bits from bob....

Missions: How Devoted Are We?

by Robert J. Young
©, 2003, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]
"For his name's sake they went forth." (3 John 7)

All would agree that we are to love the Lord. His interests are paramount, not ours. He defines our purpose. Yet as we affirm our love for him, and even sacrifice to participate in his worldwide global search, we find ourselves doubting our devotion.

Devotion hinges on loyalty to Jesus and his purpose, his will, and his way. The challenge is not so much to detach from the external things but to attach so firmly to him that we would never be loosed with regard to eternal things. Such attachment to him which requires our detachment from this world is an intensely internal thing. External detachment from things is too frequently accompanied by an secret internal attachment to the very things we are avoiding externally. The greatest hypocrisies in our world may be unseen by others--yet we know.

The loyalty of a Christian, and of a missionary, is our openness to Jesus' nature, that we might adopt his mind and spirit. How can we have his mind? Those Jesus sent in the first century were ordinary, but their devotion to Jesus was dominating. The reason: they had been with Jesus.

When we struggle with missions--either regarding our personal involvement of the place of missions in the work of the local church, perhaps our problem is devotion, and every devotion problem goes back to getting our attachments and detachments fixed.

Every Christian would do well to ask: to what am I attached so firmly that I would never let go? Every church would do well to ask: to what are we attached so firmly that we would never let go? For most of us, far down on our possible list of answers is the purpose of God to save the world. How devoted am I?

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Last updated October 9, 2003.