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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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Missions, Missions, Missions!

Posted by admin in December 16th, 2009
Published in missions, prayer

I love missions! I love everything about missions. I love the fact that God uses mere mortals to participate with Him in His great Redemption Story. I love the joyful and miraculous idea that God invites His children to be a part of what He is doing around the world and in the hearts and minds of the human race.

Missionaries, to my mind, are people who cross borders. Border crossing can take place when we cross from one country into another; it can also be when we cross from one culture into another. Jonah was a missionary, albeit a reluctant one. And he didn’t have the Good News of Jesus to share. Paul was definitely a missionary—missionary par excellence. But the best border crosser, the best missionary that ever walked this earth was Jesus. Yup. Jesus.

Think about it—He lived in paradise. He didn’t suffer there; He had no needs. He was loved and adored. He had a great Father. He lived in a perfect place, with perfect beings, and was accepted and understood by all those around Him. Then the Father asked, “Will you go?” And Jesus said, “Yes. I will be about my Father’s business.”

And Jesus Christ, the Son of God, crossed a border. He left His home and His comforts and came to earth to live among people who did not respect Him, who questioned His every move, who doubted His every word. He lived on earth and had to experience cold for the first time, thirst for the first time, hunger for the first time, heat for the first time, rejection for the first time, and He cried for the first time. (After all, scripture tells us there are no tears in heaven and scripture also tells us that Jesus wept when Lazarus died). Jesus crossed a border and left all of paradise behind so that humankind could know God the Father’s unconditional and boundless love.

And His appearing, His border crossing is called Christmas. Jesus—the baby in the manger, the Son of God, the missionary came to earth.

I had a friend tell me once that she could never be a missionary to a foreign land because she was just so happy with her life here in the United States. “Why would I go overseas?” she asked. “I’m so happy here and I have everything I could ever want. I love my job, I have great kids and they’re in terrific schools, I have a lovely home. Why should I give all this up and go to another country?”

Okay, maybe not all are called to be global missionaries. (I write that to appear open minded and objective, but the truth is I think everyone is called to be a global missionary!) Let’s look at Jesus’s words. Jesus said, “Go!” He commanded us to go! His last words to the disciples were, (Acts 1:8), “But you will receive power when the 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.” At home. In neighboring towns. In other counties. In other countries. In all of these we are to be His witnesses.

Matthew 18-20, “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”

Mark 16:15, “And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.’”

In Luke 24:46 Jesus said, “‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.’”

We don’t cross borders because we’re unhappy in our present circumstances. We don’t cross borders looking for adventure. We cross borders because Jesus said to “Go.” We cross borders because we want to follow His example. We cross borders because the hurt and the dying need to hear the Christmas Story of the gift of salvation God the Father has given to all people everywhere. We cross borders because we love the Father and want to obey Him.

It’s tough. I know. And not everyone has a sense of calling to cross an international border and share the Gospel. But can’t we at least cross the street? Can we share the love of Christ with our neighbors? I know each of us can pray. So, here are some ideas of how we can celebrate Christmas this year by demonstrating God’s gift to the world and cross borders in perhaps non-traditional ways.

1. Call your church and get the names and addresses of your church’s missionaries. Then send them all a thank you note and perhaps give a special love offering for each of them and their families this Christmas season.

It’s not too late to send a care package either. When I was on the foreign field I loved getting care packages from home: a Christmas CD, a box of instant cocoa mix, candies, a warm set of gloves, or homemade drawings done by kids. Good stuff. And who cares if it’s a couple of days late, right? It’s the thought that matters.

2. Get a list of missionaries’ names from your denomination (or church) and begin to pray for each person on that list. Prayer support is vitally important for those serving in distant lands. (If you need a list of missionaries to pray for, email IICS! Our professors need dedicated Believers praying for them: margaret@iics.com).

3. Plan your next vacation to go and visit a missionary family and encourage their hearts and watch them do their work. I loved having visitors from home when I served overseas! This is a great opportunity to learn and to serve.

4. Buy a copy of Operation World and commit this New Year (2010) to pray your way through the nations. This book lists every nation on earth, the names of its leaders, and what the political/social atmosphere is like in each nation of the world. It’s a daily prayer guide for the nations! Cross borders in your prayer life.

5. Get a world map and place it on a wall where you can pray your way across the globe interceding for the nations. Speak a blessing to a nation in Jesus’s name!

This Christmas let’s celebrate the Baby in the manger, Who became the Sacrificial Lamb on the cross, Who rose from the dead and is now the King of kings and the Lord of lords and Who rules and reigns over the entire universe. Jesus is the preeminent Border Crosser whose glory is worth proclaiming to all nations. Peace.

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Note: Dan Clendenin first introduced me to the terms Jesus the Border Crosser. Thanks Dan!

3 users Responded In This Post

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312. margaret said,
December 17th, 2009 at 8:58 am

just read a good book regarding this topic: go to Amazon.com to order your copy!
Teaching in a Distant Classroom: Crossing Borders for Global Transformation by Michael H. Romanowski and Teri Mccarthy (Paperback – Dec 30, 2009)
Buy new: $17.00 $12.24
9 new from $11.472 used from $12.41

Get it by Friday, Dec 18 if you order in the next 9 hours and choose one-day shipping.
Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping.

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313. admin said,
December 17th, 2009 at 9:30 am

Margaret: You’ve got to be the funniest woman on the planet. It is hilarious how you comment on the book after almost every blog! Thanks my little promo friend. 🙂 I recommend Os Guinness’s The Call. That books rocks.

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314. bubbie's mom said,
December 17th, 2009 at 10:55 am

Teri, I started reading your blogs when my brother in law introduced me to the one about the angels. I have loved them all but was especially touched by this one. My family serves in Zimbabwe (currently we are stateside) and I loved the terms about Jesus crossing the boarder. As you well know, that can be a nightmare in and of itself, but I didn’t really relate it to Jesus incarnation till now. Thanks for sharing in these blogs. I keep reading. PS we live nearby and maybe i could meet you sometime. missed the night you spoke at our church because my husband came back from Iraq that night. God Bless You

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