Vocal artist, Dionne Warwick, stated that what the world needs now is love, sweet love. And she was right. But love is so conditional and relative. “I love you because…” “I’ll love you, if…” “I love you more than…“
The world needs love, agape love. The world needs God’s perfect love, and only His children can give it.
Most churches really strive to be “Acts 1:8” churches. Churches of every shape, size, and worship style put forth great effort to develop a healthy mission strategy: Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost. Most strive, but to what end?
Many churches are successful at sending monies and other resources to John and Jane Missionary, in China, or Africa, or Russia. Many churches even do well with assisting church plants in regions of our own nation that are lacking a gospel presence. Many churches have stellar mission programs, through which individuals can go to a mission work – whether it be across the country or around the world – and have a sensory experience, seeing, hearing, touching, feeling.
And, for the most part, those programs and opportunities define the mission program within many of our churches.
Then, there are some churches that understand the entire Acts 1:8 charge. You see, while most have a desire to be obedient to the Great Commission, and many succeed at most of the fields of ministry, often there are people who are overlooked. Unintentionally, I am sure, but still, overlooked.
Jesus’ charge to the church in Acts 1:8 is all-inclusive.
Sometimes, I think we get it backwards. I have always believed that Jesus’ words, as we find them recorded in His Word, are intentional and deliberate. So, I believe that the words of Acts 1:8 are specifically ordered.
Before we can effectively reach “the uttermost,” we must effectively reach those within our immediate outreach – within the shadow of our steeple, so to speak. You have to admit, it is far easier to drop a check into the missions offering for John and Jane Missionary, than it is to walk across the street and witness to our neighbor.
So, what should compel us to walk across the street? LOVE. You see, all too often, we try to fulfill the Great Commission before we fulfill the Great Commandment – to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves.
We can learn from Jesus. When He looked upon the crowds of people who were following Him, the Bible tells us that “He was moved with compassion.” He was moved with love for them. He saw their need. He realized their lostness. He knew their end without Him. And He was moved.
God help us, as Your children, to get it right.
Thursday, January 28, 2016