The Key To The Great Commission Is Just One Word...

The key word to the Great Commission is one word..."GO!" Jesus said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." (Mark 16:15) Go is the opposite of "stay". Go means to go out the door to your neighbor, or go abroad to other nations. But the key is to go! This settles any doubt as to whether a person must go or not. He said "Go!", and that is pretty clear.

The key word "Go" also covers another very important area. Finances! It doesn't matter whether or not you have the finances (at the beginning of your commitment). When God lays it on your heart to go on a missions trip you continue to pray, and you start making plans to go, by faith. You begin making whatever preparations you can (at that current time) to prepare to go. I've heard so many well-meaning folks say, "I would love to go on a missions trip, but I just don't have the money." Always remember, money doesn't determine God's will for missions, He does. He did over 2000 years ago when He said, "Go into all the world!" God is responsible for providing the finances for a missions trip when we commit to going. I've seen Him miraculously supply over and over through the years.

Once you've committed to going on a missions trip, and you're praying and preparing, then you look for ways to help to raise money to finance your trip. (How to raise finances in a later post.) But again, never let finances (or lack thereof) be the reason you can't or don't commit to going on a missions trip. Embrace His command to "Go!" and He will open incredible opportunities to take the Gospel of Jesus to anywhere He wants you to! Jesus faithfully stands behind His commandment for you and me to "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel." Your part, and my part is to obey and GO!

Flying With A REAL ID

Here's some information presented by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) concerning a REAL ID-compliant drivers license. Make sure you are compliant by October 1, 2020.

Beginning October 1, 2020, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States.

Check For The Star

REAL ID-compliant cards are marked with a star at the top of the card. If you’re not sure, contact your state driver’s license agency on how to obtain a REAL ID compliant card.

About Enhanced Drivers License

Michigan, Vermont, Minnesota, and New York states issue REAL ID and state-issued enhanced driver’s licenses, both of which are acceptable. Washington state issues enhanced driver’s licenses only.

State-issued enhanced driver's licenses are marked with a flag. These documents will be accepted at the airport security checkpoint when the REAL ID enforcement goes into effect.

For more information visit www.tsa.gov
 

Are You Called To Missions?

When I surrendered my life to Jesus a ways back, I immediately began to feel that I needed to help people in far away lands. Honestly, at the time I didn't have a clue as to what that feeling meant, or how it would happen. But this new desire I began to have never left. Not too long after Jesus changed my life, I joined the U.S. Air Force and served for 6 years. The AF sent me and my family to Germany for 3 years. It was a great experience for my family as we learned to trust Him daily.

It was in Germany that God called me to preach and to pastor. After returning to the States I served at Robins AFB in GA for my final 2 years in the service. While we were at Robins AFB we became involved in what was then known as Holy Spirit Harvest Church in Macon. This incredible church was founded and pastored by Sam and Rheba Drye, who became our spiritual parents!

At the beginning of my last year in the military I was approached by Pastor Sam and asked to become the church's business administrator/associate pastor when I exited the service toward the end of that year. I accepted! I served under Pastors Sam and Rheba for 5 and a half years.

I had always had an affinity toward travel, especially on airplanes. A month or so after I surrendered to Jesus I was in an international airport to pick up my wife who was returning from a short trip. While I was waiting, the sounds of the jets and the smell of jet fuel caused an excitement in me. I began to imagine myself traveling and ministering in other nations of the world. I didn't have a clue (at that time) how this was going to happen. I just knew it would!

My first official missions trip was while I was still on staff at Holy Spirit Harvest Church. It was a week-long trip to the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. The seeds were being planted. My next missions trip took place when I was the pastor of Jesup Christian Fellowship in Jesup, GA. Connie and I went to Canada to visit a missionary family which our church supported on a regular basis. More seeds were planted.

In 1996, while still pastor of Jesup Christian Fellowship I met Pastor G.R. Purushotham from India. Our church also supported his work as an Indian national. Pastor Purushotham came to our church to speak while he was itinerating in the States. He kept telling me, "You should come to India to preach the Word of God. The people are very, very hungry to hear God's Word!" So, in 1997 I made my first missions trip (alone) to India. This is the one that changed my life, and confirmed my calling to missions. (More on my first trip to India, and how it changed my life here.) God used the incredible hunger for the Word of God among the people of India to confirm the call on my life.

According to my own experience, my love for missions began with a call. I sensed this call early on in my service to Jesus. But always remember, the call has to unfold, one step at a time. This is where faith must be involved. Honestly, my first trip to India, the one that changed my life, was initially a "vision" trip to take a look at where our funds were going, and what they were being used for. When I was leaving India the first time, I had no desire to return. I felt the mission had been accomplished. But God used this objective to capture my heart, and to set me on a course that must be traveled by faith. After a week back home in the States, I knew I had to return to India. I've now been to India a total of 8 times.

