It was an honor to speak at the annual meeting of the Jefferson Baptist Association. Granted, I didn't really get the opportunity to "preach", but I did get the opportunity to share just a little bit of what the Lord had impressed on my heart regarding missions, and specifically those missions to the Hispanic community in and around Jefferson County, Missouri, as well as mission endeavors to the country of Mexico.
First, I would like to mention that if your measure of success in ministry is attendance or hype, then you would not consider our ministry to the Spanish-speaking community a success. However, I am so thankful that the Lord is still making His name great, despite the language barrier, and in the face of many other cultural obstacles.
In this meeting, I mentioned two major points that I felt needed to be covered at the time. I will post the full report at a later date. However, these points were not all that I could think of, but mainly because I was given such a short time, there was no opportunity for expounding.
Why is God serious about missions in Jefferson County, Missouri? Because God is serious about His glory! Why should we be serious about missions to unreached people groups in Jefferson County, Missouri? Because God is serious about His glory! Given all that was going on in the days of Malachi, look at what God said about His glory...(Malachi 1 ESV)
11For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.
14b I am a great King, says the LORD of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.
Obviously you could continue to quote many other passages, Isaiah 48, etc. However, what a great picture that this gives us about God being serious about His name being great among the nations! That was my charge to our association, that God's name would be made great among the nations.
Second, that our appetites would be whet for missions, specifically to unreached people groups, both local and global because we have the promise of God that there will be people saved! Looking at the Scripture again in Revelation 7
9After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10and crying out with a loud voice,"Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" 11And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen."
When we preach the gospel, we can know that there will be a representative of every tribe, tongue, and nation that will one day stand with us before the throne of God! That is the promise that we have when we preach the gospel. It is not because of our best efforts, but because of the promise of God!!! (Of course, I am not saying that we should not put forth our best efforts).
However, when we preach, we should preach for the Glory of God. Everything else, though it may be important, is a secondary issue. Feeding people, disaster relief, etc., are all very important, very necessary, and indeed is the intent behind "loving your neighbor as yourself", however we must do these things in the proper perspective. We do these things as an overflow of Christ in us, working in us, to do good works which he prepared in advance for us to do.
There is much more to come on this topic and a larger report on my speech to the Jefferson Baptist Association. However, let me leave you with this resource. I would like to suggest a sermon that will stir your heart. It is sermon on missions and ministry. The sermon is by the great Paris Reidhead. It is entitled "Ten Shekels and a Shirt." (I have not viewed this entire website, so I am only going to endorse the sermon audio at the link I have included.
In all things...Christ preeminent!