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Loving Others Through Worldwide Missions: A Vision for International Missions at First Baptist Church Bartow

First Baptist Church http://fbcbartow.org

“Loving Others Through Worldwide Missions: A Vision for International Missions at First Baptist Church Bartow” [on screen]

(Various Passages)

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

September 9, 2018

Introductory Comments:

We’re taking a break for one week from our series in Matthew, called “God’s Fulfilled Promise.”

This morning we’re going to specifically look at how we can fulfill part of our vision statement. 

Remember, our vision statement is . . . we exist to develop disciples who love God, love the church, and love others. 

I’ve entitled this morning’s sermon: “Loving Others Through Worldwide Missions: A Vision for International Missions at First Baptist Church Bartow.” 

We’re going to quickly look at four points regarding God’s mission and then five ways that we can accomplish God’s mission in the world. 

Let’s pray together as we get started.

(Prayer)

Are you ready? 

First, regarding God’s mission, we must first acknowledge that . . . 

I. God has a mission in our world [on screen]

Ever since God created this world He has been on a mission that every part of Creation; including the pinnacle of Creation, mankind, might worship Him and bring Him glory. 

Starting with Adam and Eve, God created every human being in His image and He uniquely loved us all.

However, mankind continually rejected God’s way and went about their own way. They sinned against their Creator.

Yet, God has continued to pursue mankind continually, making promises that He would love them and bless them. 

He made covenants with Adam and Eve, with Noah, with Abraham, with Jacob (who would become Israel), with the people of Israel, with the prophets, with King David, and with many more. 

God promised that He would bless us tremendously by sending a special person, called the Messiah, or the Anointed One, or the Christ. 

The Messiah would be from the line of Abraham and from the line of David, and He would be the Son of God. 

Then we see that God fulfilled that promise and He continued His mission. 

We see that . . .

II. Jesus accelerated the mission [on screen]

Jesus came into our world, and as we know from the book of Matthew, Jesus came to “save his people from their sins.”

We learn also that He came not only to save the Jewish people from their sins but people from all over the world. Jews and Gentiles! Rich and poor! Red and yellow, black and white! Men and women! Slave and free! He came to save people from their sins so that they might worship and glorify God, that is the mission and Jesus accelerated that mission. 

John 10:16 says, [on screen]

16 But I have other sheep that are not from this sheep pen; I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd.

Jesus is saying that there are more people (more sheep) that He (the Shepherd) must reach. 

And so, Jesus took the mission to a whole new level. 

Then, . . .

III. Jesus commissioned His followers for the mission [on screen]

Jesus said to His followers shortly before He left the earth in Matthew 28:18-20 [on screen]

18 . . . “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Jesus was leaving and He wanted His followers to know that the mission did not stop with Him. It would go to yet another level. 

He commissioned all of His followers, including us, to continue that mission. 

We are to go to all nations and teach and baptize in the name of Jesus. 

Finally, . . .

IV. The Holy Spirit continues the mission through the church [on screen]

After Jesus rose from the dead, directly before He went back into Heaven, He told His followers this:

See Acts 1:8 [on screen]

8 “. . . you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The mission still continues today, and it continues through us; His followers; His church. 

We must understand the necessity of this mission. We must accomplish the mission. 

Well, how will we do so?

Here’s what we can do:

How we will accomplish the mission [on screen]

1. Pray [on screen]

We must pray individually. We must each be committed to pray for God to raise up missionaries, to bless the work of missionaries, to open the hearts of lost souls, to provide the resources to reach every people group around the world, and to give us wisdom as to how we can be involved. 

We also must have a commitment to pray not just as individuals, but as a church. We must make this central to our mission. 

Also, we must . . .

2. Give [on screen]

Missions work requires financial support, just like we require financial support to operate our church here in Bartow. 

Many of you know that we send ten percent of every dollar we give to our general fund to the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention, which helps fund missions all over the world. 

Additionally, we have opportunities to give to missions other parts of the year with the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions, and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, as well as the offering for the Florida Baptist Children’s Home that is taking place now. When we have these offerings I want you to give sacrificially and deeply!

Give so that more can be reached with the gospel, all over the world. 

Next, . . .

3. Learn [on screen]

Learn more about the work, and as a result, I believe you will fall more in love with it. 

Learn through reading the Bible more. Learn through reading biographies about missionaries. Learn through resources available online, some of which I’ll mention in a moment.

Learn more about missions. 

Also, . . .

4. Send [on screen]

As a church, we should be raising up missionaries, we should be sending missionaries, and we should be supporting missionaries. 

There must be someone to take the message of the mission all over the world.

We must do our part.

Finally, we must . . .

5. Go [on screen]

Sometimes we recognize that God is calling people to go for the sake of the mission, but we think He is calling someone else to go. 

We must realize that He is also calling us to go. 

We can go both short-term and long-term. 

We will have opportunities to go on a short-term basis as a church in 2019. You’ll hear more about that tonight. 

However, I believe God is also calling some of us to go long-term. I know that some of us have gone long-term, and praise God for that! God is not done! The mission is not done! We must go!

(pause)

Concluding Thoughts:

As we conclude and prepare to hear from our special guest, someone who has gone long-term, I’d like for us to focus on a few nuggets from this:

Here’s our bottom line:

Bottom Line: God is on a worldwide mission and so are we.  [on screen]

(repeat)

As I said, God is on a mission and we are part of that mission. 

We must recognize that. Reflect on that this week. Don’t lose sight of that.

Further, challenge yourself in the following ways:

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

  1. Consider your commitment to the mission.  [on screen]

Does it matter to you that we are on a mission?

Do you feel like you are on mission?

If not, ask yourself why?

Challenge yourself to be committed to the mission. 

  1. Pray this week for specific missionaries.  [on screen]

Some of you may already know specific missionaries for whom you are praying. 

If not, find some and pray for them. Contact me and I’ll put you in touch with some. 

You’ll learn in just a minute of one family for which you can pray. 

In fact, there’s a prayer card in your bulletin to remind you to pray. 

  1. Learn more about the work of missions.  [on screen]

Again, read the Bible, read biographies, check out some resources online. 

Here are two online resources that I want to point you to that have proven very helpful for me. 

First, check out the Joshua Project at joshuaproject.net. [on screen]

Second, check out the International Mission Board at IMB.org. [on screen]

Learn in other ways. Keep falling in love with the mission and pour yourself into it.

(introduce video)

(show video)

At this time, I’d like to bring our special guest forward and have him share with us what God is doing in the life of his family. 

(Micah Mills come to share)

Closing:

Thank you Micah, for sharing with us.

As we conclude I want to personally challenge you to live on mission. 

God is on mission all over the world, including right here in Bartow. 

In fact, some of you may need to give your life to Jesus in order to be saved from your sins. 

(Gospel Presentation)

(Closing Prayer)

Invitation Song – Only Trust Him

Benediction:

If you have any sort of spiritual decision that you would like to make, you can contact me or Pastor Richard and we would be glad to talk to you anytime.

Don’t forget to be here tonight to hear from the Mills family and to ask some questions for some folks that are actually on the field, on mission. 

Let’s dismiss by singing the Doxology. 

(Sing Doxology)

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