Devotionals

Missions Manifesto
Anonymous - Jan. 2, 2021
Devotional

In Matthew chapter 10, immediately after Jesus' disciples were introduced, Jesus sent them out to be apostles. These twelve were technically the first missionaries of the New Testament. Before He dispatched them, He gave them some practical instructions, which unfolded into a basic outline for mission work that can still be followed today.
Speaking practically, Jesus told the twelve not to bring any extra money or clothing for their journey. He also told them that whenever they went into a city, they should stay in the home of someone who already lived there instead of staying at an inn or a tavern, probably since they would be much more effective teaming up with somebody who already knew the area and the condition of the spiritual soil. Jesus wanted to establish the church as being a body, meant to work together, and He wanted the twelve to trust that no matter where they went or what they thought they may need, God would always provide (Matthew 10:9-12).
To establish a mindset of right motive, Jesus said, “Freely you received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). Because of how much love God poured into them, they were to pour that love back out onto others. Spiritual gifts were given as tools, to give glory to Him and to give hope to others, and generosity required no compensation (Matthew 10:7-8; I Corinthians 12).
His first instruction to the twelve, though, was to preach to the Jews before preaching to Gentiles. I see logic in this: the Jews already believed in God; if they learned to follow Jesus, then an entire army of evangelists would be going to preach to the Gentiles, which would be much more effective than if the twelve disciples had tried to go preaching all by themselves. Introducing others to Jesus is extremely crucial, but training others to live for Jesus is better in the long run (Matthew 10:5-6).
That's the bit that's important to remember on a daily basis; this manifesto is not limited to those people who pack a bag under fifty pounds and fly out to faraway, foreign countries. The mission field is in your own backyard. You have a circle of influence, right where you stand. Take a look at the people around you: family members who are still living in darkness, church members who are brand new believers, friends who have become lukewarm Christians, or neighbors who are in just as much need as those strangers on the other side of the ocean. Do you see your own church working together as a body? Do you see its members trusting in God's provision? God has poured out His love lavishly into you; what are you doing to pour it back out over those in your own vicinity?