WHO IS A MISSIONARY?
UNDERSTANDING THE BASIC THEOLOGY OF MISSIONS-PART TWOSince the word missionary was not used in the Bible, different people have defined who a missionary is at different times based on the perspective of thinking. A missionary is called and sent by God with a specific mandate to a particular people. A missionary is called by God to take the gospel of the kingdom of God to people that have not received it. The Bible tells of different individuals and groups of people who were called at different times to fulfill a missionary mandate. In the Old Testament it was God the Father who played the role as sender of missionaries for example, Abraham was called by God as an individual: (more…)

UNDERSTANDING THE BASIC THEOLOGY OF MISSIONS PART ONE,Mission, the major task of the church is widely spoken of by Christians today, but the understanding of the concept and the way it should be done differ from people to people and places to places. It is often very important to compare the general understanding of the church about mission with what the Bible teaches. The true concept about mission does not only help us to do it correctly but also to maximize the use of God’s given (more…)

 
 
“And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord, is with us, why then is all this befallen us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, Did not the Lord brings us up out of Egypt? But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian. The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” (Judges 6: 12 – 14).
The Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord again, and He gave them into the hands of their enemies. The Midianites, Ammonites and other Eastern people oppressed Israel so greatly, they invaded their land, spoilt their crops and made life unbearable for them. The Israelites cried unto the Lord and He heard them and sent an Angel to give a word of hope to Gideon who He had chosen as their deliverer. Gideon could not believe the Lord was with Israel because of the difficult time the people were going through. He almost could not hear what God was saying to him personally concerning his call because of the situation of the people God was calling him to deliver. Have you ever been in a situation in which you found it very difficult to believe that God cares, or He still answers the prayers of His people? Gideon was in that situation. Gideon who was going to be a great judge and deliverer in Israel saw the sufferings and the oppression in the hands of the enemies as indications that God had forgotten the people (Israelites) He so much loved and cherished.
1.       “And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him”:  It is always an awesome experience for any man who God decides to visit in a special way. There has never been a man who received God’s visitation and remained the same. When God visits a man, He changes his history, gives him a message and a vision or an assignment.  The Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon while he was doing something that looked unspiritual in an unpopular place to commit a spiritual assignment to him.  “…Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress…..” (Judges 6:11). Gideon had a lot of doubts in this encounter. At first, he could not believe it was an angel that appeared to him. Gideon may have imagined in his mind, how possible it was for an Angel to appear so casually to a poor man who was not in the temple worshipping or doing spiritual things but rather involved in a menial task. These calculations and analysis almost made Gideon miss God’s divine purpose for his life. Thank God for the Angel who was so patient with Gideon, even when he asked for signs to be sure it was really an Angel of God. The problem that could hinder the accomplishment of God’s purpose in His visitation in our lives is never with Him but with us
 
2.       “The Lord is with thee thou mighty man of valour”: There is nothing as precious and assuring as having God’s presence with us. Men of God who did exploit in the Bible had this common thing ‘The presence of God’,“The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered…” (Genesis 39:2). It is the presence of the Lord that guarantees our prosperity in whatever we do in life either spiritual or physical. The presence of God carries victory, blessings, peace and so on. The Angel knew that the main thing that Gideon needed to succeed in the task that is about to be given him was the presence of God, so he assured him of God’s presence. It was a word to strengthen Gideon’s faith and prepare him for the task, though Gideon did not believe God was with him because of the situation of his people.And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord, is with us, why then is all this befallen”.Gideon saw problems bigger than possibilities; he saw the past problems and not the present solutions. Gideon based his assessment on the general dealings of God with Israel, and not on the personal dealings of God with him. Gideon was behind the event of things as God had opened a new page in the history of Israel which Gideon was unaware of.  The second thing that the Angel told Gideon was that he’s a mighty man of valour. “Oh! How can a man like me be a mighty man of valour?” that was Gideon’s answer. Gideon considered his family background and his status in the family and felt that the Angel must have made a mistake, to be calling him a mighty man of valour.  The Lord assured Gideon that He was not only with him, but He will be with him. That was all that Gideon needed to deliver Israel.
 
