Discover His heart: He burdens our hearts to ambitiously reach the lost
@ Romans 15
I’ve been blessed with the opportunity on several occasions to share the Good News with those who have never heard it before and there’s nothing quite like that experience. It was difficult for many of them to accept that there was a hope, a help and a future for the miserable existence they were living out, but when the Lord came and touched them, everything changed. This was the goal of Paul, “My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else.” (20) Paul’s ambition was a difficult ministry road, but the joy he reaped was immeasurable.
Many missionaries today are sent to areas of the world that have had the Good News for centuries. The world’s cities are filled with ornate empty cathedrals, and most individuals no longer have even a memory of their function nor do they have a relationship with God. Their hearts have become cold and dark to the gospel. In fact, there are children in the United States that only know Christ as a curse word. And this, too, is a challenging mission.
In Paul’s personal notes in Romans 15, I think we see the heart of a true missionary. We have the impression that an ambitious person is someone only concerned about personal gain, numero uno. But Paul had an ambition, a goal>aspiration>objective, that we can only admire, and it begs the question today what is my ambition?
Paul concludes Chapter 15 with a simple request, “Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me…” (vs. 30) Paul did not have the advantage of slick colored prayer cards to hand out everywhere he traveled, nor did he have a website, facebook or twitter. But even with these wonderful tools that our missionaries enjoy today, they are making the same request, Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. I’m confident that every second of every day there is a missionary somewhere in the world facing a struggle that is more difficult than we can even imagine. Will I join in their struggle and pray for them?
“I am planning to go to Spain, and when I do, I will stop off in Rome. And after I have enjoyed your fellowship for a little while, you can provide for my journey.” (24) Paul, so filled with ambition to get the Good News to Spain, allowed the Romans the privilege of assisting him on his journey. When our missionaries present to us the challenge of their righteous ambition, how can we resist the privilege of helping them on their journey to reach the lost? “How can anyone go and tell them without being sent?” (Romans 10:15) I think we have an assignment, an ambition, a mission if you will.
Moving Forward: What is my ambition today? Is it righteous? Today I will join in the struggle with our missionaries through prayer, and I will give my offerings with joy to His sent ones.
Tomorrow @ Genesis 28-31