God is a Missionary-Missio Dei


The day I became a Christian my life radically changed forever.   The mission of God, became real and personal.  I began to realize that His mission was to save me, redeem me, to forgive me, and give me purpose.  I had the gnawing in my heart and soul to help others realize what Jesus can do for them.  That they would also know Christ.  I became a Christian, but I also became a man with a mission. It wasn’t my mission it was His.   The same mission that burned in me in High School, burns in my now. To help people find Christ.

The mission of our missionary God was to redeem the world from sin, and as God sent Jesus, and the Spirit, he sends His church, his people.

As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:18, NIV84)

To miss this part of our faith is to really miss it.  Christianity is not just a doctrine, it is a movement.  We are being sent by God, our missionary God, to help the world see the mission of Jesus, to redeem them. If y,ou are serving God for the next cool sermon or worship experience only, I challenge you to have the courage to investigate your responsibility to others beyond yourself.

When we buy into this idea that we are to be happy, and that is our mission in life, we actually lose happiness and joy.  Joy comes through mission.   When we elevate ourselves to make ourselves significant, we actually become insignificant, self-absorbed, and lose joy, because we have no purpose, no mission. us’ mission filled him with joy.  Fulfilling mission is fulfilling joy.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2, NIV84)

Lack of Joy is lack of mission. There is a connection and bond between purpose/mission and joy.   When we live out our future in terms of mission we live with joy.  No matter what we do for money, we are people that need to live on mission.

If we believe there is no higher cause than our own happiness, and our fulfillment personally is the most important goal in life, we will lose joy and live in quite a lot of disappointment.  We will begin to believe God and others also exist for our happiness, and when that is not accomplished we question God, friends, families, and marrriages.

When you quit loving Jesus and lose your mission you will lose joy. Joy and mission are connected.  Living the mission and purposes of Christ is the greatest joy.

When we say “my needs first” then we may perceive that we  gain freedom.  We really  lose true joy. Then one has nothing to live for or die for except themselves, and they’ll do it alone.

Jesus is sending his church. His people are a people with a mission, a purpose, and it’s not our own happiness.  To show the world Jesus, His love, His mercy, and goodness is our mission.  To testify of His reality and Truthfulness so others will also be redeemed and put their faith in Him, through Christ is the mission.

Everything the church deos, plans, funds, must have this as the litmus test of our time, energy, talents, and finances.  No matter what you do for money, your job is a mission for you are a missionary serving a sending God. He has sent you into that classroom, that factory, that cubicle.  He is working with you behind that counter and/or the steering wheel of your car.

Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20.21

My greatly missed brother Steve used to say “Be about the Father’s business.”  He was reminding me to live on mission, to serve my missionary God.  I  intend fully to live my life like this.  I pray I never stop.  May we all live on mission.

 

Pastor Nate Elarton

 

My 7 Mission Convictions


Here are the 7 convictions I shared this weekend for Compelled Church.

Conviction #1  God’s goal for mankind is a missionary goal as God is a Missionary God.

Conviction #2 All People Matter to God

Conviction #3 God has called the church to sacrifice to take the Gospel to the World.

Conviction #4 We want the name of the Lord to be known and praised by all People, languages, skin color, and nations.

Conviction #5 God blesses the church that blesses the lost.

Conviction #6 We all are called, but we all can’t go to foreign nations, so we are responsible to send.

Conviction #7 God has called, will call, and is calling our people to world missions.

A big lesson from Welch. Are we blessed because we have more? I say “no”.


As we have participated in another outreach in Welch, W. VA. I have learned a few things.  I walked around yesterday as about 1000 people packed the Welch Armory. People in great need in many ways. In McDowell County, W. VA  the unemployment and poverty is very high.  The suicide rate is higher, and like with any place, drugs are prevalent.

So some of you might hate this post. But please read it closely.

When we see poverty and need, we always say something similar. I have said it and hear others say it.  We say “we are so blessed.”  This is referencing that we are not as poor as those we are seeing. We are doing better. We have money and stuff. We are blessed.  God loves us more? God is really caring for us?  I don’t think so.  A year ago this saying was starting to grate in my spirit.  Are you we really blessed because we have stuff?  So when we say that we are implying, those that don’t have what we have are not blessed?  Maybe they are cursed? Is God’s blessing only manifested in financial and material gain? Maybe the blessing of God has nothing to do with money and stuff. Maybe our definition of blessed is very wrong.

Maybe we are not blessed because of our stuff.  Maybe we are blessed (which means happy) because we know Jesus.  We are forgiven, saved, and delivered.  Are we not all blessed because we are never going to die in Christ. We live eternal?  Regardless of our bank account, if you know Jesus, no matter if you live in Haiti, Temperance, Welch, War, or Toledo, you are blessed.

