Summary: Why are missions important? Look at Jonah and Isaiah to see
Fish Guts and Infamy
You are the heart of the church series
Intro: Our favorite verse is John 3:16. Can you recite that with me? The key words in that first phrase are God, Loved, World. Last week we talked about God’s love being the Tiger in our Tank! It is His love that motivates us to love one another, to serve Him and to live according to His plan for our lives in both our actions and behaviors. This verse, though, gives us an even greater awareness of the scope and nature of God’s love. He loves the world! So much so, that He gave His only son for THE WORLD!
Jesus’ last instructions before leaving this world reflected the global concern and He commanded those who were His to share that concern.
Ask yourself this question. Do I have a love and concern for all of the people of the world? Do I mourn when hurricanes strike…Mexico? Do I gasp when earthquakes hit …Turkey? Do I cringe at a mine collapse in …China? Do I despair over a child starving to death in …Somalia?
Do I grieve the fact that a majority of the world’s people will die and go to hell without ever hearing how they might be saved? Well, God does and He always has.
1. Mission work is not new now and it wasn’t new with Paul.
-over 700 years before Christ one of the greatest missions’ revivals of all time is recorded in Jonah.
-Just like missions aren’t new, ignoring or running from God’s call is not new.
-Also, overlooking God’s love is not new.
2. Missions work is not given as an option. It is not the great suggestion, but it is the great commission. Jesus said in Matt 28: 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations”
-We have His authority v 18
Clearing up a misconception. Acts 1:8: The list is meant to be comprehensive. This is a literary style that marks this emphasis.. IT IS NOT A LISTING OF PRIORITY>
Those who say “missions start at home” are…
1. Rarely sharing at home.
2. Afraid they will be called to Africa.
3. Afraid they won’t have their family close by at Christmas
4. Selfish with their money
5. Really missing God’s global love.
They are Jonahs!
Acts 1:8 does not have Jerusalem as the goal, but rather, the uttermost parts of the world.
3. Missions sacrifice leads to blessings.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (4:19)
Philippians 4:19 is one of the greatest and best-known verses in the bible and it’s not hard to see why. Everyone has needs to be met. And this verse promises that God will meet every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. BUT…
Is this promise for every believer or is this promise only for certain believers?
Is this promise for every church or is this promise only for certain types of churches?
The answer lies in verse 15.
“Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only…”
Now according to verse 15 how many churches had every need met by God? Only One! The church at Philippi who sacrificed to partner with Paul and who undoubtedly share in his reward.
Who was the last missionary who came from this church?
When was our last mission trip?
How many missionaries do you know and partner with?
How often de we pray for missions?
4. Here is the challenge for us church.
a. Be open to a big world and a big God’s plan.
b. Think, pray, give globally.
c. Be willing to be used by God on the mission field.
d. Let your children know that serving God in missions is something you would bless if God calls them.
e. Support our missions work.
f. Our greatest challenge is not to miss God’s heart as Jonah did. It landed him in fish guts and infamy.
Isaiah Ch 6 teaches us some important lessons regarding our need and our call. (Read Is. 6:1-8)
May we all, like Isaiah, catch a vision of God and His love.
May we all, like Isaiah, see our deep need for His grace and mercy.
May we all, like Isaiah, freely receive it.
And, when He calls and says, “whom shall we send, who will go for us,” may we all, like Isaiah, reply, “Here am I Lord, send me.”