Matthew 25:34-40 (ESV) - "Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'"
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One of the greatest focused movements in North American missions today is the move toward serving and reaching the nations that God is bringing to us here at home. God has called us in the Great Commission to reach "all ethna" for Him and now He is making our task even easier by bringing the nations to our doorsteps. Never before has it been easier to play our part in obedience to God's commands for our lives than it is now. There are people from all over the world residing in our home towns, many of whom have never before heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This task is easier but I still wouldn't call it easy. There is a lot that we need to be able to put to the side in order to play a part in this mission. We must be willing to get out of our comfort zones. We must be willing to cross cultural barriers that often will leave us without answers, confused, and vulnerable. We must serve those whom it will take a lot of time to know and understand. We cannot serve what we do not know and when we meet someone who is not originally from our culture, we will need to invest in them and care for them well.
The good news is, Jesus is worth it. The good news is, this time and commitment is our obedience. The results, which may or may not go exactly as we hope, are not our obedience, they are the grace of God.
Paul said his life was in debt to those who have not heard and Jesus said how you serve the least of these is how you serve Me. I can't imagine how to qualify the "least of these" more than those who have never heard the one true source of hope for their lives.
- What are some of the fears, challenges, and questions that come with reaching out to internationals?
- What are some practical ways that we can begin to minister more cross-culturally?
- Pray we care more about what breaks the heart of God, His creation that do not know His name, than we do our own comfort and protection.
- Pray we would not miss the opportunities before us to reach the world in our back yards and pray that we act toward those ends.
- Pray for the missionaries in North America who are seeking to reach lost internationals around them for the glory of God.
- Pray for internationals in North America to come to know Christ and the hope of His glory.