Category: Missionary Devotion

Episode 32: Earnestly Involved

A congregation that is not deeply and earnestly involved in the worldwide proclamation of the gospel does not understand the nature of salvation.

-Ted Engstrom

 

Every congregation Is called to be a world changer. Every Christian is called through the beautiful words of the scripture to be involved in the great mission of Christ. We have all been commissioned into his mission. One of the greatest tragedies for a congregation or for individual Christians is the belief that they have no way to impact the world for Jesus Christ. Such a belief simply is not true. Every Christian has a voice every Christian has a testimony every Christian has a commission to use that voice in that testimony to bring others to Jesus Christ. Every local congregation has the ability to join in on the great commission in some way. 

When we understand the gift of salvation that God has bestowed upon us, how can we remain silent when we encounter those who desperately need it? After all, how can one beggar who has found free bread not tell a fellow beggar where to get that free bread? Jesus Christ is the bread of life and all must partake to receive eternal life. So, let us proclaim salvation at every opportunity!

May we spend the time necessary to truly reflect on the nature of our salvation. May we be eager to share the saving words of Jesus Christ with everyone we meet!

With love, 1CD38D2B-A6B2-4EFB-AFD7-7812C81D5BCEThe Downings

Episode 31: Blessings

God did not shower such great blessing on this nation for the Christians to live in extravagance, in self-indulgence, and in spiritual weakness.

-K.P. Yohannan, Revolution in World Missions

 

God Blesses his people in various ways. He blesses each believer with spiritual gifts which empowers every member of the Body of Christ to serve in an important and unique way. He blesses each further with talents and experiences that help build the comunity of believers. He blesses some with poverty and a strong dependence upon him which is chronicled by the many daily miracles experienced by the poor. To those who are blessed with poverty “give us this day our daily bread” is not simply a wonderful prayer, it is a necessary dependence. God blesses others with wealth. He blesses them with wealth not so that they may live in opulence while others starve but so that they can be a conduit of his blessing to others. It is not bad to be blessed with wealth. But any blessing not shared tends to hinder the work of God and harm the one who is blessed. 

Every blessing of God can be miss used. For those of us who have been blessed with so much it should be unthinkable to live in extravagance, Self indulgence and worse yet spiritual weakness.

May we be the people who use the blessings that God has bestowed on us for His glory. May we pour out our blessings as a drink offering to our Lord and Savior.

With much love, 9A5BC3BC-7686-46D4-856A-4B7C6AB368BFThe Downings

Episode 30: Those Who Need Him Most

When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, that the Lord has made known to us.” So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger. When they saw him, they related what they had been told about this child, and all who heard it were astonished at what the shepherds said.
~Shepherds, Luke 2:15-18

 

Scum of the earth! The people who worked as shepherds in the fields around Bethlehem during the time of the first Christmas were considered to be the lowest of the low. They had a reputation for being dishonest and crude. They were the sort of people who should be avoided. Yet, when the Holy God of all creation announced the birth of His Son it was to these reprobates that He sent His Angels.

The ears who heard the first Gospel message belonged to the people who most needed a Savior. This is the loving nature of God! He is quick to seek out those who need Him most. He brings the improbable into His family.

Our hope for you today is that you will see others through the eyes of God. No one is too far away from God to be saved.

With love, 1CD38D2B-A6B2-4EFB-AFD7-7812C81D5BCEThe Downings

Did this devotion sound familiar? Okay, you caught us! This is a repost of one of our Christmas Devotions. If you would like to hear more Christmas Devotions click here. 

Episode 29: World Vision

Lack of world vision in any Christian produces a “pea-sized Christianity.”

-David Bryant

 

Followers of Christ are commissioned into His ongoing mission. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, we are called to seek the lost and introduce them to the One who will save them. This divine mission doesn’t end at the edge of our personal relationships. This mission extends past those places in which we are comfortable. The mission even takes us through territory that makes us very uncomfortable. Christ’s mission even includes far away people with different cultures. 

