Franklin Road Baptist Church
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
“Christ is our Message….The Bible is Our Text”

Mission Focus - Devotionals

Date: Saturday, September 18, 2021
Time: -

Mission Focus Sunday - Daily Devotionals

The Missions Focus Sunday theme for September 12th is “A Waiting World ... A Willing Church?”  There are eight daily devotionals that are associated with this topic. They will be sent to our mailing list beginning Friday, September 3rd. Please look for them and read them!


 DAY 8:  The Going Missionary
Sept 11

Remind yourself again… 6,800,000,000 souls. 6.8 billion people. Go back and re-read last Sunday’s devotional if you need to get your mind around that figure again. Now go on and read Romans 10:14-15

READ ROMANS 10:14-15
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” – 
Romans 10:14-15 (ESV)
How will all those people hear the gospel?

  Maybe through YOU.
 
Jesus calls us to go into all the world. In 
Acts 1:8 he leaves his disciples with these words, “And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
 
You’ve probably heard this all before, but it’s worth repeating. When Jesus lays that out, he’s basically laying out the game plan.

  1. “in Jerusalem” – They were in Jerusalem when Jesus said this. He’s like, “start here, right where you are.” The first step for you in becoming a going missionary is to start where you are. At your job, your school — even in your home. Will you be a missionary that goes to your family, your friends, your co-workers with the Gospel?

  2. “in all Judea and Samaria” – Next it would spread out to the regions around them. Are you willing to go out into your community, your state, your country, your culture and preach the gospel? Be a witness, an ambassador, a missionary for Jesus?

  3. “and to the ends of the earth.” – Finally, are you willing to go to the ends of the earth to spread the gospel? Maybe God would call you to a short term missions trip with our church to Haiti or to India. Are you willing to go? Will you sacrifice time, talent, and treasure to go? Maybe he’d even call you and your family to full time ministry! How will you respond?

 How will others come to faith if no one shares the gospel with them? If they never hear? Will you go and tell them?
  Journaling Questions:

  1. So far in your life, what role have you played in helping others learn about Jesus? Be specific. You might be familiar with the idea of a family tree – a visual depiction of your relatives and ancestors. Maybe you would sketch out a spiritual family tree. Who told you? Who have you passed the Gospel on to?

  2. How did you come to faith in Jesus Christ? How did you hear? Who told you? What would have happened to you if that person had never responded to God’s call to present the gospel to you?

  3. Are you willing to be a going missionary? What would it cost you to be one? Where could you go with the gospel? Be specific. What specific sacrifices would it take both now and in the future for you to be a going missionary?


DAY 7:  The Going Missionary
Sept 10th

 READ 2 CORINTHIANS 8:1-12
    We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.
    I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. – 
2 Corinthians 8:1-12
    Paul writes to the church in Corinth and reminds them of some other churches, the Macedonians. Evidently they faced some severe and harsh trials. Maybe they were bruised and beaten for their faith? Maybe they were struck with famine? Maybe their economy crashed and many were without work? Maybe some were killed? Whatever the case, we do know from verse 2 that they experienced their most severe trial and that they lived in extreme poverty. But in the midst of this they maintained joy, and rich generosity sprung up from among them. Paul says they even begged to be able to give and be a part of what God was doing.
     The Macedonian churches were full of giving missionaries. Sometimes we think (sometimes I think) that to be a giving missionary you’ve got to be loaded so that you can give enough to really make a difference. I catch myself thinking about how amazing it would be to have all kinds of money and be able to give lavishly and without constraint… Paul reminds me that some of the greatest giving missionaries were/are also the poorest.
     Paul was challenging the church in Corinth to be like the Macedonian churches. In verses 7-8 he encourages them to excel in giving the way that they excel in everything else. To be generous. To be giving missionaries, people who give generously to fulfill the mission of God.
     Even Jesus was a giving missionary. Verse 9 tells us that though Jesus was rich, for our sakes he become poor, giving up everything so that in his poverty we might become rich!
     God blesses us so that we can bless others. In 
2 Corinthians 9:10-12
, Paul says, “10
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. “

     Are you willing to become a giving missionary? Remember, a fully devoted follower Gives Sacrificially. They’re joyfully willing to release their time, talent, and treasure to help further the Kingdom of God. That’s a giving missionary.
  Journaling Questions:

  1. How was it that the Macedonian churches were able to have rich generosity in the midst of “their most severe trial” and “extreme poverty”? Would you—do you—respond in the same way? Write about it.

