Friday, March 25, 2011

Why Go On A Mission Trip When There Are So Many Needs Here?

In preparations for our mission trip to Malta last year, the mission team had to read the book "Radical" by David Platt. This book is a dangerous book that everyone needs to read. It is dangerous because it calls for an unapologetic, extreme sacrifice of our lives for Jesus Christ and the Glory of God.

In his book, Platt addresses the common question of "why should we go on a mission trip when there are so many needs right here?" Platt answers this question by saying:

"As we have seen in scripture, God's heart is for the world. So when we say we have a heart for the United States, we are admitting that we have a meager 5 percent of God's heart, and we are proud of it. When we say we have a heart for the city we live in, we confess that we have less than 1 percent of God's heart."

"Certainly there are great needs here. But must we insist on dividing the Great Commission into an either-or proposition? Who told us that we have to choose to have a heart for the United States or for the world? Based on the purpose of God we've seen in scripture, shouldn't every Christian's heart be consumed with how we can make God's glory known in all the world?"

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lottie Moon's Heart for the Chinese

This past Sunday, I preached a message from Hebrews 12:1-2 about running the race God has marked out for us unhindered. As illustrations for the text, we looked at one of our Southern Baptist hero's - Lottie Moon. Since I never get to share everything I research in the sermon, I would like to provide two convicting quotes from Lottie as she served our Lord in China:

Published in the January 1888 Foreign Mission Journal.

"The needs of these people press upon my soul, and I cannot be silent. It is grievous to think of these human souls going down to death without even one opportunity of hearing the name of Jesus. People talk vaguely about the heathen, picturing them as scarcely human, or at best, as ignorant barbarians. If they could live among them as I do, they would find in the men much to respect and admire; in the women and girls they would see many sweet and loving traits of character. They would feel, pressing upon their heart and conscience, the duty of giving the gospel to them. It does seem strange that when men and women can be found willing to risk life—or, at least, health and strength—in order that these people may hear the gospel, that Christians withhold the means to send them. Once more I urge upon the consciences of my Christian brethren and sisters the claims of these people among whom I dwell. Here I am working alone in a city of many thousand inhabitants, with numberless villages clustered around or stretching away in the illuminate distance: how many can I reach? It fills one with sorrow to see these people so earnest in their worship of false gods, seeking to work out their salvation by supposed works of merit, with no one to tell them of a better way. Then, to remember the wealth hoarded in Christian coffers! The money lavished on fine dresses and costly living! Is it not time for Christian men and women to return to the simplicity of earlier times? Should we not press it home upon our consciences that the sole object of our conversion was not the salvation of our own souls, but that we might become co-workers with our Lord and Master in the conversion of the world?"

Published in the May 1889 Foreign Mission Journal.

“One cannot help asking sadly, why is love of gold more potent than love of souls? The number of men mining and prospecting for gold in Shantung is more than double the number of men representing Southern Baptists! What a lesson for Southern Baptists to ponder!”