Preparing for Worship // February 26, 2017

Preparing for Worship // February 26, 2017

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In a Missions class I took last fall, one of my assignments was to read a biography and write a paper on the life of a missionary. I chose as my missionary C.T. Studd. If there was ever a man on fire for the mission field, it was Studd. He spent the entirety of his life after college doing mission work, including the last fifteen years of his life, during which time he saw his wife only once. The sacrifices that he (and his wife even more so) made for the cause of spreading the gospel are astounding. He spent time in China, India, and then Africa for the largest portion of his life. He spread his influence for the Kingdom even further by starting the Heart of Africa Mission, a missions organization that would touch lives and places that he himself could not reach. Studd is a wonderful testimony to the incredible things that the Holy Spirit can do through believers.

While Studd’s story brings us encouragement that the gospel is advancing and should motivate us to this great work, I am often more discouraged than encouraged by such stories. It can feel as if you have to be some sort of evangelistic super-Christian to do mission work. But this is far from true. On the one hand, it is generally those who most understand their own weakness and sin who do the most for the kingdom of God. Look at Paul. He tells the church at Corinth that he came to them “in weakness and in fear and much trembling,” (1 Corinthians 2:3) and elsewhere he refers to himself as the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), but no one did more to expand the kingdom than Paul. On the other hand, the Spirit may not have given you the evangelistic gift, but this does not mean that you can’t participate in missions. While not all believers are called to be full-time missionaries, all church are called to send out missionaries, and all believers are called to support the work of missions. This can take a lot of forms: short-term missions, financial support, prayer support (every single believer is called to pray for missionaries; no matter your giftedness, your finances, etc. you are called to pray for missionaries), or going to the field for an extended time.

Through Christ’s blood, we who were once cut off from God now have access to God by His grace. We have the best news in the world, and we are called to share this news with others. I’ll close with these words of Paul to the church at Ephesus, “This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.” (Ephesians 3:6-12)

THE WORD

Scripture: Matthew 5:13-48
Sermon: Kingdom Missions: Greet, Pray, Love

SONGS

O Love Incomprehensible (Indelible Grace)
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Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder (Indelible Grace)
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Jesus Calls Us  (Shane Martin)
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By Our Love (Christy Nockels)
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Song of Preparation: Justice Will Roll Down  (Sandra McCracken)
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Song of Response: Take My Life (Chris Tomlin)
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