You and I know the Truth and have been set free because of it. It would be cruel not to passionately and personally ensure that the salvation message is heard in all spheres of witness. 

May we be the generation that embraces the importance of Christ’s ongoing mission. May our hearts ache with the weight of our commission.

With love, 1CD38D2B-A6B2-4EFB-AFD7-7812C81D5BCEThe Downings

Episode 28: The Divine Desire

All of history is moving toward one great goal, the white-hot worship of God and His Son among all the peoples of the earth.

-John Piper

 

The meta narrative of history is the Divine desire to establish a place where God and his creation can dwell together. We see this desire in the dew covered dawn of creation in a garden called Eden. It is evident it the the cleansing flood in Noah’ time and the ark of safety Divinely devised. The narrative unfolds in the establishment of Abraham’s family. The Divine desire is written large on the stone tablets of Moses. The cloud by day, the fire by night and the Tabernacle of ancient Israel all demonstrate the ongoing desire. The Temple on Zion’s hill proclaims God’s great desire to dwell with His people. The focal point of all history, the incarnation of Jesus certainly speaks the Divine truth of the historic meta narrative, God will dwell with us! Upon the death of Christ on the cross the veil of the temple that separated God and His creation tore from the top to the bottom indicating that God would dwell among us in a different way, He would establish His Church. Every page in the book of Acts reads with the realization that the Body of Christ, the Church is the new temple in which God dwells. As we read of things to come in the book of Revelation we see the passing of old paradigms, the heavens and earth being made new, the sea (signifying doubt and confusion) will be no more and the great city of New Jerusalem will be established where the walk of God and man will be resumed! It is there that we will experience the white-hot worship of God and His son! Until we are there we engage in the mission Christ has given us. 

May we embrace the mission to prepare the nations. May we eagerly embrace God’s Divine desire!

With much love,E485775C-AFF2-40F9-B51B-573DD3A6D020 The Downings

Episode 27: The Divorce

It is one of the great tragedies of church history – the divorce between the church and her mission. Today few churches even know that the divorce occurred, making it even more painful. The separation has persisted so long that it seems normal.

-Tom Julien

 

The church is the active body of Christ in this world! The builder of the Church is God the Father, it is empowered or quickened by the Holy Spirit, and its movement, its mission is given by Christ who is the head!

But When the Church separates itself from the Mission or worse yet divorces itself from the mission it is a sad state of affairs indeed.

History is replete with cycles of the church embracing the mission of Christ and the church divorcing itself from the mission of Christ. In the Epochs of time in which there is a divorce between the church and her mission para-church organizations arise. These organizations try to carry out the mission of Christ but the mission of Christ was never intended to be carried out by any organization, only the church. Para-church organizations succeed from time to time but the real home of the mission of Christ is within the body of Christ.

If it is true that there has been a divorce between the church and her Mission today and that most churches do not even know that the divorce accord occurred it is up to this generation to refocus the body of Christ upon its head, Jesus Christ, and to engage in his mission.

May we be the generation who seeks his face. May we be the generation who passionately embraces his mission.

With much love,C7277E17-6D98-457E-AFCC-1E3289BD0CA8 The Downings

Episode 26: Living Committed

God is reaching the lost not through programs but through individuals whose lives are so committed to Him that He uses them as vessels to anoint a lost world.

-K.P. Yohannan, Revolution in World Missions

 

Good programs and great vision draw the attention of many Christians. And as followers of Christ we do help the poor as described in Matthew 25, not because we are commissioned to but because something changes in our very nature when we become followers of Christ. But our divinely originated empathy for the downtrodden is no replacement for our divinely anointed mission. 

God changes the world not through programs but through presence. Jesus gave us the ultimate example. He became flesh and dwelt among us. He preformed many miracles and taught the multitudes all great programs. But his lasting impact was carried forth by the eleven people who he successfully discipled. 

