1st November 2017

Week Of Prayer - Day 3

 

Discipleship for mission

 

‘Now go in my authority and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And teach them to faithfully follow all that I have commanded you. And never forget that I AM with you every day, even to the completion of this age.’ Matthew 28:19-20 (TPT)

Rev Jonas Lenganda counsels and prays with a woman who has come to the Kilimatinde Safari clinic in Chidudu, Tanzania

As believers in Christ, being on mission is our commission. Whether paid, unpaid, overseas or at home — in school, working or retired — we are all called to tell others about Jesus.

Acts 1:8 tells us that, when we receive the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be His witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. For some, this means serving people overseas. For others, the mission field may be closer to home. (The use of Jerusalem in the verse above refers to a local area.)

Mission, at its simplest, is sharing God’s love with others. It can be as modest as stopping to chat with someone who needs a listening ear, or sharing the burdens of those in our neighbourhood, churches and workplaces — shining God’s love. It is about discerning where God is already at work and seeking to join Him in building His Kingdom.

When Jesus gave the Great Commission, He was calling every Christian to step out in faith and spread the Good News. It is an invitation to obedience, adventure, divine destiny and purpose. We are called to ‘make disciples’ and should see discipleship and mission not as separate callings, but as one and the same thing. Rather than being about activities or certain people serving in distant countries, the call to mission originates in the very nature of God. After all, the God of the Bible is a sending God.

Rev Christopher Njiliho prays with individuals who have come to the Kilimatinde Safari clinic in Chidudu, Tanzania, held under a large acacia tree.

Throughout history, God has been sending people. He sent Abraham into the unknown to experience the presence and power of faith. He sent Moses to the oppressive dictator Pharaoh to let the bells of freedom ring through the corridors of history. He sent the prophets to God’s people with a message of judgment and forgiveness.

And He sent His Son, Jesus. And Jesus sent His disciples.

As Christians, our mission is an extension of the nature of God, who cares enough to seek, search and save people, meeting them where they are.

Miriam Swaffield, Fusion UK’s Student Mission Leader, says:

‘Mission is really about relationship. Relationship with God and others. Loving Him and so loving others with that love of God that is arrestingly different to the love of the world, covered in the aroma of Christ. Mission isn’t an event, it’s a person.

‘Discipleship is really about relationship. Relationship with God and others. Loving Him and so loving others as we all walk in His ways and help each other keep in step with the Holy Spirit. Including those who are yet to live in obedience to the Holy Spirit themselves. That’s where we can bring life, and life in all its fullness, because that is where it is needed. Discipleship isn’t an event, it’s people.

‘If discipleship and mission are all about relationship between God, His people and all of humanity, then the whole thing is inseparable. Both discipleship and mission are about sharing and knowing more of Jesus with each other in community with God.’

MAF is a family of missionaries. Some are based overseas, serving people in isolated communities. Others work in MAF support offices and resourcing groups all over the world, partnering with our supporters, volunteers and prayer partners to see God’s love and power reach those in need of help, hope and healing.

As disciples of Christ, when we step into our ‘missionary shoes’ — being the hands and feet of Jesus and sharing Him as a natural overflow of our relationship with Him — we find ourselves more aware of His presence in our lives.

We start to mature in mission, being discipled by the Holy Spirit as we search for the right words and responses to those in need.

Under the MAF plane wing, Mama Ruth Kambenga and 17-year-old Peter Daniel sing with and teach the local children from nearby villages while on the Kilimatinde Medical Safari taking place at Chidudu, Tanzania.

Response

Ask the Lord to show you what your mission field is for this season in your life, seeking Him for boldness, direction and open doors.

Think about people you could disciple, whether helping them grow deeper in Christ, or perhaps teaching those who do not yet know about Jesus’ redeeming love.

Continue to pray for MAF’s family of missionaries as they serve Jesus. May they continue to draw close to the source of all life — being led by His Spirit in all they do.

Finally, please pray for more people to hear God’s call to serve with MAF throughout the developing world.


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