This is the second of several posts that we will be doing to explore Mission, Missions, and Short Term Mission Trips together. Check out Dr. Rasmussen’s thoughts on ways to get better results from Short Term Mission Trips.

by Tom Flaherty

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” Ephesians 1:18

The modern mission’s movement is often cited as beginning in 1732 when two Moravians by the names of Johann Dober and David Nitschmann were willing to sell themselves into slavery to reach the natives of the West Indies with the gospel.  It wasn’t their act of going that became the heartbeat of missions, it was why they were going.  Why would they leave the comfort of their homes and families to go reach people they had never met?

It is said that they called out to their loved ones on shore as the ship pulled away, “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering!”  It wasn’t their love for humanity that called to them; or the fear that people would perish in hell if they weren’t reached with the gospel; it was their burning love for Jesus.

It is so easy to focus on what we get by believing the gospel that we can forget what Jesus gets.  The hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness enumerates some of the blessings we receive: “Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth; Thine own dear Presence to cheer and to guide; strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow; all these are mine and 10,000 besides.” Everything we need for our past, present, and future – wow!  Jesus is so glad to lavish on us the grace He won for us through His death on the cross.

But the Father isn’t just thinking of what we get; He’s thinking about what His Son gets.  He had promised Him in eternity that if He would be born as a son of man, He would be given the nations as His inheritance. (Psalm 2:7-8)  Think of it: Jesus died and shed His blood for every human being that you know.  If He got His full inheritance, everyone would worship Him, love Him, serve Him, and follow Him.

We all have loved ones we want to reach for the gospel because we want them to be with us in heaven and to walk in His grace here on earth.  Maybe instead of praying that God would save them for their sake, or for our sake, we should pray that the Father would draw them, so that the Lamb of God might receive the reward of His suffering.


What do you think? What has compelled you into foreign missions work?


Tom Flaherty is the Lead Pastor of CityChurch in Madison, WI.

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