“Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, ‘This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves I carried you on eagles wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” (Exodus 19:3-6)
It is well known that eagles often push young eaglets out of the nest to teach them to fly. On the first attempts, the mother eagle swoops underneath, gathers them to safety and carries them on her strong wings. God did the same in rescuing Israel from Egypt. Having know the nature, the care, and the love of God, Israel was to be a missionary nation to others. God carefully spelled out His missionary strategy here.
As Creator, He is the universal God to whom all nations belong. He could use His power to force all nations to be His. Instead, He chose to use personal missionary means. He called Israel to be s special people, a holy priestly nation. They were to mediate between God and all other nations, seeking to bring all people to obey God, keep His covenant, and be His people. Today, as God’s people we face the same mandate to be His missionary means. As God’s chosen, redeemed, priestly nation, will we share His message with the peoples of the world?
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, in order to claim to be Christians, we must travel back through history, the history of those chosen by God that were commanded to share God’s message of Good News with the world. We need Your strength, courage, focus on the task given us, wisdom, and faith, to do so without a hint of threat or harm in any way. You have called us, Abba, to a missionary task and we have said, yes. This we pray in Jesus’ precious name, to seek to accomplish this task for Your glory alone. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Wisdom has three parts: 1) Having a lot to say. 2) Not saying it. 3) Say it by your life example.”
“I will set a sign among hem, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations—-to Tarshish, to the Libyans and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or sen my glory. They will proclaim or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations. And they will bring all your brothers, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord—-on horses and camels, says the Lord. ‘They will bring them as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of he Lord in ceremonially clean vessels. And I will select some of them also to be priests and Levites,’ says the Lord. ‘As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,’ declares the Lord, ‘so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow own before me,’ says the Lord.” (Isaiah 66:19-23)
God’s eternal purpose has been to send His people to bless the nations and to introduce the nations to Him. He finally used judgment to disperse His people away from their homeland to be signs among the nations of His power and glory. Missionaries who, voluntarily leave their homeland to share God’s message among the nations continue to fulfill God’s intention that “all mankind will come and bow down before me.”
“So when they met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the time Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’” (Acts 1:6-8)
Jesus called the disciples to their first priority—-being witnesses to Him and from their homeland to the very ends of he earth. Of course, being human, they wanted to know the time and date of the end of their preparation time! Christ’s final meeting with his apostles on the Mount of Olives provided a bridge between Jesus’ earthy ministry and what He would do through His Spirit’s indwelling of His disciples. He had told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until God gave them power. As the forty days of resurrection appearances came to a close, Jesus reinforced the Great Commission and promised the power to carry it out. In short, Jesus was telling them to maintain their focus on their mission and everything else would happen as it is supposed to be, at the right time, date, and way.
Second Thought of the Day:
“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” (Revelation 7:9)
This wonderful apocalyptic vision of worshipers before the throne of God gives us a deep abiding sense of gratitude and praise. Although the worshipers are from every nation, tribe, language, and people, they are not wearing the typical clothes of the various lands.
Their white robes identify them as belonging to God. God desires that men, women, and children from every nations belong to him. But the contemporary churches must be faithful to the missionary vision for God’s plan to be carried out.