He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

A brother in Christ, veteran missionary, astute theologian,  missions leader, and professor once gave me these guidelines as I wrestled with going to the mission field, or staying, and then getting another degree here to be more prepared there, etc...I think all those with a call to missions and desire to be as equipped as possible could find this very helpful as you think about if, how, when, and where to go.
Here are some general principles that I have found both sound and useful:

1.       If God has given you a heart for unreached peoples, your default should be to take the gospel to them unless He clearly tells you otherwise. Others will line up to take pastoral positions here in the US. Too few are lining up to take the gospel to the unreached.

2.       Your educational efforts should be in support of your ministry. Only pursue a further degree if it equips you better to fulfill your calling.

3.       The earlier you move overseas, the easier it will be on your children. However, if your kids are already teenagers, you probably want to wait until they leave home before moving cross-culturally. Teenage kids generally have too much else going on in their lives to handle a cross-cultural move very well.

4.       You should not pursue academic studies for the first couple of years you are overseas. You need to concentrate on learning the language and loving your family through the transition.

Friday, July 26, 2013 

"Go, Preach my Gospel, Saith the Lord"

In Francis Wayland's two volume biography of the life and labors of Adoniram Judson, he writes how a young Judson's, about 7 years of age, favorite hymn was then "Go, Preach my Gospel, Saith the Lord," by Isaac Watts. Considering Judson was not converted until he was a young man, you cannot help but delight in God's providence, that this favorite hymn of Judson's was to be a divine foreshadowing of his life and call to come. Here are the lyrics to a missionary hymn, indeed:

Go preach My Gospel, saith the Lord,
Bid the whole earth My grace receive;
He shall be saved that trusts My Word,
He shall be damned that won’t believe.

I’ll make your great commission known,
And ye shall prove My Gospel true,
By all the works that I have done,
By all the wonders ye shall do.

Go heal the sick, go raise the dead,
Go cast out devils in My name;
Nor let My prophets be afraid,
Though Greeks reproach, and Jews blaspheme.

Teach all the nations My commands,
"I’m with you till the world shall end;
All power is trusted to My hands,
I can destroy, and I defend.
He spake, and light shone round His head;
On a bright cloud to Heav’n He rode;
They to the farthest nations spread
The grace of their ascended God.

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