We leave for Asia in 10 days. How did that happen? I’m pretty sure five minutes ago we were still eight weeks away. But here we are.
A few weeks ago, my sweet Instagram friend Kimberly reached out to me and asked if she could “interview” me about the upcoming trip to South Asia in order to help raise awareness and funds. (You can read all about her awesome social justice ministry here.) To raise money for adoptions, orphanages, and ending human trafficking, (and other ministries) she sells these pretty handlettered prints:
I wanted to share some of that interview with you here in hopes that you will join my prayer team and boldly approach the throne of grace with us for the trip and God’s glory to be over all the earth.
So, here we go.
Why this trip?
Great question. Simple answer: The IMB (International Mission Board) asked me to consider going and God gave complete peace about it. The peace turned into a burden. A burden for the beautiful people in this particular area to hear and know and be radically changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be freed not only from sin slavery but human slavery.
What’s the big picture for this trip?
The big picture is Revelation 7:9-12,
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying, ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might by to our God forever and ever! Amen.’”
We spend our days, we labor across the globe and across the street, with that vision in mind. The bigger picture is to spend our short little lives on this earth in the God-ordained mission of gathering more eternal worshippers for the one true God. We live this day with that Great Day in focus. That’s the bigger picture for this trip; to make disciples who make disciples so that more worshippers are surrounding the throne for all eternity giving Jesus Christ, our suffering Savior, the glory due His name.
What’s some verses that God has used to bring justice ministries into your heart?
Over the past couple of weeks God has really put Psalm 72 on my heart. In that Psalm, which most linguists attribute to Solomon, we find what one theologian called “A glowing description of the reign of Messiah as righteous, universal, beneficent, and perpetual, to which are added a doxology and a postscript.”
It is a stunning picture of our Lord in all His breathtaking (literally) holiness and through that we get a glimpse into His heart for hopeless humanity, “For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight” (vss. 12-14).
If we are Christ’s representatives on this earth and He, through the Holy Spirit, is to live His life through us, then are we not to do what He does? He loves the poor, the weak, the needy, the outcasts, the rejects, the wretched (all of which we were). We are to do the same, extending the same grace, mercy, kindness and steadfast love we have received from the Giver of all good gifts.
What have you learned about God as you prepare for this trip?
Using a few different mediums, God has exposed in colors more vibrant than ever the essential connection between the local church and His heartbeat for the nations. Vance Pitman said,
“When God birthed your church He had the nations on His heart. It was never about you.”
And Christopher Wright said,
“The church of God does not have a mission in the world. The God of mission has a church in the world.”
So in the birth of a church God invites us to join in His kingdom activity, which translates into the command to make disciples of all nations (including our own). So how do we connect what God is doing locally in our church to what God is doing globally? How do we reach the world as well as the people right around us?
We study Jesus.
And as we’ve been studying Him, I’ve learned more about His “method” displayed throughout Scripture of scattering and gathering, of blessing people to be a blessing for others and teaching others so they can in turn teach those around them, all for His global (and eternal) glory, and it has been so humbling and exciting.
We have been rescued from our rebellion to share with other traitors the hope of the Gospel that can free them from slavery forever—this is amazing! What a holy and sacred calling God has given His church. A calling that constantly forces our dependence on the Eternal One, for only the Eternal can produce eternal results.
Be Thou our vision.