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Pray, Give, Go, Send

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Imagine that you are a very powerful person, supplying religious articles to everyone in your community. Whenever something goes wrong or any time they want a blessing for something, you provide the people with a charm, chant or traditional medicine to “help.”

Then you hear about a God who seems more powerful than the god you worship. You go to see a religious person that knows about this “more powerful God” and find that you have been worshipping the wrong god all your life. You then give your life to this God and return home, where you burn all of your former religious articles. By destroying these items, you have lost not only the large amount of money that was invested, but also you just lost your job and your way of life.

Your community is outraged. How dare you change religions! That is not allowed. You are run out of your community, and all your belongings are taken away. “You got them through the money that we gave you,” the villagers say.

With only the clothes on your back, you take your wife and return to the person who showed you the one true God. There, you find that a bounty hunter has been paid $220 (almost 75 percent of your country’s average yearly wage) to kill you! You pray all night because you have heard that leaders from your former religion are coming to kill you. You know that if you should die, you will be in heaven with the God who loves you, but you want His will to be done and glory to be given to Him.

The religious leaders arrive the next morning and take you outside. “We are going to beat you to death,” they say. But as they talk about it, they realize that this might not be a good time to kill you, because it might actually cause more problems for their religion. So for now you are free.

This is a true story of an incident that happened recently in Mali, West Africa. Glory was given to God that day. Why didn’t religious leaders kill the follower of Jesus? It is because we have a powerful God who answers prayers today, not just during Bible times.

Each day in many countries people are tortured for being a Christian or even for giving someone a Bible. Would we have that kind of faith? Would we risk losing our families, our livelihood and even our lives for something we believe in? Or would we give in and turn back to our former way of life? The apostle Paul writes numerous times that we will receive persecution and that we should be ready. But are we? In the United States, there are some who won’t be your friend or may pick on you because of your Christianity, but is that really persecution? Are we ready to stand up for what we believe, even to the point of giving our lives? Many people in other countries can only be a Christian in secret. Are we praying for them?

Paul wrote: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how can anyone go and tell them without being sent?” (Rom. 10:13–15).

We all have our part in missions. If you haven’t found your role, think about what you can do. It doesn’t have to be a lot.

*Maybe you have only a few dollars—but if everyone gives a few dollars, it all adds up. Jesus was more pleased with the poor widow who gave a little than with those who gave a lot out of their wealth.

*Prayer doesn’t take a lot of time, and you can do it wherever you are. If you don’t know how to pray or are too scared to pray in public, remember that all you have to do is talk to God like you would talk to anyone else. That’s all prayer is—a conversation with God.

*Maybe you are thinking about going to the mission field but aren’t sure you can really make that commitment. You will find many more blessings if you follow God’s will. Take the leap and join the team. God will take care of you every step of the way.

  • If you are a member of a church that has sent missionaries or that is considering sending a missionary, are you providing support? Pray for them and give to them throughout the year. Send them letters of encouragement and care packages containing items they cannot buy overseas.

One of the core values of The Alliance states: Completing the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19) will require the mobilization of every fully devoted disciple. Count the cost and give whatever you have for missions because that is what God is asking us to do.

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