February 02, 2012

Who Are the Missionaries?

Jeremiah 20:7-13

If I say, “I will not … speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire …”
Jeremiah 20:9


Today Brazil sends more missionaries to serve on international fields than Great Britain or Canada. The small nation of South Korea is already sending half as many missionaries into the world as is the United States, and the number is growing. These missionaries are serving all over the globe—including more than 35,000 in North America!

Obviously, this is sobering stuff for anyone who thinks that the only flow of the gospel is “from the West to the rest.” North Americans are used to thinking that they are on the sending side of mission relationships. But today Christians from around the world are being caught up into the delight of fulfilling Jesus’ great commission (Matthew 28:19-20).

Jeremiah explains why that is so. The gospel has within it energy birthed by the Spirit that compels us to tell others. Jeremiah declares that he cannot stop speaking the word of the Lord. Suppressing the gospel witness by failing to speak will only create in his heart a fire that will consume him.

He is right, of course. Sometimes we are so intimidated by an opportunity to share the gospel that we think the easy way out is to say nothing. But there is emotional cost to not speaking the gospel. If we do not seek to set the world ablaze with the fire of God’s truth and love, we will feel the heat of our own guilt and failure to obey our Lord’s commission.

Lord, let the missionary zeal of Christians everywhere inspire our own witness. Help us to share your good news. Amen.

About the author — Bob Heerspink

Dr. Robert Heerspink was director of Back to God Ministries International from 2006 until 2011, when he passed away. He had previously pastored several Christian Reformed churches. Bob loved to write and was a frequent contributor to the Today devotional.

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