Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Missionaries in This World

Last Sunday at AWANA, we asked the children what they know about a missionary.  One of them answered,  "Someone who goes to another country to tell about Jesus."  From a six-year old, that's very good and even cute.  Today, eleven people from our church left to go to a far away land to serve.  We know that God approves of any deed that helps those who are in need.  To celebrate this occasion I was inspired to read the first book of Thessalonians.  With or without a plane tickets, as followers of Christ, we are missionaries  in this world.  We are citizens of a another kingdom (Philippians 3:20).  We all are here temporarily for a purpose.  We are in this world as an agents of change before our Savior comes.  First Thessalonians 1:2-10 reads:

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. --1 Thessalonians 1:2-10
This is a part of Paul's letter to the church in Thessalonica.  Paul describes how the church served as bearer of God's message not only in Macedonia and Achaia but everywhere.  Paul was the missionary who went live with them.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Thessalonians got the message.  The church then had to sow the seed that they received. They lived where they were as missionaries to those who did not know God.  The passages describe the characteristics of the Christians in Thessalonica.

1.  Remembered and prayed before God
      --Your work produced by faith
      --Your labor promted by love
      --Your endurance inspired by hope in the Lord Jesus Christ
2.  Powered by the Holy Spirit
3.  Loved and chosen by God
4.  Imitators of the Lord
5.  Received the message inspite of severe suffering
6.  Model to all believers

"Let our lives ring out the Lord's message right here and then everywhere." 

"They will know we are Christians by our love."  Let our lives reflect the one we serve - the living and true God.

as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

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