(Photo by Maylin Rowe)
Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It
By Kyle Jane Heskett
There was a time when I thought I would never go on a mission trip. I was in high school and a believer in Christ, but genuinely believed that missions were God’s will for other people but not myself. I was completely missing the heart of God and His love for His people. The truth is that missions are important because they are important to God.
I think people may disregard missions because they may not understand what they really are. There are several misconceptions people have about missions, but I think one of the key passages in the Bible that leads us in the right direction is Mark 4: the parable of the sower. As Jesus explained, the sower went out to sow seeds; some fell on the wayside, some on the rocky ground, some among the thorns and some on the good soil. This is a metaphor for spreading the gospel and the truth of God’s Word. Depending on the situation, some completely disregard the truth, some accept it but do not hold onto it, and some truly live by it.
The thing I want to focus on is the sower. The sower sows seeds everywhere. Missions is not only about reaching far-away nations. Everywhere we go is our mission field, even our own backyard. We are to be joyful sowers of His Word. This is who God has called us to be and what He delights in. No matter who we are or where we are, we have the same calling. It is not up to the sower to decide who is worthy of hearing the truth or where we should go, it is up to God. The sower is an obedient servant who is willing to give the truth to anyone, even those who don’t accept it. Not only does God want us to point people towards Him because He loves others, it is also because He loves us. He wants us to experience the joy that comes from being part of it all. This could be locally or internationally; either one is just as important to God.
Matthew 28 also shows us God’s heart toward missions. Jesus has risen from the grave and he appears to His disciples to give them a great commission. He tells them:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
-Matthew 28:19-20 (NASB)
Missions is not just about telling other people the good news. God desires us to disciple others. Before you begin to think that this is a bigger task than you can handle, understand what discipleship is. It simply means we encourage people to go to God first in any circumstance. It doesn’t mean we must have all the answers. It means that we love others and point them toward the Word of God, not our own opinion of the situation but the undefiled and perfect Word.
When Jesus rose again he allowed that same Holy Spirit, God Himself, to fill all of His believers. If you are a believer, you have the same Holy Spirit in you as the apostles and everyone in the early Church did (see Acts 2). This is the same Spirit that caused God’s people to heal others, plant churches, and become witnesses to His Kingdom. It is the same God. Why couldn’t He do the same in you?
I encourage you to reach out to both your community and to far away nations. I recently got back from a trip to Germany with my church. We were there to show the love of God to refugees that have migrated there to escape danger in their own home countries. We were there to talk to them and serve them in any way we could. This past month for the 4th of July, I joined some friends in cooking and handing out free burgers to the community, offering prayer to anyone who wanted it. I tell you this, not as a testament to myself or the church, but rather a testament to the Holy Spirit. He is powerful, loving, and will use anyone who is willing and able. He does not discriminate based on your past mistakes or your shortcomings. His heart is for you and He has given you an entire mission field for His love to shine through you, no matter where it is.