Living with God’s Purpose
In our church prayer meeting last Friday, we prayed for God’s work around the world and the ten missionaries that our church supports. These missionaries represent our church and others by sharing the gospel in places around the world such as Japan, China, Turkey, Cameroon, India, the Middle East, and East LA. These faithful individuals, most of whom we have supported for years, have committed their lives to living away from their family and friends, often in a foreign country, and usually in difficult conditions in order to share the love of Christ with those who do not know the Lord. It is our privilege and duty to pray for them and encourage them when we can.
One of the things I admire most about missionaries is that they live with purpose. They understand that God is a missionary God; that throughout history, from the beginning to the present to the end of time, God is revealing Himself in order that His name would be glorified, that His kingdom would be established, and that the peoples of the world would be reconciled to Him. This is God’s mission initiated in the Old Testament, carried out by Jesus in His life, death, and resurrection, and ultimately to be fulfilled when Christ returns. I think this purposefulness is partly what enables missionaries to endure the hardships and the opposition that they encounter. Perhaps most importantly, missionaries understand that instead of carrying out His mission on His own, God chooses to initiate His work through His people. We see this from the very beginning of the bible. In Genesis 12:1-3 it says, “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’” Here God initiated His work of reaching the world through Abraham. He established a partnership with Abraham that continues today. If you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you are a descendant of Abraham, an heir to the blessing of His covenant promise. Not only that but you are a partner in God’s work. I know the use of the word “work” in our culture today does not sound like a good thing. But it is!
God utilizes us to carry out His mission and purpose. He molds and shapes us to join Him in His work and gives us purpose and fulfillment in life. When I first gave my life to Christ at the age of eleven at Green Oaks Ranch Christian camp, I had no inkling that I was entering into a covenant with God to help Him in His mission. I thought being a Christian simply meant to read my bible, go to church, pray, and try my best to live a good life (all extremely important things). Only along the way have I begun to understand that I have a role to play in bringing God glory, establishing His kingdom, and reaching the peoples of the world for Him. It is an exciting adventure and one that seems to only become more clear as I grow closer to Him! I don’t believe God is calling all of us to be “career missionaries” (although He may be calling some of you). But I think He is calling us to join him in His global mission, whether our role is to send, to pray, to finance, or to support those that take the gospel to the mission field. And He is calling us to live with purpose, His purpose.
Throughout scripture we see that God chooses to accomplish His mission in a very personal way by inviting His people to join Him in what He is doing. God is always at work around us to accomplish His mission. I encourage you then to listen for His invitation. If you are interested in learning more about our missionaries or our Missions ministry, please contact any of the people on the Missions Committee (Arleen Koshimizu, Tom Yasumura, Susan Washington, Shiori Sakamoto, Stephen Okamoto). They would be happy to talk to you. We praise God for inviting us into the work of His global mission.