We often speak of our missionary efforts, and we give thanks for the privilege we have to touch the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. From South California to South Asia, we see His message being proclaimed. But I want to remind you that all of us are missionaries right where we are. We have been sent to those individuals right around us—our family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc. I am especially mindful of the opportunities many of us have as school begins. Whether you assume the role of educator, support staff, or even student, you have an incredible context to share the good news of salvation. God has literally placed unbelievers right before you so that your testimony can draw them to the Lord. Moreover, He has given you a sphere of influence which allows you to disciple other believers. How awesome is that! Like some of you, I have been praying for our children as they encounter this mission field. In addition, I have been interceding for our teachers, professors, administrators, and support personnel as they seek to invest Christ within their students and fellow employees. This Sunday, we will pause in our services to ask collectively for His favor to rest upon our educators as they begin this new academic year.
Of course, the violence of this past weekend reminds us of the import of such evangelistic and discipleship efforts. Demonic influences continue to wreak havoc upon our land, and the only hope for healing is through Jesus Christ. No political party or personality is powerful enough to wage the spiritual warfare necessary to defeat such evil foes. But our Lord can! Indeed, the Holy Spirit can! And my friends, He uses us to push back against the hate and destruction. Every life is valuable before God, and every individual has potential through Christ! That must be our message . . . the message of good news!
I believe that our educators play a key role in this fight. In my view, they are on the front lines of the battle as they demonstrate daily the love of Jesus Christ. I know some of the most formative influences that I have experienced in my walk with the Lord came through my teachers, professors, administrators, etc. They made a difference in my life! And educators still have incredible impact today! That is why I encourage you to join me in praying for all of those involved in the education process. Ask specifically for discernment and empowerment for each one. And may our God work within “our missionaries” in the schools to effect renewal and revival that will produce committed, life-giving Christ-followers!
See you Sunday!