The birth of Jesus is a miracle worthy of celebrating. It must be the focus of our holiday events. Importantly, it also provides motivation and guidance for missions. This should come as no surprise. After all, Jesus came to save, and the salvation that He accomplished is our message as we go in obedience to Him to all the nations. However, I’d like to take a closer look at how Christ’s coming to earth should guide us in missions. Jesus’ gigantic step of earth-shattering humility ought to teach you as you seek to serve successfully in missions.
Christ’s heart attitude stands in stark contrast to how society encourages you to think and feel. 2 Corinthians 8:9 says, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” Imagine Him who is limitless in power and glory making Himself like us! Are you demonstrating this kind of humility in the pursuit of your dreams and goals? Are you emptying yourself of pride? Are you willing to stop thinking about what others may owe you? Are you willing to patiently serve under the authority of your boss, your parents, and your pastors? This is the path toward honoring God and reaching others.
God’s love for people expressed in the Christmas story came at a cost. For Christ it cost leaving the purity and glory of the Father’s presence, and ultimately going to the cross. For the Father, it cost His only Son. As you seek to follow God’s path in missions, is self too much a part of the picture? Are you holding back based on leaving the comforts you’ve grown to love? Are you hesitant because of human relationships? How do you work in a group? Are you selfless as you seek to participate with others for the sake of the gospel? Following God in missions will require Christ-like selflessness.
Christ’s humility and selflessness lead to suffering. It is His designed path for you, too. To follow the Christ of Christmas, hear his call – “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Mark 8:34). Some degree of suffering is inevitable for those who are His. Missions is wrought with risk and with discomforts, physical and emotional. Are you willing to lose your life for Him? The eternal affects are beyond compare. Most importantly, Christ will be glorified through your life.
As you celebrate Christ this Christmas, I trust the Spirit will use the holiday to lead you to repent of pride, selfishness, and a love for comfort and security, all of which will hinder what you hope to do for God in missions. May His mercy and grace give you all you need for your service for Him. Merry Christmas!
This month's serve was originally feature in the December 2018 Serve and is a great reminder of Christ birth and the reason to serve this holiday season.