Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nine Missions Conferences Later...

It was 9 years ago this month that Christy and I came to Rhode Island to serve at Greater RI Baptist Temple. We arrived just in time for the start of the 2003 Missions Conference.

What an exciting time in our lives! Our first full-time ministry! A new home, new friends, a new pastor, and a new church family!

And what better way to start off our new ministry at GRIBT than with the annual missions conference!

For these reasons the month of October will always hold a special place in our hearts.

This past Sunday our pastor rightly explained,

"Missions is not a program of our church; it is the purpose of our church."

I love the missions conference! It's my favorite time of the year.

Let me share a few reasons why.

I love the missions conference:

1. Because it helps me to take my focus off of myself and materialism, and to direct it back to where it ought to be: world evangelism! The preaching, the music, the decorations in the auditorium, the testimonies, the video presentations, and so on...all of these things create a marked emphasis on the "Great Commission" that Jesus left us to fulfill.

2. Because it reminds that there are just some things in life that really matter most; namely, the salvation of the lost.

3. Because it challenges me to prove my faith in God's provision and to show my love for Him as I pledge missions support for the upcoming year.

4. Because it causes me to remember how faithful God has been over the past year (and all other previous years) in miraculously meeting the needs of my family.

5. Because I get to meet and spend time with new and veteran missionaries, who are always an encouragement to my spirit. There's always something inspiring and refreshing about a husband and wife who have offered their lives to the Lord as living sacrifices, and who are forsaking all in order to bring the gospel to the lost around he world. Missionaries are usually very grateful people, who rarely ever complain. How sweet it is to spend time with such heroes of the faith!

6. Because it reminds me of the loving, merciful, compassionate, long-suffering heart of my God and Savior Jesus Christ. Our Lord is not merely the Creator and Sovereign of the universe, but He is also the Good Shepherd of the sheep and the Savior of all the world! He loves all people of all races from all nations and tribes, and He desperately wants all men to come to the knowledge of the Truth, that they might be saved! I'm so glad my God loves sinners...of whom I am chief!

May we not soon forget the importance of missions as we move towards the holidays and into the new year.

And let us follow the example set by the missions-minded church of Thessalonica, of whom it was said:

"For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God- ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing" 
(1 Thessalonians 1:8).

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