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Ted N.C. Wilson
Have you ever felt inadequate--that perhaps God is asking you to do more than you can do?
I imagine the disciples might have felt that way when Jesus sent them out on a mission. We read about it in Matthew 10:5-8:
"These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying, 'Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand,' heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead,' cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."
The disciples could well have felt that this calling was beyond them--and in fact, it was far beyond what they could do--in their own strength.
Jesus, of course, knew this, and provided everything they would need. In the very first verse of Matthew 10 we read: "And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease."
Jesus gave them the power they needed, and then as He sent them out He reminded them, "Freely you have received, freely give." As they claimed the gift He had given them, they were more than able to all that He asked them to do.
Today, as we think about reaching the world--a world of nearly 8 billion people--it seems completely impossible--especially in areas where there is very limited or no religious freedom. And in other parts of the world, where secularism has taken such a strong hold, it can seem almost as challenging.
We may feel completely inadequate for this challenge--and in fact, in our own strength, we are. Nevertheless, God calls us to go, promising to provide everything we need to carry out whatever He asks us to do.
This coming Sabbath, August 14, the world church is focusing on reaching the world through church planting.
Did you know that every year, thousands of Seventh-day Adventists set out to plant a church? They go into an area where there is no Adventist church. Some church planters go out on their own, some are sponsored by their conference or mission, and some, like Global Mission pioneers, are sent out thanks to supporters who believe that we have a mission to reach the unreached.
Church planting is nothing new. It goes right back to the early Christian church. The apostle Paul was one of the earliest church planters. He went all throughout Turkey starting small groups of believers. He was like a loving father, caring for those churches to make sure that they grew and that young disciples were nurtured. Everywhere he went, he couldn’t stop talking about his risen Savior. He had a message of hope that he couldn’t keep to himself. This is how the early church multiplied.
The Adventist Church grew in the same way. Early Adventist pioneers had a unique message to share, and they started crisscrossing the world, starting new groups of believers wherever they went. This legacy has continued, with Adventist churches being established around the world.
Yet, despite tremendous growth, many people have still not heard the Advent message, or even the name of Jesus. In fact, two-thirds of the world’s population don’t know Jesus.
And this is why we are called to go today--it may be to reach our next-door neighbor, or a loved one, or a work colleague, or it may be by giving our mission offerings to reach someone on the other side of the world.If you would like more information about how you can reach others for Jesus, or how you can become involved with church planting, I invite you to visit the Global Mission website at: gm.adventistmission.org.
Friends, to reach the world is not an impossible calling. In the wonderful book, Christ's Object Lessons, p.333, we read this amazing promise: "As the will of man co-operates with the will of God, it becomes omnipotent. Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings."
Are you willing to answer the call? Are you willing to say, "I will go reach the world for Him?"
Let's pray together. Father in heaven, thank you that whatever you call us to, you give us the power to accomplish. So now Lord, we ask as we bow our heads, as we pray to you directly to the throne room of heaven, and what a privilege that is, we don’t have to go through any human being, we just ask in Jesus name and we talk to you, we are now asking that you will empower us to touch the lives of our neighbors, our friends, our loved ones, our work colleagues and yes people around the world. As we help people know that God has a special plan for each of them, and that he is coming back to take us home to be with him, what a blessed hope we have, help us to all say, “yes Lord, I will go and reach my world for Jesus Christ.” We thank you for hearing us now. In Christ name we ask it, amen.
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