During our television broadcasts each week it is my custom to invite the viewers to join us at Meadow the following week. We really believe that being among the people is vastly different than watching on the television so we encourage those who live within proximity of the church property to come and be our guests the following week. I will mention the weekly service times, welcoming them to join us, and then usually let the viewing audience know that my favorite service of the week is our Sunday evening service. It would seem to many of us that God works in a very personal, gentle way on Sunday evenings in spite of our bodies being a little tired and our minds often assaulted with the forthcoming demands and duties of our Monday mornings. I cannot put my finger on it but it is apparent to many of us that the Sunday night gatherings are a special time for the people of Meadow. Last night was a powerful reminder of that.
“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not…” – 2 Corinthians 4:1
The Apostle Paul was writing the church at Corinth and emphasizing how great is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was speaking to them of the liberating nature of the Christian message and asserting his credentials as a true apostle, hungering for them to receive the truth that had been entrusted to them. He would speak a little later in Chapter 4 about the intense commitment that grace had worked in him to share the Gospel, hazarding life and limb, reputation and freedom, security and comfort for the sake of Christ. Paul had been given the ministry of Gospel proclamation and Kingdom advancement from Christ Himself so he understood clearly his accountability. As all Christians have been enjoined to this same purpose of making Jesus Christ known, we need to all see that each of us could say with Paul that “we have this ministry…”.
Paul Seger stood before the church family last night and called on us to take up the work of praying for the missionaries that Meadow supports all over the world. A child of missionaries in Africa and now a missionary himself for most of his adult life, Paul gave us unique insight into the needs of missionaries all over the world and reminded us of the clear partnership that Christians back home in America have with those families we send out to proclaim the Gospel in unknown regions. His points were short and landed as direct hits upon those of us in attendance – no guilt, all grace and guts. At the end of the service and invitation was given for all who were present to make a public commitment to God if they were being led to “adopt” one or more of Meadow’s missionary families as a partners in prayer. The purpose was clear: pray for the missionary family daily and communicate with them regularly for encouragement. When the public invitation was complete over 3/4 of the congregation came forward to stand and pray an audible prayer of commitment to participate in the “Air War” on behalf of missionaries. On a Sunday evening, from one side of the sanctuary stretching to the other were Christians who were made aware by God’s Spirit and Word that they were being given a call to arms. It was perhaps the most encouraging thing I have seen this year in our church family and I’m truly grateful to God for His presence working among us. Thank God for Sunday nights at Meadow.
Friends, we have this ministry. It is ours. The message of Christ has both sealed your eternity and is changing your present life. He is our bedrock confidence for this Monday and for all the ages which follow. He is our joy. He is our strength. Jesus Christ is the only unchanging constant that is worthy to own our utmost allegiance. He has commissioned us to tell others and we received this dispatch in the same moment that He began to live within us. May He open our self-focused eyes to those who are already at our side and who stand in need of our message. You see, not all missionaries travel overseas. Some of us are called to be ambassadors right where we live, work and play. Make the most of today’s opportunities…I’m not sure the need has ever been more heightened.
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