As A.B. Simpson was taking the first steps towards launching his missionary movement (later to become The Christian and Missionary Alliance), he wrote this – “Unless I am sure I am doing more at home to send the Gospel abroad than I can do abroad, I am bound to go; and if He wants me, I am ready to go wherever He calls and makes it plain” (57 All For Jesus). What a challenge! What do you think about that?
In Simpson’s mind, the options were simple – either “go” to where Christ was most needed, or spend your life for God’s Kingdom in a way that did more than you could have ever accomplished by going yourself – through prayer for the lost and the missionaries, giving to the work of the church to reach the lost, or equipping other Christians to reach/ disciple the lost.
Not all of us can “go” overseas– but we can all go to our places of work as purposeful ambassadors for Christ. And all of us can do at least one of the other 3 things as well. Of those 3, “sending” might be the next hardest one; this involves teaching or preparing (acts of discipleship) other Christians for a life of evangelistic impact. The simplest options are “prayer” and “giving.” Of the two, prayer is harder. Colossians 4:12 mentions the work of prayer – “Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently [Greek word agonizomai = agonizing] for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect (mature) and complete in all the will of God.” Prayer is work (!), but it is a gift any Christian can offer up to God on behalf of both missionaries and the lost.
That leaves us with “giving,” which in my opinion tends to be blown way out of proportion in regards to its difficulty. Why? For the simple reason that we seem to forget who’s money it is. It is God’s! He already owns it all, and can divert as much as is needed at a moments notice! We seem to think God needs our money – He does not. So why does He ask us to give, both the tithe that goes to our local church and the offerings that are above and beyond the standard amount from time to time? For the simple reason that it builds our faith and matures our love.This Sunday you’ll have the opportunity to give to what the CMA calls “The Great Commission Fund,” a central fund out of which every Christian and Missionary Alliance missionary is supported. There will be no guilt trips – but here’s a challenge. Giving to this is called a “faith promise,” because it’s a financial commitment you believe God will enable you to fulfill. How? Because all the money in the world is His – He’s just waiting to partner with you in order to direct it! As always, He’s waiting for faith. Pray, give, send, or go.