Seeing and Serving God the Sender

Thomas SmoakChurch Blog

Immanuel baptist church richmond Virginia missions conference 2019

God is a missionary God. He is a sender of Good News. Whoever finds him and gets to know him quickly learns that his heart beats with the question, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”

During this year’s missionary conference we will listen for that call through Isaiah’s vision of heaven’s throne in Isaiah chapter 6. We’ll also hear it through the missionary call of others whom we serve as a church. Our theme is “Seeing and Serving God the Sender.”

As a young boy, I saw him through many of you at Immanuel. Growing up as a “sent one” from among you gave me a unique perspective on the worldwide fruitfulness of your faithfulness. At age 14 I said, like Isaiah, “Here am I. Send me.” Thank you for helping me see and hear the Sender and for serving him by sending Susanna and me on God’s mission for the past 30 years.

Not everybody is a missionary. It takes, on average, a hundred senders to pray and give and train and encourage each sent one. But all true members of Christ’s body are “on mission” – called to Christ’s mission in the world. His sacrifice cleanses our hearts of selfishness and our lips from speaking lies, making us worthy to speak Good News where it most needs to be heard. Every disciple follows Jesus into a world that needs him. All of us pray that his kingdom will come and give sacrificially like he did so that others “through his poverty might become rich.” We’ll talk more about that on Sunday afternoon, October 20th.

And it’s really Good News we bring! It’s a blessing for those who send, for those who go and for those who hear and believe. On Friday night, October 18th, our young people will gather to hear and discuss my friend Dr. Robert Woodberry’s research about how missionaries made the modern world (See his lecture at: http://intersectproject.org/faith-and-economics/robert-woodberry-world-missionaries-made/). His extensive research is overwhelmingly conclusive that, though it is far from perfect, the modern missionary movement that teaches conversion to Christ by faith has blessed every place it has touched. In fact the freest places on the planet almost always reap the fruit of missionary roots.

The whole world is filled with God’s glory. We’ll spend time listening to the seraphim proclaim that truth to us right up to the present. But the whole earth is not yet filled with the knowledge of his glory as the waters fill the sea. That’s the mission. That’s the promise. That’s the blessing of the mission.

Have you seen the Lord? Has his message of love and reconciliation ignited your heart with love for God and the world he loves? If not, I pray it will. If so, I challenge you not only to receive his cleansing touch for yourself but to hear him asking from his heavenly throne, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” And to answer with joy and hope, “Here I am. Send me.”

Thomas smoke

 

Thomas Smoak
International Director
Action International Ministries

 


Watch for more from Thomas as we prepare our hearts for our International Missions Conference, October 18-20.