As we begin our reading of Romans this month, I am struck with the richness and depth of the words on missions. Having just returned form a short term trip to the Philippines with Vernacular Video Mission International, missions is at the forefront of my thoughts. If you didn’t catch these references to missions, go back and read it again:
- v.1 Paul was called and set apart as an apostle, for the Gospel, to share the Good News, just as we were called to go to the Philippines
- v.5 We have received grace and apostleship for one clear reason- to bring about the obedience of faith FOR THE SAKE OF HIS NAME AMONG ALL THE NATIONS. We partnered with VVMI to bring video production tools and video projection equipment to enable Filapino pastors and believers to travel into remote areas to share the Gospel where it has not yet been preached.
- v. 8 Who do we thank when the Good News is proclaimed in the world? The missionaries? No, Paul says we thank GOD! Yes, I am very grateful for each pastor and evangelist we met and I am humbled to have been able to experience how God is at work among the tribal minority groups in the mountainous region of northern Luzon, but my praise does not go to them, and your praise should not go to me or my family. The praise and thanks goes to GOD!
- v. 8 Where should the Good News be proclaimed? in ALL the WORLD, including the hard-to-reach areas where we may be killed for telling people about Jesus
- v. 12 What is one of the purposes of short term missions? That the “goer” and the “host”, the mission volunteer and the brothers and sisters in the Lord who labor in far-off lands may be MUTUALLY ENCOURAGED by each other’s faith. What a privilege to bring needed equipment from believers here in the US, to give to believers in the Philippines, so that the Gospel can be proclaimed. We came back energized and excited by seeing God at work, observing the faith and trust of pastors and evangelists who encouraged us as we saw their JOY in the Lord and in spreading His Love. We had our eyes opened to the wonders of heaven, when believers from every tribe, tongue, nation and people will gather around the throne singing, “Worthy is the Lamb!”
- v. 13 Paul looked forward to “reaping a harvest” when he visited Rome. Jesus compared the unbelieving world to a field that is ready to be harvested. It was indeed a pleasure to be a co-laborer with our Filapino brothers and sisters, working to bring in a harvest of souls
- v. 14-15 Paul felt an obligation to preach to all people, regardless of their ethnicity or level of education. In fact, he was EAGER to preach. Do we sense this same obligation AND eagerness to share the Good News?
- v. 16-17 What people do to us or do with the Gospel is not ini our hands, and we do not need to be ashamed. The Gospel is the POWER of God for salvation. And this is NOT EXCLUSIVE…it is for everyone who believes.
Great missions texts, great missions promises- Romans is rich with missions!