Summary: Many Christians are missing out on some of the greatest blessings available in the New Testament and they do not even realize it. In our passage this morning, John recognized missionaries as co-laborers worth investing in.
How to Serve as An Effective Sender - 3 John 1:7,8
Quote:If the world were a village of 1000 people, next year’s population would be 1018. Twenty-eight people would be born, but 10 would die: three from lack of food, one from cancer, two in birth, one from war or crime, and three from natural causes.
Two-hundred people from this village would receive 75% of its total income. Six-hundred (the "middle class") would share another 23%. The remaining 200 people would have to survive on the last 2% of the income. --adapted from a statement by World Vision
Many Christians are missing out on some of the greatest blessings available in the New Testament and they do not even realize it. In our passage this morning, John recognized missionaries as co-laborers worth investing in. He wrote, they went out for the sake of the Name of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we ought to support such men, that we may be fellow workers with the truth." (3 John 1:7,8) We all know that God loves a cheerful giver, but it is especially true that the Lord blesses strategic Great Commission oriented givers. We are to fight the good fight of faith so we can see Christ’s kingdom achieve total victory.
Illustration: Dr. Irwin Lutzer, the Pastor of the Moody Memorial Church and famous radio preacher said on July 22nd radio sermon, "We should be in the battle in our relationships, ministries or personal lives to win the victory. When American engaged in the Vietnam War we lost because we were not all committed to winning the war. When America fought the Gulf War we won because victory was a commitment of us all. Too many times people are not focus on winning the battle but just engaging in it."
Application: Let us trust the Lord to help us to fight the battle for the completion of Christ’s great commission of Matt. 28:18-20. We can be assured that faith is the victory that overcomes the world.
Do you know that you can support a full time church planter in many developing countries for only $30/month? One organization named ChristianAid.org is in contact with 300,000 such missionaries in the developing world through 5000 mission boards that are eager to partner with Americans for the fulfilling of the great commission in nearly all of the 228 countries on the planet.
Example: Jesus said, "When Jesus saw the multitudes he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
Application: Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field." (Matt. 9:36-38) How can we more effectively engage in facilitating the sending forth of workers into the vast harvest fields today?
Yet, the average America spends more money on dog food than on missions.
98.3% of the money given in churches last year in America stayed right within their own communities and borders.
Only 1.7% of all Christians giving last year went for the support of overseas missions. That despite the fact that we know we are to be obedient to what Jesus said, "You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth."
Let us look at several guidelines in helping us maximize our eternal investment as Jesus said, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. For where your treasure is there will your heart be also." (Matt 6:19-21)
1. Ask the Lord for wisdom in knowing the best ways you can serve as a sender in the following areas:
A. Providing prayer support for missionaries. Every great commission oriented Christian should own and use an Operation World, by Patrick Johnstone, a guide for praying for every country on the planet. Can I see a show of hands of those who have access to a copy of Operation World? How many of you are using it to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send forth workers into His harvest fields?
It gives specific prayer points to help us pray intelligently toward the completion of the great commission for all 18,800 people groups in the world.
Illustration: I first gained a real burden for missions as I prayed for countries in Africa back in 1975 with a friend from the Navigators. We would pray over maps, prayer letters and any scrap of information about where the Lord might want to use us as worker for His harvest fields. Subsequently, the Lord gave me a vision for helping to reach Nigeria for Jesus Christ and I ended up spending nineteen years there teaching in a seminary where the Lord allowed me to have the privilege of participating in the training of more than 2000 Pastors, theological teachers and missionaries. During that time our film and music teams led more than 300,000 people to Christ and Lord provided the funds to start more than 100 satellite film evangelism and church planting centers throughout Nigeria. God used some great men and women from our seminary to help start hundreds of churches. Today, Jesus is still looking for people who are willing to give what it takes to follow Him so He can make you a fisher of men. (Matt 4:19)