May we be like Christ. May we live lives so committed to God that He uses us as vessels to anoint a lost and dying world. 

With much love, 1CD38D2B-A6B2-4EFB-AFD7-7812C81D5BCEThe Downings

Click here for this week’s Together Tuesday!

Episode 25: Start With Your Neighbor

The worldwide proclamation of the Gospel awaits accomplishment by a generation which shall have the obedience, courage, and determination to attempt the task.

-John R. Mott

 

The more We experience life on the mission field, the more we believe this quote to be true! The fields are rip for harvest all we need is a generation willing to attempt the task! God is working in the hearts and minds of people all over the world.

Perhaps he is working with your neighbor, you will never know unless you speak to them. If you want to be part of the generation that obeys and has courage and determination to attempt the task of global evangelism start with your neighbor. In Acts chapter 1 Jesus set forth four concentric circles of witness. He doesn’t call His disciples to go to the ends of the earth first. He calls his disciples to start where they are then, to go where it’s easy after that, to go where it’s hard and finally go to the ends of the earth. We are convinced that very few would go to the ends of the earth if they were not also faithful in every concentric circle of witness.

May we be the generation of believers who seek the face of God. May we be the ones to take his gospel to the ends of the earth.

With much love, 6EF7E090-4274-4931-9223-67A638494696The Downings

This is our 25th devotional Episode of Missionary Devotions! We invite you to click here to hear our very first Episode. Our other podcasts include Cultural Insights and Ministry Stories. Make sure to follow us so you will never miss an episode!

 

Episode 24: Seeds of Revival

God has huge plans for the world today! He is not content to merely establish a handful of struggling churches among each tongue, tribe and nation. Even now He is preparing and empowering His Church to carry the seeds of revival to the uttermost ends of the earth.

-David Smithers

Friend, if you are a follower of Christ He is preparing you, He is empowering you to carry the seeds revival to the uttermost parts of the earth. We often think of the great desire of our Lord, His great commission, as the domain of a few energetic Christians called missionaries. But in reality every Christian is given the great commission. We all bear responsibility to carry the seeds of revival to everyone we meet. We all have the responsibility to go, send, and pray for God’s great desire to be accomplished.

Friend, you are called to go. You are called to send missionaries. You are called to pray. If follow Christ you are called into His mission!

May our Father prepare, empower and guide us to carry to the seeds of revival into all the world. 

With much love, E485775C-AFF2-40F9-B51B-573DD3A6D020The Downings

To hear our episode about about obedience click here!

 

 

Episode 23: Obedience

 

The Christian is not obedient unless he is doing all in his power to send the gospel to the heathen world.

-A. B. Simpson

Are you an obedient Christian? We don’t often hear this question asked in our time. Questions of happiness or fulfillment are more common. Obedience is somehow not in vogue. Yet obedience is what Christ called for. In John 15:14 He even calls us friends if we obey his commands. He proclaims that love for him is proven in our obedience to his commands in John 14:15. 

Latter on in his life the Apostle John reflects on these truths and writes these words in Second John 1:6. “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” 

The common theme of each of the recorded commands of Christ found in the Scripture is love. Love for God and love for our neighbors. A love not held only in our hearts and minds but a love lived out in tangible ways. It is love that motivates us to live the commands of Christ. 

So, when you obey the command of Christ and preach the Gospel so that your neighbor can hear and believe then call upon the name of the Lord so that they are saved, you do so motivated by love. When you obey the command of Christ to reach the world by sending a missionary to a foreign land you do so out of love.

Allow me to ask the question again. Are you an obedient Christian? Do you love Christ? Do you love your neighbors? Do you live accordingly? 

May we do all we can to send the Gospel in the world. May we do so in Love. 

With much love,E485775C-AFF2-40F9-B51B-573DD3A6D020 The Downings

Have you listened to our Ministry Story “Cobblestone Less Traveled?” If not, click here!