Did you know the Creator of the Universe is a missionary? Did you know the Messiah of our faith was also a missionary? I never gave those questions much thought until recently. I’ve defined the term missionary in a past newsletter and will not take the time to do so here. One thing I would like to mention is that in order to be a missionary one doesn’t necessarily plant a church, build an orphanage, or feed the homeless. A missionary doesn’t even have to preach a sermon on a weekly basis. The things I previously mentioned are most definitely accomplished by some missionaries, but they don’t define specifically who or what a missionary is. Those are functions of missionaries that tie into and accomplish the mission of the God of Israel and His son Y’shua (Jesus).
If the God of Israel has a mission, would it be wise for you and me to only have knowledge about that mission while doing nothing to walk out our role, duty, and responsibility in the bigger scope of that mission? Knowledge without action, in this case, has eternal consequences for believers. We can keep commandments until we are blue in the face or pray and fast every second of our waking lives, but if we aren’t fulfilling God’s mission then what are we really doing. What is God’s mission? Most think it is the great commission found in the Newer Testament book of Matthew chapter 28 beginning with verse 16. Most definitely this is part of God’s mission, but it’s not the first place mentioned in the Scriptures.
Now the Lord said to Abram, go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great’ and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you and the one who curses I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. Genesis 12:1-3
We read this passage and mainly focus on the blessing and cursing part, but something bigger is at play. If we back up one chapter, we find two major issues that were plaguing the then known world: the sinfulness of every person that walked the earth and the confusion and fracturing of the nations of humanity. In order to combat these plagues, the Creator calls Abraham to be His man to deal with the problem of human sin but to also heal the divisiveness of the nations. The Creator explicitly elected Abraham for the blessings of all nations on earth! This is actually where we find the first great commission; it’s not a Newer Testament concept. It’s an Older Testament concept where Abraham was told “Go…[and] be a blessing…and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you”.
God’s plan since the beginning of time was to deal with sin and division through His covenant people Israel, the people of Abraham who is called the father of our faith. God’s divine mission is even bigger than just reaching the nations. It encompasses the whole of creation! You and I play an extremely huge part in this restoration process. We either add to the restoration when we walk as Israel is commanded to walk, or we take away from the restoration when we aren’t fulfilling our responsibility to give of ourselves. This giving includes our time, energy, effort, and finances. If Y’shua was to assess our giving in the previous areas, what would the outcome of that assessment look like for you? Would we fail or pass? Many individuals have taken their responsibility and expect others to gird their loins and fulfill it because I can’t do ______ (fill in the blank with your excuse and justification). I’ve even heard folks comment on how God is so big and can just do it all Himself. That sounds trendy, but from Genesis to Revelation we find this so big of a God using men and women to fulfill His mission.
Mission wasn’t made for individuals to camp out around movements, organizations, or denominations. Individuals were made for mission — God’s mission. Many times we don’t grasp the simplicity but yet profoundness of that. Abraham, Jeremiah, Josiah, Elisha, and Y’shua to name a few had a grip on that concept. They not only directed individuals back to the God of Israel but were instrumental in steering a nation back to its original navigational course! Whose life are you having an affect on by giving them your time and energy? Whose life are you having an affect on through giving financially to them? God’s mission, or great commission, given to Abraham, the father of our faith, was to be a blessing in all aspects, and yes, that included opening up his wallet to bless and meet the needs of individuals. I’m glad Abraham didn’t fill in the blank with some lame excuse as to why he couldn’t do what God commanded him to do. I’m glad that he left us a witness or a measuring stick that we will be judged by when we stand before the Creator giving an account for how we used or didn’t use what He gave us to be good stewards over. Like the Capital One credit card commercial slogan, “what’s in your wallet?” Abraham obeyed God, and it was considered righteousness because he blessed others without expecting anything in return because it was his mandate. If we could only grasp that right there! Don’t you and I have that same mandate? Blessings.