Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Ministry of The Body

Isaiah 61:1-2
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Jesus came to fulfill this Isaiah 61 prophecy.  He said so himself in Luke 4:21.  What an amazing mission in which he meets our physical & spiritual needs!  At the end of His mininstry here on earth, He gave The Body of Christ a part in this mission:  "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation" Mark 16:15.

Nearly 6 months ago my friend Nicole asked me to join her on a mission to Cambodia.  The purpose of our trip is to seek justice for the many young girls who are at risk for sex trafficking through preventative education, to abundantly love orphan children, and to share the good news of the Gospel with the people of Cambodia.

The trafficking of young children into the sex trade is modern day slavery. Predators are preying on the poor, locking up prisoners, and oppressing them day after day. 

Our prayer is that our educational message will help to prevent further trafficking in Cambodia.  We long to see Jesus set the prisoners of trafficking free!

Furthermore, as it was often in Jesus' ministry, we hope to meet many physical, tangible needs first (like education in villages & high schools, providing young children with shoes, funding a new computer for an orphanage, playing with & loving on orphan children) and then share the saving message of the Gospel.

As I've prepared for this mission I have been overwhelmed by the Body of Christ.

People like YOU who have come alongside me.

Ministry to Jesus in any form or fashion simply can't be accomplished alone--the whole Body of Christ is needed. 

"The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.  So it is with Christ...Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." 1 Corinthians 12:12; 27

Likewise, each one of YOU is part of our mission because you are part of The Body.  And many of you are serving in so many necessary ways SO THAT I can travel across the world and do what Jesus has called our team to do.

If it weren't for The Body...praying, caring for my children, supporting my husband, driving me to & picking me up from airport, loaning me clothes & shoes, giving financial support, listening & speaking truth to my fears, and encouraging me to trust God & walk in obedience...this mission could not happen.  Friends, this is our mission.

I've often fallen prey to the LIE that unless I'm on the frontlines of God's ministry, I'm useless.  There have been times I've coveted and been jealous of other believers who God has called to more "exciting" ministries.  And thus, I've failed to see how vital each member of The Body is to ministry as a whole.  We need each other.  We need each others resources, gifts, strengths, and functions.  

Scripture says that "God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it." 1 Corinthians 12:24-26   

So, I sincerely thank you for being obedient to God's call in this mission.  Your service to this mission is so important.  And I have great faith that God is going to do great things through us!

As I think about my children, I desperately want them to value The Body & understand their need for it.  I want them to grasp how ministry is ineffective when done alone, but when done as a unit it is wildly effective.  Will you join me today and pray that our children value and become active members of The Body as a whole?

I praise You that the ministry You call me to requires The Body.  I thank you for the beautiful and firm help and support I've received from The Body while I've prepared and am in Cambodia.  I rejoice that we are all ONE in You and that our mission is the same--to go into all the world and preach the good news of the gospel!

I pray that my children will grow to value and understand their need for The Body.  I pray they would be active, humble participants in the work You give the Unit.  I pray you would protect them from divisive thoughts which corrupt the functions and effectiveness of The Body.  And I pray they would be obedient to Your call and fulfill the functions You will give them (no matter how exciting) as part of The Body's work and ministry. 


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