I found a random Throwback picture of me and my friends way back when I was still a skinny student in college, it was a picture taken at one of the graduation in UPLB, as a church and as a spiritual family, we have this tradition of yelling our hearts out during graduation as the speaker would call out the names of our churchmates one by one. This is how the picture looks like:
Before this blog ends, I’ll show you exactly these random students but with the twist of God’s fingerprint on the story. (Please read the whole thing, don’t scroll down right away for the ending J)
I came to chance upon this picture as I have been privileged to preach the last topic of our series entitled Throwback. The goal of the series was to look back at some famous quotes from our church and reinforce the core values we have as a movement. My quote: A bible and a passport!
“From the very beginning we told new believers that they would need a “Bible and a passport” if they were serious about being Matthew 28 disciples. They would need the Bible in order to know God, and they would need the passport in order to go into all the world and make disciples”.-as the our founder of our church Ptr.Steve Murrell would say.
A bible and a passport! Living in the province, barely getting by in life, not experiencing the luxuries of traveling as some rich kids would have- this was indeed a tall order, an impossible one dare I might say as most of us hearing this in church during that time were students struggling with our grades, just privilege enough to be studying in a school subsidized by the government.
What were our leaders thinking instituting Missions in our core value? Why is our church, consisting of only 30 people (back in the 1990s) hearing about all these philosophies of going out into all the nations, isn’t it absurd and audacious to ask these people to bless other nations at the state they are in?
Let’s travel back in time 2000 years ago, when a bunch of random fishermen heard almost the same pitch but this time in a loud and clanging cymbal:
The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Stated in this very famous verse are the words:
It couldn’t be more clearer than the way it was said and the order it was written, Jesus commissioned the untrained, unschooled seemingly random bunch of fishermen to make an impact to the nations and change the world! That calls remains today for everyone out there reading the very last words Jesus uttered before He went back to heaven-no exclusion, no exemptions!
For every student who has been dragged in to the youth service, whether you are in High School or College, even if today you are just beginning your journey of being discipled, this call is for you to fulfill now as you can invest in :
a. praying for the nations- go watch the news or read online
b. giving into missions- the amount does not matter, the heart behind it does
c. giving to the building pledge that are soon to train pastors, missionaries and campus workers to the nations-get the coin bank and you are just literally coins away from taking part
or for the future as you
a.become a blessing to the nations by mastering your skills and course-that requires studying well today, practice integrity now
b. supporting missionaries as a single professional
c. go into short-term missions trip
d. go be a missionary to the nations
And lest you think its going to be scary, dangerous, or you might feel too ill equipped to go, remember Jesus’ promises on the very same verses, before He commissioned them to go He reminded them:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Every battle we will face as we go has been won already, in the cross on the Mt. of Calvary Jesus claimed our very victory as well as everyone from any parts of the world who would put their faith in Him.
because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation…’ — Revelation 5:9
And if you are still doubtful or hesitant He amplified it saying:
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
He who called also promised to empower us and be with us as we choose to pray, give or go.
Going back to the bunch of random, raggedy students who doesn’t seem like they would make it anywhere least of all going to the nations. I look back and track God’s faithfulness and saw the impossible coming to pass:
Green circles are those who are now being a blessing to the nation and/or supporting missionaries and campus workers
Blue circles are those that are in our nation serving as full time pastors and campus missionaries
Yellow circles are for those who radically stepped out to go to the mission field and disciple the nations
And one woman outshines us all as she had undertaken the greatest adventure in her life volunteering as one of our 1st batch of campus missionaries, raising up so many leaders in the campus , being send out to 35 nation as an IT Expert and United Nations Development Program and this year taking the grandest trip of all as she went to be with the Lord living the most fruitful life ever.
Today these same stories remains to happen as leaders are audacious enough to challenge young people to take part in advancing His kingdom, as preachers remains to share the vision of the great commission, as parents are supportive and believes in the calling of this generation and as students steps up and obeys the great commission:
In the hands of God, random fishermen becomes apostles, pastors, teachers, prophets, evangelist and so much more!
In the hands of God, random students can become world changers!
To every student out there reading this blog, I sent this out with a prayer that you will never deem yourself too young to have the vision for World Missions
God has purposed you to be a World Changer!
He will empower you to be a disciple-maker!
The only question that remains is will you answer His call?
Do you have a bible and a passport?