A Missionary Life

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By John Thiel

When I was called on into the fulltime Bible work my family and I were called a missionary family and this is the way its termed, that you are not a missionary until you are called into the work. Frequently missionary work is laid down to going out and spreading out literature door to door witnessing to the people and then going home and having a different lifestyle. This kind of missionary mentality falls short of what true missionary work is. Jesus was called as a missionary. Jesus was sent on a mission. When did the missionary work of Jesus begin? Are we happy to think that his life was totally a missionary life? Every moment. Some people think he went into his mission when he was baptised and he did his work. He was a child and a carpenter. Children are missionaries. The home is a missionary centre because Jesus was a missionary in his home as a child. As Jesus was sent as a missionary to this planet, who is sent as a missionary as Jesus is sent? Do we have an understanding as who is sent as a missionary?

Who Lives a Missionary Life?

Like our Saviour, we are in this world to do service for God. We are here to become like God in character, and by a life of service to reveal Him to the world. {MH 409.1}

What is a missionary’s life? A life of service.

In order to be co-workers with God, in order to become like Him and to reveal His character, we must know Him aright. We must know Him as He reveals Himself. {MH 409.1}

Who is a missionary? Who are we if we are going to be true missionaries? When we know him and the degree of our knowledge of him, to that degree we are missionaries. We must know him as he reveals himself. You cannot be a missionary unless you know him. If you don’t know him, remember what Jesus said when they said haven’t we done this and that in your name? Weren’t they missionaries? He said depart from me I don’t know you. Who are missionaries? Those who know him. Has God come to reveal himself to us? Has God come to reveal us? Don’t we know him? Everything you know of Jesus you can be a missionary in. A person who has been redeemed is now a missionary. Do you feel you’ve been redeemed? Do you believe Jesus has redeemed you? You have known something of God.

Christ’s followers have been redeemed for service. Our Lord teaches that the true object of life is ministry. Christ Himself was a worker, and to all His followers He gives the law of service–service to God and to their fellow men. Here Christ has presented to the world a higher conception of life than they had ever known. {ML 218.2}

My whole life is to be seen as a missionary life. What is your concept of life? My concept of life before I understood this was I’m just living to enjoy myself. As a child I went to school and I did this and that and I always associated missionary work as something separate from my daily life. According to this I was amongst a people who had a far too low conception of life than I had ever known. When I was called into the fulltime work I thought that is my job and sometimes there was a strong pull that said I won’t to get out of this and live in a log cabin to really enjoy life. That was a temptation of Satan but the continual ongoing activity of my life to be a missionary was not always associated as a concept of life.

By living to minister for others man is brought into connection with Christ. The law of service becomes the connecting link which binds us to God and to our fellow men. {ML 218.2}

This is the life of ministry. You know the story how Jesus left this world and left behind the talents. He gave to some 5, 2 and 1 talents. He said go and occupy till I come. What were they to do with those talents? They were called to work. One had 1 talent and what did he do? He buried it in the ground. He did what so many people do. They have been given talents and capabilities and they use them for their present life style and enjoyment. That is burying it in the ground but true missionary life is doing what others did. They increased their talents in the kingdom of heaven. They understood what the man had given them to do.

To His servants Christ commits “His goods”–something to be put to use for Him. He gives “to every man his work.” Each has his place in the eternal plan of Heaven. Each is to work in cooperation with Christ for the salvation of souls. Not more surely is the place prepared for us in the heavenly mansions than is the special place designated on earth where we are to work for God. . . . {ML 218.3}

I want a place in heaven? Part of the preparation is to have a place on earth where I’m serving the Lord.

And those who would be workers together with God must strive for perfection of every organ of the body and quality of the mind. True education is the preparation of the physical, mental, and moral powers for the performance of every duty; it is the training of body, mind, and soul for divine service. . . . {ML 218.4}

Here we have the purpose of living, the conception of life is missionary. When are children missionaries? Many children think if I’m not telling people about Jesus I’m not doing missionary work.

With us as parents and as Christians it rests to give our children right direction. They are to be carefully, wisely, tenderly guided into paths of Christlike ministry. We are under sacred covenant with God to rear our children for His service. To surround them with such influences as shall lead them to choose a life of service, and to give them the training needed, is our first duty. {AH 484.1}

Where is the training school for missionary work? In the home.

