Posted by: pastortomvabeach | October 15, 2019

Thought For The Week October 20, 2019

Last Sunday we were privileged to host Toby DeBause, the president of the Crisis Pregnancy Center of Tidewater in our opening meeting of this year’s Missions Celebration.  Toby shared the mission of Jesus as He Himself declared it.  Quoting from Isaiah 61, he said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19).

He rightly said that if this was Jesus’ mission, it ought to be and is, our mission.  Proclaiming the good news is exactly what Jesus told his disciples (and us) to do just before He went back to heaven. Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).  We say that this way, Make Jesus Known!

This is our mission statement at Christian Chapel.  We are directed by God to Make Jesus Known when we gather, when we go home, when we go to work, when we are out in the marketplaces of life, and as a part of our lifestyle.

Jesus also said we would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8).  Since all of us can’t go to the ends of the earth, many of us must be those who send those who go.  We do that by supporting missionaries who go through prayer, encouragement, and finances.

This is the purpose of our annual Missions Celebration.  Every year in October we highlight missionaries and then ask our congregation, as individuals and families, to make a Faith Promise to help support missions in the coming year.

A Faith Promise is me saying, “Lord, I want to help make you known all over the world by helping with my finances.”  I want to be a sender and a part of what you are doing through these men and women wherever they may be.  A Faith Promise is not a portion of your regular giving (tithe and offering) to the local church.  The Lord expects us to fully support what our own church is doing locally.  The Faith Promise is over and above that regular giving.

Paul says the Macedonians gave, according to their ability and beyond their ability, to help support his missions efforts.  “According to my ability” means what I know I have extra to give beyond my regular giving, so that can be part of my Faith Promise.  “Beyond my ability” means funds that I don’t have but that I know God can supply, if I will be faithful and give that as part of my Faith Promise.

It has amazed me over the years how God can supply money that I know I don’t have so I can make a Faith Promise that is more than I can give.  The way I handle it is, whatever comes into my hands that is more than my normal income (bonus, insurance reimbursement, inheritance, honorarium, etc.), I automatically trust that it came from God to take care of my Faith Promise.  So until my Faith Promise is completely fulfilled, I give it directly to missions.  I don’t even think of using it for myself.

You would be absolutely surprised what God can move through your hands if you will make that commitment to pass it on to missions.  Dan Betzer says, “God will always give more through you than He will give to you, if you will be faithful to pass it on to His kingdom work, missions.”  The Lord has proved that over and over for me and Lilia.

So how big is your faith?  Is it big enough to make a Faith Promise that will keep you up at night, a Faith Promise that you will only be able to fulfill if God gives you something much greater than your income would support?  Are you willing to pray and really trust God if He tells you to promise more than you ever imagined you could afford?  That’s a Faith Promise.  By faith, believing God will give it to me, I promise that I will pass that on to help support missions through my church.

If you really pray, He will answer, and His answer might scare you.  Be ready because this Sunday we get to make God-sized Faith Promises!  Just a thought.

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