He said to them, go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15
There was a time when I thought of a missionary as someone in some far part of the world, sitting under a palm tree on some remote island in the middle of nowhere. Then I learned what being a missionary was, both at home and anywhere in the world.
It means going anywhere at any time to help people with their needs and to share the Gospel with them. Often you have to help hungry people with food for the stomach before they are open to hearing about food for the soul. You can go in person or you can send funds. Either way you can be a missionary.
I think about our friends Rick and Beth Hicks. Beth made her first-time missionary trip to to the Philippines in 1985 and it changed her life forever, as she stayed in an orphanage and was touched by the way they depended on God for everything. She continued her annual visits until 2012. She returned to the orphanage each year and watched the children grow, helped build huts for the poorest of the poor and fed hungry children.
The Lord touched Rick and Beth and told them that there was their full-time ministry, so they sold their “dream home” and moved to the orphanage permanently and have been there ever since. They have seen fifty children graduate from college, build a children’s school and support a feeding program that feeds 175 hungry children and supplies milk for the malnourished. It wouldn’t be possible without financial support from those back home.
They teach the Gospel to the children they house, teach and feed, letting them know that God is the Father to the fatherless. They are dedicated to bringing the love of Christ to those in the community, as they change that small area in meaningful and lasting ways. Through addressing the immediate physical needs of individuals, both young and old, they can then focus on their spiritual needs-sharing the Gospel and transforming their life and their community with the Good News.
That’s what being a true missionary is all about. Rick and Beth are doing it and so can you, either by going or sending financial support ahead.
And … oh by the way… If you can’t go to that part of the world, you can help Rick and Beth by sending them a word of encouragement at email@example.com or better yet, send them some money to feed hungry children at The Yielded Evangelical Servants Inc., P.O. Box 700697, St. Cloud, FL and mark it for support to Rick and Beth Hicks in the Philippines.
Enjoy the joy of missional generosity. You will be blessed and glad you did.
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
My mind is like my Internet browser: 19 tabs are open and three of them are frozen and I have no idea where the music is coming from.
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By definition, a paradox is “a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality, expresses a possible truth.” Jesus often spoke truths that contained a paradox. Here are three examples.
▪ “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt 10:38).
▪ “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14).
▪ “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant” (Matt 20:26)
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Three empowering daily steps:
In an 1816 letter to Thomas Jefferson, John Adams wrote: “Power always thinks it has a great soul, and vast views, beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God service, when it is violating all his laws.”
The solution to our mortal frailty and to our political animosity is the same: admitting to God that we “hath none help nor hope but Thee alone.” I encourage you to join me in these practical and empowering steps each day across the year:
One: Invite the Holy Spirit to empower and control your life.
Ephesians 5:18 commands us to “be filled with the Spirit.” This is a daily act of confession and surrender that positions us to experience God’s best.
Two: Walk in the power and peace of the Spirit.
Max Lucado was right: “The Holy Spirit is central to the life of the Christian. Everything from Acts to Revelation is a result of the work of the Holy Spirit.
Three: Pray for courage and then serve with courage.
When facing growing animosity, the early Christians ask God to “grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness” (Acts 4:29). As a result, “When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness” (v. 31).
How much “boundless confidence” do you have in God today? Jim Denison
Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day,” opined speaker and author Jim Rohn. The same is true for spiritual renewal.
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
Generosity is giving something you cherish to something you cherish more. Pastor Ken Smith
It is my passion in life to help people own less stuff and live more life. When we have excess possessions in our homes and lives, they always rob us of money, time, and energy. When we own fewer possessions, we can focus ourselves on the things that matter most. My heart is to inspire people to realize that truth and help them accomplish it in their lives. Joshua Becker
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. ELEANOR ROOSEVELT
I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. —Stephen Covey
We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations. CHARLES SWINDOLL
Fear comes from sin. Jomo Cousins
W. Tozer wrote: “Because God has been reduced in the minds of people, they do not have that boundless confidence in his character that used to be prominent among Christians.
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. HENRY DAVID THOREAU
Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit. Conrad Hilton