Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, December 28, 2014

I have always been intrigued by the 19th century gold rushes of the United States. People would leave everything and move  just for the potential of gold. Many times they would be left without much to show for. Even worse these gold rush towns would be lawless and fertile ground for crime, homelessness and addictions. My guess is that the majority of people who traveled for a gold rush gave up their old lives with the hope of a new life that would be filled with blessing. It hardly ever came to be and they often found themselves in a worse situation than they originally were in. 

In many ways missions is like the gold rushes of the 19th century. There is a promise of a harvest. We are told in this 9th chapter of Matthew that the harvest is plentiful. God is telling his people to go because there is a harvest to be had. This harvest is the people of God and God calling them to himself. However, unlike the gold rushes Jesus tells us that the laborers are few. I can imagine men, women and families dropping everything in a day to follow their dreams of striking gold in the 19th century. We may know many missionary families now, but on the whole it is rare when you meet people who have just decided to do missions. Finally, missions is similar to the gold rush in that there is actually something to be found, but with missions it is life giving and eternally significant. The gold rush at best would produce a lot of worldly wealth and at worst would leave you poorer than when you arrived. Most missionaries I have heard speak never tell of an empty harvest. Sometimes it is easy and plentiful, often it can be hard work and seemingly sparse, but it is always life giving. It is life giving in the sense that souls are being saved and to the individuals who are doing missions it is enriching and fulfilling. 

As we have gone through this missions series have you had the sense that God is calling you to go to the harvest fields? If He is we can often begrudgingly give an ear to the call.  I would encourage you though to be honored that God is calling you to such a great task as missions. God is calling you to something where you will be amazed at how he uses you to save others. You will tell others how there is a great harvest in the world and your life will be filled with joy even though it may be hard. Heed the call and go where God has called you knowing that the Lord is faithful and will equip those he calls. 

THE WORD

Scripture: Matthew 9:35-38
Sermon: Missions: Sent or Sending?

SONGS

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name (arr. Chris Tomlin)
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Go Tell It On the Mountain (Traditional)
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The First Noel  (Traditional)
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You Said
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Song of Preparation: King of Kings  (arr. Ordinary Time)
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Song of Response: Hear the Call of the Kingdom (Getty Music)
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