those nations. Your missions giving directly aids many missionaries in many places.

Last Sunday, Pastor Rasim Hasanov shared a poignant story of how this plan works. Christian Chapel has been helping to support Mike and Cindy Edson in Uzbekistan, and Peyton and Clover Harris in Kazakhstan and Turkey for well over 20 years. Pastor Rasim was saved in a nearby country and attended a small Bible college from which students from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Azerbaijan, and surrounding nations come to prepare for ministry. These students go back to their home countries and plant churches, sometimes in remote small villages were no Christian witness would exist but for them. Many of the instructors in this Bible college are missionaries who serve in that area of the world. It just happened that Mike Edson and Peyton Harris, whom we were supporting, were teaching there when Pastor Rasim was a student.

Think about what that says. Our missions giving helped keep missionaries in a place where they, in turn, taught other ministry candidates, who are now missionaries themselves! And these indigenous missionaries are reaching thousands of people with the gospel every year that we could never reach. They are making disciples of all the nations and because we contribute so they can be there, we are also making disciples of all the nations.

This Sunday and for the next several weeks, you will have the opportunity to make a Faith Promise to help support these and other missionaries for the coming year. A Faith Promise simply says, “We will help support missionaries with this amount (you decide) for the coming year.” This helps us to know how much we can commit to missionaries so they can continue their work. Would you prayerfully ask the Lord how much He would give to missions through you in 2019? Don’t be surprised if He tells you He will give a lot more than you think you have. I think God can and will do that.

Paul tells us in II Corinthians 9:10-11, God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, He will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. Let’s trust God together as we send missionaries to make disciples of all the nations. Just a thought.

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