“’I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations—-to Tarshish, to the Libyans and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubai and Greece, and to he distant islands that have not heard of my Name 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, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,’ says the Lord. ‘They will bring hem, as he Israelites bring their gain offerings, to the temple of the 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.” (Isaiah66:19-23)
God’s eternal purpose has been to send His people to bless the nations (Genesis 12:1-3) 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.”
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You have always sent Your people out to other nations to bless them with the knowledge of You and the Word You have given us to take to all. It is also true that there are many in our own homelands who have also been deprived of God’s Word and we are to go to them, as well. Not everyone is physically able to travel to other lands, but they can still minister to those in their own communities and ought to do so. You have given us the Holy Spirit, Abba, to enable us to take Your Word to those in need and we must do so as best as we can, or face judgment for not doing so. It is in Jesus’ name that we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Hurting in body, mind or spirit? Go to the One who can heal you of all this and so much more.”
“When Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, ‘This is what you are to say to he house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how 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 foe me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” (Exodus19:3–6)
Eagles often push young eaglets out of the nest to teach the eaglets to fly. On the first attempt the mother would swoop underneath the eaglets, gathering them on her wings. God did the same in rescuing Israel from Egypt. Having known their 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 a 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 (1st Peteer2:9), will we share His message with the peoples of the world? 2nd Kings 7:9 and Ezekiel 33:6 warn us of he spiritual danger of having a message of good news and a warning of danger, but not sharing it.
“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Let apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So after hey had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in he Jewish synagogues John was with them as their helper.” (Acts 2:13–2-5)
Antioch is the first church in recorded history to send out foreign missionaries. This church provides a model for missionary sending churches God reveals His will to a church that seeks His face in worship, prayer, and fasting. The Holy Spirit speaks to the group sending the missionary, as well as to he individual called; the Spirit calls individuals to a missions task; the selection of the missionary by a church, or a board is an awesome responsibility and requires personal dedication and prayer for God’s guidance; and sending missionaries calls for support by the home church.
Antioch became the sending church with a vision for the world. From there, their missionaries went to Europe and throughout Asia Minor. From here, the spread of the gospel to the ends of he earth continued clear to Rome, the nerve center for reaching the ultimate purpose.
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“Jesus went through all of the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of he harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’” (Matthew9:35-38)
Jesus’ balanced ministry included preaching, teaching, healing, and expressing the compassionate love for the multitudes that motivated Him. He wants His disciples to share His love for the needy multitudes. To have a missionary vision we must be close to Jesus, hear His words, and see our world as Jesus sees it. We may see the multitudes in many ways. Some of these make us ready to condemn the multitudes. Jesus, however, always sees people as a harvest, ready to be gathered.
A harvest has several characteristics: It is valuable; it must be gathered, or it will be lost; and it is urgent. Times moves quickly and then the opportunity is gone. Jesus calls for harvesters who care for the multitudes. Prayer moves our own heat to the harvest and moves others to reach out in evangelism and missions. As Christians become concerned about multiplied millions who have never heard the good news of Jesus Christ, prayer is our first recourse. Prayer opens our vision and the vision of others. Payer can open our eyes to see our spiritual resources and to see the person of Christ. In this case, our prayer asks God to send harvesters into the field.