Summary: From the beginning God was a missionary God. Creating and man and coming down to walk with Adam and Eve in the Garden. In this message there is God's intiative in missions, God invitation in missions. Finally there is a prayer included to ask God to gi

Intro: What is the one thing missing in most churches today? Is it lively soul moving worship music? Is it powerful spirit filled and led preaching? Is it wise council and wonderful leadership? Is it conferences and confession?

Can I make a suggestion to you today? It is the Missionary heart of God that is missing. It is the wild abandonment to the kingdom rule of Christ that is missing. The first sermon I ever preached in this building was hearing the heartbeat of God.

A wise missionary once said, your ability to hear the missionary call of God depends on what your listening for.

Have you ever heard it? It resounds with power and authority and shakes your to your core but at the same time it reverberates with comfort and grace and causes you to want to hear more. It is the voice of God. Man lost, unregenerate man not only cannot hear the missionary call of God but will not. The most important thing we are missing in churches all across America and all across the globe is people willing to listen to the strong, soft, sweet voice of God.

The success of a church is not measured by its seating capacity but instead by its sending capacity!!

(Mike Stachura)

Jerry Rankin and Eric Bridges wrote Lives given not taken in the 21st Century

Karen Watson was a missionary to Iraq and was killed by unknown assailants march 15, 2004.

Dear Pastor Phil and Pastor Roger,

You should only be opening this in the event of death.

When God calls there are no regrets. I tried to share my heart with you as much as possible, my heart for the nations. I wasn't called to a place; I was called to Him. To obey was my objective, to suffer was expected, His glory my reward, His glory my reward . . .

The missionary heart:

• Cares more than some think is wise

• Risks more that some think is safe

• Dreams more than some think is practical

• Expects more than some think is possible.

I was called not to comfort or to success but to obedience. . . .

There is no Joy outside of knowing Jesus and serving Him. I love you two and my church family.

In His care,

Salaam, Karen

I. God’s initiative in mission activity

God the living God of creation has always been the one to take the initiative. In the garden Adam and Eve hid from God as he walked in the Garden. He took the initiative to call out to them. Yahweh said, “Where are you.” Satan’s plan was to destroy God’s image in us at the fall. However Satan’s ignorance played into God’s initiative. What Satan meant to show God as jealous, angry, and vengeful did just the opposite.

It served to reveal His saving nature and compassionate grace to all who would respond to His call. It also served to reveal His all consuming wrath against sin. This should dispel any notion you have that you work to God. There is nothing you can do that to make you righteous or acceptable to God. God takes the initiative to call and draw you to the place of recognition of your need of salvation.

If you study through the Bible you find that this initiative is two-fold. First there is mission. This is God’s ongoing activity to call people back into relationship with Him. It is not something that was dreamed up by modern man. The passion for missions is rooted in God’s very character.

Genesis 12.1-3 reveals this character of God. (Read Genesis 12) All peoples will be blessed through you. What God has done is made a promise. Why is this important? If he commanded us then it will be based on our obedience. He promised Abraham so it is based on God’s character of faithfulness. Mission happens because it is part of God’s character to seek and save that which was lost.

Second there is ministry. Ministry which can be translated service is for the body of Christ. 11 He also gave apostles, prophets, missionaries, as well as pastors and teachers as gifts [to his church]. 12Their purpose is to prepare God's people to serve and to build up the body of Christ.

Ministry or service of the leaders of the church is to prepare you for a missionary lifestyle. Why because someone thought it would be cool to go to Uruguay, Surianme, Africa, etc.. No because if we are a Holy Spirit filled, led, and empowered church the character of God will come out in His body the Church.

James S Stewart, “The concern for world evangelization is not something tacked on to a man's personal Christianity, which he may take or leave as he chooses. It is rooted in the character of the God who has come to us in Christ Jesus. Thus, it can never be the province of a few enthusiasts, a sideline or a specialty of those who happen to have a bent that way. It is the distinctive mark of being a Christian.”

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