When the young lady behind the checkout counter commented that I sure did smell good, I received her words with a smile. It wasn’t the first time someone had asked the name of my perfume, and who doesn’t love a compliment.
Actually, I don’t wear perfume, only an inexpensive, scented hand and body lotion. But after a lecture at church, the fragrance of perfume had to be addressed.
My church was presenting a course called “Gaining God’s Global Perspectives.” The series of lectures offers an overview of how all believers can be involved in God’s plan of redeeming people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. The lectures reinforce that Jesus has called the church to be on mission with Him in fulfilling the Great Commission… Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:19 to go and make disciples of all nations.
For some our mission field is right inside our homes with family members who don’t know the love of Christ. Others of us live in cities where there are countless opportunities to share the love of Jesus, or even with the unchurched friends right across the street.
For a few, it’s going to the far ends of the earth to unreached people groups in the 10/40 window.
God has led some to be senders. To help finance the trips so that others might travel to wherever God has called them to share His word.
We are all called to be prayer warriors. Praying for those traveling out into the world to minister to the multitudes that do not know Christ.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few, therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38
Every Christian has a place in God’s plan to make disciples of all nations, but are we willing to listen to His calling and participate? Be obedient so that others can hear the Gospel?
One of the predominant hindrances keeping some from being a participant in the Great Commission is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of giving up something we value dearly, such as our time, social activities, and money. What about enduring a few days without air conditioning, hot showers, and our favorite foods?
What are we not willing to sacrifice for the glory of enlarging God’s kingdom?
And what in the world is the connection between perfume and making disciples of all nations?
Week 2 of Global Perspectives covered the History of Missions. Speaker Jessie Smith cited individuals who were used by God throughout history to spread Christianity into the world. People who risked their lives so that unreached groups could hear the gospel or read the Bible translated into their language.
I was in awe of the accounts of those early pioneers. Folks who risked everything to reach the unreached. Those who gave their lives so that you and I have a Bible written in our native tongue. But the words from Jessie Smith that struck a cord for me were taken directly from the inherent word of God in Matthew 26:6-10:
While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked.
This woman loved Jesus so much she sacrificed a possession valued at more than a year’s wages. The disciples considered her sacrifice wasteful.
Those of us in the audience were left with some some haunting questions:
- What is my “perfume” that I’m unwilling to waste on the Lord?
- What do I value so highly that I am not willing to give up…so that others can hear the gospel?
I don’t want to hear someone ask what perfume I’m wearing. For the smell of what I won’t let go of in order to serve the Lord permeate my soul. Would much rather the fragrance of my devotion be a pleasing aroma to the Lord, poured out in willing obedience to His command to go and make disciples of all nations. Not selfishly hoarded for myself.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21
Do you feel the Holy Spirit nudging you? Next month I hope to share where He’s leading me.