Anywhere Anyplace Anytime
Anywhere, Anyplace, Anytime
EXAMPLE: I recently heard that the special forces have a saying, “Anywhere, Anyplace, Anytime.”
Today, God is looking for those who will be in His special forces in His army and are willing to go – anywhere, anyplace, anytime.
Why? Because before Jesus returns, the work left is enormous.
Why? Because He has assigned us a task of making disciples of the nations. And we have much work to do.
Please consider the following:
PP In the 21st century…
• There are 2 billion people in the world who identify themselves as Christians of all types.
• There are 1.2 billion Muslims.
Islam is the fastest growing major religious group, largely as a result of high birth rates.
• There are 784 million people who are Buddhists or who practice Chinese traditional religion. Thailand: 93% Buddhists.
• There are 811 million Hindus, largely in India. (First trip to India in January)
• There are 918 million people who profess no faith at all - unreligious.
Although these numbers are staggering, they all seem so impersonal.
But God not only sees nations (people groups), but He sees us as His individual creation(s), and has a tremendous love for each of us personally.
Our God is a missionary God, and with tremendous love and mercy, is pursuing people to enter into a relationship and fellowship with Him.
God loves people! He loves each of you here!
This is why we and many others go. This is why you are partnering with us to gather in the harvest. We are very grateful for you support!
For the next few moments, I would like for us to look at a passage in the Old Testament that serves as a foundation for missions.
Often, we think of well-known passages in the New Testament, such as the Great Commission, for the foundation of gathering a world-wide harvest. But we must not overlook that this foundation begins in the Old Testament.
In the midst of the abundance of sin that we can read about that began with the fall Genesis 3 and runs through Genesis 11; we can learn about the increased distance that was building between God and man.
God demonstrated His great love by calling Abraham into an eternal covenant (Gen 12:1-3).
PP Genesis 12:1-3: The LORD said to Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s home, and go to a land that I am going to show you. 2 I will give you many descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will bless you and make your name famous, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, But I will curse those who curse you. And through you I will bless all the nations.” (Today’s Eng. Version)
In these verses, we see that God made a covenant with Abram, promising him that he would be the agent of God’s redemption to all the earth.
Through Abram, God promised that “all peoples on earth will be blessed” (Gen 12:3).
God’s call to Abraham is repeated in Genesis 17:1-7, where God establishes the “everlasting covenant” with Abraham and his descendants.
PP Genesis 17:1-7: (Not read) When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am the Almighty. Obey me and always do what is right. 2 I will make my covenant with you and give you many descendants.” 3 Abram bowed down with his face touching the ground, and God said, 4 “I make this covenant with you: I promise that you will be the ancestor of many nations. 5 Your name will no longer be Abram, but Abraham, because I am making you the ancestor of many nations. 6 I will give you many descendants, and some of them will be kings. You will have so many descendants that they will become nations. 7 “I will keep my promise to you and to your descendants in future generations as an everlasting covenant. I will be your God and the God of your descendants. (TEV)
A covenant isn’t made among equals; but the stronger, more powerful, must initiate the covenant.
Through Abraham and his descendants, God initiated a covenant to bring His blessing and redemption to all the earth.
God initiated the covenant, but Abraham had to respond in faith – just as we must do today.
And so he did. He departed from his own country without delay. His obedience was speedy, submissive and without dispute.
PP Hebrews 11:8 says that: “It was faith that made Abraham obey when God called him to go out to a country which God had promised to give him. He left his own country without knowing where he was going.” (TEV)
By faith, Abraham left behind everything familiar to move to a new place in a far away country.
Example: Before leaving for Thailand in my college years, I told God that I’d go anywhere He told me to go, except for a big city like New York. But then He sent me to Bangkok to language school, with over 8 million people – and I lived in one of the most polluted parts of the city!
Then, I went and lived in the opposite conditions, in a village in Thailand near Myanmar (Burma) – where there was no electricity, running water, where roads were bad and conditions were harsh. We had to deal with drunken border patrol police and be aware of bandits along the road.
In the villages, animism prevailed/s. One time, a 14 year old girl committed suicide – the how village was in fear – bondage to spirits – strings around houses – saw her as a “headless” ghost.
Sometimes, I have to work through some fear issues; but it is well worth it to see people become believers!
I want to encourage you to never let fear paralyze you in what may be God’s calling in your life.
If you let fear paralyze you, you will miss out on many opportunities that God has in store for you.
Remember, your faith in God is your security.
PP Like Abraham, are you willing to respond to God’s call to go: anywhere, anyplace, anytime?
Today, just like through Abraham, God wants to bring His blessing and His redemption through our lives to others.
God’s heart breaks that 1.2 billion Muslims, 784 million Buddhists, 811 million Hindus and 918 million people who profess no faith at all will spend eternity in hell – forever separated from Him.
Hell is a real place and real people go there. But, this is not God’s will!
