My God Loves the Nations

Over the last two months my attitude has changed about missions on a weekly basis. I've always believed in missions and have seen it as a part of what the church should be doing. I went on mission trips in high school around the country and then went out of the country for the first time after my freshmen year at OBU. I remember getting ready for the Nicaragua trip and thinking how I was going to make a difference in the lives of the boys at the orphanage. It took me about 5 minutes after getting there to realize that this trip was not at all about me impacting the lives of these kids, but about the GOSPEL changing their life. That was 2007 and it has taken me almost three years to understand the true purpose of missions.

This past summer I began reading a book that has not only changed my mind and heart about missions but has changed the hearts and minds of many around the country. David Platt is the pastor at The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama, and he is the author of the book Radical. I can honestly say that this is one of those books that I have to read a chapter at a time and then re-read it because it challenges the way you think about things. I did a similar thing with Crazy Love by Francis Chan and The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoffer. In this book, Platt talks about how we have allowed the American Dream to creep into our churches and thus kill the work of missions around the world. We have created lives that are comfortable and safe and in the meantime neglected what it means to live out the Gospel in the way that Christ demanded.

This semester at SEBTS, I'm taking a class on Christian Missions with Dr. Robinson and I am so thankful that for 3 hours every Tuesday afternoon I hear that there are people all over the world that have yet to hear the Gospel. I'm thankful that I'm reminded that there is no Plan B, we are Plan A and the work that Christ demanded is not done yet. We still have a long way to go. Platt says in his book that, "The price is certainly high for people who don't know Christ and who live in a world where Christians shrink back from self-denying faith and settle into self-indulging faith. While Christians choose to spend their lives fulfilling the American dream instead of giving their lives to proclaiming the kingdom of God, literally billions in need of the gospel remain in the dark."

I have been convicted a lot about what I'm doing for the furtherance of the kingdom. I know that at this point in my life I'm supposed to be at SEBTS studying, but I also know that I can still be living missionaly even in Wake Forest. So far, these are a few things I've thought of that can help me to think of the nations on a daily basis.

  • I hung up a world map on my wall in my bedroom to being praying for M's all over the world who are engaging lost people.
  • This month there is a new version of Operation World being released that gives statistics and current prayer request of many countries and people groups all over the world.
  • My current job is working with an Indian family who are not believers, I can use my time with them to show them the Gospel.
  • I can go to the nations on short term trips. I'm currently in the early stages of praying about going to South Africa next summer.
I am convinced that we as Christ followers in American churches have embraced values and ideas that are not only unbiblical but that actually contradict the gospel we claim to believe.
David Platt