I apologize for not being on the blog much lately. I really am trying to get back on top of it, but more important things have come up of late. Today I would like to share about a class I am taking called "Perspective." I would call it a mission class, but really it is more of a "God's purpose" class.
I have been interested in Missions for a very long time, but Perspectives has totally changed how I view Missions, the Bible, and even God. It has deepened my understanding of my Creator and His mission for His people. As I read through the Perspectives readings and listen to the lectures, and speakers, I want to write everything down, because it all seems so important. Here are some the things that have really grabbed my attention and challenged me to see my world in a totally new way.
I have always struggled with the Old Testament idea that God had His one people and didn't really care about the salvation or welfare of the other nations and peoples until the New Testament. I wondered how God's message could "change" so radically. When Perspectives introduced to me how God blessed Israel, His chosen people, so they could and would bless the other peoples of the earth I was amazed. I had honestly never seen it quite that way and this revelation really helps me to understand the bigger picture of God's plan. It helps me to see how God's gospel didn't change. He had one plan, and one story for all of His people (including non-Jews or non-"Christians"). What a glorious thought! God included me, and all the other Gentiles in His plan from the beginning of time.
The next thing that really stood out to me in this class was the fact that God commands missions. He doesn't ask us if we are interested in spreading His kingdom. He doesn't tell us to wait for a "calling." He says to GO. And he doesn't ask for a select few to go to all the nations. He doesn't ask for only the "mission-minded." He tells all believers to glorify Him in spreading His gospel of salvation-His kingdom. This idea was revolutionary to me. It encourages me that even if God calls me to do something else later in life, I will ALWAYS be called to do missions-to spread His kingdom.
Lastly I would like to state that the idea of spreading the gospel message should not be confused with sharing our culture. We need to push and spread Jesus' kingdom, not our cultural norms. In the readings I was deeply impacted by the realization that we are not supposed to confront all of a people groups sin or cultural abnormalities by our standards. Rather, we are wait for the Holy Spirit to act and then seek to work through the problems new believers are convicted by. It is not our job to convict people of their individual sins; that is the job of the Holy Spirit. Our job is to teach individuals the scriptures and how to seek out the scriptures, not interpret the scriptures for them.
To all my readers wondering about the wide, random array of topics I barely touched in this post, you can just look on this as a kind of introduction to some upcoming posts about Missions, Perspectives and God's Purpose. :)