The missionary statesman David Livingston once said,
“God had only one Son, and He sent Him as a missionary.”
Jesus acknowledged it by saying, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
Christmas and Missionary are two words not found in the Bible.
However, the Greek word ‘Apostello’ is used for ‘sending’ and for ‘sent one’ from which the concept of ‘Missionary’ is derived. Just as Jesus was sent for His Mission on earth, the same method of ‘sending out’ missionaries continues to accomplish His plan of redemption. This is why Jesus at the end of His ministry prayed in John 17:18,12:
“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world…that the world may believe that You sent me” (John 17:18,21)
This Christmas, as you celebrate this ‘first sending,’ we invite you to join in prayer for Mission endeavours towards ‘final sending’ of missionaries in the history of Missions:
“Therefore Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew (9:38)
Between the First and Final Sending in Missions.
The first 2 European Protestant missionaries to Asia were Bartholomew Ziegenbalg and Heinrich Plütschau who went to India in 1706. More than fifty missionaries from Germany followed them to India during that Century.
Then, William Carey went to India in 1793 and the next Century produced over 15,000 Missionaries. *
The 20th Century has produced more than 300,000 Missionaries!
Imagine what the Holy Spirit is capable of preparing for the ‘Final Sending’ in our times!
MM 33 – The Decade of Revival:
The Missionary Movement, which began from Bethlehem has gathered momentum towards its culmination as we continue to pray and believe the Great Prophecy of Jesus:
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14.)
The World AG Fellowship is preparing for the greatest Revival and Harvest through Missions in this decade which could be that ‘final sending.’ An Intercessory Movement which can mobilize Intercessors from every nation is essential for this fulfilment of His Mission on earth.
5 Key Features of the first Christmas Sending.
These features can impact your Mission in life and Intercession today. For Jesus said, “The food that keeps me going is that I do the will of the One who sent me, finishing the work he started.” (John 4: 34 MSG)
1. Prophetic proclamations.
The prophecies that preceded Christ’s first coming carried God’s people right through the OT, through rebellions, wars, captivity, exiles, and even 400 years of silence. The turbulent and uncertain times we live in and the imposing conditions developed through the pandemic should drive us to persist on Prophetic Promises of Hope and their fulfilment.
Our prayers must be motivated with prophetic declarations such as:
“For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.” (Habbakuk 2:14)
“The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” (Matthew 4:16)
2. Intentional Preparation by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit raised the ‘Spirit-Filled Family” of Zecharias and Elizabeth to give birth to John with a Mission of “Preparing the Way of the Lord.“ The Holy Spirit is currently sweeping across the globe preparing the ‘Missional Church’ as a “Voice in the Wilderness”. Their voice may not be heard in the mainstream media, or in the busy activities of self-centred churches.
But there is good news! The Wind is Blowing!
Let us pray that the ‘voice’ of this final Missionary Movement will be heard throughout nations to mobilize the final army of labourers for the Harvest.
3. Prayerful Anticipation.
Although the coming of the first Missionary was obscured by the political, religious, and social upheaval of its day, it was preceded by years of faithful anticipation and prayer.
Luke 2 records two Intercessors who saw the baby Jesus 8 days after His arrival. Simion had an unwavering conviction by the “Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” Anna was a woman of persistent prayer who for nearly eighty-four years “did not depart from the temple but served God with fasting and prayers night and day.” God is looking for Intercessors even today whose resolute conviction and unrelenting prayer will usher the final stage of the ‘Son’s Mission’ on earth. (see Luke 2:25-38)
40 years after this event, another Simon who was called Niger was an Intercessor together with Church leaders in Antioch who birthed a ‘Missionary Sending Movement’ to the unreached people of the World. (See Acts 13:1-4). It is interesting that the Hebrew meaning of Simion is ‘hearkening’!
4. Human Participation.
The Father’s Mission on earth required a human instrument – to conceive and give birth to the Missionary Son. Gabriel’s message to Mary was that “with God, nothing is impossible” even though the outcome seems inconceivable! Intercessors must become pregnant with the Promises of God, and like Mary and pray: “Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). God is never short of plans or methods – He is in need of a ‘body’ – like Mary’s – to manifest the Saviour to the nations.
“Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me.” (Hebrews 10:5)
You may not be a ‘somebody’ – but will you be His ‘body’ to birth in Intercession the promise of the Savior to the world?
5. Glorious Fulfilment.
Finally, despite the contradicting conditions and circumstances, the Missionary arrived while the world was asleep. Just as the Roman politics and Jewish opposition could not stop His arrival, all restrictions and regulatory mandates of the pandemic can not stop the arrival of Revival!
This glorious fulfilment pierced the heavens with Angels singing “Glory to God in the highest” to local Shepherds. However, the final Missionary Sending Movement will herald an even more glorious fulfilment to a global audience of the arrival of the Lamb of God, the King of Kings, the Lion of Judah who triumphed as they sing a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” (Rev 5:9)
In 1800, only 1 per cent of Protestant Christians lived in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
By 1900, this number had grown to 10 per cent. Today, at least 67 per cent of all active Protestant Christians live in countries once considered foreign mission fields!
Can you see the Christmas Mission of the First Missionary being completed in this Century?
He is calling you saying:
“As the Father Sent me (as a Missionary), So I send you (as Missionaries)!
Thank You for your Intercession.
We want to thank you for your Intercession for Missions throughout this Year.
We wish you a Blessed Christmas and a Hope-Filled and Exciting 2022.
Prayer Network Coordinator.
Contact us at [email protected]
Sources: * Christianity Today – Issue 36.
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