THE CHALLENGE OF MISSIONS
John A. Hatcher
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THE PERFECT MISSIONARY
Jesus is the Perfect Missionary. He is the example for every person dedicated to doing the Father’s will. Jesus is the example of obedience and courage. He is the source of power, wisdom, and faith to overcome for every missionary life. Jesus was given by the Father, yet He came in perfect willingness. He was born of and anointed by the Holy Spirit. His perfect missionary ministry is summarized by the prophet Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach the good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort them that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3
Jesus was sent to make men free. Men can only be set at liberty through the hearing of faith, and faith comes by hearing the truth. Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32). Paul makes this clear to the Ephesian believers—“in whom ye also trusted after ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.” Ephesians 1:13
The Perfect Missionary was a servant—not in theory, but in reality. He suffered though He was perfect goodness. He was rejected and forsaken by all though all were blessed and benefited by Him. Though He was reviled, His words were full of grace and mercy; few believed in Him though He manifested His divinity in power and wisdom. Men rejected His life even though they saw the dead raised by His word. But those who heard Him and believed the Father had sent Him inherited life eternal and Heaven. Lastly, Jesus gave His life for missions. He became the Founder and Leader of a race of men who would give their lives for others.
The Holy Spirit accompanied Jesus from His birth to the cross. He is the Spirit of Jesus and Missions. He is the Spirit of Jesus who guided the prophets of the Old Testament. 1 Peter 1:11—He makes the plans and purposes of God effective in the hearts of man. He brings men to understand Christ’s work of redemption and opens their hearts to receive it. Acts 16:14—He makes the eyes to see, the ears to hear, and inclines the heart to respond to the invitation of life eternal. When the sinner believes, the Holy Spirit indwells his life and tags him as God’s possession. In the life of the believer the Holy Spirit glorifies Christ, teaches truth, and gives resurrection power to overcome the forces of evil. He abides with us to comfort, to teach, to console, to chasten, to encourage, to weep with us, to rejoice with us, to groan for us, to seek the deep things of God for us, and to help us love and seek the lost.
Great wisdom will be gained by those who make a serious analysis of the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus. As sons of God we need to learn to hear and to follow the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. Those who do will be saved from much error and heartache that comes by following the big noises. The Holy Spirit will take us to a Jacob’s well to win a Samaritan, to the border of Tyre and Sidon to benefit a poor a rejected Syrophenician woman full of pain for her little daughter, to seek lives of Mary Magdalenes, to wait for serious inquirers like Nicodemus. The Bible makes it clear–“As many as are led of the Spirit, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14) He will be wise who fills his head and heart with the Word of God, and in constant submission learns to listen for the voice of God’s Spirit as He speaks through the Scriptures.
Sound waves and electromagnetic waves are used constantly for broadcasting and televising. They are in the atmosphere around us. A radio or television receiver can instantly receive these waves and reproduce their message. The Christian life is not too different. The Holy Spirit dwells in us. He has the power to receive, to understand, and reproduce in our lives the message that the Bible contains after we have read and studied the Scriptures. God’s children need to learn to tune in and hear.
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