“….He who believe in Me, the works that I do he will do also;”(John 14.12).
The testimony of one of our missionaries the other day, possibly intended to highlight the need for everyone in Church to find his or her place of service in the kingdom business, has thrown open the all-inclusive nature of the kingdom enterprise. This is important, especially now that other non-Christian faiths are adopting more aggressive approach with the intention to take over Christian spaces. My understanding of the Scripture is that every believer is a missionary of a sought. The reasons are obvious. For instance, there is always a mission field around you. The field could be an individual, a people group, and others, that will create an opportunity for you to represent Christ. Jesus commands all Christians to share the gospel- the message of His death and resurrection that conquered the penalty and the power of sin.
A Christian with a missionary mind set is one who appropriates the mandate of the Lord to make disciples as a commission. We are to make disciples who will be Christian enough to love Him more dearly and follow Him more closely. That explains why someone would leave the comfort of a familiar environment to an unfamiliar culture, to live with a people who are not like you, daily struggling to use their local languages to communicate. Aligning with Christ mandate makes missionaries to dwell with people with varied value systems and believes. They labour, with great determination to turn their host communities from following dead gods and worship the living God. Their effort means a lot and everything to the people in their host communities because they strive to persuade the people to think differently, to embrace a life of faith in the grace of God. They are “Representatives of Christ,” not only pointing those kids and others to God, but also making their lives meaningful. They have become an answer to the prayers of many, academically, economically, socially as well as spiritually. “….as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things”(2Cor. 6.10).
Jesus Christ left the comfort of heavenly throne, and came down to the earth to suffer all manner of humiliations, rejections, without any estate, no bank account to His credit, no property to His name. God the Father sent Jesus Christ on a mission, to love, to call, and to save sinners. In fact He gave up all to the extent that, the only cloth He wore was taken, all for the sake of finding sinners like you and me. He found three particular group of people; the unlikely (Mark 2.13-14), the undesirable (Mark 2.15), the spiritually unhealthy (Mark 2.16-17).
He gave us the command to be His witnesses (representatives) everywhere, beginning from your own Jerusalem and beyond. If truly we want to be representatives of Christ, then it is time for us to climb the mountains to find one. To find the one who is lonely and feel out of place. To find the one who is giving up on the Church because the Church is giving up on him or her. To find the one who needs to know that she is loved no matter what she believes or how she lives her life.
Like Christ, our missionary identified with the unlikely, the undesirable and the spiritually unhealthy. With whom are identified? We can give ourselves fully to loving the way Christ did to populate the Kingdom.