“Missions: Do you have the heart for it?”
There are many great questions found in the Bible. Two striking questions are discovered in Luke chapter 10. First, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Of course, there is nothing we “do” to inherit eternal life, Christ did it all! We are saved by placing our faith in Christ alone! Salvation is by grace! The second question is, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered this question by telling us the story about a Good Samaritan. The story illustrates God’s heart for missions. A heart for missions fulfills the second greatest commandment in Scripture; loving our neighbor. Jesus is the Good Samaritan and He has commissioned us to follow His example and minister the Gospel of grace to a world that is lost and broken and dying! Missions is going to people we don’t know, in places which we are unfamiliar, and telling them all we know about Jesus! In order to accomplish this there are three things we must do.
1. Get your heart right!
“And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,” (Luke 10:31-33)
We must love people the way God loves them. The Samaritan saw the man injured on the road and he had compassion on him. The Priest didn’t care. The Levite didn’t care. It was the Samaritan who cared. The question for each of us is do we care? Do we love people? Jesus loves people and He cares that we are lost, dying and headed for Hell. Jesus demonstrated His love by dying for us.
David Jeremiah told the story about a man in Woodland, California, lost his wallet and decided it had been thrown in the trash. He climbed into a large garbage dumpster, but the sanitation truck came by while he searched through the debris. Hoisting up the dumpster, the truck poured the trash, including the man, into its giant interior and continued toward the landfill. It took a terrifying hour for the man to climb up through the debris and signal the sanitation engineers. He barely escaped being compacted.
You and I were in the garbage dump of sin and Jesus rescued us. No wonder the songwriter said, “When He reached, He reached way down for me.” People without Jesus are in a garbage dump. God is sending you and me to show them the way out!
2. Get your hands dirty!
“And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.” (Luke 10:34)
Missions is messy. We must be willing to serve people and minister to their brokenness. Someone wisely said, “Love people use things, not love things use people.” God has equipped us to minister to wounded people. Every person is broken, even those who don’t know it.
David Brainerd, missionary to Native Americans, was a frail young man, sickly and easily depressed. His work in 1743 and 1744 saw little success. On January 3, 1745, Brainerd set aside the entire day for fasting and prayer, pleading for an outpouring of spiritual power. He claimed our Lord’s promise in John 7, that those who believe in Him will experience rivers of living water flowing from within them. Brainerd began preaching from John 7, and the unfolding year proved very fruitful. Though he passed away at the age of 29, “his story moved his generation—Henry Martyn, William Carey, Adoniram Judson—toward missions. His diary became one of the most powerful Christian books in early American history.” (Source: Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah)
3. Get your money out!
“And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.” (Luke 10:35)
Ministry that costs nothing is worth nothing! When you give there are three things that will happen. First, God will be pleased. No one is more generous than God and when you give it blesses the heart of God! Second, the recipient of your giving will be blessed. Your gift to missions will provide for a missionary to tell someone about Jesus. This will be a blessing to the missionary and to the person who hears the missionary’s message. Third, you will be blessed. It is more of a blessing to give than to be given to. Also, you cannot out give God!
Will you be a Good Samaritan to someone this Christmas? If Jesus lives in you then you have all you need to become a Good Samaritan.