Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What is our mission really?

What is the motive and goal of your mission? Is it to educate the children? Is it to feed the hungry? Is it to give clean water to the thirsty? Is it to bring good medical care to the needy and sick?

All of these things are a temporary help that are only prolonging a life on this earth, and preparing someone to live longer or somewhat better.

But what is our goal really as Christian, as missionaries, as workers for the Lord?

It is not to just help them live in this life but prepare them for the next. The thing is no matter how much education you give a child, no matter how much food, clothing, water, medical care… if they do not have love and Christ… they are going to hell.

If we free someone from slavery or a girl from sex trafficking but don’t give them the opportunity to know Jesus, they are still enslaved and trafficked by sin.

So many times, I see that we are putting so much focus on how well a child did in school or how they will succeed in this world that we don’t focus on what is eternally important—what they are doing and becoming for the kingdom of God. Jesus doesn’t care when you come to him if you have a medical degree or if you didn’t even finished primary school, if you adore him, love him, live for him, worship him… we are equal in His presence. We are children of God.

Sometimes I believe we as the church have things backwards in the way we look at our world. We are looking at the success rate instead of the heart of the people. What are the greatest commandments of the Lord? To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love your Neighbor as yourself… He also told us to go and make disciples of all nations…

What are we pushing in the field? For them to know Christ and succeed in the kingdom of God OR to have success in this world? We should be loving the people where they are and helping them to see Jesus and HE will lead them to be great in the way he wants. Maybe not all of us are suppose to have a high school or college education but to reach people where we are and how we are… a high school drop out can have more success reaching people for the kingdom of God than one of the greatest scientists. I feel like the more education we rely on, the more we rely on material possessions… we don’t look towards Christ but we look at the world to fill us.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t work hard for children to educated and to succeed but maybe our focus shouldn’t be in that, but in working on their hearts. Who cares really if someone has finished their degree in university? Does God look down upon on them? Look how many people are educated and have everything and want to do nothing with our Lord.

What is the focus of my mission? I want to love people and children with all my heart and be a constant example to them of Christ. I want to teach them how beautiful and wanted they are to the Lord. I want them to love the Lord Jesus with all their hearts and be successful in this life to come. I wouldn’t love a child more if he had an 8th grade education or a college education because we are all the creation of God and He can use us to do great things!

I want to feed the hungry, give a home to the orphaned, give clean water to the thirsty, have schools to help children learn, help the elderly and sick… but with all of those things they are just a way to show Christ to them, an open door to love them and lead them to the Savior. We are suppose to care about the poor, but not only care but give up everything to them because that is what Christ did. He had compassion on them and loved them with all he was, he didn’t pity them but saw them as they were, humbled himself to their level and showed them truth. I want always my mission to be focused on loving the people, being examples, and leading them to the Savior… speaking truth, and have the kingdom of God first in our minds instead of the success of this world, which will pass away.

"He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world!"- 1 John 2:2

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Do you love me?

"No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." -1 John 4:12

I was reading through some of my old journals of my last year... and last summer I was able to preach at a church in Burkina. And I was praying a lot about what the Lord would like me to share with the people. And the thing that came to my heart was LOVE! - The love the Lord has for us (the cross.. giving his only son as a sacrifice 'ultimate love'), falling in love with the Lord, loving others, and being examples of HIS LOVE. When going through the points of the sermon and thinking through it all a story came to my heart...

Sometime in the fall of 2012, I was visiting the Old Folks Home in Tijuana, Mexico that we help out. I hadn't been in awhile because of the busyness at the orphanage. And I remember walking around to different people in wheelchairs as they sit outside in the courtyard greeting them... There was a man who rolled up to me and said, "Do you remember me?" I said, yes! I recalled in my mind of a time in the spring when a group of nurses and doctors came to help, and I was the translator for a doctor. I was his shadow helping and translating each thing so we could help the people. This man had a horrible foot infection and we were helping him. Then he said, "Do you love me?" I remember it caught me off guard, and I said, "of course, I love you so much and so does Jesus." Then he said with tears in his eyes, "Really do you love me?" I said, "yes, I love you very much!" He smiled and said, "I love you too."

Later when I was leaving the home, he saw me again and he said loudly, "always remember that I love you!" That moment has stuck in my mind since it happened. I could see in that mans eyes so desperately who much he wanted someone to love him, he just even wanted someone to say it to him. I will never forget those words and moments. I know it was Christ, I could feel that he was moving and speaking.

The Love of God is strong and mighty! It is beyond what we could ever imagine, and it shows up in all places, countries, races, languages, towns, cities, homes, etc.. I read the other day a quote... "ethnic boundaries become ethnic blessings" - John Piper.  That made my heart so happy, because it is so true.. through all of my time serving the Lord in other countries there are moments that are difficult at times with culture and habits... but after awhile when you truly invest in the people you are with, the things that were "difficult" become blessings of learning and growing and love. Of course there will always been struggles.. But I think we all need to change, if I went on to the mission field thinking-- I am going to make a difference in the lives of these people, because I have it all together -- that is not true, it is a two sided relationship... you grow and change and become more like Christ through the people as well. It is not just you giving, but you are gaining a lot! More than you could ever describe... because you are gaining more glimpses of the Kingdom of God!

Comprehending the Love of God is a process that I believe will take me until I meet Jesus face to face.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." Luke 6:32-36