Missions is the only one way that a healthy church can truly have a part in carrying out the Great Commission.
Why do some people get involved with Mission’s program?
· Some get involved because of emotional appeals of missionaries.
· Some get involved because Missions is part of its church’s yearly budget.
· Some get involved because of pride. If you give to be honored by men for your great generosity, you are giving for the wrong reason.
· Some give because they feel guilty for having too much. We should have the right motivation for giving. We should never give out of guilt.
Although God has blessed us with so much for a reason, the Bible tells us in Luke 12:48 “To whom much is given, much is required” It’s true, we have been given so much – freedom to study the Word of God…we have health and enjoy a level of prosperity not seen in other parts of the world. Yet our motivation for giving should be to be a good steward of all that God has given us.
1. First reason…it’s a command. The best reason to get involved is because it’s biblical. Jesus gave the church a very clear command—evangelize the world. But each church cannot do this alone. Jesus gave the church a clear command—evangelize the world. We can’t do this alone. Not one of us can go it alone and spread the Word, but we can be obedient and support missions in some capacity. He called us to participate in making disciples of all nations, baptizing them, and teaching them to keep His commandments (Matthew 28: 18-20)
What are some of the ways we can be involved with missions?
· Encourage those who are studying and preparing to be pastors or missionaries.
· Pray for missionaries and mission fields.
· Give your faith promise offering faithfully every week.
· Create awareness in your church about your missionaries by keeping in contact with them and reporting to other members.
2. It a Biblical plan. II Corinthians 8 and 9 are about one subject—an offering. This offering was not to be used for the local church at Corinth, but it was to be used for causes outside the church. What do we think of when we think of our church supporting causes outside our church…missions, of course? It is an offering that is given through the church but not for the church. God established a perfect plan for supporting missions with the offerings of the members. Paul points out that everyone should give: “Every man as he purposeth in his heart so let him give” (2 Corinthians 9:7). He makes it clear that this is an offering by grace (2 Corinthians 8:7). It is not something we have to do but something we get to do. He tells the believers that it is good for the giver: “This is expedient for you” (2 Corinthians 8:10). God’s provisions are promised to those who give. “He which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6). “God is able to make all grace abound toward you” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
3. It is a way we can show mercy to others. Since God has shown us mercy, we should be willing to extend that mercy to others.
Romans 10:14-15 “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? We must be involved in this effort.
4. There are so few missionaries today. Since there are so few who are willing to go to be missionaries, we should support those who are willing to go. Jesus said, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matt 9:37-38) We are ALL called to play a part in the process of planting, watering, and reaping the harvest. 1 Corinthians 3:9 … “we are the laborers together with God.” We might not be the reapers, but we can play a big part in planting and watering.
5. Your missionaries depend on you. The Scripture tells us to pray and provide support to those who give themselves in taking the gospel to various parts of the earth. Paul asked the church to pray “that the Word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified…and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. Paul thanked the Philippian church for their contribution to his care in Philippians 4:10-18.
Missionaries depend on your prayer, your encouragement, and your financial support to meet their spiritual, emotional, and physical needs. Through your prayer, encouragement, and support they can give themselves fully to the work of spreading the gospel.
6. It increases our faith. The greatest benefit of faith missions giving is that it teaches us to trust the Lord. Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.” It works in any geographical location, and it works in any economical situation. God’s Word says, “Give and it shall be given unto you” (Luke 6:38). I remember taking my first faith missions’ card at that conference in 1967 and committed to give $5 per week to missions. Since that time, my husband and I have made forty-nine faith missions’ commitments have increased our giving every year. It’s very easy to let ourselves be burdened with the cares of this world and worry about money. If you want your faith to grow, God will provide money for you to give if you will trust Him for it. If you are willing to be a channel for God’s resources, He will give you money to give. But if you bottle it up and keep it for your own comforts, the flow will dry up. Ask God to give you money to give. Then make sure you give it!
C.T. STUD was a champion cricket player of England in 1880s. He inherited 29,000 pounds from his father. That amount added up to $150,000.00. Because he was afraid it would clutter up his life, he started sending letters with 5000 lbs each to Hudson Taylor, Gen. Booth of the Salvation Army. D. L. Moody, and others. D. L Moody used the money he received to start Moody Bible Institute. Studd gave it all away except 3,400 lbs. which he gave to his wife to run the house.
Many people have anxiety and stress because they have made unwise investments. But when we desire to seek God’s Kingdom first (Matthew 6:33) we are storing up treasures in heaven that will never fade or fail (Matthew 6:20)
7. Time is now. God has answered the prayers of our fathers to remove the barriers and open the doors. God is marching through every land and opening the way for the entrance of the Gospel. In 2015, a missionary team spent eight days in the Middle East. One team member said, “We were going house to house among the refugees…they were all Muslims, but they all said they were disillusioned with Islam and didn’t know what they believed anymore.” They then asked, “What is the truth?” This gave those missionaries a perfect opportunity to share the Gospel with them.
