Summary: You may have felt you have served God long and faithfully in many areas of church life so why should I consider missions now? Why should I open my heart to people who may have their hearts closed to Gods message?
Why Missions Work is Fishy
Right here at New St. Andrews our WMS reaches men and women, boys and girls in Canada, India, Malawi, Guatemala, Mozambique and Nicaragua as well as Eastern Europe and even Israel and Palestine.
We often take for granted that such far reaching work is being accomplished right here from our little corner of the world but it is true.
Thanks to the faithful efforts of these women and those of you who support them thousands and tens of thousands are being reached with the love of God in ways that change their everyday lives.
I was searching for a way to applaud the work of our Womens Missionary Society and the story of Jonah came to mind.
I chose my title for the message carefully and thought that it was something everyone could relate to.
Have you ever cleaned a fish?
Have you done it on a hot summer day?
You probably noticed that there were few volunteers to offer to help you. That is because the task of cleaning fish is a pretty nasty job.
We see from today’s scripture passage that God reminds Jonah of just how nasty missions work is by having him swallowed by a great fish.
A call to missions work is no different than a call to full time ministry or a call to be an Elder or sit on the Board of Managers or a call to be a Sunday school teacher. Each call is from God. Each call is a call to carry that small part of the cross that moves the church of Christ forward.
It involves a heart that is tender to the need. In this case it is the basic needs of Gods people from all around the world. Things like fresh clean water, food, clothing, education, jobs training and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
If these are things that are on your heart than I invite you to talk to one of the women of our WMS and ask how you can answer the call that God is placing on your heart.
My song this morning was almost a reflection of what Jonah was thinking when he tried to avoid responding to Gods call. Please Don’t Send Me To Africa
Jonah tried his best to go in the opposite direction but God got hold of him in a physical way that changed his travel plans.
You might share some of the sentiment that was in that little song. You may have felt you have served God long and faithfully in many areas of church life so why should I consider missions now? Why should I open my heart to people who may have their hearts closed to Gods message?
You should only consider it if indeed God is calling you. You would not want to offer your time and effort out of a sense of duty or obligation you should offer it out of love.
The work will be a joy if you are truly answering Gods call.
I can tell you from experience that no small effort goes unnoticed in the lives of the people that you reach through the Womens Missionary Society.
I have seen first hand in Zambia how adults and children have been affected. They go from a place of desperation to a place of inspiration as they regain hope and dignity in their lives and discover Gods love is real.
You give them that hope when you share from your time and effort and from your financial resources.
For some of us it is easier to sign a check or attend a fund raising dinner that may be all God is asking you to do. But for others the Mission Field is the place they need to be demonstrating Gods love to the lost and needy of our world. Our Heavenly Father knows your heart and sees how you give.
We are encouraged to be cheerful givers and how much more so when we know that the gift is a gift of love and extension of Christ’s love to those who are desperate for it.
I have seen the joy and pride in a child who has mastered reading a childrens storybook in English as well as math skills etc. I was not the one who sent the book but I was blessed to be present to see its effect.
It was only possible because someone chose to help instead of trying to go the other way.
I have also seen and heard the joy through song as children praised God for the love and blessings they received through you as the church. How I wish you could all be present when the children open their hearts and voices this way. It is a piece of heaven.