Mission America  

July has always been a month to celebrate our United States of America. The 4th of July has been my favorite holiday. There are parades, fireworks, neighborhood and community celebrations and family getting together for some AWESOME cooking.

This year the celebration of our nation is wrapped in a climate of change, division, hurt, fear, and for some, hopelessness.

God would want us to know that He is still in control. Here are a couple of quotes from HIS Word.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

 “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” John 14:27 

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

Well, actually, the list of comforting quotes goes on and on. So, this July I am going to start right there and trust Him. But, what next? 

If we step out of the emotion of the situation we can make some interesting observations. The rest of the world views the United States as a Post Christian mission field. More Christian missionaries are sent from other nations to this country than are sent to any other country. According to Christianity Today Currently there are about 35,000 foreign Christian missionaries in this country. That is nearly 10% of all the Christian missionaries sent from all countries (including the United States) to another country. This means that YOU are living in a mission field. Luke 24:48 says that "You are witnesses of these things" (repentance, forgiveness of sins, etc.). As a believer, you are a missionary to this nation.

Now what? . . . Here are some practical things that missionaries do.

Learn the language. We need to learn how to talk in a way that people can understand and relate to. We communicate thoughts and feelings through words, sounds and symbols. Language in America is always changing.

Become sensitized to the culture. Effective missionaries are sensitive to the culture and operate effectively within it. Culture is the comprehensive, penetrating context that surrounds all of our life and thought, art and speech, entertainment and sensibility, values and faith. It is the context in which we reach out. We don't give in to culture, but it must be accommodated.

Translate the gospel. This does not just mean quoting the Scriptures, although it is a given that we will use Scripture to translate the Gospel. But we desire to translate the gospel into our own unique cultural context. This does not mean to translate the Gospel into something that was never intended by the Biblical witness. We need to avoid transforming the message but translating the message is essential for a winsome and compelling presentation of the Gospel of Jesus.

I will continue to give thanks to God and celebrate this nation. I will continue to believe that the work of Jesus on the cross is able to cover all of the ugliness and sin that I can see in our nation. I will start with me and encourage you also to see the love that Jesus has for us. Then we can work together to give this nation the Good News of Jesus.

God Be Praised!

Pastor Tommy

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