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Summary: God calls us to be missionaries because he is the missionary God

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Advent 3 2009: The Incarnation December 13, 2009

Our Missionary God

John 3:16

Show Bono Divine Son clip

The Missionary Call:

Matthew 28:18-20 "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Many people have taken up the call to become missionaries cross-culturally – they have given up the comforts of western living, the familiarity of living in your own culture to make disciples of other nations – family of Koreans that Pam tutors. – Fred in Nairobi. Kathy in Zimbabwe, Steve @ Sanctuary

God is not calling us to do anything that he has not already done, and more.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God sends his Son to be born homeless to a young woman who would be rejected in here hometown for being pregnant before marriage, to a man who couldn’t afford to bribe his way into an inn for his wife to give birth, into a country ruled by a despot who tries to kill him even before he is weaned. Through out his ministry, he is dogged by the religious leaders who would like to see him dead. He says of himself, “Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." - Matthew 8:20 After 3 years of public ministry, the people he came to love killed him by torturing him to death.

Why?

The Problem: - most of the world did not know God. The God who is a relationship himself (Pinock: “Relationality) – three in one – created us in his own image to expand the relationship. But we divorced him – we went out for cigarettes and never came back.

– Even Israel, his own people, did not know him – they thought he was all about following the rules. Israel was like the couple who divorces but no one leaves – they were living with God without knowing him, without knowing what he was like or what he really wanted. – it was a loveless relationship.

So God came down.

God entered into our world not with the crushing impact of unbearable glory, but in the way of weakness, vulnerability and need. On a wintry night in an obscure cave, the infant Jesus was a humble, naked, helpless God who allowed us to get close to him. - Brennan Manning, Shipwrecked at the Stable

Bono – “God so loved the world, that he came down to explain himself to the world.”

God’s solution to the problem was to send himself.

Why Missions now in 2009?

Missions is changing – in many of the places that we send people, the church is growing faster that we could ever imagine! Nigeria is fast becoming the largest missionary sending nation in the world! – but we still send missionaries to Nigeria! Why would the West, where church and faith appears to be shrinking, send missionaries to the south where the church is exploding? – Missions has changed to the extent where we are going to support the Church rather than going to reach unreached people.

The question in many people’s mind.

Why send someone who has to learn the language, the culture, get dysentery and what ever other diseases that we don’t have in the west, who costs more that 5 nationals to do the same job?

Short-term mission trip – why send 15-20 youth to the Dominican Republic to help build houses when we could send the money and get so much more accomplished?

We go, we send long-term missionaries, we go and send short term teams because this is what God did as a solution to the problem.

John 20:21

21 Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."

How did the father send Jesus?

Thou didst leave thy throne

And thy kingly crown

When thou camest to earth for me,

But in Bethlehem’s home

Was there found no room

For Thy holy nativity:

Sends himself as a helpless baby born into “Straw-poverty”

Jesus sends out his disciples in the same way in Luke 10:1-4

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

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