Be a Friend to Jesus

by J. Randal Matheny, editor
Andrew Murray wrote, “A friend of Jesus is a friend of missions.” In the present economic crisis, churches are cutting budgets. Cuts often begin in the missions program. Such a tactic does not sound friendly to Jesus.
Murray also wrote, “Missionary work is an example of life in a church, and brings more life.” A byword among churches today is “renewal.” That renewal cannot occur until we restore that mark of the New Testament church that seldom if ever appears in our sermons and writings: the mission of the church.
So when a church cuts missions, it cuts its own throat.
The outreach given impulse by mission encourages a richness of inner spirituality, genuine faith and vibrant relationship with God. Turning inward shrivels spiritual life.
Emil Brunner’s oft-quoted phrase is spot on: “The church exists by mission as fire exists by burning.”
In the place of gimmicks, marketing and sell-outs to the religious world, we must rediscover our singular mission of preaching the gospel to save the lost and teach the whole counsel of God for the redemptive obedience of faith.
Neither let us judge the work of mission through the lens of business, politics or patriotism. Andrew Murray again: “Missionary work is a cause of faith, where everything goes on slowly, and not according to the inclinations of men. You will learn to cling to God and His Word.”
Some churches do missions by numbers. Numbers are important, because every number is a soul, but size is no gauge of success.
Other churches want missions on the cheap. It is important to be good stewards, but supporting a work or person because it comes cheaply confuses the miserly, selfish spirit with stewardship.
Jesus told his followers, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments” (John 14:15 NET). He was talking to those who were already his disciples. His statement applies not only to faith and baptism, worship and singing, but to his mission and worldwide evangelism as well.
When we put budgets, buildings and benevolence before Jesus’ mission, we have ceased, in Murray’s words, to be a friend to Jesus. We have stopped loving Jesus and begun loving ourselves, since we think we know better than he what we should be doing.

One Reply to “Be a Friend to Jesus”

  1. This is a timely and well planned article.Missions is the general view that brought Christ to us.Jesus traveled distances, accepted the lowly place just to reach mankind with the message of Salvation.
    Who knows, if the Heavens had caught the budget,placed Building in place of Missions,salvation could have been brought down.
    Our song titled”All alone without A friend, He suffered to pay it all, on Mount Calvary, cruel Calvary”That is Missions, that brought all of us together in the household of Faith.
    Mission Minded Christians, spread the word, and build the faith.Mission Minded congregations, spread like wild fire to nook and crannies without any stopping their spread and growth.
    The leaders of the house must rediscover that Jesus said”Go ye into all the World and Preach my gospel to every Creature”Jesus, demonstrated the Heart of Missions,preaching the gospel, feeding the hungry, casting out demons,Healing the diseased, resurrecting the dead.
    He traveled through Galilee, Samaria,doing Mission work.How can they hear,if they are not sent.? The man of Macedonia Called for Missionary to come over to Help the work going on.Which other ways can we neglect to support Missions and make it a priority on the scale of Preference of Congregations life.

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