by Jill Lienemann, Kesher International Missions | ©2014
“When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him.” (Matthew 2:9-11a NKJV)
The star that led the Magi to Jerusalem also navigated them to their next location in Bethlehem. Once it became stationary, the wise men knew they had reached their final destination. Imagine their anticipation combined with the realization they were about to witness a prophecy that had become reality. Mind blowing, spirit-filled elation! You may experience the same kind of “exceedingly great joy” when you stand at the threshold of your mission field.
Interestingly, this group of men whose function was to locate the King of Jews and confirm his position of sovereignty didn’t enter a governmental building or a local church. Instead God sent them into an ordinary neighborhood house where a worship service promptly ensued. “…Jesus replied [to the Samaritan woman], “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem…true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (John 4:21, 23 NIV) On your mission trip, you may be walking through the doors of dwellings that are unlike anything you have encountered or imagined. Yet, it is this exact location where God wants you to share the Good News of Jesus as savior (redeemer) and lord (ruler). Belief in this truth and submission to Him leads a person’s spirit to explode with joy and adoration to the Holy One.
John Piper states in his book, Let the Nations Be Glad!, “Missions exists because worship doesn’t…The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God.” Will you imitate the wise men’s example and “Declare His glory among the nations…” (Psalm 96:3 NKJV) even if it is in a makeshift tent or a mud hut?
KESHER PRAYER (connection): God, thank you for sending us to places of disparity to witness about the hope of Jesus Christ. Our hearts are filled with gratitude because your love is overwhelming (see John 3:16). “Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 117:1-2 NIV)