Shawn Bateman, Misionary to Argentina
June 25, 2017
“Qualifications for a Missionary”
It seems strange that I would use a Roman centurion as an example for missionaries, but I believe there are some great things to draw from this man that will help missionaries and all people in ministry. So look with me at Luke 7:1-10
This man loved the people (vs. 1-5). We know this primarily from the testimony of the Jewish Elders. They have come to Jesus to ask that Christ might come and heal this man’s servant and they say “He is worthy… For he loveth our nation.” This is a testimony that every servant of Christ should have. We should love people. God loves them, and we should also. We know this also from his actions. The elders say “…he hath built us a synagogue.” Love is always demonstrated in actions. You can not say you love someone and never demonstrate it. Love cannot be contained. God loved us, and He demonstrated that love by giving His Son (Romans 5:8, 1 John 4:9).
He is humble (vs. 6). He realizes that he is not worthy that Christ should come to his house. Charles Spurgeon said “Humility is the proper estimate of oneself.” It is a characteristic that must exist in all of Christ’s servants, because it was a most prominent characteristic in Christ. It is a fundamental teaching of Christianity, for Christ teaches that in order to be great, one must abase oneself (Matthew 23:11-12). The absence of humility is pride, a sin the Bible calls an abomination (Proverbs 16:5). I wonder how many missionaries have hurt their ministry and the Kingdom of God because of lack of humility, an ego, an “I’m better than you” spirit. Micah 6:8 says that one thing that God requires from us is that we “…walk humbly…” with Him. Notice He says walk. Why? Because this is something that we must constantly be doing, daily, even hourly. The battle against pride and for humility will be a battle that will rage in our hearts and minds all of our lives. Our hearts are in ever-present danger of being filled with pride. However, to be an effective minister of Christ, we must have humility.
He is filled with faith (vs. 7-10). He tells Christ that all He has to do is speak the word and his servant will be healed. He knows that Christ’s word has power and authority and he has faith in that word. Charles Wesley, the great hymn writer, says “”Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees, and looks to God alone; Laughs at impossibilities, and cries it shall be done.” As a missionary you must believe that God has sent you, empowered you, and will use you. We must know that God can provide, change lives, move mountains, and remove obstacles. This centurion’s faith was so great that it impressed Jesus (vs 9). Think about that.
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