Jesus cautions us about what we call a blessing. He says you can’t serve God and money (Matthew 6.24).  Paul tells  us that the Love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6.10).  He also says in the last days when people start forsaking God, they will become lovers of money (2 Timothy 3.2). Our Lord says it is  easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God (Matthew 19.3,4).  So it seems, God is saying opposite of what we may believe and what the deceived prosperity gospel proclaims.  True blessing from God is God himself. We are happy because we know Him.  So think about and think about this…

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

Tyndale House Publishers. (2007). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (3rd ed., Mt 6:19–21). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

I Don’t Want to Grieve Jesus


hard heartIn my reading this morning a verse jumped into my heart from Mark 3.5. “After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart...” Jesus then healed the man with the crippled man. He was angry as the religious were waiting to see if he would heal the man on the Sabbath. They wanted to accuse him if he healed. They cared not about the man who needed the healing. They cared more about the law than people.
This verse shows me that Jesus grieves (greek word “syllypeomai”, to be sad and deeply distressed from BDAG). Jesus was deeply hurt and upset that his creation, the religious had hard hearts. This distressed Jesus. This bothered Him. So, does the state of my heart grieve Jesus? I would say, yes it does at times. At times it can be hard, apathetic, un-engaging, distant, and selfish. We must “guard our hearts: (Proverbs 4.23). Read through these revealing questions about the heart, and take some time to pray and ask Christ to keep our hearts, soft, filled with the heart of Jesus, and not hard and distant.

1. Does the things of God move you inside? Bring you to tears from time to time? Motivate you for the Kingdom.
2. Have you argued over doctrine with more allegiance to that, than to your brother or sister who holds a different view?
3. Have you wept for the lost lately, and really cried their names out to God with compassion and conviction for their salvation?
4. Are you irritated when you are asked to sacrifice for the Gospel so lost people will be saved? When you are asked for money? For your time?
5. Does the moving of the Spirit move you?
6. How’s your kindness meter? Speech at home? Are words of comfort, humor, affirmation, and love part of your daily speech?
7. Does the poverty, lack of medical care, food, water, and education of most of the world move you?
8. Do you hurt for/with hurting people, regardless of the color of their skin, what country they are from, what part of the city they live in, what they look like, or what you perceive they are hurting from?

When I am consumed with myself, my schedule, my plans, my wants, my hurt feelings, my bad attitude, my aches and pains, my agenda, then I am pretty much the most uncompassionate and hard-hearted person on the planet. When I focus on Christ, His work, His life, His desire to live in me and through me, His mission, His calling, His love for all, His brokeness over the lost, over suffering and war, over the poverty of the world, then my heart is “strangly warmed” (John Wesley). I must stay connected to the vine, to the Savior, to the life of Christ or my heart will not be soft, and my Lord may be grieved with me. How soft is your heart today?

Oaxaca reflections from Catherine Figueroa, Efrain’s wife.


this was posted by Efrain’s wife, Missionaries to Oaxaca, Mexico. Our Students just returned from a missions trip.  Twenty-two on the team went. 

Status Update
By Catherine R. Figueroa
When the tears fall…

This July, Compelled Church of Michigan sent us some amazing people to come and minister in Oaxaca. They were equipped with the word of God through dramas, and joined us with our dentist, reading glasses, a clown, and evangelist. The road trips the first few days were grueling and rugged. In one unplanned stop, we marched through some rain-soaked ground for a bathroom break “al fresco,” and to find relief from the endless curving roads. In the destinations we visited, life is a lot simpler, and not in the charming Little House on the Prairie way. We encounter deep levels of poverty, spiritual and physical. The dentist is an indispensable facet to bring people relief and care. The clown ministers Jesus through the beauty of her art, and weaving the story of God’s rescue plan in way little children can receive. We were so pleased with the preparation of the dramas, and the skill with which they unfolded Christ’s passion for the people. After each drama, the air was rich with opportunity and the Holy Spirit backed up the evangelism that would follow. Many people responded and prayed for salvation, as new understanding about the nature of their Savior came to light. I was almost unprepared for the unexpected request from two hardened gentlemen to pray for salvation, and explained three times before praying for them exactly what we were praying for. They insisted and said, “We want to pray.” Gender roles crumbled as I led them in the sinner’s prayer, and one man began to cry. Being in this culture, I know the Holy Spirit is breaking the wall down when we see tears. Expressions of emotion are rare, and counter-culture among the indigenous. I prayed with a woman who received Jesus with tears running down her face, and I knew she was receiving her freedom. The dramas were no small part of this. Without words, telling the story of Jesus fighting for us, pursuing us, and finally interceding on our behalf with His strong arm to rescue us. Our dentist, who has a calling to missions in Egypt, was in awe of the fact that God loved her patients enough to send her to relieve them of pre-cancerous cysts in their mouth. Many were relieved and grateful for her ministry of compassion. Together as a team, the gospel was told, and many received their salvation with tears.

Up ↑