A few weeks ago I began taking the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement class offered through the U.S. Center for World Mission. So far the class has been mind and heart blowing. It is so encouraging, convicting and motivating to be in a theology class and actually get excited about God! I also am enjoying this class because of all the connections it has been making for me. I came out of seminary knowing how to exegete, exposit and preach a passage, but this class is helping me see the big picture of how God is working in the world to bring people to Him. I can now say without hesitation that God is a missionary God and that everything He has revealed about Himself is connect to that purpose.
I hope to post some thoughts from time to time about what I am learning in this class.
To get us started let's look at the Abrahamic Covenant in Gen 12:1-3:
The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
“I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
Previously when I thought of missions the texts that would first come to my mind were the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20 and Acts 1:7-8. I thought of mission almost exclusively as a New Testament phenomenon. Studying this passage changed that. I saw that missions is not something that Jesus made up but that Jesus fulfilled and enabled. I was profoundly impacted by the statement, coming from the Abrahamic Covenent, “Missions is not a duty or a task, it is a promise”. God promises that He will use His people to bless the world and through Jesus (the seed of Abraham) not only does the world receive that blessing but Gentiles like us are able to be included in that blessing (Gen 3:14), which in turns enables us to be bearers of that blessing to the rest of the unreached world.
God will keep His promise to bless all the nations through the seed of Abraham, the question is will we surrender ourselves to be used to fulfill that promise, or will we choose to miss out on God's exhilirating work of redemption in this world.
blessed to be a blessing,