Does your heart break in the fact that millions are dying without Jesus and will spend an eternity separated from God forever?
But, God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to pay the price of our sins. Good News!
PP One way we respond to God’s call and this Good News is to share His love and character in practical ways with those around us.
Examples: Kelly with gal – Dawn - in Khukhan – hired her to work. Changed diapers, provided a meal and work. Gave clothes, formula, etc.
In Chiang Mai, for two years, Kelly went once a week to our neighbor – went as a family until she died.
Kelly jogging in Chiang Mai – gave her coat to a man who was cold.
What are you doing to show and to share God’s love in practical ways with other people?
PP Again, the question: Are you responding to God’s call in your life in simple obedience to demonstrate, or express His immense love to others?
It is clear from God’s Word that we are to go to our own “Jerusalem” and to our own “Samaria.”
But, perhaps, like Abraham, God wants you to go and demonstrate Christ’s love in a Muslim country, or to the Hindu world or to secular Europe or to Latin America.
In the last decade or so, short-terms mission outreach has increased by 300%, and that is good.
God is using these efforts for His kingdom. There are great opportunities to serve in this short-term capacity.
However, there is a big need for those who will go and serve long-term on the mission field.
PP For example, there are approximately:
· 1,448 ministers per million people in the United States.
· 56 missionaries per million people in Africa.
· 30 missionaries per million people in South America.
· 20 missionaries per million people in Korea.
· 15 missionaries per million people in India.
· 3 missionaries per million people in Southeast Asia (Indo-China).
· Moreover, much of Europe with its 480 million people is largely unevangelized.
· And virtually all Communist-controlled countries are closed to missions work.
Are you willing to go – long-term?
I encourage you to go! Remember, the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will.
Like Abraham, are you willing to say yes to God’s call – and go to the unknown, for His honor and glory?
He may not call you specifically to serve cross-culturally, but we should be willing to say “yes God” – anywhere, anyplace, anytime.
Will you not only be willing, but actually go – wherever it is that God may want you to serve?
When we see people as God sees them – as precious souls whom He greatly loves, then we’ll be willing to respond in faith.
When we begin to grasp the seriousness of the situation in the world, and that it is God’s plan to use us – His Church – then we will begin to say, “Here I am Lord, please use me!” Whatever it takes – anywhere, anyplace, anytime.
There is a great need for full-time Christian workers among the literally billions of people where Christian resources - including Christian workers - are extremely scarce.
Some of you young people here, will you consider going to one of these places to work among those who have not yet heard the Gospel?
I PTL that when I was 21 years old, the Lord began showing me that I was to go serve as a cross-cultural missionary; and then at 23, I then made my first trip to Thailand.
Since then, for the past nearly 22 years, I have had the honor and privilege to be involved in church planting in northern Thailand, as well as train hundreds of church leaders, so that they will have a passion to evangelize, disciple and equip others to share their faith with others, and plant new groups of believers wherever they go.
It has been a blessing to help baptize new Christians and then help them to burn their spirit amulets, and continue to teach them how they can experience freedom in Christ and mature in the Lord.
Nothing is more fulfilling than responding to God’s call in showing His love to others. Nothing blesses me more than:
Ø 1) Sharing Christ with someone whom has never heard the Gospel message
Ø 2) Witnessing the birth of a new Christian
Ø 3) Equipping Christians to be strong leaders among their own people, so that they too, have a passion to share Christ with others.
Example: Once such person is Somchay.
Somchay was an opium addict who lived in Wiang Hang, wasting his life away. One day, he came to my co-worker Walter, who began to share the great love that God had for Somchay.
Somchay soon became a Christian, and now he labors tirelessly among the Karen and other people groups. He fasts regularly and rises at 4 am nearly every morning to pray.
My co-worker, Walter Ridgley and I have the honor and privilege of continuing to train Somchay and many of the Karen preachers whom Somchay has introduced to us.
Who is it that God wants you – by faith – to step out and share His love?
How may God be calling you? Will you, like Abraham, surrender everything, for the sake of God’s kingdom and those who desperately need Christ in their lives?
EXAMPLE: Robert & Eugene Morse are two brothers who have surrendered all (Never retired):
- Robert worked until he died of leukemia in his 70’s. I’d often find him up at early in the morning.
- His brother, Eugene Morse, is 84 and is going strong. Retirement never enters his mind.
- Lord willing, I too, hope to serve until the Lord takes me home.
- Retiring from a job is just fine; but none of us should ever retire from the Lord’s service.
If you are young, begin to ask and pray how the Lord wants to use you. If you are older, ask how the Lord may continue to use you. We should work for the Lord as long as we are able.
We have much to do for God’s kingdom.
My prayer is that you will plant seeds and help them to grow into maturity.
I also pray that you will live to your fullest potential and leave a lasting legacy for God’s kingdom here on earth.
God’s special forces: anywhere, anyplace, anytime.