Saturday October 6 - The Macedonian Call
And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” �...
Friday October 5 - World missions
The Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid thei...
Thursday October 4 – Ananias and the persecutor
And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized. – Acts 9:18 Scripture reading:...
Tuesday October 2 – The promise of the Spirit
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. – Acts 1:8 Scripture reading: Acts 1:6-9 After our Lord’s resurrection, He appeared to His disciples to teach them the proper way of interpreting the Old Testament. “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem’” (Luke 24:45–47). However, they were not to begin their mission until they were endowed with power from the Holy Spirit. This was to instruct the Church that missionary endeavor depends on the blessing of the Holy Spirit. This teaching is explained in Lord’s Day 21, Q & A 54, of the Heidelberg Catechism: “What do you believe concerning ‘the holy catholic church’? I believe that the Son of God through his Spirit and Word, out of the entire human race, from the beginning of the world to its end, gathers, protects, and preserves for himself a community chosen for eternal life and united in true faith. And of this community I am and always will be a living member.’” The Belgic Confession emphasizes the universality of the Church in Article 27: “This holy Church is not confined, bound, or limited to a certain place or to certain persons, but is spread and dispersed over the whole world; and yet is joined and united with heart and will, by the power of faith, in one and the same spirit.” Suggestions for prayer Ask the Lord to bless all missionaries who are spreading the Gospel, sharing with converts the riches of the Biblical faith, as summarized in the Reformed confessional standards. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Bassam Michael Madany has served as a missionary in Syria, and in 1958 he began a 36-year radio and literature ministry to the Arab world. After retirement Bassam & his wife Shirley began an Internet ministry, Middle East Resources, to provide a “Christian Response to the Global Challenge of Islam.”...
Monday October 1 - Introduction
During this month, we will be studying “Christian Missions” as they are described in the New Testament. In his Gospel, John tells us of God’s love for the world, manifested in sending His Only-begotten Son to save whoever would believe in Him. When Christ had accomplished His redemptive work, He gave the disciples “The Great Commission.” As missions expert Rodney Stark put it in his book The Triumph of Christianity, while it was given in the “imperative,” in the early church, it functioned in the “indicative." In other words, Christians spontaneously shared the Good News with their neighbors. This explains how the number of Christians climbed from 3,000 on Pentecost, to 6 million by 300 AD and to 30 million by 350 AD. The Third Millennium has ushered in the Age of Globalization. Millions of people from Asia and Africa have settled in the West, the majority from a non-Christian background. The “Mission Field” is now next door. We have unprecedented opportunities to spread the Christian faith, by word and deed, through personal contact and the Internet. It is my hope and prayer, that these meditations will re-acquaint us with Biblical principles of missions, guarding us against certain questionable approaches that promise numerical success at the expense of sound doctrine. The goal of Christian missions should be the organization of churches that confess Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior. THE GREAT COMMISSION Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. – Matthew 28:19 Scripture reading: Matthew 28:16-20 Our devotions for this month deal with Christian Missions. The Lord Jesus Christ prefaced the Great Commission with these words: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” These words assure the Church that, notwithstanding the obstacles that would arise in the way of the Gospel, Christ’s omnipotence guarantees the success of the missionary enterprise. The goal is to “make disciples of all nations,” which implies instructing converts with the basics of the Christian faith. During the Apostolic Age, the Apostles and their assistants expounded the Messianic passages of the Old Testament that were fulfilled in the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. This tradition is of great importance for us today, since not all Christian missionary work reflects a faithful adherence to the Great Commission. Some teach that baptism, followed by membership in the church, is not necessary. Others, add a political dimension to the Gospel, such as the realization of “Social Justice” in the here-and-now. However, a careful reading of the Book of Acts reveals that the Gospel proclaimed, “repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21b). The Greek word for repentance is “metanoia,” i.e. a change of mind, resulting in submission to the authority of the Bible. The Internet has become a wonderful tool to spread the Gospel worldwide. This is especially important for Muslims who live in lands that prohibit missionaries. We praise the Lord for this new avenue of service. Suggestions for prayer Pray for Christian missionaries that they may be faithful to the Gospel, realizing that they represent Jesus Christ Whose sovereignty is universal and Whose plan for the gathering of the elect, will be accomplished. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Bassam Michael Madany has served as a missionary in Syria, and in 1958 he began a 36-year radio and literature ministry to the Arab world. After retirement Bassam & his wife Shirley began an Internet ministry, Middle East Resources, to provide a “Christian Response to the Global Challenge of Islam.”...