JANUARY 9

Today's Bible Readings
     Genesis 9-10
     Ezra 9
     Matthew 9
     Acts 9
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
''Then He said to His disciples, ''The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few." Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." (Matthew 9:37-38)
 
THE CALL OF THE MISSIONARY
            Our memory verses today are very special to me. This is the portion of God's Word that was used by the Holy Spirit to call me into Christian ministry. This call has now consumed 57 years of my life and included pastoring churches and sharing the gospel in more than 40 nations of the world.
            The key to the missionary's works is the Great Commission of the Lord Jesus set forth in Matthew 28:18-19. Our great motivation is not the needs of the lost but the authority of Jesus Christ. It is not a call to a few of us, but a call to all of us who know Him. The commission actually says in the Greek, ''As you go make disciples of all nations." This commission speaks of a life style for every child of God. In Acts 1:8 Jesus did not say go into Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria but ''you shall be witnesses to me'' in these places. The message of the missionary is that Jesus Christ is the propitiation for sin, not for ours only, but for the whole world. (I John 2:2)
            The missionary Christian is one who is consumed by the command of his Lord to share the Gospel. He is not to proclaim his own point of view, but is only to proclaim ''the Lamb of God." That is why Paul said '' woe is me if I do not preach the Gospel."  (I Corinthians 9: 16)
            The memory verse exhorts us to pray that the Lord will send laborers into the harvest. The one will of God is to bring in the harvest and in the perspective of Jesus there are no nations but only the world. We are commissioned to be consumed with compassion for a lost world. The key to a missionary's effectiveness is that he is attached to nothing and no one except our Lord Himself.  God uses ordinary people who are controlled by their devotion to Him.
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
Make your prayer very personal today. This lost world is in need of every child of God to become a missionary. It was in the process of praying for God to send forth laborers into the harvest that He touched my heart to become one of those laborers.  Pray the Lord of the harvest that He will engineer your circumstances to send you out as His laborer.
 
A WORD FOR YOUR WORLD TODAY
''True greatness, true leadership, is achieved not by reducing men to service but in giving oneself in selfless service to them, and that is never done without cost."
J. Oswald Sanders