What do you think of when you hear missionary Scripture? Well, in February 2006 I decided to ask missionaries from all over the world to write about passages that they love, and to explain why. So take a look below at each missionary bible verse, and take the time to learn more about each missionary by visiting their blog.
I've reproduced three of the missionary Scripture blog entries below
(I've slightly changed the formatting to fit the page, but otherwise
it's just a copy). After that, I've linked to a few other blogs that
participated. So here are their missionary Scripture posts, and they
may not be what you expect...
Note: Check the very bottom of this page for a full list of missionary scripture posts from all over the world.
This missionary Scripture is Exodus 4:31. Cara has been blogging since October 2005. She now has a new blog here, but this is from the blog she wrote when she was in Ukraine. Here's what she has to say about her missionary Scripture choice...
"And when they
realized that the Lord had seen their misery and was deeply concerned
for them, they all bowed their heads and worshipped".
Exodus 4: 31 NLT
I always tested high on all those personalities test as a sanguine or choleric. I don't think I once came out as a melancholy. But now I feel like I get up on the melancholy philosophical side of bed more and more these days. Not depressed, not unhappy, just aware of the hurt in the world.
I don't know if it was moving to Ukraine - a country who has faced so much pain and suffering, or just getting older and starting to face more and more of my own weaknesses and failings, or simply just long cold winters that give you too much time to think...in the dark! :)
NOTE:[The sun goes down usually around 4:30 in the afternoon. Today was a BEAUTIFUL day, it was 5:15 and still not dark!] BUT Spring is coming! Ok, MONTHS away, but still...its coming!
So this is a very melancholy glance at an actually very optmimstic truth: SPRING is coming! :) And I don't just mean on the calendar. There is coming a time when this winter that holds the world in frozen stillness will end.
The cold hardness of hearts that calls evil good and good evil, the harsh winds of suffering that blow throughout the world, and the cold rain of sickness and disease that truly falls on the just and the unjust....someday it will all be over.
Lots of people believe there is a God. Or Something or Someone bigger. Maybe they even have a list of things they know about Him. Things He likes. Things He doesn't like. But pain and suffering...well, pull up your bootstraps and face it on your own.
Even religious people (being one I can speak with some authority! Ha!) have their own ecclisiastical "bootstraps"...."need to pray more, serve more, give more, do more...." the list goes on. Even worship more.
But what does this verse at the top say? It was realizing that God sees. That He in fact saw. And saw it all. Saw not just "the misery in the world" but THEIR misery. Saw the unrighteousness done to them. Saw the unrighteousness they did to others....and...what? Judged? Condemned? No, "was deeply concerned for them".
Lest I get a million emails from my wonderfully "Berean" brethren (you know who you are!)...yes, there is a time for God's judgement. And sin was condemned and paid for once and for all with Christ's death on the cross. All who wish to hold to that crucified reality,to the side of death and not the side of resurrection, hold to sin and all that means, yes - they will experience condemnation and judgement....but that's not the only option. "God is willing that none should perish, but that all should come to repentance".
So, ok, back to our regularly scheduled programming.. :)
Jim, from http://Missionary-Blogs.com asked some of us to write about "A Passage I Love". A passage from the Bible...and first of all, I love that wording...a passage..because it really is a journey with the Bible. The book is alive, I'm tellin' ya! :) It moves, it speaks, it has something new to show me everytime I open it. :) It is a "passage", and it takes me to the heart of God.
But just ONE passage I love? You that are happily married...ONE thing you love about your spouse? I hope their are millions! About your children? About your parents? I can list right now lots of things about my family that I love without even trying (my apologies that I don't tell you all often enough...but I do love so much about all of you)...so...ok...ONE passage that I love?
Well, here it is again, folks. "And when they realized that the Lord had seen their misery and was deeply concerned for them, they all bowed their heads and worshipped".Exodus 4: 31 NLT
Whatever is your misery right now...God sees it. If you feel like no one sees it, God does. But He doesn't just see it, He cares. And He doesn't just care, He is DEEPLY CONCERNED.
More than your friends. More than your family. More than even your church, priest or pastor. His heart breaks on behalf of those He loves. He died for you. He loves you. These aren't just words, they are truth and they are life.
If you open your heart to them you will be amazed. True worship is this, it is a response. How can worship that which we do not know or that which we do not recognize as being worthy of worship. That's what is called religion. Going through the motion. WORSHIP is an outflowing of the heart in response to a realization that God IS and that He desires relationship with you.
He really loves you so much. He has drawn near to you at the Cross and through His Word, draw near to Him. Poke your head through the snow and turn to the Son. Spring IS coming!
GREAT is His name and GREATLY to be PRAISED!
The next missionary Scripture entry is from David Gadzwa in Mexico. This blog has been up and running since April 2005, all the way from Mexico. Here are his missionary Scripture thoughts on Galatians 2:20.
In the past weeks I have joined a sort of community of
evangelical missionary bloggers whose blogs can be found at
www.missionary-blogs.com. I felt that this was a wise move as I wanted
to be exposed to what the evangelical community is doing as a whole in
regard to mission, and be able to communicate to a broader range of
missions prayers, thinkers, and doers (sic.).
Of course part of being in a community is one's participation in that community. That being said, Jim, the coordinator of the effort has asked us to write about a Bible passage that has been particularly significant in our lives. This is part of an effort to encourage our readers with the Word. Therefore, I have decided to write about Galatians 2:20:
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (NIV)
There are several reasons that I love this verse:
1. It speaks of the crucifixion, one of the central messages of the Gospel. The Son of God came to earth to die, taking our sins so that we could be acceptable to the Father. No matter how much I reflect on that concept, it never fails to move me.
2. It speaks of the newness of my life in Christ. It is no longer David Godzwa, the angry, hurt, young man, dealing with the pain of a split household and his own feelings of inadequacy who lives. That boy has died with Christ. Alive now is the man who has found his identity in knowing God and being known by Him, and the peace and security of a relationship with God has allowed me to move in forgiveness, and to live a life that seeks the good of others instead of operating from the pain of past wounds.
3. Finally, it reminds me that, although God's love is big enough to embrace the whole world (Jn. 3:16), it is also specific enough to touch each person exactly where he or she might be. God loves me. Yes, "For God so loved the world..." but God loves me. I might be insignificant in the eyes of those around me, but God thought that I was important enough to die for.
One more missionary Scripture, this time from Cambodia. Billy Hass has been blogging since August 2005. If you want to learn more about their family, they also have a separate website. Here are his thoughts on a Missionary Scripture...
In this post, I want to mention a portion of Scripture that means a lot to me. It's found in Philippians 4:7 and reads, "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
I get tremendous assurance and peace from this verse because of the
calm that it brings to my heart. Sometimes as a missionary, I get
pretty stressed out. Regardless of what some may think, we're pretty
normal people. The pressures that come with being a missionary just
"comes with the territory." Nothing in this world can stabilize my heart
and mind in the midst of trials and stressful situations like the peace
of God! We hear a lot of talk in the world about "peace" or the lack
of it. I am thankful for a peace that passes all understanding!
I want to take the time to thank Jim Cottrill at http://Missionary-Blogs.com for helping people become aware of our missionary blogs. Thanks, Jim, and God bless!
Here are quick links to more missionary Scripture blog entries that
were posted as part of this project. I've also linked to the passage
itself. Both links will open in a new window. Thanks to everyone who
participated and shared your verse or passage with us! What an