“And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have returned their way upon their heads, declares the Lord GOD.” (Ezek. 22:30-31, ESV).”
At first glance, this very strong statement by God through His prophet Ezekiel can seem quite harsh. It might even be a little haunting when you take a moment to reflect on what God is declaring at such a crucial time in history for the Israelites. But pause for a moment, and look at this part of the statement, again: “…I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land … I found none.”
In context, we begin to see that despite Israel’s significant sin and rebellion, God loves His people greatly. He wants the breach in the wall around His people to be filled by one of His own—someone He created to love others in the same powerful way that He does.
He wanted someone to step up to the plate and serve Him courageously, with a full heart. God wanted someone on mission for His Kingdom, and perhaps even more importantly, God Himself.
Therefore, as Pastor Mike Halstead preached about this last Sunday, one of our core values at Harvest Christian Church is this: a love and commitment to cross-cultural missions. We want to stand in the gap for our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ overseas and take the Gospel to the Nations through the people working there on the frontlines for His Kingdom. The thing is, as Christians, we have only two options: We are either goers or senders. This becomes even more clear when we read this final exchange between Jesus and His disciples recorded in Acts 1:6-8 (ESV):
“When [the disciples] had come together, they asked [Jesus], ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’”
For those of us who have confessed Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, not only do we have the Holy Spirit at work in us, but a clear calling. Taking the geography referenced here and putting it into our local context, we see God sending His disciples to do mission locally, in the nearby surrounding areas, and to the furthest stretches of the world as we know it.
Will you respond to the call?
In the beginning of our story, found in Genesis 12:1-3 (ESV), God extends an invitation to venture into the great unknown in the security of His hand and into His glorious mission field:
“Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’”
Several millennia later here in 2021, this story—God’s story—continues, and so does our role to play. We need only to act in faith, knowing that the same God Abraham followed so long ago, we still follow today. Jesus elaborates on the ultimate fulfillment of this promise for us in Matthew 25:31-40 (ESV):
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And He will place the sheep on His right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”
May we all join together, in response, and commit to not only praying for and financially supporting the missionaries we at Harvest support, but getting our own hands and feet dirty in the name of extolling our majestic and faithful God. And may we be the “watchmen” today who were so glaringly absent from Israel in the time of Ezekiel (Ezek. 33:1-4, 6; 34:4-6) for our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ bringing the Gospel to the Nations every single day.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF …
- Will you incorporate Harvest’s missionaries into your daily prayer life? How will you start to do so this week?
- What more can you do to join with Harvest in its support of cross-cultural missions?
- What sort of mission field is God calling you into right now? How will you respond?
- If you could do anything for God and His Kingdom, what would it be? How can you begin to make that a reality?
MORE ABOUT “WHO WE ARE” AT HARVEST CHRSTIAN CHURCH …
- OUR MISSION: Harvest exists to Love God, Love People, and make Followers of Christ / Blog post: “The Heart Commandment and its Result”
- CORE VALUE #1: Bible-centered Teaching / Blog post: “God’s Word is the Torch on Dark Paths”
- CORE VALUE #2: Christ-centered Community / Blog post: “Draw Near to Jesus, Arrive at Community”
- CORE VALUE #3: Cross-cultural Missions