  2. What things do you excel at? What are you good at? Make a list. Now go back and look at it. Was it easy to excel at those things? Did it take time to get good at them? What did you have to do to excel at those things?

  3. What steps could you take to begin excelling at the “grace of giving”? Be very specific. Think hard about this one, it will involve some hard choices, maybe some big lifestyle changes. Are you willing to become a giving missionary?


DAY 6: The Praying Missionary
September 9th

 So, have you been thinking any more about that huge number we laid out on Sunday? Do you remember it? 6.8 billion people. 6,800,000,000 souls.
 READ 
MATTHEW 9:35-38
And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” – 
Matthew 9:35-38

Matthew tells us that when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them. When you think of the 6,800,000,000 souls on the earth today, does it stir your heart towards compassion? It should. Every one of those souls will cross into eternity one day, some to eternal blessing, but most to eternal damnation. It creates a pit in my stomach just to write that…
  As Jesus looked out over the crowds he felt deep compassion for them. He saw a hurting, harassed, lost world in need of rescue. He viewed it like a field of crops, ripe and ready, waiting for harvest. All that was needed were workers to go out and bring it in.
  We live in a waiting world, ready for harvest. Jesus tells us that we should “ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
  Are you willing to be a praying missionary? Here’s a few ways you might commit this week to becoming a praying missionary:

  1. Pray for God to send out workers into his harvest field.

A praying missionary is committed to praying that God would send out workers to serve in ministry fulfill his mission. You could pray this for our church. As we grow and God gives us greater opportunity for ministry, we need workers willing and ready to serve. Pray that God would send out workers all around the world, and even in and among our church body. Just be attentive to the fact that one of those workers could be you!

  1. Pray for the missionaries we support.

Did you know we have a ministry at Wawasee BIble that is dedicated to simply praying for our missionaries? It’s called “GPS” (Global Prayer Squad). You simply take one day each month (your day might be the 15th), and every month on that day you commit to praying for our missionaries. We’ll even provide you with a guide on what and how to pray for them.

  1. Pray for others.

One very simple and very practical way you could work towards becoming a praying missionary is by signing up to be on our email prayer chain. Several times each week prayer requests are emailed out from the church office to people committed to praying for God’s will in the life of others. You could also do this by taking home your Message Notes bulletin insert each week. On the back is a prayer guide. Simply stick it in your bible and pull it out during the week and pray for the requests listed on it.
  Journaling Questions:

  1. Jesus felt compassion when he looked out over the crowds of his day. What “crowds” of people (big or small) do you come in contact with each week? Does your heart stir with compassion for them? Why or why not? Write about it.
  2. Jesus said “the workers are few” for a harvest that is plentiful. How have you responded (positively or negatively) to God’s call for you to go out into the field and serve in ministry? Are you in the field purposefully doing ministry? Or are you just watching others do it all?
  3. How could you become a “praying missionary”? List out some thoughts. Be specific, no general stuff like “I could pray for people.” Be specific – who? What would/could you pray for? What specific steps could you take to become a praying missionary?

DAY 5:  The Great Co-Mission

We’ve been looking this week at how God is a missionary God and how we are sent, like Jesus, to be missionaries to the very time and place in which we live.
On Monday we looked at the Great Commission. Maybe you could go read it again in 
Matthew 28:19-20. When you think about the command to make disciples of “all nations”, it’s a pretty intimidating and daunting task. If you’re like me, you think to yourself, “How in the world am I supposed to accomplish that???” Or maybe even, “How in the world could God expect me to do that?” I understand that I’m sent out to be a missionary like Jesus, but how do I do it?
A pastor and scholar named Eugene Peterson wanted to better communicate God’s word to his people. He longed for them to be able to read it in a way that was easily and quickly understood. He began studying the original Hebrew and Greek languages of the bible and, to make a long story short, translated it into a paraphrased version of the bible called, “The Message”. Here’s how he translated 
Matthew 28:19-20 in The Message:
Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.
I quote that version here because I think it helps answer the “how” question.
1. Start where you are.
I love how Peterson translates verse 19 – Go out and train everyone you meet, near and far…
Remember, God has placed you in the specific place and time you are on purpose. Your career, your interests, your talents, your passions… — God’s desire is to use you to go out and train everyone you meet with the Gospel. He can use you to reach specific people and affect specific causes that others cannot. Will you be faithful for his specific calling in your life to spread the Gospel? Start where you are, where he’s placed you, with everyone you meet.
2. Jesus is with you.
Jesus promises in verse 20 that he will be and is with us every step of the way, even when it’s tough, even to the end. When I remember that promise, the Great Commission becomes the Great “Co-Mission” to me. I’m not alone. Those of you who farm might think of it as the ultimate co-op! You and Jesus. Better said, Jesus with you. And 99.999% of that is Jesus. It’s by his power, his authority, his work on the cross that I have any hope of being an effective missionary that reaches the world with the Gospel. I’m not alone, Jesus is with me always, even when it’s tough, even to the end.
  Journaling Questions:
Does the Great Commission intimidate you at all? How so? Write about it.

  1. How can you start where you are? What are some ways/places God can use you to spread the Gospel that he might not be able to use someone else? Be specific.

  2. How does thinking of it as the Great “Co-Mission” change your perspective on living out the mission of God?


 

DAY 4:  Be A Jesus-Like Missionary
Sept. 7th

 
Pastor Mark Driscoll says this in his book, The Radical Reformission:
  “It is imperative that Christians be like Jesus, by living freely within the culture as missionaries who are as faithful to the Father and his gospel as Jesus was in his own time and place."  God has sent us out to live in this time and in this culture as missionaries who fulfill the mission of God, just as Jesus did.
  READ 
ACTS 17:26-27
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us.
In 
Acts 17 we read that God has determined the exact time and place where we should live, so that people could find him. How amazing is it to think that God has literally sent you into the exact place and time and that you live to be His representative? His ambassador. His missionary!
  Paul talks about this amazing role we have been given as representatives of God, ambassadors of Jesus: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” – 
2 Corinthians 5:20
  Paul says it’s as though God himself were making his appeal to others through us. It’s through you that Jesus wants to spread the gospel and call people to saving faith!
  So are you living in a way that allows God’s call to ring clearly through your life to others?
  In 
Mark 10:45
 Jesus says this, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” To be a leader, to be a minister, to be an ambassador of Jesus means to be a servant. To willingly serve and give your life for others.
  To be a Jesus-Like Missionary you have to humble yourself. You have to sacrifice and willingly serve and love others, doing whatever it takes to spread the gospel. That’s living out the mission of God.
  Journaling Questions:

  1. After reading Acts 17:26-27, how does knowing that God determined this specific time and place for you to live encourage you to share the gospel? Do you feel empowered by that fact? Write about it.
  2. What needs to change in your life to allow God’s “appeal though you” to be more powerful?
  3. Do you serve like Jesus? Sacrificially? Willingly? Where? Be specific. List out ways you serve in ministry as part of the church to fulfill the mission of God.

DAY 3:  Jesus The Great Missionary
Sept. 6th
Today I’m not going to write much, I just want you to read about Jesus the Great Missionary straight from Scripture. The bible tells us that God sent Jesus to die for a lost, rebellious, wicked, and dying world. The following passages reveal how Jesus first lived out the Missio Dei as a missionary sent from God before calling us to do the same.
 
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” – 
John 4:34
“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.” – 
John 5:30
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” – 
John 6:38
“I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” – 
John 7:29
“And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always to the things that are pleasing to him.” – 
John 8:29
“We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work” – 
John 9:4
And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.” – 
John 12:44-45
“For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.” – 
John 12:49
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” – 
John 13:20
“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” – 
John 17:3
“For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.” – 
John 17:8

We’re called to do the same thing. In fact, Jesus declares that he has sent and is sending us to go out just as he did to reach a lost and dying world. 

