Every true believer should have a heart to see the world come to know Christ. It is not only a mandate from our Savior just before He ascended to heaven, but the gospel is the prominent theme throughout the New Testament.
I am convinced that a heart for missions will flow out of a daily walk with Christ. You and I are called to preach the gospel; it is our commission as believers in Christ.
In Chapter 10 of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, he states that there is “no difference between Jew and Greek” because all are guilty of falling short of Gods glory. He then charges these believers to share their faith and to not hold back (v-14), “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Paul specifically talks about his ministry of the gospel in Romans 1:6 when he says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Our commission is not limited to our own country, political persuasion or ethnic background. Each of us has a responsibility to share our relationship with Christ – not only with our friends and family but with those whom we have never met or heard of.
As believers, we are not asked to share the gospel (the good news) that is within us, we are charged with that mandate as followers of Christ. This is why seeing the world first hand is so important. Our interaction with people in our community and around the world by way of serving will open our eyes and hearts to opportunities where we can invest the message we have with those we never thought to look for.
While in Ecuador this past July/August the team I was traveling with spent the evenings of the first week working with kids in a more rural section of the Capitol City of Quito. The children in this area were typically poorer but notably interactive and responsive. On the second evening I noticed a little boy sitting by himself. I went over and asked his name. He hugged his knees and looked between them to the ground and told me in a hushed tone that “Sebastian” was his name. He was noticeably frowning and wasn’t participating in the activities so I asked him (via translator), why he was not participating. He told me that he was thirsty. I told him to wait, I went and got a glass of water and brought it to him. Upon finishing the water (he drank all of it) I asked if we could be friends. He looked up at me for the first time, smiled, and said, “Yes, we are friends”.
My challenge every day is to practice, as Paul says in Romans 1:6, not being, “ashamed of the gospel of Christ”. There are opportunities everywhere to invest the love of Christ. It does require giving ourselves and investing our lives, something I don’t always find easy or what I want to do.
I will never forget little Sebastian or his contagious laugh and I will forever remember the sight of him walking away on our last day with him, wearing his purple headband. Missions is not always some great story of preaching the gospel to crowds or risking your life to put a Bible in someone’s hands. Many times, as in this case, it is as simple as putting a cup of water in a child’s hand, showing them the simple love that comes from a heart transformed by Gods amazing grace.