3.       “Go in the strength you have”: Strength is the ability that enables us to work and achieve results. There are so many kinds of strengths: physical and spiritual, visible and invisible. Some strengths are natural talents, some are spiritual gifts, while some are acquired through training or labour.  Everyone has strength in one area or the other. Beyond other purposes, strengths are to be used to serve and glorify God.  The Angel told Gideon, that God had given enough strength to deliver Israel; God had given him enough strength for the task he was called to do. The Lord has called every one of us to play one role or the other, so as to advance His kingdom on earth, but some of us often complain of not having enough strength. Some people are called to be preachers, but they complain they have not been to any theological school, some are called to be Christian counselors, but they complain of not having adequate training. Mission work is one of kingdom tasks that people, who are called to it, often complain about. Those who are called to go sometimes complain about their family, those called to pray complain about feeble knees and those called to give complain about lack of finance. God says to you this day, “Go in the strength you have and play your role in cross cultural missions”. “And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” ( Deuteronomy 10:12).
Matthew Olorunnaiye
 
 

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THE LOCAL CHURCH AND GLOBAL MISSIONS-PART SEVEN. “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.”  (Matthew 28:18-20). (more…)

THE LOCAL CHURCH AND GLOBAL MISSIONS-PART SIX. The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.  However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:17-20)

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THE LOCAL CHURCH AND GLOBAL MISSIONS-PART FIVE. The general believe is that, mission which is the preaching of the gospel to those that have not heard it sufficiently enough to make a decision to follow Christ, or those among whom there is no viable or a strong church, is often considered as a ministry that every local church should be involved in doing. Far beyond this perception, mission is the overall life of the church because that is the major reason why the church exists.  There can’t be church if there is no mission and there will be no mission without the church. The early church was doing mission everywhere, every time and to every people in every circumstance. (more…)

THE LOCAL CHURCH AND GLOBAL MISSION-PART 4 Please, permit me to use the unusual approach as we look at part three of our main theme, ‘The Local Church and Global Mission’.  I am sharing with you a meditation by Mary Schotte that I received from a friend couple of weeks ago, on ‘finding rest in God’. It is taken from a blog site called tendingscatteredwool.com  (more…)

THE LOCAL CHURCH AND GLOBAL MISSION  PART-THREE. You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure.  We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition (1 Thessalonians 2:1-2).

Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians believers is one of the letters that reveals the constant struggles and sufferings that Paul and his team went through at the cause of preaching the gospel. Paul reminded the Thessalonians of how much they suffered in Macedonia, especially in Thessalonica and Philippi before the gospel could thrive in that region. This shows that, it is not abnormal that, apart from prayer and hard labour, missionaries often go through some sufferings before achieving the desired and remarkable breakthrough among the unreached people to whom they preach the gospel to. (more…)

THE LOCAL CHURCH AND GLOBAL MISSION-PART ONE.Apart from the inability to see the advancing of God’s Kingdom beyond a small scope or the four walls of the church, the global economy and the socio-political atmosphere of the world is a big threat to the local church’s involvement in global mission. It is becoming increasingly difficult and challenging to get Local Churches actively involved in mission. The churches that were once taking the lead in the mission mandate are placing their priority on something else, and those that want to embrace the call are hindered by different kinds of challenges and distractions. If there is a time that deliberates efforts need to be made to challenge and awaken the church to her responsibility in advancing God’s kingdom through mission, it is now. Mission cannot advance except the ecclesiological institution in the grass root, which is the local church, acknowledges her role and plays it.  The local church must awake to her responsibility in mission. (more…)

THE LOCAL CHURCH AND GLOBAL MISSION-PART TWO. Every local church can be likened to the vision of Dry Bones in Ezekiel 37 – The valley of dry bones. God moved supernaturally upon the dry bones to bring them together into a body that became a mighty army. The bones could not do it on their own.
The Lord Jesus Christ did the first gathering of 120 “Dry Bones” at Jerusalem and on the Pentecost day, He turned that local dry bones into a local church and a mighty army for global missions.
The Lord Himself gathers the dry bones, raises them into a local church and a mighty army and sends them forth with the command to “GO”, for global missions in the power of the Holy Spirit. The problem has been that the “GO” command is perverted to “STAY”and build up empire etc. (more…)