“As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” – John 17:17
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” – 
John 20:21

Go back now and re-read that first set of verses in light of the fact that Jesus is sending you to be a missionary in the same way he was sent by the Father.
  Journaling Questions:

  1. When you think of Jesus sending you as his missionary to the world, how do you feel? Excited? Scared? Encouraged? Write about it.

  2. What are ways you have responded to Jesus’ call to live out the Missio Dei (Mission of God) and help fulfill the Great Commission? List any you can think of.

  3. Look at the first verse in the list above. What would need to change in your life for you to live out John 4:34 like Jesus did?


DAY 2:  God Is A Missionary


READ MATTHEW 28:19-20
One of Jesus’ final commands to his disciples, and to us as his followers, is to go into the world and make disciples. It’s called the “Great Commission”. To be missionaries to our world and our culture that spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Theologians call this the Missio Dei, or the “Mission of God”. It’s God’s mission to spread his glory by using the Church to teach and train all people to love and follow Jesus. In the Great Commission Jesus calls us to be a part of that mission. That’s where we get the phrase, “Live Missionally” – it means to live in sync with—or better said—to live out the Mission of God.
Have you ever thought about the fact that God is a missionary God? He is. The great thing about Jesus’ call for us to go out make disciples and spread the Gospel is that he did it himself! He leads by example! God is a sending God, with a desire to see all of humanity and creation reconciled, redeemed, and healed. He sent Jesus for this purpose.
The greatest display of the mission of God is in 
John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Today, spend some time thinking about the fact that God is a missionary God who came into your world to reach you with his love through Jesus Christ. His desire is to see you (and all people) reconciled, redeemed, and healed.
Journaling Questions:

  1. Have you ever thought of God as a missionary God before?

  2. How does thinking of Jesus as God the Father’s sent missionary to you, affect your thoughts toward missions?

  3. Spend some time in prayer and/or journaling today, reveling in the thought of God the Father’s great love towards you in sending his Son Jesus to reach, love, rescue, redeem, and heal you through his work on the cross.


DAY 1: A Waiting Word… A Willing Church?

Did you know that their are 6.8 Billion people alive today who call Earth home? That’s 6,800,000,000 people! Sociologists have said that we’ve been in the midst of a population explosion over the last 30+ years. When the Beatles were the most popular band on the planet in the 1960s, there were about 3.5 billion people on Earth. The world’s population has DOUBLED in the last 40-50 years!

Think about that for a second, 6.8 BILLION people.

Maybe this would be a better way to think of our world: 6,800,000,000 souls.

Let’s try to put that 6.8 billion number into perspective. When Jesus walked the earth, it’s estimated that the earth’s total population would have been in the 200 million to 300 million range. That’s less than the population of the United States alone today.

Go get a penny. Seriously, go ahead, I’ll wait…

Got it? Now, hold that penny in your hand, maybe trace it on a piece of paper, or just look at it while you consider this… If you were to find a school bus, and fill it with pennies, you’d have about 2/3 of the U.S. population in pennies. 5-6 school busses filled to the brim with pennies would be about 1 billion pennies. To equal the total number of souls on our planet, you’d have to fill nearly 40 school busses with pennies. Think about that the next time you drive past the school bus barn. That’s a lot of people!

This week as we consider God’s mandate to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, keep that huge, daunting number in the forefront of your mind.

READ 

ROMANS 3:23

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God – 

Romans 3:23

You don’t need me to tell you that the vast majority of those 6.8 billion souls are in great need. The amount of injustice, pain, suffering, and need in our world is staggering. Sin is at the root of all of it, tainting all of what God originally created and called good. The only hope is God rescuing us through his son, Jesus. And there are literally billions of people waiting for that rescue.

Journaling Questions

  1.  

    When you consider the mass numbers of people on our planet, what do you think about? How does it affect your view of God? How does it affect your view of the Gospel?

  2.  

    Does it affect your thinking to consider it as 6,800,000,000 souls vs. 6.8 billion people? How so?

What is a specific dream you would have for our church, for your family, or for you individually this week as we consider the need to bring the gospel to billions of people waiting to hear? Maybe as you close, you’d spend some time praying or journalling about this to the Lord.

 


 
 

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