One of the members of the missionary team said, “Going to the Middle East we had to confront our fears. We realized that intimidation and fear was Satan’s smokescreen. On the other side of our fears, was our greatest breakthrough of joy and laying down our lives and seeing Jesus move like we never imagined.”
When this team visited another Syrian refugee family, the missionary said, “I felt God’s presence breakthrough in a powerful way. The joy that broke out among these people was incredible. Jesus’ presence was stronger than I have ever felt, in that little dirty room, with cat urine everywhere.”
They also attended a prayer meeting with 25 people and said, “Jesus’ presence was stronger than any conference, any prayer room, any camp-high moment. Jesus was there in the middle of the desert, in the dirt, with Muslims. Our Lord is attracted to the broken hearted, the contrite, the desperate. The King of Heaven was right there with those refugees who were poor in spirit.”
8. There is a great reward waiting for us when we invest in eternal things. A temporal inheritance can be squandered, but an eternal inheritance is a reward that never goes away. Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. God is not unjust, and He will not overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints.
9. It proves the command that we love our neighbor as ourselves. The Lord commands us to not only love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, but also to love our neighbor as ourselves. He tells us that the entire law sits on these two things.
Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
10. It shows God how much we want to worship and honor Him. When we give God the honor, dignity, praise and worship He deserves, it shows Him how much we truly want to bring Him glory. Our sacrificial giving pleases God. King David knew the connection between giving and worship. He said, “I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing” (2 Sam. 24:24).
Personal experience of a pastor who was visiting a national pastor in the Middle East:
The serenity of the pastor walking beside us seemed to calm the hustle and the bustle of the small village. He suddenly came to a stop, carefully looked around and then said, “Some time ago, exactly on the spot where you are standing now, a Christian brother was slaughtered to death because of his faith. He was abducted and brought here to be executed. Life in a mid-east village like this is not easy if you confess Jesus to be the Son of God. It could cost you your life.”
I looked at this servant of Christ and asked him the obvious question “Why do you choose to live here? Why do you choose to follow Christ under such severe circumstances?”
Without hesitation he looked at me and his reply became a challenge and guideline for my walk with the Lord, even if it is in the safety of my home. He replied, “I refuse to live an ordinary life in Christ.”
As Christians we are called to refuse an ordinary life in Christ. We are commanded to reject worldly standards, to reject mediocrity, to reject compromise and to value people more than possessions, even more than our own lives.
If we are going to live an extraordinary life, we must adopt a lifestyle that puts people ahead of our possessions.
People today think they are in poverty because they don’t have certain things, yet in the US statistics say that 47 billion people in poverty yet 83% have air conditioning, 75% have cars, 75% have cable TV, 80% have cell phones, 66% have DVD players, 96% have televisions, 97% have refrigerators, 96% have stoves, and 93% have microwaves,
We should want to give enough that it pinches our lifestyle. If it’s convenient, it’s not worship. Worship is costly.
Half of the world’s richest people live in the United States. If you make at much as $34,000 a year, you’re considered the Global Elite. Three billion people live on $2.50 a day. Households that make as much as $2,000 a month are in the top 14% wage earners on a global scale. If you live in a household that makes as much a $3,000 a month, you’re in the top 10% earners globally, if you make as much as $4,000 a month, you’re in the top 4% globally.
Definition of sacrifice: An act of giving up something of value for the sake of something else regarded as more worthy.
There are many ways that we can learn to live below our means:
• Do without
• Be satisfied with older technology.
• Buy used items instead of new.
• Take advantages of sales, coupons, rebates.
• Repairing items instead of buying new
• Buying smaller homes instead of bigger
• Selling items, you don’t need.
Poem: If You Were Lost in Darkness?
If you were lost in darkness with no one to show you the way…
Would you want someone to bring you a light?
If no one had told you of Jesus at all—His love—His compassion—His death
Oh, wouldn’t you want the message to come…Before you’ve drawn your last breath?
If sinking in evil traditions, you were bound by what you believed—helpless and hopeless
Oh, wouldn’t you want a chance at least to be freed?
Would you want them to wait while they built a new home…and paid for a “still better” car, or
while making home base an elegant place—before sending the message afar?
Would you want them to table the plans that were made to expand missions this year—because of conditions around the world, and the days of uncertainty here…
Would you want them to wait with the message of hope…while you are dying and lost?
Oh, I know that your answer would ring through the gloom…Please send it at any cost!
So let’s send it out to the missions in need…the light that will show them the way.
Oh, if it were you in darkness and night…you’d want it—you’d want it today!