Children and youth should be missionaries at home by doing those things that need to be done and that someone must do. . . . You can prove by faithful performance of the little things that seem to you unimportant that you have a true missionary spirit. It is the willingness to do the duties that lie in your path, to relieve your overburdened mother, that will prove you worthy of being entrusted with larger responsibilities. You do not think that washing dishes is pleasant work, yet you would not like to be denied the privilege of eating food that has been placed on those dishes. Do you think that it is more pleasant work for your mother to do those things than it is for you? Are you willing to leave what you consider a disagreeable task for your careworn mother to do, while you play the lady? There is sweeping to be done, there are rugs to take up and shake, and the rooms are to be put in order; and while you are neglecting to do these things, is it consistent for you to desire larger responsibilities?? {AH 300.1}

I was trained to do missionary work when I knelt on the wooden floor and polished it. I remember the Lord saying to me if you do that faithfully I can use you later on.

Have you considered how many times mother has to attend to all these household duties while you are excused to attend school or amuse yourself? {AH 300.1}

Many children go about their home duties as though they were disagreeable tasks, and their faces plainly show the disagreeable. They find fault and murmur, and nothing is done willingly. This is not Christlike; it is the spirit of Satan, and if you cherish it, you will be like him. You will be miserable yourselves and will make all about you miserable. Do not complain of how much you have to do and how little time you have for amusement, but be thoughtful and care-taking. By employing your time in some useful work, you will be closing a door against Satan’s temptations.{AH 300.2}

People who come into the home will be very impressed. I was visiting in a home last week and the mother was telling me the story that the home school investigator came and she made reference to how the house looked like so tidy and clean and in conversation with the mother in reference to the child and all that the mother was talking about and what they were doing in regards to cleanliness in the home, when the woman was finished she said this is truly a Christian home. Was that household a missionary household? Take courage children at the time you have to do those menial tasks it is so important as people will see children are doing work in the home. That happened when the inspectors came to my home, they could see it was true Christianity. This is why faithfully doing our duties will represent Christianity. We will represent that we know God. Parents training their children to sit still in church is a tremendous missionary exercise. When I was working in New Zealand I travelled all over the country and we sometimes visited the independent meetings. They used to hire halls and ministers would come and my entire family (seven children) decided to go and they had a meeting that went for four hours. I came in with my family and they watched those children for four hours sitting still fascinated with what the preacher was talking about. Afterwards there was a buzz that they couldn’t believe those children sat still for four hours. Never underestimate the normal round of doing things and developing a personality that is a missionary personality. A missionary is a person who is a letter or an epistle.

The children of God are called to be representatives of Christ, showing forth the goodness and mercy of the Lord. As Jesus has revealed to us the true character of the Father, so we are to reveal Christ to a world that does not know His tender, pitying love. “As Thou hast sent Me into the world,” said Jesus, “even so have I also sent them into the world.” “I in them, and Thou in Me; . . . that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me.” John 17:18, 23. The apostle Paul says to the disciples of Jesus, “Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ,” “known and read of all men.” 2 Corinthians 3:3, 2. In every one of His children, Jesus sends a letter to the world. If you are Christ’s follower, He sends in you a letter to the family, the village, the street, where you live. Jesus, dwelling in you, desires to speak to the hearts of those who are not acquainted with Him. Perhaps they do not read the Bible, or do not hear the voice that speaks to them in its pages; they do not see the love of God through His works. But if you are a true representative of Jesus, it may be that through you they will be led to understand something of His goodness and be won to love and serve Him. {SC 115.1}

Jesus wants to send a letter to the world in us. As an individual I am a letter in the family. As an individual you are to be a letter to those around. It is we individually can be a letter.

Christians are set as light bearers on the way to heaven. They are to reflect to the world the light shining upon them from Christ. Their life and character should be such that through them others will get a right conception of Christ and of His service. {SC 115.2}

To know God means to be a missionary. We have learnt that the work of missionary activity is in the home and daily things. We will look at now bringing people knowledge to the truth. Because by being a missionary in the home they will be fascinated and start asking questions. Where does all this lead to ultimately?

True Missionary Work

Not all can go as missionaries to foreign lands, but all can be home missionaries in their families and neighborhoods. There are many ways in which church members may give the message to those around them. One of the most successful is by living helpful, unselfish Christian lives. {AH 485.1}

Doing little jobs.

Those who are fighting the battle of life at great odds may be refreshed and strengthened by little attentions which cost nothing. Kindly words simply spoken, little attentions simply bestowed, will sweep away the clouds of temptation and doubt that gather over the soul. The true heart expression of Christlike sympathy, given in simplicity, has power to open the door of hearts that need the simple, delicate touch of the spirit of Christ. {AH 485.1}

My oldest brother when he was a little child knocked on a ladies door and said hello aunty I’ve come to help you and he gave a big smile and that ladies heart was melted and she became a Seventh Day Adventist. These are things we don’t often consider. As you reach out in kindness like that, doing those sympathetic things will open the heart and you can start working with these souls whereas before you wouldn’t have had a chance.

