Missions is a Movement
As I type this, I am on the first leg of a long flight home from Jamaica and am sitting here reflecting on the ministry done this week.
As I reflect, I cannot help but think about the Apostle Paul and his missionary journeys. Paul is a pretty important guy. Before he met Jesus, he would oppress and persecute Christians to stop Christianity’s movement. One day while he is on his way to persecute a group of Christians, he meets Jesus face to face. Long story short, Paul declares Jesus is Lord, and he sets his eyes on fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). And in Acts 17:16-34, we find Paul in the City of Athens waiting on Silas and Timothy to join him, but while waiting, Paul takes notice of something that doesn’t sit right with him. Acts 17:16 says this,
” While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city.” Acts 17:16 (NLT)
Paul was troubled that the people of Athens were worshipping these idols that provided nothing but false hopes and disappointment, ultimately robbing them of a relationship with God. This moved him to do something. Paul took a moment of waiting and turned it into a moment of movement. A moment of proclaiming the Gospel truths that bring abundant life (John 10:10). When you read further, you find that Paul begins to have spiritual conversations with the people of Athens. And here is what he has to say to them…
“His (God) purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. Acts 17:27–28 (NLT)
Do you want to take a wild guess at what the result was?
When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.” That ended Paul’s discussion with them, but some joined him and became believers. Acts 17:32–34 (NLT)
Something unique happens when we jump into the movement of the Father; He moves with us—guiding each step and each word. Paul starts a spiritual conversation with people he had never met, people who didn’t even know who God was, and becomes believers…brothers and sisters in Christ…family.
This is what missions is all about…movement of the Gospel. Jesus said in Matthew 28:19, “Go and make disciples…” Missions doesn’t have to take place in a foreign country. Missions can take place in a Together Kids class on Sunday morning. Missions can happen on Tuesday nights with our Together Youth. Missions can happen in the middle of a Chick-Fil-A. As followers of Jesus, we are a people on mission with Jesus. We are not called to be stagnant but to move with the Gospel. The Gospel in itself is not stagnant; it is always on the move. The question is, are we? What are you waiting for? Jump into the movement of the Father!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
“The Gospel is always an interruption. It interrupts our lives, our sinful habits, our selfishness and rebellion, redirecting our attention away from ourselves to God and his work and Word.”- Jared Wilson