Every summer the Avance team has a theme. Something for us to focus on and be reminded of throughout the summer. For this group, we chose the Jars of Clay passage from 2 Corinthians 4. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us”. This has led to a lot of thought over missional living. Often times, when we think of missions, we think of going to another country, providing some type of work that satisfies a need of a community, worshipping together and sharing what God has done in our lives with the people we are working with during this trip. To me, missional living means applying this same idea, but to wherever we are in life. I think there is a misconception that the Gospel is only for people from another country, that our faith is only something we talk about in designated times and places. I think it is the opposite. I think sharing the Gospel is a way of life (Check out my last blog, "Trying to be Trilingual"), and this has been an idea I have been thinking more and more about lately.
One of my favorite chapters in the bible is Isaiah 6. Because I think it captures the joy and freedom that allows us to live in this way! I encourage you to read and reflect over this chapter now. For those of you that want a summary… Isaiah sees a part of the Glory of God during a vision. Having encountered perfect holiness he cries out how unworthy and broken he is, he lives among sinners and he himself is a sinner. A servant of the Lord takes a live coal from the altar and touched Isaiah’s lips, purifying and pardoning him of his transgressions. God then asks, whom shall we send? And Isaiah responds, “Here am I. Send me!” There is so much I love from this chapter. But I think the main point to understand is that out of an overflowing abundance of joy from the free grace we have been given, Isaiah is now free to live his life in service to the Lord, eternally grateful of the gift none of us deserve.
In a recent sermon in Jojutla, Mexico, I shared about this freedom we have been given and then partnered it with the work we have left to do for Christ. In Genesis 12: 3 we see the many blessings God promises to Abram. However, at the end we see the reason why God has provided these blessings - so that all the people on Earth will be blessed through him. Do you see your salvation as a blessing? I certainly do. And in the same sense of Abraham, this blessing is not for us. It is to be shared with others! This was free for us to receive, but the price paid could not be greater.
Taking these ideas from my sermon in Jojutla, I prepared a talk specifically for my team at a quaint little camp called Kikoten. The team would soon be going through a lot of transition. We have 2 year avancistas who were soon ending there time in Mexico. We have professors that would be returning to teaching at their University, the avancistas are returning to college in a few weeks, and the team leads will soon be transitioning into the fall semester responsibilities. With all this in mind, I wanted everyone to reflect over their mission field. Here in Mexico it is easy. Their church, their host family, the ministry they are working with and their roommates. However back in the states the job description is not as clear. When considering what I would share over this blog, I realized all of these ideas can be applicable to where you are in life. What is your mission field? Where has God placed you? And for what purpose? The purpose is clear. To work to glorify his name. Through your work ethic, your behavior, the relationships you develop, but also through finding ways to share the Gospel with your family, friends and coworkers. How can you become involved with missions? Can you host a missionary in your home? Can you attend conferences learning about the state of the World Christian Movement? Can you support a missionary that is on the field through finances or prayer? Can you become a missionary yourself, either within your context or elsewhere in the world? There are ways to become involved. We all have a role to play. And I am happy to talk about some options with you! Know that you have been chosen for a reason. God has rescued you for a reason. Consider where you are at, consider the talents you have and how you can use these talents to honor our creator. You have been saved, you have your salvation. So now what?