I just returned from a missions trip to the Philippines (this was my second trip there with the same organization). My only missions experience as been with Global Surge so I really only have other people’s stories to compare to. But their stories have confirmed my suspicions. They truly focus on what matters most.
There is nothing wrong with missions trips that focus on doing good works. In fact we are called to do such things. We are to care for the afflicted, the poor, the widowed and the orphans. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves, second only to loving God with everything we have. But beyond the good works and acts of service that most perform on missions trips, there is something that matters more… spreading the gospel.
I’m not just talking about living out the gospel by demonstrating His love. I’m referring to having real conversations about who Jesus is and why He is the only way. This is what Global Surge includes in every part of their missions. Yes, we met needs by hosting multiple dental clinics in towns all over. Yes, we taught police tactics to their cops, coaching strategies to sports and martial arts coaches, yes we fed the poor and provided supplied and labor for construction. We did all these good works. But in every situation, the focus was less on the works and more on the salvation.
When Jesus had sent his first “missionaries” out (the 72), He gave them instructions on what to do and how to perform. He gave them power and authority to perform miracles and cast out demons. These works were exciting and these 72 were almost bragging about their success. But Jesus reminds them of what really matters the most. “Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)
Throughout His life, Jesus told us to plant seeds. He told us some would receive it and other would not. His final words before His ascension into Heaven was to instruct us to make disciples.
It’s true we have responsibilities, obligations and challenges to face in this life. I’m not suggesting these things be neglected or forgotten. But I am suggested that they all be put into perspective. Rejoice in the gifts He gives us. Mourn the losses we face. Struggle and learn through the challenges. But along the way, remember that none of it will matter in eternity. The only thing that will matter is that our names are written in the book of life.
It’s a cycle. Once we know Him personally, our names are written. But rather than stay as infants, we seek to grow in that relationship with him. Then part of that growth is the efforts to go out and make more disciples (who repeat the same cycle again).
Above all else, I pray that you know Him. Not know about Him since even Satan has that knowledge. But know Him personally and call Him your Lord and Savior. For then your name is also written in the Book of Life. Then secondly that you go and make disciples. That you live out a life worth of the gospel but that you also have those conversations with people about their faith and why believing and confessing in Jesus is all that matters.
I pray that you appreciate my blogs. They are my way of journaling as I read His word. If you do like them, please be sure to click the Follow Hisfamily Ministries button in the top right corner AND to spread the word. Share these posts with others and perhaps they will be blessed too.