There is a wide field of service for women as well as for men. The efficient cook, the seamstress, the nurse– the help of all is needed. Let the members of poor households be taught how to cook, how to make and mend their own clothing, how to nurse the sick, how to care properly for the home. Even the children should be taught to do some little errand of love and mercy for those less fortunate than themselves. {AH 485.2}

In an effort to excuse themselves some say: “My home duties, my children, claim my time and my means.” Parents, your children should be your helping hand, increasing your power and ability to work for the Master. Children are the younger members of the Lord’s family. They should be led to consecrate themselves to God, whose they are by creation and by redemption. They should be taught that all their powers of body, mind, and soul are His. They should be trained to help in various lines of unselfish service. {AH 485.3}

You didn’t think that missionary work was that but even in cooking, sewing and those practical life of duties in household care it is.

The essential lesson of contented industry in the necessary duties of life, is yet to be learned by many of Christ’s followers. It requires more grace, more stern discipline of character, to work for God in the capacity of mechanic, merchant, lawyer, or farmer, carrying the precepts of Christianity into the ordinary business of life, than to labor as an acknowledged missionary in the open field. {MYP 215.3}

This requires far more grace of a missionary working fulltime.

It requires a strong spiritual nerve to bring religion into the workshop and the business office, sanctifying the details of everyday life, and ordering every transaction according to the standard of God’s word. But this is what the Lord requires. {MYP 215.3}

This is the missionary life. If you have carefully considered this, as you are making that impact upon people around you by this kind of missionary life, how can we centre these things towards bringing people to Jesus.

The parable of the talents … has a personal and individual application to every man, woman, and child possessed of the powers of reason. Your obligation and responsibility are in proportion to the talents God has bestowed upon you. . . . {TMK 324.2}
When the master of the house called his servants, he gave to every man his work. The whole family of God are included in the responsibility of using their Lord’s goods. Every individual, from the lowliest and most obscure to the greatest and most exalted, is a moral agent endowed with abilities for which he is accountable to God. . . . The spiritual, mental, and physical ability, the influence, station, possessions, affections, sympathies, all are precious talents to be used in the cause of the Master…. {TMK 324.3}

This is missionary work, this is a missionary life.

Let the businessman do his business in a way that will glorify his Master because of his fidelity. Let him carry his religion into everything that is done, and reveal to men the Spirit of Christ. Let the mechanic be a diligent and faithful representative of Him who toiled in the lowly walks of life in the cities of Judea. Let every one who names the name of Christ so work, that man by seeing his good works may be led to glorify his Creator and Redeemer. . . . {TMK 324.4}

If we want to produce fruit in our labours and we are doing everything faithfully what we have studied, how can we then reap the effort? We like to see that the people that are impressed with what we are doing and in communication we are having, we would like to see them brought into a missionary outreach wouldn’t we? As we are doing these missionary principles and people are attracted and we have them at a point and they are absolutely interested, then there is something you can do. You can attract them to a Bible study. You may not feel you can give them a Bible study but you can say as they ask questions, I’d like you to be benefited by what I’ve been benefited by. Even if you can’t give a Bible study, how would you like to come to my home and someone can give us a Bible study together? Some can give Bible studies and we can say brother, would you come to my home and conduct these studies in my home? That is bringing results. This is how in the ministry of this company things have happened. We have developed into a company. As we continue to have this mindset, whether it be that we give people studies ultimately, those we have met will finally watch us being brought before the courts, will say I remember them they are now standing for their faith. Sr White says thousands will hear from the courts be convicted and come out from among them. This is the overall picture that develops as we live a missionary life. It is a different process altogether that is developed in the mind of people. Loving kind deeds open hearts that are looking for the right answers. They won’t feel strangled.

Amen.

Posted on May 14, 2011, in Missionary Studies, Sermons by John Thiel. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. hello your brother in Christ.
    I go to the reform S.D.A. Church In New Lynn West of Auckland
    the matarial i have heard through the internet i am deeply moved by the Holy Spirit
    to say thank you for the truth, about Gods true people where two of three are gathered
    together.
    we have our Radio Station we broadcast bringing Chirst To the Nation
    Remnant Radio freq; 107.03 Fm we are in the North Shore Browns Bay.
    Praise God for the wonderful messages from the pen of Sister White.
    In Daniel & Revelation Ch; 14 it says individuals constitutes the true Church on earth.
    please can we make contact
    we love the true word from the bible. Thank you.

  1. Pingback: Inspiring Our Children: a missionary’s heart |

  2. Pingback: Being a Missionary Doesn't Mean I Have to Leave Home

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