Wednesday, July 21, 2010

10 Good and Bad Reasons to Become a Missionary

Bad Reasons:

  1. You want people to think you are adventurous, courageous and noble
  2. You are afraid of sharing the gospel with people of your own culture
  3. You want to “civilize” other cultures, especially according to your own civilization
  4. You have tried other things and don’t know what else to do
  5. You think it will finally bring you the satisfaction and peace you have been looking for
  6. Your parents were missionaries and you want to carry on the family business
  7. You want to see the world
  8. Your church is a really missional church and you don’t want to look unspiritual for not doing what everyone else is doing
  9. You like to build buildings for people
  10. You think it will make you righteous before God

Good Reasons:

  1. You adore God with all your heart and are consumed by a desire to spread His glory to all peoples
  2. You love sharing the gospel with the unbelievers around you and would like to do the same in another culture
  3. You want to see God bring repentance and saving faith to a culture that is as wayward as your own
  4. You have an overwhelming burden to preach the gospel and share God’s love in another country and friends who are mature in the Lord discern the same path for you
  5. You have such joy and satisfaction in knowing Jesus that it can’t help but overflow in service to the lost around the world
  6. God used your missionary parents to birth a love in you for God’s un-preached elect around the world
  7. You want to see the world filled with God’s joy and glory
  8. Your missional church has convicted you that your fear and self-centeredness is causing you to avoid your call to the missions field
  9. You like to build discipling churches that teach and equip their own people for various services
  10. You are right before God because of Christ and want to share this same extravagant truth with others

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Unsatisfiable Affection

In his work entitled “The Life of God in the Soul of Man,” in a section regarding “The worth of the object to be regarded,” Henry Scougal says this about the nature of placing ones affection on God:

“Once the soul is fixed on that supreme and all-sufficient good, it finds so much perfection and goodness as not only answers and satisfies its affection, but masters and overpowers it too. It finds all its love to be too faint and languid for such a noble object, and is only sorry that it can command no more. It wishes for the flames of a seraph, and longs for the time when it shall be wholly melted and dissolved into love; and because it can do so little itself, it desires the assistance of the whole creation, so that angels and men would concur with it in the admiration and love of those infinite perfections.” (The Works of Henry Scougal; pg 27)

There are many things to be said about such a rightly and beautifully worded passage such as this; there is one thing that really stood out to me. What a gorgeous, pure and powerful motivation for preaching the gospel! Those enraptured by a love for God are so overwhelmed with their finite ability to express their supreme adoration and devotion to God that they cannot help but set out to employ others in His praise! Some set out to preach the gospel out of duty, and others out of love for humanity, but there is still another rare breed who are so determined that the infinite worth of God be adored and declared that they will suffer all to recruit men for that very end.

“Come, sinner unworthy of the praise of so worthy an object! Come, be cleared of your guilt and join in the worship and love of the Majesty of Majesty for all eternity! Not only that, but this worthy object will give you the ability and worthiness to participate in so grand and undeserving a profession and save you from the horror of being robbed of worshipping Him forever!” This is the cry of these most odd lovers of God. They are unwilling that God not receive the praise He is due, because they perceive their affection for Him to be so insufficient, that they spend their days heralding His limitless worth that others may join them.

When we love something, do we not often spend a great deal of time trying to convince others of its worth as well? The more worthy we perceive the object to be, the more willing and zealous we are to prove it to others that they too might join in the praise of that thing or person. Developing an “unsatisfiable” affection for God’s worth is always a consistent and powerful promoter of an evangelistic (gospel proclaiming) mindset.

Invigorate this heart that cherishes God’s inexplicable worth with more frequent prayer (conversing with God in your thoughts all day), reading His extravagantly delicious Word (try studying the same passage at least three times a day) through regular worship (I listen to worship music when I work out and on my lunch breaks at work) and through resisting the lesser things this world has to offer (I watch very little TV these days, am fasting from reading the news and from looking at gadget things, and am being less distracted with aimless internet wandering). These practices, amongst others, have truly enlivened my love for God and in turn have made me anxious to enlist others in this unsatisfiable desire to declare the limitless worth of God.