We now reach into the nations of India and Honduras, sharing gospel of Jesus through Harvest Celebration Ministries. We're involved in encouraging the body of Christ, and pastors in Honduras, and helping to build church facilities in India. God has enabled us to offer sponsorships of needy children (In Honduras) that make an impact on their lives, their families, and the lives of those who sponsor the children.

I'm sharing all of this because there should be a call to missions. Yes, even short-term missions. And yes, sometimes folks go on missions trips for the wrong reasons. But if the call is there, God will confirm it. If the call is there, you will know it. The power and anointing is in the call, and in the obedience to the call.

So let me ask you, are you called? If you feel that you are, then go for it! Take steps of faith that get you in line with God's call on your life. If you're called, expect Him to provide. Expect Him to change the lives of those hungry for God. Prepare to have your life changed. I would love to hear your story. Feel free to make some brief comments. You have a testimony that will encourage others who must answer a similar call!

Why Should You Go On A Short-term Missions Trip?

I love it when my post title is a question! That means my whole post will be the answer. So here goes! The answer is: There are many great reasons that you should go on a missions trip. So many I probably couldn't give them all in just one post. But I will give what I think are 6 of the best reasons.

Number 1: Because Jesus said to. "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." (Mark 16:15) When Jesus said "Go", He made it possible for you. It doesn't matter how much it costs, it is possible, and He will provide. When Jesus said "Go into all the world..." He meant that the body of Christ is responsible for proclaiming the gospel all over the world. He may call your neighbor to go across the street. And He may call you to go to India! Key word again, "Go!" The number 1 reason to go on a short-term missions trip is because Jesus said that we are to "Go".

Number 2: Because when you go, reason Number 1 is validated. This is what I mean. In most cases, a person doesn't fully comprehend the great commission until they take the step of faith to go. I'm a good example. My first trip to India was a visionary trip to observe how our money was being spent as our church supported a ministry there. This trip changed my life! (See post below.) I'll explain more on this later, but let me say now that I could quote the great commission forwards and backwards. But it wasn't until my life was changed by going far away, to a completely different culture, to a people who were hungry for God, that I totally understood the great commission. It takes a step of obedience to go. And remember, passion is born out of obedience. You'll never understand the great commission until you share God's passion for the world! His passion changes the ordinary into the extraordinary!

Number 3: Because it gives you a new perspective on how the rest of the world lives. In our comfy, Western culture we tend to be quite unaware of what's going on in the rest of the world. Yes, we can know what's going on politically because of the news media. But you do realize the news media only reports what they want you to hear, and what they want you to believe. The truth is, the only way you can begin to understand another culture is to be there...in the midst of that culture. "Culture shock" is not a bad thing. It gives us a new, true perspective on others. And in our comfy "church" culture we tend to be quite unaware of what's going on with God's people in the rest of the world. You might be unaware of this, but God is moving mightily in other cultures around the world. People have much less and are much happier because they've found the love of Jesus in the midst of their adversities. Commitment levels range higher than we could imagine here in our nation.

Number 4: Because you come home with a different perspective on how we live and what we have here at home. Many times a short-term missions trip to another culture makes us appreciate much more what we have at home. We look at things differently. What we once took for granted we notice and appreciate more. We also see that some of the things we possess really possess us. It's much easier to give those things up. Remember, it takes a proper perspective of what we have here at home to make the great commission a fulfilled reality for us. Without proper perspective the great commission is no more than some nice words spoken by Jesus.

Number 5: Because it changes your life. When I say it changes you life, I mean it changes your life! You are never ever the same. Not to worry, it changes you for the better. Not everyone will understand your passion though. That's why you'll be drawn to others who share your passion.
It's like this. Don't ask me about my missions experiences, and how they've changed my life...unless you really want to hear them! And...if you really want to hear them, you'd better have a lot of time! I am passionate about missions. Why? The passion Jesus has for the nations of the world (missions) has changed my life. This passion has become the main thrust of my life! As for me, missions has messed me up! I don't look at life the way I used to. I cannot be completely comfortable with all I have, knowing others have much less, but are much happier. It makes me want to have less...and be satisfied. It makes me trust God for the things that have eternal significance. That's the way it has messed me up!

Number 6: Because going on a short-term missions trip will give you a view of eternal significance. And man, do we need to see the things which carry eternal significance. We folks are involved in so much "stuff" today (even in the name of the church and ministry). I mean stuff that really has no eternal significance. It's so easy to be busy. We need divine discernment to choose what is divinely significant. Short-term missions has given me that discernment. It is easier to see what God sees now. Missions is His heart. When we get His heart, we get His vision.

You must have a heart to serve in order to make a significant impact wherever God sends you. That is the heart of missions...serving. It is not about vacationing or touring. It's about serving. Short-term missions is an effective way to develop a servant's heart. Jesus said, "The greatest among you will be you servant." (Matthew 23:11) Jesus meant that the greatest work will be accomplished through those who have humbled themselves to serve. That's exactly what He did....and look at the impact He made!

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