If we aren’t waiting on some special missionary call from God (see previous post) and we are all called to love the world, does that mean everyone should travel overseas? Please don’t hear me saying that. It takes a certain maturity, a set of gifts and graces to be a good fit for living international. Not everyone has that gift mix, and that is okay.
But every disciple of Jesus is to love all, growing a heart for the whole world, which includes being a humble learner from our international brothers and sisters.
In what ways are you interacting with those who are from a different culture? Reading biographies is a great start. Watch international news. The BBC is a great source. Read missionary newsletters and the magazines about the persecuted church around the world, such as Persecution or Voice of the Martyrs.
Go to a place Southern Market in the city of Lancaster and order international food. Then eat the food. Ask God to grow in your heart a love for the world. Ask him to grow in your heart a love for people that mirrors his love for all people, seeing the beauty in the many different colors and cultures across the globe. Ask God to grow love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control for all the people of the world.
Maybe you can do what you do in another place. That’s exactly what a family from Faith Church did. They were a business teacher and a diesel mechanic teacher who moved to Africa to be teachers there. As time has passed, they’ve gotten into other roles and responsibilities as time went on. How about you? Could you use your skills, gifts, experiences and abilities to serve people from around the world?
Here’s the thing, though. We live in 2022, and I’m guessing you already knew this, the world has come to us. In my local elementary school the student body speaks 30 languages. My wife works with women from Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East at Stroopies. Church World Service resettles refugees from across the globe to Lancaster. Perhaps my community is more diverse than yours.
But no matter, let us allow ourselves to follow God’s heart and open our arms wide to welcome everyone! If you live in Lancaster, Church World Service regularly needs help from churches and individuals. This is why Faith Church is about to launch teaching English language courses. What about you? How can you embrace the world around you?
What inspires us is the future vision of Revelation 7:
“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’.”
God’s heart is for all people everywhere to enter into his blessing.
Is your heart in line with God’s heart for the world? Mother Theresa once said “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
She also said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
The world has moved into the neighborhood. What will it look like for you to share the Fruit of the Spirit with them? What will it look like for you to grow the Fruit of the Spirit in your relationships?
Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash